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My Puppy Doesn’t Like Me: (It’s Because of This)

This feeling sucks! You’ve been pouring your pup with love and attention ever since you got them, and they just don’t seem to like you!

Despite your attempts to be friendly, affectionate, and caring, they just don’t care. So what’s the problem?

This topic is more common than most realize, so thankfully, we have a lot of research and behavioral science to give us the best answers.

This article contains everything you need to know to get your puppy to like you again.

my puppy doesn't like me

Puppies & Owners

For sure, it hurts when your pup ignores you, tries to move away from you, and simply doesn’t want anything to do with you.

This causes us to ask many questions…

Have I done something wrong? Am I giving too much love and attention? Damn, I was so nice!

So many questions run through our heads when trying to find the cause. And as we’ll explain below, there are several things that may cause it.

The truth is that all puppies and dogs crave the love and attention of their human owner. It’s practically built into their DNA.

So, the good news is that it is possible to reconnect with your puppy and establish a loving relationship.

Why Your Puppy Doesn’t Like You: 6 Reasons

Let’s run through six reasons your puppy isn’t too fond of you. Knowing which applies to you depends on a few things we explain after.

1. Past abuse

Past abuse can lead to general fearfulness and hesitancy towards all people in general. It’s also possible that something about you might just trigger old memories.

For example, if a puppy was previously mistreated by a female, then it’s very common for the pup to remain scared of most new females entering into their life. (and the same for males).

2. Getting used to their surroundings

A new puppy may just still be getting used to their surroundings, environment, and new owners. Some pups take quite a long time to adjust!

3. You scare them by accident

You scare them unintentionally. Pups are sensitive souls meaning many things can put them on edge. If you often make loud noises, talk loud, tower over your pup, or make fast movements, you may actually be scaring them.

4. Harsh punishments

If you’ve given them too much tough love already they may have lost trust in you. It’s important to correct behavior, but if the punishments are too strong, it can backfire quickly.

5. You aren’t around enough

You don’t show them enough attention. If you give your heart and soul to your pup only for 30 minutes a day, it may not be enough.

Pups often get attached to whichever owner is with them the most throughout the day and appears to be their main source of care.

6. One-person dog

Some breeds just like to pick one owner and give them more of their attention. It’s hard to explain why, but for some breeds this is normal.

So which reason is it?

To really know, owners must consider their puppy’s age, when they brought them home, their past life, daily routine (yours and theirs), and how much attention you really give to them.

Getting a Scared Puppy To Like You

The following advice will help rebuild a bond for puppies that:

  • Have experienced past abuse
  • Are scared of you
  • Have lost trust in you (for harsh punishments)

Making a scared puppy like you again requires a long, slow approach to build trust again.

The best advice here is not to force the situation.

Do not smother your puppy or get in their face too much if they’re already scared of you. It’ll just make things worse.

Instead, try the following:

  • Offer a toy to your pup and walk away
  • Offer a treat to your pup and walk away
  • Be the one to feed your puppy (but then leave them alone)
  • Walk past their crate or “safe space” more often, but with limited interaction

The goal is to get your puppy to become more fond of you and used to you without overwhelming them.

By offering them toys and treats, they will eventually come around.

When you think your pup is warming up to you, it’s time to try playing with them. Casually throw their toy without saying much and hopefully they respond with some positive engagement.

If they do, great, but don’t overdo it.

  • Again, baby steps are necessary to build up fondness and trust. Avoid trying to cuddle, hold or smother them.

With time, your puppy should go from being scared and distrustful to comfortable. And once they’re comfortable around you, it means they already love you again.

Continue building on this carefully with increased interaction in the form of playing, training, feeding them, praising them, and being the one to show them the most attention.

Getting a Puppy That’s Attached To Someone Else To Like You Too…

Other reasons why your pup may not like you could be due to not spending enough time with them or simply because the pup has chosen someone else at home to be “the one.”

Ultimately, the reason this happens is down to the time spent with them and how much attention you’re able to give.

The best resolutions to this situation:

  • Be more interesting for your puppy
  • Give them your full attention when you can
  • Play with them
  • Offer them treats and plenty of praise
  • Try creating fun training games with positive reinforcement and treats

Even if you work long hours and don’t get much time with your puppy, you can still turn it around by being the “fun owner” when you do show up.

Create games, shower them with praise for doing something right, heck, try buying them a new toy once a week.

So long as these interactions are working, are not forced, and your puppy receives them well, then your bond will become greater in no time at all.

Yes, it can be challenging doing all of this if you work long hours, but it’s what it will take to show your pup how important you are, considering how little you are around.

When Will Your Puppy Love You?

Although you are likely desperate to know when the torture will end, It’s important not to worry too much. Your puppy WILL learn to love you, but it’ll be in their time.

Remember that dogs are social animals and are practically hard-wired to love their humans.

Depending on the situation, it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get your puppy liking you.

If your puppy is still getting used to their new home, it may be a short turnaround time before they settle in and start displaying more affection…

However, if the puppy is overcoming past abuse, it could take a few months before your pup learns to trust you.

Just be calm, show your puppy consistent love and attention, and avoid forcing affectionate moments, that’s it!

AKC Extra Info

Last thoughts

Remember that our puppies and dogs are designed to love their human owners. In fact, dogs build stronger bonds with us humans than they do with their own species.

Give your pup time, and focus on building a trusting relationship. Your puppy will come around, eventually!

You might also like: Want To Get a Second Dog: Consider These 4 Things FIRST


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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