If your dog seems to be mad at you this post will show you why it might be the case and what you can do about it.
So, why is my dog mad at me? Possible reasons your dog is mad at you are that it is in pain, is fearful, is protecting food or possessions, is being dominating, you might have reinforced the behavior by rewarding it or it might have felt threatened.
There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might be mad at you and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Why your dog is mad at you
Each of the different reasons why your dog is mad at you will likely come with some clues.
Protecting food or possessions
The cause might be that it is trying to protect things that it thinks belong to it. This would be more likely if your dog becomes mad when it is eating, playing with a bone or when you are trying to sit in a spot that it tends to sit in.
In this case, it would help to give it lots of training so that it learns to see you as the leader. However, if it becomes aggressive then the best option would be to seek the guidance of a dog trainer or behaviorist so that you can see how to train it safely.
The cause might be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it changes its behavior at certain times such as when a certain person is around, when it does something that it knows you won’t like or when there are certain noises.
It might be the case that an illness or injury has been causing it to behave differently. This would be more likely if it has started behaving differently suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured such as limping or being fatigued. If it does seem like it is ill or injured then the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Related: Why does my dog bark at night?
It is being dominating
It might be the case that your dog is mad because it is being dominating. This would be more likely if it does it when trying to get you to do something such as to move from a spot.
In this case, it would be important to give your dog training so that it listens to your command and to seek professional help if it is aggressive.
The reason that it does it could be that it is actually being aggressive and warning you not to go near it.
This would be more likely if it shows its teeth when it is mad at you, it has its ears erect and it moves stiffly from side to side.
If it is the case that your dog seems to be mad at you in an aggressive way then the best option for you would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
Reinforcing the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently reinforced the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it is mad at you. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it is mad at you then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it is mad at you and to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to.
An issue with its diet
It might be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to behave abnormally. It could be the case that it is not eating enough or that it is eating things that it shouldn’t be. This would be more likely if it has been acting differently since you changed its diet or if it starts being mad when it eats certain foods.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why it is mad at you.
Consider the way it is mad
It is important to consider the way in which your dog is mad at you.
If it seems to be doing it aggressively by showing signs of aggression then the best option would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
If it does not seem to be doing it aggressively then it would help to consider the things mentioned below and to follow the tips below.
When your dog started being mad at you
It would also help to consider what else happened when it first started being mad at you since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it did start being mad suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated, becoming injured or being possessive.
When and where your dog becomes mad at you
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes mad since the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it becomes mad only when it is eating then it would be more likely that it is being food possessive.
How to stop your dog from being mad at you
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop being mad at you.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your dog to behave in a certain way by giving it things that it wants when it behaves correctly.
To use it to get it to stop getting mad you would reward it when it does not act mad and stop rewarding it when it starts growling.
Recognize when it is about to be mad
It would also help to learn to recognize when your dog is likely to start being mad. When you are able to recognize when it is about to do it you can redirect its behavior onto something else such as sitting in order to get it out of the habit of behaving in an undesirable way.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been reinforcing the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it becomes mad. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
Give it positive attention
It would also help to give it positive attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it so that it has a positive relationship with you.
Avoid punishing it
It might be tempting to punish it when it starts being mad at you but it would help to avoid doing so. If you punish it then it will likely cause feelings of resentment and it might not know why you are punishing it. Instead, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave.
Get help from a trainer
If you can’t get your dog to stop doing it or it becomes aggressive then the best option would be to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to see how to train it in a secure way.