4 Reasons Why Your Dog is Suddenly So Distant and Doesn’t Like You Anymore

Is your dog starting to act indifferent and suddenly starting to act very distant? Is he not showing the same level of excitement or affection every time he greets you? These reasons might help explain the change in behavior.

Your Dog has a Health Issue

A sudden change in behavior like acting distant is typically an important-enough reason for you to take the dog to the vet. Your dog might not be behaving like his usual self because he is experiencing some internal pain.

Is your dog showing any worrying symptoms, such as acting lethargic, having difficulty moving, losing his appetite, or producing poop with a different color or different consistency? Confirm that your dog isn’t in pain by getting him checked up by the vet. If health is the issue then your dog is likely to behave in a similar way to other people in the household.

Your Dog is Stressed by a Big Life Change

Dogs are just as susceptible to stress when they have to go through a big life change or a sudden change in environment. Did you recently move to a new home or is there a new individual (or even dog) that has been introduced to the dog’s territory?

Just like us, dogs can get highly overwhelmed in such moments. In these situations, you might have to just give your dog some time to adjust to the new environment. Give your dog plenty of treats and praises, and plenty of exercise to get him through the anxious phase. Calming chews and treats may also be appropriate under certain circumstances.

You Treat the Dog Differently

The dog could be ignoring you and showing a lot more affection to other members of the household because you aren’t showing the same level of positive response as others. Do you have a tendency to ignore the dog or do you typically take the role of disciplining the dog?

Dog owners need to understand that their own mood and behavior can influence how their dog behaves to people around them. This is especially important for puppy owners. The first six months of a dog’s life is considered a key socialization period. The social interactions the puppy experiences during this time will have a heavy influence on how he behaves for the rest of his life.

Your Dog has a Highly Social Personality

As the primary caretaker, you might feel sad when your dog shows a lot more affection to friends, family members, or even strangers! This, however, might have to just do with your dog’s social personality. In a place of comfort, a social dog might seek to interact with unfamiliar people.

One study found that in a familiar environment, animals spend more time with strangers (about 70%). In an unfamiliar environment, they prefer to spend more time with their owners. Context and location are other important factors you need to consider when you analyze your dog’s behavior.

How do I Get My Dog to Like Me?

So you went to the vet and can rule out any medical or health concerns. What are some things you can do to get your dog to like you back?

Be Patient with Your Dog

First, be very patient with your dog. Behavioral changes don’t just happen overnight. Just like when you build a relationship with your significant other, building a strong and healthy relationship with a dog can take months or even years.

Take Part in Activities Your Dog Loves

Your dog will love you like no other if you take an active role in activities your dog likes to participate in. This could be a simple morning stroll or even just feeding him from time to time with his favorite dog treats. Sometimes, your dog’s favorite activity might be something that isn’t so favorable for you.

For example, your dog might love digging in the yard. You will just need to be creative in these situations. Instead of taking these activities away from him, you could have your dog take part in a similar activity but in a different environment (e.g. digging in a sandbox).

Use Positive Reinforcement Training

It’s not easy to discipline your dog, especially when he has no idea what you are trying to say. Your dog, however, won’t trust and respect you if you start to train him via negative actions (e.g. hitting, shouting in a negative tone). Instead, build a connection with your dog by using positive reinforcement training.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Samantha Palmer | 27/03/2021

    My 2 yr old dachshund pug cross won’t come by me since I had to hold him to look at his foot. He backs away and won’t sleep near me. Any advise I am broken hearted x

  • Lisa Watkins | 24/05/2021

    I know just. How you feel! I love my boxer dog like he is the best friend of my life! She is so beautiful and most of the time has been loving and play full with me. She has started acting like I’m not even there! She will pace the floors and run from door to door and Window to window if she thinks my husband is home. I feel so bad and hAving a hard time with this behavior problem!

  • Sue | 18/06/2021

    Relieved there are other people experiencing this. My beautiful spaniel has, over the last few months, become wary of me. From a cuddly dog who would snuggle up on the sofa, he now eyes me warily. If he’s on the sofa and I sit next to him he gets down. If i sit at the other end, he’s clearly uncomfortable and licks his lips. I’m so upset.

  • Joan Voss | 07/07/2021

    Ever since my dog got older he just hangs out behind the barcelounger and sleeps. He’s overweight so he’s not walking around either. I was told to put him on a diet. He has always demanded that I feed him by hand. Very spoiled lol 🤣

  • Maya | 03/10/2021

    My Havanese dog is turning 15 and she had a fall a year ago. We were very close before but now my partner has to do everything for her and she doesn’t like me anymore. It hurts a lot. I was her person before. I would check with the vet to see if your dog is okay physically. Aloha

  • Miss T | 18/07/2022

    LOL? Your dog is overweight and sleeps a lot because it can’t walk and you think that’s amusing? Shame on you. People like you do not deserve to have dogs. That you write about it on a public forum like it’s a joke just highlights your level if intelligence and empathy. Ridiculous.

