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Why Won’t My Dog Let Me Pet Him – 10 Things To Consider

Dogs can be fickle creatures, especially when it comes to petting them. They can possess many traits that we may never understand or act in odd ways that make no sense. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you; it’s just who they are. But the question still remains, why won’t my dog let me pet him?

Your dog won’t let you pet them because they do not want to be touched or bothered. They could also be avoiding your touch if they are sensitive, in pain, scared, or angry with you. This behavior may be a sign of distrust from your dog.

Don’t automatically assume your dog won’t let you pet him because he doesn’t like you; there is always a deeper meaning to the way your furry friend interacts with you, and most of the time, it isn’t for a petty reason or because they are trying to get back at you for taking away their favorite toys.

10 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Let You Pet Him

Anyone who has dealt with a pup not wanting to be touched knows it can be frustrating and sad. There is nothing more soothing, comforting, and therapeutic than cuddling your 4-legged friend. If your dog refuses to let you pet him, then there is probably a good reason behind it. Here is a list of 10 reasons your dog doesn’t want you to pet him.He wants to be left alone

Your Dog Is In Pain

The most common reason a dog won’t let you pet them is when they are in pain. This can be from the sensitivity of the skin all the way down to an injury from a rough play session. Check your dog from any bruising or marks in the area before you pet them and all will be well!

They Are Feeling Sick

If your dog is sick, they will likely want to limit any interaction with people. Sick dogs don’t want to be pet.

He Is Anxious

Whether it’s a trip to the vet or settling into a new home, dogs can become anxious. As a result, they may want to hide in a corner and evade all interactions with you.

Your Dog Is Mad At You

Making your dog mad is the last thing you want to do, especially when it comes to building a connection with them. An angry dog will not want to be pet, and this could lead to you getting bit in retaliation.

Your pup is tired

If your dog is exhausted, you should give them space. Don’t pet them until they have gotten enough rest and are ready to come to you.

He Is Depressed

Depression affects dogs much the same way it does humans. They just want to be left alone.

He Doesn’t Like Being Touched

Believe it or not, some dogs just don’t enjoy being touched at all. This isn’t necessarily breed specific, because each dog has it’s own individual personality.

If this doesn’t mesh with the kind of relationship you want with your pet, you may want to consider getting another dog you can share in the petting experience with.

Your Dog Is Independent

The older your dog gets, the more independent they will become. You can’t expect your dog to carry the same affectionate tendencies they had as puppies. This doesn’t mean you can’t pet them at all, just not all the time.

Your Dog Is Dominate

The reason your dog doesn’t want to be touched could be an inherited trait or a learned one and could mean many different things for each dog. Where one dog may not want to get petted when they are sick, another may want nothing but love, attention, and affection from you. 

Why Won’t My Dog Won’t Let Me Pet Him Anymore

If you have a situation where your dog has always let you pet him, but now he doesn’t want you touching him, it could be due to an injury or illness. Often, a dog doesn’t want to be touched if they are not feeling well or hurt. They don’t want you to touch the area, causing them problems, possibly making the pain worse.

Anytime a behavior abruptly changes, it is because something in the dog’s life changed. If it isn’t the result of an injury or illness, it may be from a sudden move or significant change in the home.

If you moved to a new home or had a partner move into your home, your pup may feel anxious or nervous and won’t want to be touched.

Lastly, if you did something to make your dog upset, they may want to avoid you altogether. If you yelled at your dog or took something away from them, they may not want you petting them simply because they are mad at you.

Why Does My Dog Get Angry When I Pet Him

Like people, dogs may be born not liking to be touched. If your dog prefers not to get petted, he will be angry when you are touching him. If your dog is in pain, they may also show aggression if you pet him.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Sensitive to Touch

If your dog is suddenly sensitive to touch, it may be due to a skin rash or allergy bothering them. If just being touched puts your animal in pain, you should contact a veterinarian right away to find the proper treatment.

Where Do Dogs Like to be Petted The Most

Most dogs enjoy being petted and rubbed just about anywhere you want to touch them. However, the more common places to pet a dog and get a very happy reaction would be on their heads or their tummy.

We are sure you have noticed that when you rub your dog’s belly, he probably kicks his foot rapidly. That’s when you know you hit the spot, and your pup is loving the massage.

You can also make your dog happy by petting:

● His ears

● Under his chin

● His bum

● His tail

● His paws

Do Dogs Really Enjoy Being Petted

Most dogs do legitimately enjoy a good rub down. It would be equal to the way you would feel during a nice massage. Aside from enjoying the way being petted feels, dogs also love the affection you show them during the act.

Is Petting Your Dog Bad

Petting your dog is a way to show them affection and love. There is nothing at all to suggest that petting your dog could result in any adverse outcome. Petting your dog is not only a sign of love but shows them they are being good.

How Do Dogs Feel When You Pet Them

Physically dogs feel pleasure when they are being petted. It’s soothing and relaxing to your furry friend. Mentally and emotionally, your dog feels accepted, loved, and acknowledged when they are being petted.

Do Dogs Like When You Pet Them While They Sleep

Petting a dog while they sleep could be a little risky if they are elderly or skittish. If your petting startles them, they make them wake up and react with aggression.

Those dogs don’t want to be bothered when they are sleeping and may move away from you if you are petting them.

Then there is the laid-back pup who enjoys the consistent reminder that you are there while they sleep and enjoy you petting them the whole time.

How Do You Get a Dog to Let You Pet Them

If you encounter a dog who doesn’t want you to pet them, you may never be able to get them to be okay with it. However, if they aren’t letting you pet them because they don’t trust you, you can slowly work with the dog to show them you are not a threat. 

Be patient with the dog, and take your time. First, by just being next to them, then give them treats, and so on until the dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable with you touching them.

Things To Consider

Even though most of us like to interact with our pets physically, that doesn’t mean that they enjoy the contact.

Just like we would respect another person for not being comfortable with our touch, we have to respect that maybe our furry friends don’t like being petted all the time. If your dog ever gives you the indication they want to be left alone, you should respect that notion and give them their space.

Your dog has its reason if he doesn’t want to be petted, and that reason could be an indication something is wrong, and he needs your help or the help of a vet, or it could mean they are not comfortable with that type of connection yet.

You need to evaluate the entire situation and look at the bigger picture. There may be more to your pup’s action than what meets the eye. 

The best way to have a great relationship with your dog is by understanding and working with him to make you both happy. If you want to snuggle with your dog, start by giving him more attention and playing with him more often. Happy dog, happy owner!