Canine + Pet Owner relationships are a uniquely beautiful thing. But, they can also get rather complicated, which is to be expected considering all of the love and feelings that are involved. However, not unlike our two-legged Homosapien family members, our furry ones, too, can experience different ranges of emotions. While not likely to become any sort of major hiccup in your bond, you are likely going to tick off your canine companion at some point or another.
Figuring out when he is upset, though, can be a bit complicated. They can’t exactly tell you that they are mad, although there are some tell-tale signs. Here are 13 of them.
13 Tell-Tale Signs Your Dog Is Mad At You
13. Lack Of Eye-Contact
One of the first recognizable clues that something might be up with you and your furry friends’ relationship is if Fido is avoiding eye contact with you. When your pooch, who usually loves gazing into your eyes, displays a lack of eye contact, it could very well be a sign that your dog is mad or irritated with you about something. This is also frequently one of the first signs that he has done something wrong as well, so be sure that you’re reading the situation correctly.
12. He Is Being Aloof
Basically, it seems as though you don’t exist to your fur-buddy when he is unhappy with you. He might choose to go off to a separate room or ignore you right to your face, either way, giving him some time will likely help him to get over it. Be careful not to confuse any perceived aloofness with malaise or lethargy, both of which could be a symptom of something more serious.
11. Displaying Destructive Behaviors
Unlike their human counterparts, dogs cannot verbalize what and why something is bothering them. So, they must find their own ways to let their unhappiness be known. One of the ways they do this is by being destructive. Chewing, digging, and general destructiveness are not uncommon when dealing with a peeved-off pet, although the behavior should definitely be addressed. If the problem persists, a good animal behavioralist can do wonders.
10. Being Aggressive
This can be one of the worst ways your dog will make his unfavorable feelings known. Some dogs will become aggressive when upset, lashing out as a way to deal with their frustration. This can include growling, nipping, and biting. If this type of behavior is not corrected it can escalate, becoming dangerous for you, the household, and the pooch himself. Everyone needs an outlet however your dog should be taught to express himself in a healthier, non-violent way. This needs to be nipped in the bud as quickly as possible and a professional may be needed.
09. He Is Avoiding You
Usually, dogs can usually be found as near as possible to their favorite human, but if they are upset, you might notice that they are completely avoiding you. Sleeping in another room, leaving the room when you enter, and generally keeping to themselves. If your normally cuddly pup is suddenly sleeping in another room, be assured – for whatever reason, you are most likely in the doghouse. ‘I’m sorry’ and a treat (or belly rub) will usually suffice in turning that snout frown upside down.
08. Loss Of Appetite
This can be a tricky one. On one paw, lack of appetite can be an indication of illness or injury, although, on the other one, stubbornness in combination with a bit of resentment, can also cause a lack of appetite. If your dog is showing no other signs of unwellness, he could be avoiding eating solely due to negative emotions. The issue needs to be addressed quickly as a lack of eating for long periods of time can possibly lead to health complications.
07. Apprehensive Body Language
Body language is a terrific indicator of an upset or angry pooch. Having his ears flat against his head, tail tucked between the legs, and fur standing on end, are all body signals that something is upsetting the dog and you should probably give him some space. Body language is the way that dogs communicate with us and this particular stance says ‘Back off, I am not happy with you’. In this instance, give Fido a little time to cool off and let him come to you when he is ready to forgive.
06. Loss Of Interest
If your pooch has seemingly lost interest in many of the things that he used to enjoy, such as running, playing, barking at the neighborhood cats, etc., it might be due to anger or discontentment within the household. Keep in mind that it could also be an indication of an underlying health issue. To be on the safe side, you should have a veterinarian rule out any possible health-related causes, first and foremost. Then pick up a new toy and a tasty treat on the way home. All should be well again (until the next tiff, that is).
05. Sudden Excessive Grooming
If your favorite furball is suddenly grooming themselves much more than normal, it could be a strong indicator of unhappiness, stress, or frustration. This can even become so extreme that your precious pooch will cause bald patches in his fur. This is something that should be addressed by your pet’s veterinarian as many times, it can require medication and/or medical treatment.
04. Dismissing Your Commands
Much like an insolent child, dogs, too, will deliberately disobey your commands when they are angry. This is their way of protesting their perceived mistreatment (think cold shoulder). When Fido is not coming when called, especially if he normally does, then you might have some apologizing (and plenty of treat-giving) to do.
03. He Becomes Rigid When You Approach Or Pet Him
When Fido is a happy boy, his tail is typically wagging and his entire body is relaxed. When he gets mad or upset you might notice that both his body and stance can become stiff and rigid. This can be combined with the above negative body language signs (ears back, tail tucked), or it can be the sole indicator. If you notice a change in your pup’s body rigidity it’s likely a signal that he needs a little time to chill out.
02. Intentional ‘Accidents’
While some experts might disagree, if your dog is mad enough, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for him to pee on your belongings. Canines are not as simplistic as some might think, urinating and/or defecating where they are not supposed to, could be could very well be their way of acting out. If the urine or stool has an odd look or odor, or if your pet is showing other signs of sickness (vomiting, lethargy) contact your veterinarian to rule out illness.
01. You Can Feel That Something Is Off
No one knows your canine pal as well as you do. You would be the first to know when your pooch is acting normally or if something seems to be going on. If you feel that Fido isn’t quite acting like himself, he could very well be mad at you. However, if there is no valid reason for his negative emotions, you might want to seek the opinion of your veterinarian, just to rule out any other possible issues – medical or otherwise.
Anger VS Boredom VS Anxiety
The thing is, the majority of the time that you feel like your pooch is mad at you, he is more than likely actually feeling something other than anger or discontentment. He might be mad at you but not in the way you, yourself would be. Dogs aren’t capable of assigning a motive to their emotions and unlike humans, pets don’t generally hold grudges. Before you start groveling, try to determine if there is any other possible reason for the dogs’ seemingly off behavior. Most, if not all, of these signs, could also account for boredom and/or anxiety. Unless, of course, you know you are doing something that is, in fact, antagonizing your precious pooch. And, if so, stop it.
Helpful Tips In Curbing Behavior
- Make sure that you are providing appropriate amounts of both mental and physical stimulation.
- With the exception of aggressive behavior, a little alone time followed by a treat and a ‘good boy’ will usually suffice. Dogs usually live in the moment, expressing their emotions as soon as they feel them, and are able to forgive just as quickly.
- Dogs tend to be able to read and react to their humans’ moods and emotions. Any apprehension could very well be in response to the vibes that you are giving off.
- It is imperative that you do not react in anger. Determining the root of the issue and fixing it from there. Yelling or using physical force will only make the problem worse. Here’s an article on how to not get angry at your pooch.
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