My Dog Backs Away When I Reach for Him
“My dog backs away when I reach for him!” I’m sure this has you very worried, and probably a little hurt too — after all, it seems like they’re scared of you or maybe even mad. What’s going on here? Why does your dog back away when you approach him? And does it mean anything different if they’re a puppy and they’re doing it?
In this article, we’re going to answer all of these questions and more, plus we’ll cover perhaps the most important one of all: how to stop your dog backing away when you reach for him. It’ll be much easier than you realized, so don’t stress because you’ll have this concerning issue taken care of soon! Now without further ado, let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
How to Stop Your Dog Backing Away When You Reach for Him
To stop your dog backing away when you reach for him, you need to give them the confidence to overcome their issues with fear and anxiety. You can make some initial progress by having yourself and a trusted friend (if they have problems with people in general) softly call them over with a favorite treat in hand.
Be patient and continue to use a positive tone of voice. If your dog isn’t approaching but isn’t backing away either, you can try slowly moving towards them. Once you’ve reached your dog, give them the treat along with some pets and praise if they’ll let you. Continue working on this with them, and they should soon make positive associations with having contact.
This should help your dog to stop backing away when you reach for him, but you’ll still need to address what was really causing all of this in the first place: their fear, anxiety, and lack of confidence. And we’ll do that by first discussing what really makes dogs tick deep down.
You’ve probably heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. This would be your role, but right now your dog may view you as their leader, but just not as an effective one. That’s because a pack leader’s responsibilities include not only protecting the pack but also instilling confidence and security in the other members.
In the wild, they would do this through play. Today, you’ll commonly see older dogs that are playing with puppies do this by allowing the younger dog to win sometimes. Having subservient, but still confident, pack members makes the entire group stronger. And this is what you need to do with your dog.
“Okay, that all makes sense but how am I supposed to do that?”
Well, I’d recommend an excellent free video series that covers everything you need to know about being an effective pack leader and raising a confident, obedient, happy, anxiety-free dog. It’s by a renowned trainer named Dan, and everything is explained in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so you’ll start seeing results in no time.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. Soon, you’ll have a dog that doesn’t back away when you reach for him, and that also isn’t timid or scared of the outside world or the people within it. That all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
Why Does My Dog Back Away When I Approach Him?
Your dog backs away when you approach him because they are just scared of people in general, and they get very anxious when someone (even you) approaches them because they start worrying about all the negative things that could happen. It’s also possible that they just don’t like being picked up, but if they’re backing away every time it’s much more likely to be for fear-based reasons.
To be sure that your dog backs away when you approach him due to being scared or anxious, you can look for other clues from their behavior. Do they frighten easily? For example, does your dog get scared when you wake them? Are they hiding out in all types of random places, like under your desk or even under the house?
These would be some very obvious signs that your dog backs away when you approach him due to having problems with fear and anxiety. While not a tough issue to fix, you need to start right away because if you don’t these problems will only get worse, and more (even more significant) issues will also develop. We went over how to do that in the first section.
Why Does My Puppy Back Away When I Go to Pick Him Up?
Your puppy backs away when you go to pick him for a few possible reasons. The most likely is that your puppy is still figuring out the world, and even you’re causing them a bit of fear and anxiety. They probably haven’t been picked up much (if at all), so it’s normal for your puppy to be a little wary of what’s going on when you approach them like that.
There’s also the possibility that your puppy just doesn’t like to be handled or confined like that. Dogs are cursorial mammals, meaning that they are meant specifically to run, and this need will be particularly high when they are still young and full of energy. So, in this case, it’s nothing personal — they just want the freedom to continue running and playing.
But if you feel like this isn’t the case, and it’s more likely that your puppy backs away when you try to pick them up due to fear, then you should start working on addressing their anxiety issues right away. Without handling things now, even worse problems will develop and they’ll be harder to deal with once they’re full-grown adult dogs. We explained how to do this in the first section.
Why Does My Dog Lower His Head When I Approach Him?
Your dog lowers his head when you approach him for a few possible reasons. One is simply that your dog is trying to be good and submissive, and is essentially deferring to you. While this might seem like a nice thing, it still needs to be worked on because this is rooted in fear and anxiety, which could develop into worse problems if allowed to continue.
Another possibility for why your dog lowers his head when you approach is that they just don’t like physical contact, and they’re worried you’re going to try and pick them up. Many dogs just don’t like to be held or picked up because it feels confining — and that’s okay. If your dog generally seems confident and happy otherwise, this is likely what’s going on with your dog.
But if you feel like fear and anxiety is the most likely reason why your dog lowers their head when people approach, then you can handle this issue using behavioral training. It may not seem like a big deal since they’re being submissive, but if you allow it to continue you’ll have other problems develop, and you’ll also allow your dog to continue going through unnecessary stress.
Go back to the first section where we’ll teach you how to help your dog through this frustrating issue.
The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to free your dog of all this stress and worry that they’ve been carrying around. I’ll let you get to things now, but good luck and thank you for reading “My Dog Backs Away When I Reach for Him.”