If your dog has been pushing you away, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my dog push me away? Possible reasons why your dog pushes you away are that it wants you to stop petting it, it is actually playing, it is fearful or that it wants you to give it something.

Since there are a number of possible reasons, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.

Reasons why your dog pushes you away

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog pushes you away and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

It wants you to stop petting it

If your dog pushes you away, when you are petting it, the cause could be that it wants you to stop petting it. The reason why it might want you to stop petting it could be that you’re petting it too forcefully, because it has an injury or because it wants to sleep.

Fearfulness

The cause could also be that it is fearful of something. It could be fearful because you have been approaching it too quickly or interacting with it too forcefully. Instead, it would help to be calm around your dog and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want.

It is playing

It might be the case that it is not actually trying to push you away. Rather, it might actually be playing with you. This would be more likely if it also shows other signs of being excited such as wagging its tail, having its tongue out and not trying to back away from you.

It wants something from you

It might be the case that it is hitting you with its paws because it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it when you have something such as food in your hands. It would also be more likely if it tends to do it more when it would normally get things such as a walk or food.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it. 

What else happened when it first started doing it

If your dog did not always push you away, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing if. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be because you started being too forceful with it, it got an injury, something caused it to start being fearful or a change in its daily routine caused it to start trying to remind you to give it things such as food or a walk.

What is different when it does it

If there is a certain time that your dog tends to do it, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if your dog tends to do it when you are eating, it could be the case that it wants your food. 

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider what sort of body language it shows when it pushes you away.

If it also tries to distance itself from you, face away from you and it seems anxious, it would be more likely that it is either intimidated or it does not like the way you are interacting with it.

Whereas, if it shows signs of excitement, when it does it, it would be more likely that it does it due to being playful or wanting something from you.

What to do about your dog pushing you away

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.

Avoid intimidating it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been pushing you away due to you being too forceful with it. Instead, it would help to interact with it calmly and to use training to get it to behave the way you want.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for pushing you away. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not push you away and to avoid rewarding it when it does push you away.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging the behaviors you want to see by rewarding them and discouraging unwanted behaviors by not rewarding them. To use it to get your dog to stop pushing you away, you could reward it with a treat when it does not push you away but it normally would and stop rewarding it when it pushes you away.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.