Anyone who shares their daily lives with a dog will have noticed the enormous behavioral and cognitive complexity of these animals, as well as their ability to feel and express a wide variety of emotions. For this reason, it is normal that, as a guardian, you sometimes wonder what your dog will think about you.
Many people humanize and misunderstand the behavior of their dogs and this leads them to affirm that their animals feel hatred towards them, but the truth is that dogs do not “hate” other individuals or, at least, not in the same way that we humans beings do. The degree of affection or rejection that the dog shows towards its guardian will depend both on the type of relationship they establish and on the previous experiences that the dog has had and, in this sense, there are many factors involved.
In this Best Pets Lover article, we analyze various aspects that can harm or hinder your relationship with your dog and we give you some keys to achieving a better bond with your furry friend. Thus, if you suspect that your dog “hates” you, it is most likely that some of the aspects related to his education or the way you communicate with him are failing. Read on and find out where the problem is to remedy this situation, don’t miss it!
He rejects you and does not let you manipulate him due to a lack of socialization
The stage that takes place between three weeks and three months of a puppy’s life is called the sensitive period of socialization and corresponds to one of the moments in which its nervous system is more prepared to receive new information, process it, and adapt to it. her. During this time, the puppy must begin to explore the world around him, because in this way he will learn to relate to the different stimuli in his environment and will get used to many of them.
If the puppy is separated too early from its mother (before eight weeks of age), is isolated during the socialization period, or has many negative experiences at an early age, it is very likely that it will develop a behavioral disorder related to fear, such as phobias or sensory deprivation syndrome. Unfortunately, many of the puppies waiting for a home in shelters have been through one of these scenarios, have not been properly socialized, and maybe truly afraid of people.
If you adopt a dog and you notice that he feels rejection towards you, does not allow you to handle him, shuns you, or shows signs of threat, this may be one of the possible causes.
Of course, your dog doesn’t hate you, but he may never have had a healthy relationship with a human during his sensitive stage and is very scared. In this case, the best thing you can do is contact a canine ethologist or an educator who works with positive reinforcement to advise you on the best way to interact with the dog so that, little by little, it gains confidence in you. In addition, we advise you to consult this other article: How to gain a dog’s trust?.
Hides from you or treats you differently because of traumatic experiences
Isolation during the socialization period or early separation from the mother is, without a doubt, a traumatic experience for a dog, but they are not the only ones that can occur. Regardless of the age of the dog or the stage of life in which it finds itself, if it receives physical or psychological abuse from a human being, it can develop a pathological fear towards people in general or towards those with certain characteristics.
similar to those possessed by the individual who treated you badly. This is why we often see dogs showing strong panic reactions towards, for example, men with beards, people with sticks or canes, or people wearing certain clothes, while not behaving in the same way towards other people.
Unfortunately, kennels and shelters are full of animals that have suffered mistreatment and that sometimes take more time and effort to adapt and trust a human. Once again, we must clarify that at the base of their behavior, including aggressiveness, is fear and not a feeling of hatred or resentment, so the idea is to work with a professional who offers us clear guidelines for treatment.
Ignores or attacks you for inconsistent rules or punishment-based education
One of the most frequent causes of a bad relationship between a dog and its guardian is the education strategy that the latter uses on the former. In every home, there must be rules of coexistence, but it is important that these rules are clear, consistent, do not affect the well-being of any individual, and are always taught in a respectful manner with the animal.
A very basic example is the following: if a family decides that the dog is not allowed to get on the sofa, all the members must agree and act in the same way, teaching the dog to reject the sofa, offering other alternatives, and reinforcing them. If, on the other hand, it is sometimes allowed to get on the sofa and other times scolded for doing so or each member of the family establishes and enforces their own rules, we create a very unpredictable environment for the animal, which can lead to confusion and anxiety and lead to behavioral problems.
Similarly, the use of elements of physical punishment such as choke, spiked or electric collars, and the use of intimidation as an educational method seriously affect the welfare of the dog, causing fear and reactions that could easily be confused with hatred ( show signs of threat, attack, ignore orders, run away from us, etc.). In this video we teach you how to train a puppy using techniques based on positive reinforcement:
He growls at you or shows his teeth for not knowing how to respect him
The language of dogs is exceptionally broad and complex. Through facial expressions, body postures, and vocalizations, dogs express a huge number of intentions and emotions to communicate with us as well as with other animals. It is essential to train and learn the meaning of these signals when we adopt a dog since communication is the basis of any relationship, even that between different species.
Dogs learn the meaning of our gestures, words, and expressions very quickly since they observe us with great attention every day. However, it usually costs us a little more to understand what our furry wants to tell us and, due to ignorance, we fall into errors of interpretation. For example, we tend to think that if a dog wags his tail it is because he is happy when the reality is that this gesture can have many interpretations depending on the context and the form of the movement itself.
It is important to know the so-called calm signals (yawning, smacking, turning face, etc.) and threat signals (growling, showing teeth, marking, etc.), which will tell us when our dog feels uncomfortable or needs space. If we respect these signals and avoid forcibly exposing our furry to situations that are not pleasant for him, his trust in us will increase, because he will feel understood.
He is nervous due to a lack of stimulation
The needs of a dog go far beyond what is merely physiological and, if we want to guarantee its well-being and establish a true bond with our dog, it is essential that we spend quality time with it and offer it enough physical and mental stimulation. A dog that does not receive adequate stimulation can emit a series of signals and develop certain negative behaviors, such as stereotypes (repetitive actions without a specific purpose), nervousness, excessive barking, etc. All this is a product of the stress and anxiety caused by him not being able to channel his energy or stimulate his mind. On the contrary, other dogs can be totally apathetic.
Dogs are social and gregarious animals, they need to relate and interact with other individuals and belong to a group. A fundamental part of living with a dog lies in spending time together, doing pleasant activities, and having positive experiences. This includes the walks, the training sessions, the game, and, of course, the moments of relaxation and caresses. Taking care of this aspect allows the dog to establish a safe and healthy attachment to us and have more affection for us.
Likewise, we must provide him with activities and challenges that encourage decision-making, make him think, and stimulate him at a cognitive level. To do this, we can resort to skills training with positive reinforcement or the use of interactive toys and puzzles that can be solved alone or with our occasional help. This and providing the physical exercise that corresponds to it according to its age, size, breed, and state of health, will improve the well-being of the dog and with it the relationship with its guardian.
Having said all this, if you notice that he barks at you, shows his teeth, hides from you, or does not let you pet him, it is not that your dog hates you, it is that something is wrong and this is his way of transmitting it. Therefore, you must find the cause that causes his behavior and treat it to improve your bond.