If your Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador 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
When Labradors and other dog breeds do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be the reason why it seems like yours does not like you. This would be especially likely if it has started acting that way since getting less exercise and if it does it more when it gets less exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your Labrador is not getting that much and it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it does.
Illness or injury
Another reason why it might be acting like it does not like you could be that it is ill or injured. This would be more likely to be the reason if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as being fatigued when awake or limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
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 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 improve as it becomes more used to its new environment. If it does not it would help to consult with a vet or dog behaviorist.
The cause could be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more at certain times. For example, if it starts behaving differently when there are certain noises outside, it could be because the noises are making it feel uncomfortable.
The cause could be that it did not get to socialize much as a puppy. When dogs are puppies they will be naturally curious and learn who to trust. If yours did not get much attention as a puppy it might not have learned to be as affectionate.
Dogs are able to get depression like humans can and it could be the reason why yours has been behaving like it does not like you. This would be more likely if it started behaving that way since an event that might have caused it to start being depressed such as an owner or another pet dying.
In this case, if it does not improve over the course of a few weeks, consider getting help from a vet.
How to get your Labrador to like you more
Below are some things you can do about your Labrador not liking you.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get lots of daily exercise if it is healthy. There are apps you can download now that allow you to find dog walkers in your area which you could use when you can’t walk it yourself.
Make sure that you are feeding it correctly
It is also important to make sure that it is getting the right diet especially if it has been behaving differently since a change in its diet. It would help to consult on its diet with your local vet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it.
Give it training
Another way to improve your relationship with your Labrador and to improve its behavior would be to give it training.
By training your Labrador 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 is where you reinforce bad behaviors by giving your Labrador rewards when it displays them. If you have been giving your Labrador rewards when it acts like it doesn’t like you it could be reinforcing the behavior. Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it shows signs of being affectionate and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior.
If you are unsure of why it has been doing it or you cannot get it to stop, consider getting help from a dog behaviorist or a vet. By doing so you will be able to get professional advice tailored towards your particular Labrador.
Things to consider
When it first started acting that way
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started behaving like it doesn’t like you since it could be the case that an event occurred that caused it to stop.
If it did start behaving that way suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as illness, injury, a sudden change in its diet, another pet dying, being aggressive towards it or a sudden change in its daily routine.
If it seems to like you more at other times
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it more at certain times. If it does it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it starts behaving differently when there are noises outside, it might be due to the noises.