If your Labrador seems to hate you this post will show you why it might be the case and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Labrador hate me? It is likely that it does not hate you and that it shows affection in ways that you are not aware of. It could also be that a lack of exercise, illness, injury, fear or depression are causing it to behave differently.
There are a number of reasons why your Labrador might seem to hate you. However, there are a number of things you can do to get it to like you more.
Why your Labrador hates you
Below are a number of reasons why it might be behaving that way and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It doesn’t actually hate you
The first thing to consider is that it is not likely to be the case that it actually hates you.
Some Labradors will like it when you pet them but others will not. If your Labrador doesn’t like it when you try to pet it but you try to pet it a lot, it could be causing it to avoid you (source).
It might also be the case that your Labrador does not show its affection overtly. I have written about ways that your Labrador might be showing its affection towards you in this post.
It might be the case that previous owners mistreated it and it now does not show as much affection. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter.
In this case, it might begin to improve over the course of a few weeks as it gets more comfortable in its new environment. If it does not begin to improve then consider getting the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
Illness or injury
The cause might be that it got an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The cause could be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it starts acting differently when something might be frightening it. Things that could frighten it could include fireworks, construction works or someone being around that it does not like.
Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours seems like it hates you. This would be more likely if it behaves that way more when it has not gotten much exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for adult Labradors to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy.
The reason could be that it was not able to socialize a lot as a puppy. When dogs are puppies they develope many of their characteristics. If a puppy does not get many opportunities to interact with people, it will not have as many chances to learn to be interested in them.
Dogs can also become depressed and it might be the case that your Labrador has not been showing much affection towards you because something has been causing it to be depressed. This would be more likely if it started acting differently after an event such as an owner leaving home or another pet dying.
In this case, it might begin to improve over the course of a few weeks. It would help to give it lots of training, exercise and to play with it. If it does not begin to improve then it would help to seek the guidance of a vet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when trying to understand what might be causing your Labrador to behave like it hates you.
If it is aggressive
If your Labrador becomes aggressive towards you then the best option would be to get help from a certified dog trainer in your area so that you can see how to train it safely and why it is doing it.
When it first started hating you
If it did not always behave that way, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it has only recently started to behave that way then it would make it more likely that it is due to things such as:
- Being mistreated by someone
- Being mistreated by another dog
- Being ill or injured
- Being depressed perhaps due to another dog or family member not being around anymore
- Being in a new location
- A change in its diet
When and where it seems to do it
It would also help to consider if it tends to behave that way at certain times. If it does, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if you notice that it changes its behavior before and after getting exercise then it might be a sign that it needs more exercise. Whereas, if it does it more after being fed then it might be a sign that there is an issue with its diet or it could be ill.
How to get your Labrador to like you more
Below are some options you have when getting your Labrador to stop behaving like it hates you.
Give it lots of exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get daily exercise if it is a healthy adult. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging the behaviors you want to see by rewarding your Labrador when it shows signs of displaying them.
If you want to get your dog to be more affectionate then you would reward it with a treat when it does things that show signs of being nicer to you. For example, you might reward it with a treat for coming and sitting with you.
Avoid negative reinforcement
It would also help to avoid rewarding it when it behaves like it hates you. Instead, it would help to reward it when it shows signs of affection and to wait for it to stop behaving like it hates you before rewarding it.
Avoid punishing it
If you punish your Labrador for hating you or not being affectionate then it would help to avoid doing so. The reason for this is that it is unlikely to know why you’re punishing it and it could cause it to develop feelings of resentment it could also be making it hate you more.
Instead, it would help to interact with your Labrador in a calm manner and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want it to.
Ensure that its diet is right
It could also be the case that an issue with its diet has been contributing to the behavior. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet and if it does it more when it eats certain foods.
It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly and that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.
Get expert help
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been behaving that way, it would help to get help from a vet or dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.