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Why Doesn’t My Dog Like Me? 6 Possible Reasons

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend because they differ from cats when showing love and affection. However, other factors determine whether your dog showers you with cuddles. It also depends on their breed, former experiences, and how they are trained to interact with humans. Buy why doesn’t my dog like me?

Most dogs enjoy being near their owners as much as possible, which is why it’s confusing if you find out yours doesn’t want to be around you. It’s already bad when dogs on the street you want to pet don’t want you touching them. The dog you adopt and make a part of your family should like you, or it could affect your happiness and theirs. 

If you are facing a situation where you feel your furry family member doesn’t like you, this guide will help you answer why and what you can do to improve the relationship. 


6 Indicators to Spot If Your Dog Doesn’t Like You

Similar to our encounters with human beings, there are things we can look out for to know when dogs don’t like us. Nothing needs to be spoken, and you don’t need to get bitten.

Instead, it’s easy to identify its feelings of disdain by studying your dog’s body language or if it doesn’t attempt to snuggle with you. Despite not having minds as complex as humans, it’s sometimes challenging to figure out if our dogs don’t like us. 

Because we can’t communicate with them verbally, there are signs to look out for that dogs will show when they don’t like you. You can read them below, and they are all related to body language:

chihuahua why doesn't my dog like me

1. Your Dog Avoids Being Near You

This indicator is evident and easy to spot quickly. If you attempt to touch your dog or sit nearby, but it walks away, there may be a problem with you.

The reason your pet is avoiding you is not because of the way you look or smell, like humans judge others. Instead, your dog may feel scared of you, and there’s something you are doing to make it feel that way. 

2. Your Dog Doesn’t Like Being Petted

Most dogs adore being touched because it helps them destress and deepens their relationship with their master. However, there are moments when they want to be alone or are not in the mood, so it may not be a sign of a severe problem.

Only in rare occasions, if it happens too much, you will need to dig deeper and think why they may be scared of you. 

dalmatian tail

3. Your Dog Tucks its Tail

If your dog doesn’t evade you, it’s still possible that you scare it. Study its body language closely, and you will know what it really thinks of you. Dogs show fear by lowering their tail and tucking it between their legs. It’s an easy sign that your pet doesn’t feel good around you or that you make it feel anxious.  

4. Your Dog avoids Eye Contact

The average dog gets antsy when you make eye contact with it and will try to avoid your gaze. However, if this happens every time and it cringes when you do it, it’s its way of showing you feelings of discomfort. 

Bear Coat Shar Pei face

5. Your Dog’s Ears Flatten

Depending on the scenario, dogs flatten their ears to show anger or aggression, which is also a sign of discomfort. To be sure, figure out which emotion it is by studying their body language at a deeper level. 

6. Your dog barks and growls

The easiest way to tell if a dog has an issue with you is if it starts to make threatening growls to signal to you that it’s angry.

It’s your responsibility to deduce why it’s feeling frustrated and making aggressive noises. When a canine is sad, the noises are different. The barking is lighter, and your pet will make whiny sounds if it’s hungry or in pain. 

profile of dog barking

Why Doesn’t My Dog Like Me? 6 Possible Reasons

Now that you know the signs to look out for if your dog doesn’t like you, the next step is understanding why. Most times, the reasons they dislike you are simple to figure out because, despite being intelligent animals, dogs are still not like us.

As a defense mechanism, some breeds are cautious around strangers, while others are open-minded. Their personalities are determined by their DNA, upbringing, and whether kind professionals trained them. Dogs don’t care about your political leanings or what values you hold.


Instead, your canine will judge you by their experiences with you and the people you introduce them to. If your dog doesn’t care for you, it’s because you are doing things that make it feel unsafe or annoyed by your habits. 

Below are some things you might be doing that they don’t like: 

1. Confusing Body Language

We might think we’re giving our dog positive vibes with our body language, but that may not be the case if we give off mixed signals.

For example, standing over your canine with a serious face could feel aggressive to your pet. This situation is more likely to happen with breeds that quickly get uncomfortable if they get confused or if they are newborn puppies

2. Hugging

Some dogs dislike hugging because it makes them feel vulnerable. Hugs make them unable to move and feel surrounded, but it may be okay for some breeds, depending on how much your dog loves you. You’ll lose their trust if you continue hugging your canine when you know they don’t like it. 


3. Improper Touching

Most dog lovers understand how much their pets hate having certain body parts touched.

To you, it’s your way of showing love, but it’s important to respect boundaries if you want to improve your bond and stay away from their ears and tails. By being unwilling to stop, your puppy will choose to dislike you and stay away from you as much as possible. 

4. Performing Pranks

YouTube has many videos on its platform of individuals messing with their dogs and teasing them with tricks. It may seem funny to you, but a sensitive dog may feel traumatized and betrayed, making them trust you less.  


5. Bad Situations

Due to past experiences, your dog may fear some animals, individuals, or places. If you keep putting them in front of either of the three, they won’t ever feel happy and will hate you for being the one to be the source of their trauma.

6. Lack of Experience

A puppy‘s natural disposition is to be friendly and constantly seek affection from its owner.

But in the beginning, it will take time for your pet to forget its mother and get closer to you. Expect it to be wary of you in the beginning, and be patient. As your puppy becomes an adult, it will like you more and want attention. 

puppy-sleeping-on-other-dogs-head why does my puppy sleep on my head

Remember never to forget that every dog is unique despite its breed. A situation that’s not enjoyable for one dog might be amusing for another. 

How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Dog

If it’s been a long time since you’ve adopted your dog and you still can’t form a bond with it, don’t throw in the towel yet. Strengthening your relationship with your dog could take a year or more, so don’t give up easily. 

The time it takes for a solid connection to form with your pup depends on your effort and the attitude you present to your canine. Always ensure you display positivity; your puppy will feed off your vibes. 

Below are some recommendations we have, and you can start testing a few today:

1. Observe your dog’s body language

Most relationships between dogs and men fail to form because the parent doesn’t pay attention when their pet wants to communicate. Give your puppy the attention it needs when it wants something.

Eventually, after enough observations, you will understand everything that makes it happy and sad so that you can do more of the former. 

woman with sleepy beagle

2. Avoid Stressful Behavior

Some dogs love to cuddle and get hugs from us, but some breeds don’t, so if you hug them, they will dislike you.

Kissing is another habit that makes dogs uncomfortable; if you do it many times, your beloved pet will resent you for it. Stay away from behaviors that build up negative tension within your puppy

3. Build a Routine

Set a routine, then try not to deviate from it with your puppy to improve your relationship. This means trying to give them food at the same time daily along with daily walks, which they love. Then, instead of disliking you, your dog will be excited when it hears you coming. 

dog walker with multiple dogs

4. Positive Reinforcement

Instead of hitting them or screaming when they do something terrible, try positive reinforcement, so you don’t scare them. Once you feel like a threat to your pet, it will never like you or trust you again. 

Summing It Up

Having a solid relationship with your dog is worth putting in the effort it takes to make it love you. With this guide, you can now spot the signs your puppy sends your way to let you know they don’t like you and why they probably feel the way they do. 

Once you know the reason, try the tips above to ensure your dog starts to like you in due time. Lastly, understand the process will take time and patience, but the unforgettable bond with your best friend will be worth it. 

woman lying with malamute on couch why doesn't my dog like me

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