If your dog doesn’t seem to care about you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

So, why doesn’t my dog care about me? Common reasons why your dog doesn’t seem to care about you are that it natural behaves that way, it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded, illness or injury, depression, boredom or being elderly.

There are a number of possible causes and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog does not seem to care about you

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Nature

It might be the case that your dog behaves that way by nature. This would be more likely if it has always not seemed to care about you and if it is a breed that is known for not being so affectionate.

If you want to get it to show more interest in you, you could try rewarding it when it shows signs of showing interest and to avoid rewarding it when it is not.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it does not care about you, it will behave that way more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does show interest in you and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Illness or injury

Another possible cause is that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if your dog has suddenly started to behave like it does not care about you and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting or not wanting to move. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Depression

The cause might also be that it is depressed. This would be more likely if it started behaving that way suddenly after an event occurred that might have caused it to become depressed such as an owner leaving, being mistreated or another pet dying.

If it seems like your dog might be behaving that way due to being depressed then it might improve over the course of a few weeks. You can help it by giving it positive attention and lots of exercise. If it doesn’t improve then consider getting the help of a vet or dog behaviorist in your area.

Boredom

If your dog is a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise then it could be the case that it is under-stimulated. When dogs don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues and it could be why yours has not been showing much interest in you. It would help to find out how much exercise your dog is meant to be getting daily and to make sure that it is able to get it.

Age

If your dog has started behaving that way as it has gotten older it would be more likely to be because it has not got as much spare energy as it used to. When dogs get older they need to use more energy to move around so they will naturally tend to become less energetic and to sleep more.

Things to consider

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

If it has always behaved that way

It would help to consider if your dog has always behaved that way or if it has started doing it suddenly. If it has started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start. If it did start doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded, depression or illness or injury.

What is different when your dog does show interest in you

It would also help to consider what is different when it does show interest in you. If it does show interest in you sometimes, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

If your dog seems to care about you at certain times it could be that an issue with its diet is causing it to behave differently after eating, it’s not getting enough exercise or it might become fearful of something at certain times.

Whereas, if your dog is always not interested in you then it would be more likely to be due to things such as nature, boredom, illness, injury or mistreatment by previous owners.

It might actually be showing interest in you in ways you’re not seeing

It is also important to consider that dogs can show love in many ways and it might be the case that your dog has been being loving but you haven’t been noticing it.

Ways that your dog might actually be showing love towards you could include:

  • Following your orders
  • Protecting you or your home
  • “Nosing” you which is where it touches you with its nose and smells you
  • Making eye contact with you
  • Putting itself into vulnerable positions when it is around you
  • Licking you
  • Getting excited when you come home
  • Leaning on you
  • Getting you to rub its belly
  • Keeping pace with you on walks
  • Bringing things to you
  • Following you around

What to do about your dog not caring about you

Below are a number of options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Get help

If you can’t figure out why your dog has been doing it or it has started acting differently suddenly consider taking it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of illness and to get expert advice tailored to your particular dog.

Ensure it is getting the right diet

It might be the case that an issue with its diet has been causing it to behave abnormally. It would help to ensure that it has been eating things that it should be, that it has been eating the right amount and that no one else has been feeding it things without you knowing.

Ensure it is getting enough exercise

Provided that your dog is healthy it would help to make sure that it is getting enough exercise either by exercising it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you when you can’t do it.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training involves training your dog to behave a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.

To use positive reinforcement training to get your dog to act like it cares about you more you would:

  • Reward it when it shows affection to you,
  • Reward it when it shows signs of showing affection towards you
  • Reward it when it does not ignore you when it normally would

It would also help to recognize when it is about to ignore you and to divert its attention back onto you by training it to come to you on command.

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Author

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.