If your Golden Retriever doesn’t seem to like you this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever not like me?

Possible causes are that it has not been getting enough exercise, an issue with its diet, illness, injury, fear, depression, mistreatment or inadvertently rewarding the behavior.

It could also be the case that it does actually like you but it is showing that it likes you in ways that you are not noticing.

Why your Golden Retriever does not like you

The different reasons why it doesn’t seem to like you will likely come with some clues. Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely to be the main cause.

It does actually like you

It is likely to be the case that it does actually like you but it is showing affection towards you in ways that you might not be noticing. I have written more about the ways your Golden Retriever might show that it does like you in this post and why it might not be showing affection in this post.

You haven’t given it exercise

Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be why yours has been acting like it doesn’t like you.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily when they are healthy adults. If yours isn’t getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does.

Illness or injury

Having an illness or injury could also be what has been causing the behavior. This would be more likely if it has started acting like it doesn’t like you 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.

Previous owners

The cause could also be that previous owners mistreated it and it now does not like showing interest in people as much. This would be more likely if you recently adopted it from a shelter.

If you recently adopted it from a shelter, it might begin to show more affection towards you over the course of weeks and months. However, you could help by giving it lots of exercise, attention and training. If it doesn’t improve over the course of a few months consider consulting with a vet or dog behaviorist.


It could also be doing it because something is causing it to be fearful. It could be that you have been interacting with it too aggressively, someone else has or that there is something else in its environment that is causing it to be fearful.

Lack of socialization as a puppy

When Golden Retrievers are puppies they will learn a lot about who they can trust and how they cannot. If your Golden Retriever did not get much socialization as a puppy it might have learned not to give people as much attention as normal.


Dogs can become depressed like humans can and it might be the cause of yours seeming like it does not like you. This would be more likely if it has started behaving differently suddenly after an event that might cause it to be depressed such as an owner leaving.

In this case, it would help to give it lots of positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not begin to improve over the course of a few weeks then the best option would be to get help from a vet or dog behaviorist.

How to get your Golden Retriever to like you more

Below are some things you can do about your Golden Retriever not liking you.

Give it exercise

As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Golden Retriever is able to get exercise on a daily basis provided it is healthy. If it’s not currently getting much exercise you could walk it yourself or you could get a dog walker to do it for you when you can’t.

Make sure that you are feeding it correctly

It would also help to make sure that it is getting the correct diet since an issue with its diet could be causing it to behave abnormally. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it and it would help to consult with your vet on its diet when you see them next.

Give it training

It would also help to give it positive reinforcement training so that it learns to behave the way that you want it to.

By training your Golden Retriever you will be able to get it to become more responsive to your command, it will behave in the way that you want it to and it will look at you more as the leader. This will help to reduce any bad behavior.

Avoid negative reinforcement

Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently encourage bad behaviors by giving your Golden Retriever rewards when it displays them. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to use positive reinforcement training to encourage it to behave that way.

Get help

If you can’t figure out why your Golden Retriever has been behaving that way or you cannot get it to stop it would help to get the advice of a vet and a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever.

Things to consider

When it first started acting that way

If your Golden Retriever has not always behaved like it doesn’t like you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that it has been doing it due to an event that occurred.

If it did start behaving that way suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as illness, injury, being mistreated, becoming depressed, suddenly getting less exercise or suddenly getting less attention.

If it seems to like you more at other times

It would also help to consider if there are certain times that it becomes more interested in you. If it becomes more interested at certain times it might be because sometimes there is a person around that it does not like or that there is an issue with its diet.

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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.