If your German Shepherd seems to hate you then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might happen and what you can do about it.
So, why does my German Shepherd hate me? It could be the case that it does not actually hate you and it just doesn’t show affection like you’re expecting. It could also be that previous owners mistreated it, it’s ill or injured, it’s frightened, it’s bored or it’s depressed.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd seems to hate you. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd hates you
Each of the different reasons that your German Shepherd seems to hate you will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be doing it and the signs to look for.
It doesn’t actually hate you
It might be the case that it does not actually hate you. Some dogs will like being petted and hugged but others will not. If your German Shepherd doesn’t like being pet but you try to pet it a lot then it could be causing it to avoid you (source).
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
It might be the case that your German Shepherd has difficulty showing excitement or affection due to being mistreated by previous owners. This would be more likely if your German Shepherd is adopted from a shelter.
Illness or injury
The reason that your German Shepherd has not been standoffish could be that it is ill or injured.
This would be more likely if it seemingly started to hate you suddenly and if something recently happened that might have caused it to be ill or injured.
In this case, if you think that illness or injury could be the cause then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
Fear can cause German Shepherds to seem to start to hate you.
There are many things that could cause a German Shepherd to be fearful but some examples could include:
- A certain person, that it does not like, being around
- Another dog, that it does not like, being around
- Fireworks, sirens or thunderstorms
- Being in a new location
- Having been mistreated by someone or something recently
If your German Shepherd did not previously lack interest in you but it suddenly started to then it could be the case that it is frightened of something. It would help to consider what happened recently that might cause it to feel that way.
It could be the case that your German Shepherd is actually just bored.
This would be more likely if it tends to show a lot of interest in you when it is about to do something exciting such as go out for a walk but it doesn’t show much interest when there is not much to be excited about.
Generally, it is recommended that a German Shepherd get at least an hour of exercise a day. If your German Shepherd does not get much exercise at the moment then making sure that it does would likely help a lot.
Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.
Lack of socialization as a puppy
A common cause of German Shepherds being fearful or seeming to hate you is a lack of socialization as a puppy.
When German Shepherds are puppies they develope many of their characteristics. If a German Shepherd puppy does not get many opportunities to interact with people then it will not have as many chances to learn to be interested in them.
Dogs can get depression, like humans do, and it could be the reason that your German Shepherd has been seemingly hating you.
This would be more likely if it used to be more interested in you. It would also be more likely if it suddenly became less affectionate after something happened such as if it lost a friend, you moved home or a family member moved away.
Things to consider
Before trying to get your German Shepherd to stop hating you it would help to consider what is causing it to do it. Below, I will mention a few particularly helpful things that you can consider.
If it is aggressive
If the reason that you think that your German Shepherd hates you is because it is being aggressive towards you then the best option for you would be to get the help of a vet and a certified dog behaviorist.
When it first started hating you
Considering whether or not your German Shepherd has always acted like it hates you would likely be helpful.
If it has only recently started to behave that way then it would make it more likely that it is due to things such as:
- Being mistreated by someone
- Being mistreated by another dog
- Being ill or injured
- Being depressed perhaps due to another dog or family member not being around anymore
- Being in a new location
In this case, it would help to reduce its exposure to whatever might be causing it if possible. It would also help to do the tips mentioned in the section below.
If your German Shepherd has always seemingly hated you then it would make it more likely that it didn’t get to socialize much as a puppy, it was mistreated as a puppy or it is naturally not so affectionate.
When and where it seems to do it
It would also help to consider whether or not it seems to like you more at certain times or locations.
If you notice that it seems to show a lot more interest when you are about to walk it then it would suggest that it’s environment is not stimulating enough for it. In this case, you could give it more exercise and get it more things such as dog toys to keep it stimulated.
How to get your German Shepherd to like you more
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about your German Shepherd hating you.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Give it lots of exercise
As mentioned above, German Shepherds are meant to be active dogs and they are meant to get a lot of exercise daily. If they do not get a lot of exercise then it can lead to behavioral issues.
If your German Shepherd is not getting an hour of exercise a day then it would help to make sure that it does. You can do this by walking it for an hour a day, teaching it to play fetch or having someone walk it for you if you can’t yourself.
One way to get your German Shepherd to be nicer to you is to do positive reinforcement training.
This is where you reward behaviors that you want to see with treats or attention.
If you want to get it to be like you more then you would reward it with a treat when it does things that show signs of being nicer to you. For example, you might reward it with a treat for coming and sitting with you.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
While positive reinforcement training can be very effective in getting it to display behaviors that you do want it can also work against you.
It could be the case that you have been inadvertently rewarding it when it does things that show signs of hating you.
For example, it might be the case that you reward it with treats when it is not sitting with you.
If you want to get your German Shepherd to hate you less then it would help to reward it specifically when it shows signs of doing things that you want it to.
Avoid punishing it
Punishing your German Shepherd can also cause it to be less caring and it can cause other behavioral problems as well such as distrust.
If your German Shepherd does not do something that you want it to then, often, a better option would be to ignore it and then reward it when it stops misbehaving and starts showing signs of doing what you want it to do.
Get expert help
If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd does it, your German Shepherd gets aggressive or you can’t get it to be nicer to you then one option you have is to take it to a vet or a dog behaviorist.
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