You were bursting with excitement.
Finally that puppy you’ve been dreaming of.
Or maybe you were finally able to save some poor soul from the shelter, like you thought you would when you were younger.
But now it’s coming at you like a truck.
Or maybe it’s been bubbling beneath the surface for a long time.
Maybe you’ve already had a great relationship with your dog, but you feel like he’s turned on you and is suddenly hating you.
However it happened, we are shocked to feel like our own dog hates our guts.
But is it really possible?
In general, dogs absolutely do not feel hatred the way humans can.
However, dogs can feel fear, especially if the owner has done something to make that fear reasonable.
Resentment towards your pup for whatever reason, combined with bad behavior on your part?
Of course, that’s a recipe for a dog owner to feel like their pup hates them.
But what if we’re talking about a dog that hates its owner for no apparent reason?
No yelling, no physical punishment, nothing.
That’s probably where you are right now if you haven’t really cheered up and just taken good care of your pup.
Let’s delve deeper into how to find out if your pup really hates you and what you can do to have a great relationship again.
My dog hates me! Fact or Fiction?
Unless physical punishment is involved, your dog probably doesn’t hate you, but shows affection in other ways. Rescued canines are often traumatized and do not show love as dog owners often expect.
More often than not, your feeling that your dog hates you turns out to be fiction.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t work on your tire with the tips below.
First, let’s look at why you think your puppy doesn’t like you anymore.
Projecting feelings of hatred
If you regret getting a dog, experience puppy blues, or feel guilty about not being able to financially train or care for him, you’re more likely to feel like your dog hates you.
We all have different mileage.
Combine that with the fact that our emotions can overwhelm us and we project our thoughts onto our dog.
However, many of these reasons can be solved by calm research.
It doesn’t always stop there.
Trauma can make it seem like your dog hates you
Many anxious shelter dogs go through various stages of adjustment.
They are simply not used to human love and initially keep their distance.
Give a recent addition to your family time to adjust and let them come to you, without pressure.
The easiest way to determine whether your dog is truly insecure or even anxious around you is if your dog has had traumatic experiences with you.
It doesn’t have to do with you specifically, but perhaps an extremely loud noise, a negative dog interaction, and so on.
Lack of understanding
Many dogs turn out not to be as people-oriented as initially thought, which is partly breed-dependent.
Some may be super dog people but feel like they haven’t hit it out of the gate with their dog.
Training is going well and they enjoy spending time with their dog.
Yet that feeling may seem unrequited.
Dog owners who can absolutely rule out the possibility that they are projecting feelings may be misunderstanding their dog.
Actually, there is a common myth that every shelter dog is a happy dog and wants to cuddle and be with you all day long.
Some dogs are just more independent than others, especially if you have a notoriously independent breed or a working dog.
Maybe it’s all that combined.
Maybe you have an independent shelter dog with past trauma who simply shows love in a different way.
However, there are signs that your dog likes you, but not in the way you thought.
14 Signs Your Dog Doesn’t Hate You
Here are a few signs to look for that your dog doesn’t really hate you:
- Looks to you for direction
- Seeks comfort
- Prefers you over others
- Follows you
- Cuddles with you
- Sit on your lap or feet
- Wants to be petted
- Let their guard down
- Is happy to see you
- Whines when you leave
- Eat in your presence
- Accepts treats from your hand
- Feels confident
- Plays with you
Even if you can check just a few of these boxes and never abuse your dog, chances are he shows affection in some other way.
Dogs that seek your proximity, even if not by cuddling or sitting on your lap, feel comfortable with you.
These are all signs that your dog indeed likes you.
So if you feel like you haven’t bonded with your dog, ask yourself these 5 questions:
- Am I projecting feelings?
- Has my dog had past trauma?
- Did my dog have a traumatic experience with me?
- Do I have an independent breed?
- Is my dog expressing love in a different way?
My dog hates me but loves everyone
If you feel like your dog hates you but loves everyone else, it may be because your dog is easily excitable but is used to having you as the primary caregiver.
You can spice up your relationship by strengthening your bond.
Again, ask yourself if it seems like your dog loves everyone but you.
Perhaps your dog has had a trauma with a specific type of person.
Some dogs prefer females to males, especially if there has been a history of abuse or neglect.
In some cases, the partner does a physical activity that the dog absolutely loves.
Even independent breeds can shine when given a specific task they enjoy.
You’ve been taking care of the dog all day, your friend comes home and does some scent work or whatever your dog likes, and he reaps all the benefits?
Perhaps your feelings are heightened because you notice every subtle fact when your dog approaches someone else.
“Oh, sure, now he’s wagging his tail again.”
“Well, why doesn’t my dog come to me for pets?”
“Why does she want to play with you but never with me?”
If you find yourself saying that to your partner a lot, it might be time to go out and strengthen the bond you two have.
What to do if your dog hates you
If you feel like your dog hates you, it is ideal to strengthen your bond by hand feeding him, playing, training him and going on adventures together.
Manual feeding is probably the best way to transition a dog from hate to love in a matter of days, weeks or months.
This encourages your dog to become more dependent on you in a healthy way.
It works especially well with independent breeds or food-motivated rescues.
Does your dog prefer toys? Use that.
Obedience training with your dog is also a great way to establish communication.
You learn to understand your dog better and your dog learns to trust and follow you.
Whatever happens, work with your dog, try to understand his needs, and remain patient if you have a reserved dog.
Pay attention to the subtle signals and accept your puppy as he is. They do the same with us.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not and does not intend to replace veterinary attention. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows signs of illness, call your vet.