  • rosemarie hughey | 11/07/2021

    My dog seems to be less interested in me and shows more interest in two people who rent from me. There she runs as soon as their door opens and will not come out unless I get her and then she hides in my bedroom under a chair in the corner. At first, I thought that the fireworks has created the fair but now as soon as it gets around that time when the fireworks started it seems like a ritual every night.

  • Ginny Stephens | 14/07/2021

    I have a very large Newfoundland. We’ve always had a tenuous relationship, I’m the one that’s makes him work for food or treats, I’m the one that is trying to stop unwanted behaviour, ie jumping at guests, really invasive crotch sniffing, counter surfing etc. He at least would still come for a cuddle. Id get growled if I asked him to leave the kitchen space, whilst cooking, or go outside. Now after he decided his leg was a chew toy, and literally ripped a gapping hole in it , one night. I’m the one causing pain, by cleaning it, dressing it twice a day, I’m the one sleeping downstairs to check on him during night to make sure he’s not become a magician and removed cone and got at it. I am the one that gets growled at, when I correct him with a no, when his head goes to the wound, I’m the one he won’t even acknowledge when I’m around. The kids, he’s only interested if they have food in their hand, even though they’ve tried to play with him, go give him a stroke daily, treats. But hubby can do no wrong. He lays at side of him, he goes for cuddles etc, yet he does nothing with him. He works away, so I feed him, I walk him, I groom him etc. I’ve got to a point I am now a robot, just feed him, walk him, fix him, I can’t even speak to him anymore,, not that he would listen or give a shit.

  • laura | 04/08/2021

    i have a 1yr and 4 month rottie and he just doesnt seem like he loves me anymore he sleeps in my room and on my bed but lately hes being sleeping on the floor or in his open crate during the day when im at school he roams the house with my dad with health issues when i get a break or finished school for the day i go to find him and id call him over too me he would just sit there leaded up against my dad so then i would approach him to take him to my room and he would growl and nip and jump up at me when i go to him so then my dad would have tell him to go to his crate or physically walk to his create or id had t grab a lead and lead him to my room. hes become more agressive with just me no one else and hes supposed to be my dog ! when i take him any where he listens fir the most part but at home i tell him anything its like im invisible oh and i cant get a muzzle on him ever but my dad can just fine in 5 mins i fought him for 45 mins im frusterarted and dont know what to do i need to find a rottie trainer who is a specialist in agressive behavior

  • catheirne | 16/09/2021

    I am no expert but it sounds like your dog is just being a pack animal. He sees your husband as the top dog. Its about power not about liking you. You need to be the dominant one. We had a problem with our labrador like this. I called the vet and they said get on top of it. They need to be at the bottom of the pack, or can be dangerous.

  • Savannah | 21/10/2021

    I have a 15 month french bulldog. Bella has gone from following me everywhere to being very distant. When calling her to come, she peeps to make sure I’m not approaching. Usually she sleeps with me anmy husband but now it’s hard to get her to come into the bed room. Bella would rather be around my husband now than around me. I do everything for her and my husband does not. It’s heart breaking.

  • Vanessa Paz | 30/10/2021

    Omg you just described exactly what I’m going through!! I’m here so worried it’s a health issue, then he walks into the bedroom, jumps onto our bed and gives my husband a good night lick and leaves. JUST LEAVES! And he doesn’t seem to be too happy with me trying to touch him. I’m so sad

  • Alyssa Prince | 23/10/2021

    My Maltipoo puppy is suddenly not showing any love or affection towards me or my mom. It’s really painful. I don’t know why it’s happening. He’s very attached to my stepdad. How can we get our dog to love us back?

  • Shirell | 29/10/2021

    My 3 yr old chihuahua all the sudden started acting funny he jumps off the bed if I sit on it with him, he won’t sleep with me anymore, he won’t have anything to do with me, he’s not eating his food, and he’s hiding in the bathroom. The night before he was fine the next morning it’s like my dog is scared or something. I’m not sure what to do for him.

  • bonmom | 02/11/2021

    Very sad to hear these stories of unrequited love. Remember as a pet owner, you are to love unconditionally, so keep loving your pet: protect them, feed them, play with them, and pet them if they will let you. It is like pediatrics – you cannot always know the story or explain. Nor can you make a dog love you back; they have their own reasons. Often it will be related to irrational fears or change in health. They may hurt and don’t know where it came from or why no one helps. Their instincts tell them to lay low to get well (not always possible).

  • Brennan Free | 14/12/2021

    I have a 5yr old Doberman, and every time I try to get him to listen to me or I try to love on him he just walks away and avoids me most of the time. When he was a little younger a few months ago, I was like his best friend and now its everyone else besides me that’s his friend now…

  • Yvonne | 16/12/2021

    I have a 9 year Chihuahua who used to sleep with me, spend time with me while watching tv, follow me around the house. I was her person and she was my baby.

