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My Dog Hates Me: 14 Signs Say Your Dog Doesn’t Hate You

You burst with excitement.

Finally that puppy you’ve dreamed of.

Or maybe you were finally able to rescue a poor soul from the shelter like you thought you would when you were younger.

But now it hits you like a truck.

Or maybe it was bubbling beneath the surface for a long time.

Maybe you’ve already had a great relationship with your dog but feel like they’ve turned on you and suddenly hate you.

No matter how it happened, we’re shocked when we feel like our own dog hates our guts.

But is it really possible?

Generally speaking, dogs definitely do not feel hate the way a human 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 paired with bad behavior on your part?

Of course, that’s a recipe for a dog owner to feel like their pup hates them.

Man points a finger at a Boxer who has a worried look on their face.
Photo by Suzi Nelson on Shutterstock

But what if we’re talking about a dog hating their owner for no apparent reason?

No yelling, no physical punishment, nothing.

That’s probably where you are right now if you haven’t effed up massively and just provide well for your pup.

Let’s dive deeper into how you can find out if your pup actually hates you and what you can do to get a great relationship again.

My Dog Hates Me! Fact or Fiction?

Unless physical punishment was involved, your dog probably doesn’t hate you but shows affection in a different way. Rescued canines are often traumatized and won’t show love the way dog owners often expect.

More often than not your feeling that your dog hates you turns out to be fiction.

Shiba Inu has the mouth wide open and looks angry in front of a black background.
Photo by Seregraff on Shutterstock

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t work on your bond with the tips below.

First, let’s find out why you think your pup doesn’t like you anymore.

Projecting Feelings of Hate

If you have regrets about getting a dog, experience puppy blues, or feel guilty about not being able to train them or care for them financially, it’s more likely you feel like your dog hates you.

We all have different mileage.

Pair 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 fixed by calmly researching.

It doesn’t always stop there.

Trauma Can Make Your Dog Seem Like He Hates You

Many fearful shelter dogs go through various adjustment stages.

They’re just not used to human love and keep their distance at first.

Give a recent addition to your family time to adjust and let them come to you, no pressure.

Negative Experiences

The easiest way to determine if your dog is truly unsure or even fearful around you is if your dog had traumatic experiences around you.

It doesn’t have to do with you specifically, but maybe an extremely loud noise, a negative doggy interaction, and so on.

Lack Of Understanding

Many dogs turn out to not be as human-oriented as first thought, which is partly breed-dependent.

Some might be super dog people but feel like they’ve not been hitting it out of the gate with their dog.

Training goes well and they like spending time with their dog.

Still, that feeling might not seem to be reciprocated.

Dog owners who can absolutely rule out that they’re projecting feelings may just misunderstand their canine.

Actually, there’s a common myth that every shelter dog is a happy-go-lucky pooch and wants to cuddle all day and be with you.

In reality?

Some dogs are just more independent than others, especially if you’ve got a notoriously independent breed or a working line dog.

Maybe it’s all of that paired.

You might have an independent shelter dog with past trauma who just shows love differently.

However, there are signs which tell you that your dog likes you, just not the way you thought.

14 Signs Your Dog Doesn’t Hate You

Here are a couple of signs to look out for that your dog doesn’t really hate you:

  1. Looks at you for direction
  2. Seeks comfort
  3. Prefers you over others
  4. Follows you
  5. Cuddles with you
  6. Sits on your lap or feet
  7. Wants to be petted
  8. Lets their guard down
  9. Is happy upon seeing you
  10. Whines when you leave
  11. Eats in your presence
  12. Accepts treats from your hand
  13. Feels confident
  14. Plays with you

Even if you can tick just a few of these boxes and never mistreat your dog, chances are they show affection differently.

Dogs who seek out your proximity, even if it’s not exactly by cuddling or glued on your lap, are comfortable around you.

These are all signs that your dog does in fact like you.

So if you feel like you didn’t form a connection with your dog, ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. Am I projecting feelings?
  2. Did my dog have past trauma?
  3. Did my dog have a traumatic experience with me?
  4. Do I have an independent breed?
  5. Is my dog expressing love differently?

My Dog Hates Me But Loves Everyone Else

If you feel like your dog hates you but loves everyone else, it may just be that your dog is easily excitable but used to having you as the primary caretaker.

You can spice your relationship up by strengthening your bond.

Again, ask yourself whether or not it might seem to you like your dog loves everyone but you.

Maybe your dog had trauma with a specific type of person.

Some dogs prefer women over men, especially if abuse or neglect has been involved in the past.

In some cases, the significant other does some physical activity that the dog absolutely loves.

Even independent breeds can shine when given a specific job they like.

You’ve cared for the dog all day, your boyfriend comes home, and does some scent work or whatever your doggo is into and he reaps all the rewards?

Perhaps your feelings are amplified because you’re picking up every subtle fact when your dog approaches somebody 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 a lot to your partner, it might be time to go out and strengthen that bond you two have.

What To Do When Your Dog Hates You

If you feel like your dog hates you, it’s ideal to strengthen your bond by hand-feeding, playing, training, and going on adventures together.

Hand-feeding is probably the best way to get a dog to go from hate to love in a matter of days, weeks, or months.

This encourages your dog to be more dependent on you in a healthy way.

It works especially well with independent breeds or food-motivated rescues.

Your dog is more into toys? Use that.

Training obedience with your dog is also a great way to establish communication.

You’ll learn to understand your dog better and your dog will learn to trust and follow you.

No matter what, work with your dog, try to understand their needs, and stay patient if you have a reserved canine.

Look out for the subtle signs and accept your pup the way they are. They do the same with us.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.