Sudden changes in dog behavior are always troubling, but a sudden avoidance is especially so. Dogs are meant to be our close companions. When they don’t want to be near us, something may be seriously wrong. Why is your dog acting so distant? A few things could be the root cause that soured your dog’s usually friendly demeanor. Here are a few things you should consider before heading to the experts, veterinarians and behaviorists.
Anxious dogs avoid the source of their anxiety. If you’ve made them anxious by accident, they may be avoiding you. However, it’s more likely that your dog is avoiding a source of anxiety near you. For example, if you recently installed a new fan in the bedroom, and your dog won’t come to sleep in the bedroom anymore, they could simply be afraid of the fan—not you.
When anxiety is the root cause of your dog’s change of behavior, it’s best to watch them closely. Finding out when your dog acts differently is the key to figuring out what is causing them anxiety. At what time of day do they act distant, in what room, or with which people? Also, try to remember if you’ve made any changes in their environment around when the time they became anxious.
Fear & Trauma
Traumatic events may have caused a fear response in your dog, which may cause them to avoid you or other people. Extremely traumatic events may make your dog feel unsafe around you, even if you had nothing to do with it. Examples of traumatic events include: getting hit by a car, getting attacked by another dog, getting abused by a human, and more.
If your dog is acting fearful, but you can’t recall a traumatic event, it may have happened when you weren’t around. Did you recently leave the dog with another person, or could they have had a traumatic experience while at home alone? In this case, it’s best to consult the professionals.