If your dog does not seem to trust 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 you can do about each of them.

So, why doesn’t my dog trust me? Possible reasons why your dog does not trust you are training it in the wrong way, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, intimidation, mental issues, bad past experiences, or being timid due to being a puppy still.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog does not trust you and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it

Reasons why your dog does not trust you

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

Training it in the wrong way

It might be the case that the way that you have been training it is the issue. If you do not train your dog in the right way, it might learn that you want it to behave in an undesirable way. When training your dog, it would help to reward behaviors that you want to see and to avoid rewarding behaviors that you do not.

Encouraging the behavior

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

Intimidation

Another possible cause is that it is intimidated. It might be intimidated because of the way you have been interacting with it which would be more likely if you have been shouting at it or acting aggressively around it. Instead, it would help to be calm around it and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want it to.

Past experiences

The cause could also be that previous owners mistreated it. If they did then it might be the case that it does not want to show affection or trust anymore because it was punished in the past. This would be more likely if it is adopted from a shelter.

In this case, it might begin to show more affection towards you as it becomes more comfortable in its new environment. It would help to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not begin to improve, it would help to get the help of a vet or dog behaviorist.

Age

It might also be the case that it is going through a more fearful stage which is not uncommon in puppies. This would be more likely if your dog is a puppy and it has not been behaving unusually in other ways. In this case, the behavior should begin to improve quickly. If it does not improve, it would be best to take it for a checkup.

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 your dog stopped trusting you

If your dog did trust you, in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped trusting you. If it did it suddenly after something such as you being intimidating towards it, the cause would be more likely to be due to intimidation.

If there is a time that your dog does trust you

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog does seem to trust you since the timing could have something to do with it. For example, if it does not seem to trust you when another person or pet is around, it might be the case that it is intimidated by that person or pet.

What to do about your dog not trusting you

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Get help

If your dog has been behaving very abnormally, it would help to get the help of a vet by taking it for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to rule out more serious issues and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.

Positive reinforcement training

It would also help to encourage your dog to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way and not rewarding it when it does not.

Be calm with it

It might also be the case that it has been getting intimidated by the way you have been acting around it. Instead, it would help to be calm with it and to train it to behave the way you want with positive reinforcement training or Nothing in Life is Free training.

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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.