10 Ways To Tell if Your Dog Is Mad At You

Shawn Jones Vigil and Blood Drive

One thing you have to love about dogs, even if it can be a pain sometimes, is just how human they can act.  For example, let’s take when your dog is mad at you. Though we may not share or fully understand one another’s language, when a dog is mad, there are certain “tells”. Certain things that it does and ways it would act that it would not otherwise act if the dog was not mad at you. But, the rub is, the dog can’t actually tell you and work it out like us humans can. The dog can only attempt to show you and hope you pick up on the behavior enough to realize the dog is mad at you. Trust us, with some of these behaviors it is not hard to tell. Here are ten ways to tell if your dog is mad at you.

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Ignores You

This entry is so funny because it works just as perfectly for humans as it does for dogs. In many ways, ignoring someone who is talking to you is one of the rudest things you can do. Seems dogs have figured this out over time from observing us. There are few feelings worse than your dog (and best friend) faces away from you when you are calling it, and you know it is on purpose. The cold shoulder is a classic and seems to work, no matter the creature or context.

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They’ll “slap” you

Not a joke, there are countless videos online that prove this. Keep in mind, it is not so much an actual slap (as a slap is less effective with a paw than a hand), but more the dog is putting its paw on you to either let you know it may need something, or let you know you are kind of annoying. Again, I think they may have learned this one from either watching us, or watching too much human TV. Nothing is quite as effective at letting someone know they are annoying you like a nice “love tap.”

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Long, Blank Stares

The one can be filed under ignoring, but is a playful (albeit mean) expansion of it. You are asking your dog to do something, or calling it, or in some way or another just trying to energize it. Yet the dog is just sitting there, looking at you. Not in a scary way, just a long, blank stare. As if to say “I can totally hear you, and on any other occasion I would react, but I am mad at you. So I am just gonna sit here and stare at you, but willingly ignore you, too”. Man, dog disses are the worst.

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Going Out Of Its Way To Do Something They Know They Shouldn’t

You know those moments when you are mad at your significant other so you eat something they say you shouldn’t or you do the opposite of what they ask you to be spiteful? Yes, this is the canine version of that. The dog may want to let you know it is upset with you, and a great way to do that is to do something it knows will get a angered reaction from you. Could be chewing a pillow, could be ripping at garbage. Either way, the dog might be doing it just to let you know you are not its favorite person in that moment.

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Indoor Business

You need to understand scent marking and the feral side of animals to understand this. We don’t want to be graphic here, but if you wake up one morning after yelling at your dog or your dog saw you being mean to someone it really loved, don’t be surpirsed to find a surprise in your slipper. Sometimes it is to mark dominance, and sometimes it is to remind us our roles in all this. But don’t just assume it was a mistake. A slipper is a small target. That takes pre-mediation and a serious grudge.

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Seems Lethargic

We know this can sometimes be a sign of dog depression or even an illness, so don’t just assume your dog is mad at you if it seems lethargic. But there are occasions where certain breeds will act that way. They won’t want to go for their walks with you, or they won’t get off the couch when you ask them. While these can be filed under ignoring, this is a little deeper. Ignoring is basic in the sense that the dog will still be interested in its regular behavior, just not you. In this case, it may be both. This goes on for enough time, call the vet, though. Best to be safe than to make assumptions.

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Rejects a Gift

You know those moments when you get a really ugly sweater from Aunt Glinda, but you smile and take it? Well, if your dog is mad at you, it may actually deny a gift you got it. It can be something as simple as walking away from a snack offering. Or something as complex as literally, taking something you got it, and letting you see that it hates it. It can even take that one step further by marking the gift immediately, or going and getting an old toy to show you that it does not accept your bribe. Let me tell you, when a dog goes that, you feel it.

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Gets Aggressive

This is super rare so we wanted to make sure it was lower on the list. Depending on the severity of what you did (or how your dog perceives it) some dogs can actually become threatening or aggressive. Keep in mind, this would mostly result from it seeing you or whomever it was aiming that aggression on being unheedfully aggressive towards someone it loves. In most cases, worry more about the ignoring.

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Will Be Nicer To Others Around You 

Maybe there are two of you, a couple, and the dog belongs to both of you. Maybe one of you changed the dog’s food. Maybe one of you yells too much. Either way, dogs tend to switch up “favorites” from time to time to let one of the people know that they messed up.  This is a very similar behavior to children with parents.  Favorites are definitely chosen in times of stress.

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They Run Away

This is rare, as most of the cases where dogs run away result from random things (like door left open or animal seen outside etc etc). But in some cases, if the animals felt scared enough or angry enough, they have been known to run off. Though you really wont need to worry about this, as very few animals run away from home for being upset, it still gives us a good chance to remind you to microchip your dogs. So even if the worse does happen, at least you can find your canine friend and say sorry.

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