    That said, she’s never liked baths but put up with them. Two years ago I gave her a bath and she instantly ran away from me after, as usual. The problem is that she never has come near me again. I can give her a treat but have to stay back, if I reach out to pet her or try to touch her in any way she runs away. She won’t sleep with me or hang out with me. She doesn’t follow me anywhere. She will go to other people for getting petted. I can get her to go in the car to take her to the vet thank goodness. She has nothing physically wrong with her. She checks out fine medically. She stays in other rooms from me. Sleeps in the living room somewhere – I can’t even locate her most of the time – behind a chair or under the couch. When I’m out in the house she hides under the bed in my room. She has jumped on my bed to pee on it twice when I wasn’t around. She won’t let me put a leash on her for a walk even and she has put on weight and the vet says she needs walks.

    I’m broken hearted. I love dogs and I love her and want to interact with her again. Any ideas?

  • Lisa Jean LaMere | 29/12/2021

    I have a 5 year old chi she has been attached to me since she was five weeks old. She has always been by my side day and night unless I have to leave the house. She loves to play catch. But the other day me and my boyfriend went you store and came home a few hours later she was fine went out into garage like normal cage in house when we were fine bringing bags in. The only thing we did different than usual was out bags in table because we had no food so she couldn’t look into bags like she does when we get food. After that she would but come near me. It has been day two. She only sits on my boyfriend lap. Last night she went to bed with him but when I went to bed she did sleep by my head but then today wouldn’t come near me it sit in my lap. She acts like she is afraid of me. I don’t punish her fur anything even when she don’t use her pads. Sometimes I get frustrated when she won’t last sunshade else but on me but I still let her stay on our behind me. I just don’t understand what could be wrong. One minute she is fine excited to see me when I get home to be afraid of me by the time I sit down. Should I be concerned or just give it another day or two and see what happens?

  • Yara | 04/01/2022

    My dog always smiles and jumps happily whenever he sees me however when I started taking care of a new puppy he doesn’t look at me in the eyes and is so distant… He doesn’t seem happy at all…

  • Kaz | 13/02/2022

    Hi can someone please advice me. I am desperately upset as I have had the best relationship with my nine year old chihuahua but all of a sudden last night she refused to come in my room. When she did come in my room she hid. I took in two new chihuahuas a few months ago and she seemed ok but I am wondering if she is feeling put out all of a sudden by the female one sleeping in my bed. I really need help she is my world and it’s very painful to be going through this. Thank you

  • Gayle | 14/03/2022

    Hi, I have an 8 yo boxer, and three weeks ago brought a new puppy home. My boxer has been brilliant with the puppy playing all the time and so gentle. Suddenly he wants nothing to do with the puppy and leaves the room or goes outside and won’t come near me or the puppy. I did take puppy out with me yesterday to give the boxer his own space, and this seems to have made it worse. I’m not sure what to do to make my boxer feel like himself again and not sure why he has suddenly changed.

  • Amanda Martinez | 31/03/2022

    Recently my dog was put in a very stressful situation and he bit my leg..he is a bully and I do know they don’t like loud noise . Now I am very afraid of him and he knows I am avoiding him , I call him and he closes his eyes half ways and looks away.My heart is broken how can I get rid of my fear and us be close again?

  • Danette Gutierrez | 17/04/2022

    I have a 2 yr old male pit about 4 days ago he got hit by a car he got bruised up and cut limping on back right leg for a couple days I’ve been with him thru it all even called off work this afternoon he started acting distant to me but not others I’m so sad he’s in the same two rooms upstairs with me and won’t come see me acts like he don’t want me to touch him or anything but will let others even starts shaking a little please explain heartbroken in Indiana

  • Kathy | 07/11/2022

    Our 4 year old cockapoo had fallen off the couch and really hurt his shoulder about 4 days ago. Took him to the vet and he didn’t break anything but has a bad bruise. He is on tramadol for pain and rimadyl. Now he is avoiding my husband whom he absolutely loved. He doesn’t even want to be with him. He runs away. Will he ever go back to being his old self again and love my husband again? This is so hard to see his change. Is it because he’s still hurting? He still is ok with me.
    Thank you for any help you can give me.

  • Bear's mum | 12/07/2023

    I have been reading all your comments and It breaks my heart and frustrates me to the core that our dogs can’t voice how they are feeling 🙁 it would make life so much easier…

    I’m on here today because my 4 yr old Maltese x shih tzu, for the first time…did not greet me when I came home from work yesterday. He is also shaking a lot and will not move sometimes or hide away or even whine as if he can’t jump up on the bed. I am absolutely shattered.

    We are living with my mum at the moment and she is not a fan of Bear (my dog), so when I’m not home he spends the day outside in the yard (yes he’s got sun and undercover areas and his bed and toys) without company. However he’s used to this because when I lived on my own it was the same routine. So I am not sure if this is the reason his behaviours have changed…

    Another reason I can’t figure out what’s wrong is a few months ago he was displaying the same distant behaviours and shaking and acting like he was hurt and couldn’t get up on the bed, so I took him to the emergency vet, paid for blood tests, xrays etc and he was perfectly healthy..

    And I’ll admit I am hesitant to put him through that again with the amount it costs….

    Has anyone on here’s dog done the same thing? Is there something else I should be watching for? Should I take him to the vet again?

    He is my world and if there is something really wrong with him I need to fix it. Please help

Leave a Reply

Contact to Listing Owner

Captcha Code