Help! My dog doesn't like me!
(Q) My dog is five but over the past two years she seems to have gone off me. We always played with her toys together, but now if I throw one, her tail goes down and she runs away. Yet if anyone else comes to my home she wants to be fussed. When
I pick her up to give her some love she struggles to get down. I have never smacked her, in fact, I think I try too hard now.
(A) Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith says: Without seeing the whole picture I cannot be specific but it sounds as though your dog has accidentally linked something about you (or specific actions you do) with something that worries her.
Try to take a step back rather than trying too hard to make friends since this will give your dog space to relax. Are there any times when she is relaxed with you? Think when this is and what you are doing. Try to focus on the activities where she copes best.
Be careful of your body language when interacting with her — avoid loud voices, big gestures, and approaching her if she looks worried. Don’t lean over her or pick her up. If you have been doing a lot of this it could be enough to trigger a desire to avoid you.
Your vet could refer you to a behaviour specialist to help you resolve this issue.