If your dog seems to be scared of you, this post will show you a number of reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why is my dog scared of me? Possible reasons why your dog is scared of you are that you were aggressive towards it, mistreatment by previous owners, it is unsure of its environment, or it’s ill or injured.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog is scared of you. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why is my dog scared of me?
Each of the different reasons that your dog is scared of you will likely come with some clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be happening and what would make them more likely.
You were aggressive towards it
The reason that your dog has started being scared of you could be that you were aggressive towards it. This would be more likely to be the reason if it has been avoiding you since being aggressive towards it.
In this case, it would help to avoid being aggressive towards it and to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and play.
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It is unsure of its environment
It might not be the case that it is scared of you and it could be that it is actually unsure of its environment. This would be more likely if you recently moved homes with it or if you recently adopted it.
In this case, it would be likely that it will improve over the course of a few weeks. It would also help to give it positive attention and exercise when possible.
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It might be the case that it has behavioral issues due to mistreatment by previous owners. This would be more likely if you recently adopted your dog from a shelter and it is not just scared of you. In this case, it would be more likely that it does not trust people.
However, as long as you continue to give it positive attention it is likely that it will improve over time. If months have passed and it is still afraid then it would help to get the help of a dog behaviorist.
It is ill or injured
It might be that an illness or injury is causing it to hide. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill.
In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Things to consider about your dog being scared
Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog has been being scared of you. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will become much easier to get it to stop.
When your dog became afraid of you
The timing of when your dog became afraid of you would be something to consider.
Some things that might have happened when it became afraid of you could be:
- You accidentally stepped on it
- You were aggressive towards it
- You moved homes
- Its diet changed
- Someone else was aggressive towards it
If your dog only becomes scared of you at certain times
The timing of when it comes afraid of you would also be helpful to consider. If you notice that it only becomes afraid of you at certain times then it would be likely that the timing has something to do with the cause.
For example, if it only seems to get afraid when a certain person is around then it might be that it is actually afraid of that person and not you.
If your dog is only afraid of you
If you notice that it is also afraid of other people then it would be less likely that it is afraid of you in particular. In this case, it would be more likely that things such as being unsure of its environment, illness or injury are to blame.
Whereas, if it only seems to be scared of you then it would be more likely that it is intimidated by you for some reason such as coming across as being too aggressive.
The age of your dog would also be something to consider. If it is still young then it would be more likely that it is going through a more timid stage and that it will improve as it gets older.
If it is older then it would be more likely to be due to things such as mistreatment or being nervous about its environment.
What to do about your dog being scared of you
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog being scared of you. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.
Be calmer around your dog
Dogs tend to be very responsive to their owners emotions. If you become highly emotional around it then it would be more likely that it will become emotional as well.
When interacting with your dog, it would help to be calm and to avoid getting overly emotional with it.
Play and exercise
If you have not been giving your dog much exercise or play then it would help to start doing so. Some breeds require a lot more exercise than others so it would help to find out how much yours requires and then to give it that amount. Ways that you could play with it would be to play fetch with it or games such as tug of war.
Avoid physical punishment
It is important to avoid physically punishing your dog when it misbehaves. If you do then it is unlikely that it will know what it is being punished for and it will likely lead to feelings of resentment.
Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves well and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
If your dog is afraid of you then it is likely that it will become less afraid of you, over time, as long as you treat it well. This means that it is important not to get frustrated with it and to stick with it.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t seem to figure out why it gets scared of you or it has been scared for months, it would help to take it to a vet where you will be able to get expert help.
Why is my dog suddenly scared of me?
Possible reasons why your dog is suddenly afraid of you are that it has gotten an injury, someone has been mistreating it, a sudden change in its environment, or because you got angry towards it.
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