Most dogs like it when we pet them on the heads but some dogs have issues with it. If your dog won’t let you pet it on the head, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why won’t my dog let me pet its head? Likely reasons why your dog won’t let you pet its head are injury, your dog does not like the way you pet it, intimidation, something causing it to be anxious, or that it just does not like you petting its head.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog won’t let you pet its head and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why won’t my dog let me pet its head?

Below are likely reasons why your dog won’t let you pet its head and what would make them more likely.

Injury

The cause might be that it has an injury on its head. This would be more likely if it has stopped letting you pet its head suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an injury such as lowering its head to the ground a lot. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Your dog does not like the way you pet it

Another possible reason is that you started petting its head in a way that it does not like. This would be more likely if you started petting it in a different manner and if it does let you pet it when you pet its head in a certain manner.

Intimidation

Another possible reason is that you have been intimidating it. This would be more likely if your dog doesn’t want you to pet it when you approach it boldly, when you pet it strongly, or when you are being loud.

Something causing it to be anxious

Another possible reason is that there is something in its environment that has been causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if it has stopped letting you pet it at all (not just on the head) since a change in its environment such as if you moved homes or if it does it more at a certain time such as when another dog is around or when there are loud noises outside.

It just does not like you petting its head

If your dog does not seem to be injured and it does let you do things such as give it belly rubs, the cause might be that it just does not like you petting it on the head. However, it could also be the case that you have been petting its head too hard and that it does not mind you rubbing its belly as hard.

Things to consider

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

If your dog never let you pet its head

If your dog never let you pet its head, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start. If it did stop letting you pet its head suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in the way you pet it or getting an injury.

If your dog does let you pet its head sometimes

If your dog does let you pet its head sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it lets you do it. For example, if it lets you do it when you pet its head gently, the cause is likely to be that it does not like it when you pet it aggressively.

What to do about your dog not letting you pet its head

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

Pet it differently

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has been doing it due to being intimidated. Instead, it would help to be calm with it, to pet it gently and to approach it calmly.

Get help

If it seems like your dog has not been letting you pet its head due to injury, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out injury as a cause.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to limit possible reasons why your dog might be anxious. Ways to do so would be to separate it from other dogs that it does not like or letting it stay in a quiet room when if it gets anxious at a certain time.

This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Most Recommended For Dogs

Best Dog Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program - If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link.

Best Dog Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult dogs.

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.