Why is My Dog Suddenly Ignoring Me? (5 Common Reasons)

I came home from a long day of work and found my dog lying on the floor, not moving. I got excited, thinking he’s finally here to greet me, but when I petted him, he didn’t respond. “That’s just weird,” I said out loud to myself as I picked up his favorite toy and tried to coax him with it.”Maybe he wants dinner?” The next morning, my dog was still ignoring me. He barely even looked at me when we were eating breakfast together before went for a walk. “This isn’t like you, bud!” Have you had a similar experience with your dog?

Here’s The Short Answer to Why Your Dog is Suddenly Ignoring You:

Perhaps the reason why your dog ignores you is that they are afraid of you. For example, you might have scolded, hit, or yelled at them in the past. Or it could be they are sad because you have not paid enough attention to your dog. Sometimes medical issues, such as losing their hearing, could be the reason for your dog ignoring you. Other times, part of the reason behind your dog’s behavior could be that the bonds between you and your dog just get loose over time (especially if you don’t give them a lot of attention).

why is my dog suddenly ignoring me

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes behind a dog’s sudden change in behavior and identify how you can work with your pup on getting back on track.

Why Does Your Dog Ignore You?

1. Your Dog Fears You

One of the most common causes for a dog’s sudden change in behavior is out of fear. Your dog might have been scolded, hit, or yelled at in the past. Maybe you got mad at them for jumping on the couch or chewing your shoes. It’s important to understand that dogs are not always intentionally misbehaving. So, if you get stressed out when they do so, it might result in your dog developing some fear towards you.

The best thing you can do if your dog has a fear of being near you is to encourage them to come towards you. For example, you can try to connect with your dog by giving them their favorite dog treats during training sessions. Or you can also use a dog training technique like clicker training. Clicker training is a behavioral modification technique that uses positive reinforcement and rewards to teach new behaviors.

Here’s how to encourage your dog to come to you with a clicker:

Step 1:  Get the clicker and a handful of treats (your dog’s favorite treats).

Step 2:  Place the clicker in your hand. We are going to use this tool for the next couple of minutes, so it makes sense to hold onto it during these times.

Step 3: During training, you want to have a target marker that will tell your dog that they did something good. With the clicker, we use our hands as markers because if we used our voice all time, our dogs might get tired of that sound. When you start teaching your dog with a clicker, try snapping your fingers or clapping your hands together instead until you’re ready to transition over to using the clicker.

Step 4: Place the treats in one hand and hold your dog’s leash with the other hand. Get your dog’s attention by calling out their name and lure them towards you with a treat. If they come to you, click the clicker (target marker) and give them a treat from your other hand. Thereafter, repeat this whole procedure over again but be sure to change up the location each time (your center of gravity). When your dog is comfortable, try moving away from them while holding onto their leash so that they have to follow you whenever we call out their name.

2. Your dog is sad or depressed because you haven’t paid enough attention to them

As a pet parent, it’s important to pay attention and fulfill all of their needs as much as possible.  After all, most dogs crave affection and attention from their pet parents. A lot of times, dog owners tend to get busy really around the house, that many times we forget about our pets and their feelings. This can lead them to become depressed or anxious, which would then turn your well-behaved dog into a destructive one.

3. They don’t get enough training

When you’re not regularly training your dog, it could lead to a breakdown in communication between the two of you.  Your obedient dog will start ignoring your cues if they feel like there’s no reason to follow them anymore. A good example of this is when we tell our dogs to stay off the couch and sofas, but then we let them jump on them anyway.

Another thing that happens if we don’t train our dogs in time is that they learn bad behavior instead! How does this happen?  Well, they start developing their own habits because we’re not teaching our dogs the right way to do everything.

4. They have medical issues like an ear infection or dementia

Having a dog that ignores you out of nowhere can be stressful. You might think that it’s a behavioral issue, but it could actually be a medical one. For example, a dog might suddenly ignore you because they have an ear infection or some sort of eye problem.

They could also be experiencing age-related diseases like dementia that can lead to behavioral changes.  If you notice that your dog is starting to stare at the wall and walk around aimlessly, don’t just assume that it’s behavioral. There might be something wrong with your dog!

5. They don’t see you as their leader

If your dog suddenly starts ignoring you, there might be a good chance that it’s because your dog thinks you’re not the leader of the pack anymore. This is especially true if your dog is a dominant dog.

Dominant dogs will challenge their owners for dominance. This means that they’re going to try and assert themselves by being aggressive towards you.  Dominant dogs may even ignore the commands that we give them whenever we want them to do something because they don’t think we deserve any authority over them.

When dealing with this type of dog, you have to establish yourself as the dominant one in the household.  You want to do this by not letting them get away with bad behavior or giving in to their demands every now and then. This will help your dog know who is in charge.

6. Your dog is a hyper dog by nature

While some dogs are calm and mellow, others have boundless energy. When your dog is hyper, they may be ignoring you more than usual because their mind is focused on something else entirely. To make matters worse, hyper dogs are often difficult to control. The more they run around or act out, the less their owners can get them to listen.

How to calm a hyperactive dog?

The first thing to do is give your dog an outlet for his energy. Exercising him can help reduce their hyperactivity and make them more focused on you, rather than whatever else they may have in mind.

Next, try giving your dog a job to do. This will focus them and give you a window of opportunity to settle them down. For example, you can ask your dog to watch the door for the mailman. If they still don’t follow your commands, then you can try to gain their attention by luring them with their favorite toys.

7. Your dog is in pain

If your dog suddenly stops paying attention to you, it may be because they are in pain. If they’ve been injured or are suffering from a condition like arthritis, then they will be in pain simply by walking around. Their discomfort can cause them to ignore you because their pain distracts them from you.

How To Make Your Dog Stop Ignoring You?

1. Give your dog an outlet for their energy

Dogs that are bored or have too much energy can be a handful to deal with. By exercising your dog regularly, you can help curb their excessive energy and give them something else to focus on.

Keep in mind that puppies between the age of 4-12 weeks need 20 – 60 minute walks per day, while adult dogs benefit from between 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity per day.

2. Set up daily playtime with your dog

Many owners let their dogs entertain themselves when they’re at home by playing with other dogs or with toys. This makes sense considering most owners work during the day and may not be able to play with their dogs during that period.

However, research has found that a lack of attention from its owner can lead to behavioral problems in dogs. This is why most dog trainers and vets recommend setting up daily playtime with your dog.

3. Give your dog obedience training

A lot of behavioral issues that owners face with their dogs stem from the fact that they don’t know how to respond when a dog misbehaves. By enrolling your dog in an obedience class, you can give them proper training and help foster behavior that you would like them to exhibit.

4. Check-in on your dog and see if they an illness or suffered an injury

Dogs that ignore their owners may not be doing it for any other reason than that they are in pain or are very sick. It is therefore important to keep an eye on your dog and see if there is something wrong.

This is why regular vet visits are necessary. They will help you identify any problems early and resolve them timely.

Related Questions

1. Why Dog My Dog Ignore Other Dogs?

Dogs sometimes ignore other dogs due to an instinctive need to protect themselves. This is fine and just means that they are feeling threatened or cannot be bothered with another dog at the moment.