Dogs are known to be incredible companions, but they can also be finicky, moody, and downright mean sometimes. If your dog doesn’t love you, it could be for a number of reasons and this post will show them to you.

So, why doesn’t my dog love me? Possible reasons why your dog does not love you are illness or injury, being naturally aloof, boredom, depression, an issue with its environment, fearfulness, or a problem with how you have been interacting with it.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog does not love you and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why doesn’t my dog love me?

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.

Your dog might actually love you

It is likely that your dog does actually love you. Some dogs will like being petted and hugged but others will not. If your dog 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. It might be the case that your dog does not show its affection overtly.

Illness or injury

The cause might be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if your dog has started acting differently suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured. If it does seem like it might be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Nature

It might also be the case that your dog is naturally aloof. This would be more likely if your dog has always behaved that way and it does show you affection sometimes.

Depression

It could be the case that your dog 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.

Boredom

The reason why your dog seems to not like you might actually be that it is bored. This would be more likely if your dog is a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis but it has not been getting much exercise. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the recommended amount of exercise for its breed on a daily basis.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that your dog has learned that behaving like it does not love you results in it getting rewards. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it behaves like it does not like you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Alternatively, you might be giving it things it does not want when it does do what you want. If you give your dog things it does not want, when it does what you say, it will likely stop doing it. An example of this would be tapping on the food bowl to get it to come inside when it is not time for food.

Previous owners

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.

A diet issue

The cause might also be that there is an issue with its diet. This would be more likely if your dog has not always behaved that way and if it has started behaving differently since a change in its diet or when it eats certain food.

You started interacting with it differently

The cause might also be that you have been interacting with your dog in a way it does not like. This would be more likely if your dog stopped behaving like it loves you since you started treating it differently.

A problem with how it has been trained

It could also be the case that there is a problem with how you have trained your dog. If you don’t train your dog the right way, it will not learn how it is meant to behave. It could help to try training your dog using a different training method to the one you have been using.

Fear

The reason why your dog has been doing it might be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it starts acting differently when something might be scaring it. Things that could frighten it could include fireworks, construction works or someone being around that it does not like.

Things to consider

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

Your dog might be showing you affection in ways you’re not seeing

It might be the case that your dog has actually been showing you affection but you have not been noticing it.

Examples of ways that your dog be showing you affection would be if:

  • It keeps pace with you when out on a walk
  • Comes to you when you call it
  • It follows you around
  • It noses you which is where it sniffs you with its nose a lot
  • It doesn’t like it when you leave
  • It licks you
  • It jumps up at you
  • It leans on you

If your dog has always not loved you

If your dog did not always behave like it does not love you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started behaving that way. If your dog started doing it suddenly, the cause could be due to things such as a change in its environment, illness, injury, or a change in the way you have been interacting with it.

Why is different when your dog does show you love

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog does show affection towards you.

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.

What to do about your dog not loving you

Below are some things you can do to get your dog to love you more.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that behaving like it does not love you is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not. Conversely, it might be the case that you have been inadvertently punishing it when it behaves the way you want. Instead, it would help to make sure not to punish it when it does behave the way you want and to reward it instead.

Training

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

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.

Ensure it is getting enough exercise

When dogs don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues and it could be why yours seems like it hates you. It would help to make sure your dog is able to get the right amount of exercise daily by walking it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you when you cannot.

Get help

If your dog has been behaving very unusually and it has been showing signs of illness or injury, the best option would be to take it for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.

Ensure it is getting the right diet

It would also help to ensure that your dog has been getting the right diet and that it has been eating the right amount of calories. It would also help to make sure that nobody else has been feeding your dog without you knowing.

Limit reasons why it might be fearful

It would also help to limit reasons why your dog might be fearful by doings things such as letting it stay in a quiet part of the house and ensuring that it gets a chance to pee, poop, eat and get exercise before you leave it for a long time.

Why doesn’t my dog love me suddenly?

If your dog has suddenly stopped behaving like it loves you, it could be due to things such as a change in its environment, a change in how you interact with it, illness, depression, injury, or a change in its diet. It would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started behaving differently.

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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.