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Help, the Dog Hates Me: How to Get a Dog to Like You

Help, My Dog Hates Me!

As the saying goes, dogs are man’s best friend. So it sometimes stings extra badly when a dog just doesn’t seem to like you. Whether they cower in your presence, snarl, bark or even run away, it’s sometimes difficult not to take it personally. However, more often than not, the pet’s dislike probably isn’t your fault. And dogs have an amazing capacity to give people a second chance. You just need to know how to form a bond with a pooch who hasn’t warmed up to you yet. Here’s how to get a dog to like you!

Please note: Do not put yourself in danger! If a dog shows any signs of physical aggression, hire a professional.

Don’t Freak Out

Like we already said, try not to take getting the cold shoulder personally. If a dog doesn’t seem to like you, this might be a result of their history. Dogs with a rough past might have been abused or simply not exposed to enough people when they were young. First thing you need to do is figure out why the dog doesn’t seem to like you.

More often than not, the cause is fear. Find out what is make the dog scared. Is it your large stature or maybe you speak loudly? Is the dog being protective of their owner?

We know one dog who freaked out every time the maintenance guy stopped by. This dog’s owner couldn’t figure out why this occurred since the dog was normally very friendly, even with new people. Then, the maintenance worker took off his cowboy hat and the dog was fine. Turns out the dog just had a fear of hats with brims!

Give Them Time

Try not to take it personally. Dogs, just like people, are emotional creatures. Sometimes they just need a little time to adjust to a new person or environment. Think of it like the butterflies you get in your stomach on the first day of school or a new job. Change is hard for anyone and dogs are no exception. So if your new rescue dog seems a little shy or your neighbor’s pup keeps barking at you, just give it a little time. Some dogs just need an extra minute to get to know someone. Others might need a year. Either way, don’t get discouraged!

Give Them Space

While you give the dog time to adjust to your presence, give them plenty of personal space. How would you react if a stranger came up to you and hugged you? It would probably startle you, right? A lot of dogs feel the same way. Sometimes they just need some time being in your presence, but not necessarily physically close to you, to feel at ease. Start with a wide berth. Stay in the same room as the dog, but don’t make sudden movements. Use a quieter and soothing voice as well. Gradually decrease the distance between the two of you as the dog starts to relax.

Give Them Treats

The way to a dog’s heart is through their stomach and treats are an excellent way to make a dog like you! Treats and food build trust. Offer the dog a treat from your hand. If they are still too shy to take the treat from you, put it on the floor for the dog. Let them take the treat and allow them to slowly come to the realization that because you gave them a treat, you can be trusted. Eventually the dog will take a treat from your hand.