What to Do When a Dog Hates You

What do you do when your dog hates you?

First, take comfort in the fact that it’s highly unlikely that your dog despises you as a person.

It’s far more likely that he’s just unhappy with something that you do!

Read on to find out why it seems like your dog isn’t your biggest fan, then learn how to change those actions!

Follow these tips and soon your canine will view you as a companion and not his arch nemesis!


What to Do When a Dog Hates You

You love your dog so much! In fact, you would do anything for him. But maybe your dog isn’t on the same page. What do you do when your dog hates you?

We often think we are doing so many great things for your dogs. How could they not love us and appreciate what we do?

What we tend to forget is that dogs don’t see things the way we do.

I think it’s important for us to remember that dogs are individuals with distinct personalities. The trick is finding out what your dog is trying to tell you.

Let’s look at some ways that you might be aggravating your dog…and what you can do about it.

#1 Hugging your dog

What? How can hugging your dog be something he hates? You hug your dog by putting your arms around his head and throat. This may be extremely uncomfortable for some dogs.

They may tolerate it, but they don’t like it.

You can tell your dog is uncomfortable by watching his reactions. He might turn his head away or look down with his eyes. He may hold his body stiffly.

In this case, respect your dog’s space. And let him lean into you. Then you are respecting his boundaries.

Do dogs like hugs? The answer to that has been fiercely debated among experts. Find out what they’re saying and what we think!

#2 Being in its face

Dogs do not like having someone’s hands too close to their face. They also may not be comfortable with you standing over them. Dogs often perceive this behavior as threatening.

Acting this way with dogs can set off aggressive behavior, although it’s done in self-defense.

If you need to be close to your dog’s face, it’s best to proceed slowly. Take your time and be gentle. And if your dog seems nervous, back off a bit.

It may take a while and several tries. But you will ultimately have a dog that trusts you.

#3 Not having a routine

Dogs need to know what is expected of them. It helps them to have good behavior and they will know who is in charge.

Without a regular daily routine of activities, dogs might misbehave, not because they’re bad or hate you, but because they don’t really know what to expect from you.

If you establish a routine for feeding, walking, playtime and the like it will help your dog understand that you are in charge…and that you can be trusted to care for his needs.

What is your dog's poop telling you? Turns out quite a bit! Learn how to use #2 to look out for your #1 best friend!

#4 Being left alone

Dogs are social creatures. They crave interaction with us. When we leave the house for extended periods of time this causes them to be very anxious.

If you make the time to walk with your dog daily and play with him, it will alleviate this anxiety and help your dog to know you will be there for him.

If you are going to be gone for long hours, consider hiring a pet sitter to come and spend time with your dog.


# 5 Your dog is hurt

In this case, it’s not a matter of what you’re doing to tick off your dog, but rather what your dog is going through that is making him seem edgier and grumpier than usual.

Dogs can’t tell us when they are physically hurt. So they may act out instead.

If your dog suddenly starts snapping at you or growling he could be trying to tell you he’s hurt.

It is definitely a good idea to see the vet.

# 6 You lost a family member or pet

When you lose a family member (be it human or furry), your dog mourns, too. Just like humans can act out when dealing with emotions, so can dogs.

If your dog suddenly starts acting aloof or angry just after losing a loved one, take that loss into consideration.

While the old saying, “time heals all wounds,” applies to dogs, too, you can talk to your vet if you notice Fido is having a particularly tough time with the loss.


Signs that Your Dog Hates You

Now, let’s talk about some things your dog does to show his discontent. Again, while I used the word “hate,” remember that your dog doesn’t actually hate you, just your actions.

#1 Your dog chews your shoes

Maybe your dog has chewed up your favorite pair of shoes. Or the couch. Or a hole in the kitchen floor (this really happened!).

These are all classic signs of separation anxiety. You need to take note.

Be sure you are giving your dog your time and attention when you are home.

Crate training can be a good option as it will help your dog feel secure and safe until you return home. Just be sure he’s not spending all day in the crate.

# 2 Growling

It may be normal for your dog to growl at a delivery man. It is not normal for him to growl at you.

If your dog does growl at you, it means he’s upset with you about something. It is important that you stay calm. Yelling at him or hitting him is the worst thing you can do.

Think about what you might have done. Were you too close to his face? Grabbing him in a rough hug?

If you can’t figure it out you should see your vet to be sure he isn’t sick or injured.

Knowing how to keep an aggressive dog from attacking other animals could mean the difference between life and death. Read our tips for dealing with dog aggression!


# 3 Peeing in the house

Your dog has been housebroken for quite some time. Then how come all of a sudden she’s going in the house? Possibly even going on your things?

This may be a sign that your dog is unhappy with something you’re doing. It is important to think about any change in your schedule that may be upsetting her.

Are you working longer hours? Maybe you went on vacation? Once you figure this out take steps to help reassure your dog.

Of course, peeing in the house can also be a sign of many other things, so it’s good to talk to the vet to rule out medical issues.

# 4 Your dog won’t look at you

Most happy and confident dogs will look in our eyes adoringly.

If you notice your dog is not making eye contact with you, looking away or looking down this may be a sign. She may be trying to tell you she is displeased or doesn’t trust you.

To help her feel better, you can gently and calmly reassure her by striking her ears and talking to her softly.


Dogs are very sensitive creatures. They will let us know when they are angry or upset with us by using specific body language.

When we recognize the signs of their displeasure, we can take steps to help them feel confident in us.

This may take time but will help you and your dog to have a lasting friendship.

Have you ever dealt with a situation where it seemed like your dog hated you? What did you do?

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