If your dog has been isolating itself, 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 them.

So, why is my dog isolating itself? Possible reasons why your dog has been isolating itself are depression, illness or injury, intimidation, it thinks it’s in trouble, or that it does not want to be bothered.

There are actually a number of possible causes and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.

Reasons why your dog has been isolating itself

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been isolating itself.

Depression

The cause might be that something has caused it to be depressed. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, since an event that might have caused it to get depressed such as an owner leaving, and if it has been behaving differently in other ways as well.

Illness or injury

Another possible cause is that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as by limping or vomiting. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet. 

Intimidation

The cause could also be that your actions have been intimidating it. This would be more likely if you tend to approach it in an aggressive manner, you shout at it a lot or make large movements around it. Instead, it would help to be calm around it and to change its behavior with training.

It thinks it’s in trouble

The cause might also be that it thinks it is in trouble. This would be more likely if it tends to avoid you when you have gotten annoyed with it. In this case, it would help to try to change its behavior with the use of positive reinforcement training or Nothing In Life Is Free dog training instead of using a fear based approach.

Diet issues

The cause might also be that there is an issue with its diet that is causing it to behave abnormally. It might be eating things that it should not be, it might be eating too much or not enough. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way suddenly, since a change in its diet. 

It does not want to be bothered

The cause could also be that it wants to sleep without being bothered. This would be more likely if it only isolates itself when it is going to sleep and it does not avoid you at other times as well.

It wants to avoid another pet or person

Another possible cause is that your dog is trying to avoid another pet or person. This would be more likely if your dog only seems to isolate itself when that person or pet is around.

Things to consider

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

What else happened when your dog first started isolating itself

If your dog did not always isolate itself, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in its diet, illness, injury, mistreatment or something causing it to become depressed.

What is different when your dog does not isolate itself

If your dog seems to isolate itself at certain times, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it only does it after eating, it might be the case that it is eating too much, it’s eating things that it shouldn’t be or that it just wants to sleep after eating.

What to do about your dog isolating itself

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

Get help

If it has been showing signs of being ill or injured or it has been behaving very abnormally, the best option would be to get help from a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog. 

Give it the right diet

As mentioned above, it might be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to ensure that it is eating the correct foods in the correct amounts. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.

Be calm with it

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your own behavior has been causing it to get intimidated. It would help to interact with your dog in a calm manner and to try to get it to behave the way you want it to with positive reinforcement training instead of fear based methods.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get it to stop avoiding you, you could give it a reward whenever it does not avoid you but it normally would.

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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.