Did you notice that your dog is suddenly starting to act indifferent and is a lot more distant than he used to be towards you? There are a few reasons that might explain the situation.
YOu aren’t the only one affected by stress caused by abrupt changes in your life. Dogs are susceptible to stress when they go through big changes as well, especially when these changes are related to their way of life or environment. Have you introduced a new pet or a new person into your house? Have you changed your home recently and the dog had to get used to a whole new living space?
These are just home of the situations that could make a dog feed very overwhelmed. The best thing you can do if this is the case is to just give your dog enough time to get used to the new environment, new people, or new pets. More praises and treats than usual along with a lot of walks and exercise could also help him get over the anxiety easier.
Don’t neglect a sudden change for worse in the behavior of your dog. Him acting distant towards you might be a reason good enough to take him to the vet. Some internal pain due to a health problem might be the root cause of your dog behaving differently.
You might also like my articles on how to stop a puppy from chewing, whether neutering changes a dog’s personality, and reasons why a dog would act weird.
To find out if an illness is to blame, also look for other symptoms like his poops being of different consistency or color, a loss of appetite, difficulty in moving, or him acting lethargic. The easiest way of ensuring that your dog isn’t in pain is by taking him to a vet for a checkup. When health is to blame, dogs usually act just like people going through a medical issue.
There is also the possibility that you aren’t showing the appropriate level of positive response towards your dog’s action, which might make him ignore you and shift his love towards other members of the family that treat him better. Are you usually in charge of disciplining your dog or are you so caught up in other things that you neglect him a lot?
You, as a dog owner, will have to understand that your general behavior and mood will have a big impact on the dog and how he behaves around you. And this is true especially when dealing with a puppy. The key period of socialization for a dog will be the first six months of his life. The social interaction the dog will face during these first months of his life will influence his behavior throughout the rest of his lifespan.
It might not be the best feeling ever when you notice your dog will show considerably more affection to family members, your friends, or even complete strangers on walks. This can simply be about the dog’s need to socialize a lot. If a dog is comfortable in a certain place, he can feel the need to just go to unfamiliar people and try to socialize.
An interesting study was able to show that animals in general will spend a lot more time with strangers in a place they find familiar. And I’m talking about 70% more. When they’re in unfamiliar areas, on the other hand, they will choose to stay close to their owners or at least someone they are comfortable around. When you analyze your dog’s behavior, also try to understand other important factors like the actual location and context of the socialization.
So you made sure that health has nothing to do with the behavior of your dog. What else should you do to get the dog to start liking you again?
The first thing to understand is that this process takes time and you will have to be patient with and around your dog. Nothing will happen overnight. Building relationships with dogs is just like doing this with people. You will have to work on a healthy and strong relationship with the pet, which can take months or even years in some instances.
Taking an active role in most of the activities that your dog likes will make the pet get closer to you than anything else. And I`m not talking about a lot. Sometimes even giving your dog his favorite treats or taking him in the morning for a stroll might be enough. There might also be some activities your dog will like and you won’t.
One example is how dogs like to dig up your whole yard. This is just one of the situations that will require your creativity. Instead of just yelling at your pet, try instead to change the environment in which he is allowed to dig. For example, add a sandbox to the yard and let your dog have fun in it.
It’s pretty complicated to discipline a pet, considering the communication gap between the two of you. Starting to train your dog with negative actions like shouting, using a negative tone, or even hitting him, will make him not trust you or respect you. Positive reinforcement is what works when trying to train a dog that you also want to love and respect you.