My Dog Is Giving Me The Cold Shoulder; Why? Reasons Explained

My Dog Is Giving Me The Cold Shoulder; Why? Reasons Explained

Not every dog is the same. Some dogs have been cheerful ever since they first met you. However, some dogs are more prone to harboring grudges than others. That simply means that dogs have different temperaments, just as humans have different personalities.

Nonetheless, as dog owners, we have all experienced a cold shoulder from our dogs at some point. I’ve often wondered why my dog is giving me the cold shoulder. 

But what are the reasons for my dog is giving me the cold shoulder? There could be countless reasons for this, including leaving him alone, failing to provide pet treats, or taking him to get a vaccination. So, whatever the reason, let us take a look at a few of them so that you can understand your dog better!

Why Is My Dog Giving Me The Cold Shoulder?

  • Your dog has not yet formed a strong bond with you

Studies show that the relationship between humans and dogs is similar to that between a mother and her child. Dogs crave your love and attention. 

However, bonding with some dogs can be difficult, especially if you have adopted them. Then, no matter what, your dog will give you the cold shoulder for a while until you two become more friendly. 

So, keep in mind that bonding does not happen immediately. It takes time, effort, and a lot of quality time spent with the dog. Then your dog will learn to trust you because you provide him with a safe living environment.

So, if you’re skeptical and thinking, “why is my dog giving me the cold shoulder? ” bear it for a while till he gets close to you.

  • Your dog hasn’t been adequately trained

Even if you have had your dog since he was a puppy or you recently adopted an older dog, sometimes they won’t respond to your commands and maybe give you the cold shoulder. Then it is time to revisit the basic training. 

Indeed, dogs should only receive 10 minutes of training each day, but as I mentioned earlier, each dog has a different temperament, so your dog may require longer training sessions.

  • Your dog does not understand what you are saying

Even after you and your dog have developed a strong bond and are well-trained, you might wonder, “Why is my dog giving me the cold shoulder?” 

It might be something simple like your dog not understanding what you are saying. Dogs usually depend on facial expressions, body language, and voice tones when understanding something. 

So, pay attention to your dog’s communication style. Always practice the words you’ll use with him regularly, such as sit, come, go, and eat.

  • Your dog isn’t getting enough recognition

When we display good behavior, we all expect something in return – a small recognition for our efforts. Not only do we expect verbal praise as children, but we also expect it as adults. 

Dogs of all ages indeed experience the same thing! What if you were all rewarding him when he was a puppy? He would sit when you told him to, heel when you asked, and you would give your dog a treat. 

Later on, you stop rewarding them because you believe they no longer need training. They might then become upset with you for showing less interest and give you the cold shoulder. 

  • Your dog is feeling stressed out

What you are asking of your dog can sometimes be tiring and overwhelming. 

It is too much for a puppy, for example, if you are fully committed to teaching him basic commands daily for 15 minutes. He would simply ignore you and give you the cold shoulder, just like a child.

  • Your dog could be sick

Even after you have ruled out all of these possibilities while looking for a reason, you might still be left wondering why my dog is giving me the cold shoulder.

Then you should take a step back and observe his actions; he could be acting this way simply because he is sick and tired. 

Deafness is the most commonly reported problem. However, because hearing loss can be progressive, it might take some time to realize that your dog isn’t just ignoring you; instead, they cannot hear you!

Can Dogs Give You The Cold Shoulder?

Without a doubt! You might get the cold shoulder from dogs. We also discussed some of the reasons why your dog may give you the cold shoulder.

The most common reason, however, is that some dogs harbor a grudge against their owner. It has been found that dogs have the emotional capacity to give someone the cold shoulder after they get disappointed. 

Let me reveal to you a story from my experience. I was just getting home from work one time.

Sparkles, my dog, was approaching me cheerfully. But after a while, the cheerful bubble vanished when I talked to him. 

I got nothing but him ignoring me. That is when I understood my dog was giving me the cold shoulder! But why is that? I couldn’t figure it out for two days. 

What happened was I promised to get him a new chewing toy, but I forgot because I was so preoccupied with my work. I’m trying to say that dogs remember and may hold grudges for something as trivial as this.

What Can You Do When Your Dog Is Giving You the Cold shoulder?

When you get that “wow, my dog is giving me the cold shoulder!” feeling, you should first try not to take it personally. 

There could be numerous reasons for the “WHY?” so take a step back and consider what triggered such a reaction from him. 

Try to get into the reasons one by one. Is it because he doesn’t like you? Is it because he is upset with you? Is it due to your dog’s illness? We won’t know unless we examine the big picture.

Give your dog a little personal space while you identify the reason. It is imperative if you just adopt him.

It will take a little stretch of time for the dog to adjust to the new environment and you, so be patient! 

Making them feel comfortable while you are around them should be the goal. Speak in a calm voice.

Be in the same room while respecting your dog’s decision to be alone. You can also give them pet treats or new toys to see how they react to you. 

However, if it is still not working, it is best to seek professional assistance and schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to determine what is wrong with your dog.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

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