Owning a pet is a lot like being in a relationship: you get out what you put in. Be they furry or human, if you neglect your partner’s needs, they won’t trust you. On the other hand, if you treat them with love and care, they’ll cast rays of joy into your life. Even so, there can be times when your partner seems mad with you for no reason. We’ve all been there – they leave the room as soon as you enter, give you the silent treatment for hours, and all you can do is wonder: “What did I do wrong?”
If you’re facing this problem with a human partner, this blog is prooooobably not the best place to seek advice. However, if your dog seems cranky and you want to do something about it, you’ve come to the right blog. Read on!
“Firstly, how do I even know whether my dog is mad at me?”
Dogs may not speak human, but they have a range of tools to express their feelings. In the past, we’ve written about the tales our pooches tell with their facial expressions and body language. If you want to know when your furry friend is feeling irate, we suggest you read up on both. For those short on time, we’ve compiled a list of the chief warning signs below:
- excessive yawning
- a stiff body and rigid back
- visible whites in their eyes
- folded back ears combined with a lowered head
- a refusal to look you in the eye
- snarling and growling
Beyond the above, another key indicator is whether they follow your commands. If they’ve gone “on strike” and refuse to sit when you tell them to, you have one cranky pooch.
“Right, but how do I cheer them up?”
Before we delve into this, let’s begin with the one chief “don’t”: do not, under any circumstances, try to bribe them out of their funk by giving them treats. All this will do is teach them that their angry behaviour leads to reward.
Instead, try to identify why they’re mad. Ask yourself: when did the behaviour commence? If, for example, it coincided with your recent spring clean, they may have been responding to the vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you may have recently changed their walk routine, or they may be mad at some change in your home.
The point is, their ire is likely the result of fear or change. If it’s the former, be sensitive to their needs; for example, have a friend or Dog Walker take them out when you vacuum. Once they realise you’ve vanquished the source of their fears, they’ll thank you with a wagging tail and obedient attitude.
If it’s the latter, your pup will likely grow accustomed to the change. If they don’t, help them to reframe the change in a more positive light. Are they resistant to a new dog park? Wait until you reach it before playing their favourite game! Are they suspicious of a new person you’re dating? Take the time to really introduce them to each other! Show them patience and love, and your furry friend will bring the silent treatment to an affectionate halt.
If their bad mood seems still hasn’t abated, there may be something deeper at play, like a medical issue. In this instance, play it safe and contact a vet.