A dog grumpily laying its head on a desk.

Signs A Dog Doesn’t Like Something

5 mins |

Although having a pocket full of treats and being able to provide a decent belly rub may seem like all it takes to win a dog over, our canine companions are only sometimes simple to please. They can dislike many things and try to tell us, so what are the signs a dog doesn’t like something?

Dogs will show they dislike something through body language and sounds. They may move away from the thing they dislike, tuck their tail between their legs, raise up their fur, or even growl.

What Is My Dog Trying To Tell Me?

A dog laying down next to a food bowl and a water bowl.
Not eating? That could be a sign of disliking something (or of a potential health issue).

Dogs use many forms of communication, from body language cues to vocalizing. They combine everything they can to express their feelings and intentions. Also, it may be very different from human communication.

Because barks, whines, and growls make up a large portion of canine communication, it’s critical to understand what these noises indicate.

They rely on nonverbal cues from their body language the most, though. That might cause a lot of dog-human miscommunications. Dog body language can occasionally be confusing because people don’t have tails.

You must understand what your pet is attempting “to say” and their emotional condition to train them to behave appropriately, such as walking gently rather than pulling or chewing a safe toy rather than a doorframe. 

Your dog’s body language and communication are complex, though, just as how the words “there,” “they’re,” and “their” sound alike but have various meanings. 

For instance, growling is not always a sign of hostility. Dogs may growl to ask a terrifying object to leave them alone, or they may growl for amusement. 

Dogs’ Most Disliked Things

You might not even be aware that your dog dislikes what you do. 

In general, dogs don’t appreciate being hugged, not being allowed to smell something, having no routine, and other things. Even the most relaxed dog will dislike some human behaviors, common treats, and everyday objects.

Some of the most hated smells dogs can’t stand are vinegar, cleaning supplies, chlorine, hot peppers, most perfumes, and rubbing alcohol.

Dogs normally don’t like being hugged by strangers, either. Other hated things include lack of stimulation or toys, yelling, teasing, and being alone.

However, dogs, like humans, are unique. What one dog hates could be another one’s favorite thing.

Signs Of Aggressive Dog Body Language

Typical body language or threat expressions used by dogs to express aggression include a hard look, growling, barking, snarling, lunging, snapping, and/or biting. Although displaying hostility against a person or another animal can be seen as undesirable or troublesome, aggression can be a way of communication in dogs.

Signs Of Stressed Dog Body Language

The following behaviors are indications of stress: lip-licking, yawning, panting, raised hackles, tucked ears, tucked tail, and whale eye (when canines show the whites of their eyes). Your dog also may avoid making eye contact.

Most frequently, a dog that seems “guilty” will exhibit this. The dog is actually responding to your tone of voice and nonverbal cues and believes something is wrong.

Signs A Dog Doesn’t Like You 

Dogs usually are seen as creatures that give unending love, slobbery kisses, and love belly scratching. It’s important for people to remember that each dog is an individual with its own tastes, likes, and dislikes. 

Some dogs enjoy showers, others despise them, and some enjoy playing fetch, while others are uninterested. Similar to people, some dogs may like you while others won’t.

Dogs express precise actions that show when they might not like us very much or perhaps feel outright uncomfortable and terrified around us, even though they aren’t always obvious to humans. 

If you’re concerned that your dog might not like you, the warning signs and behaviors to watch out for are some of the following.

When you’re around, they may retreat or hide. When they see you, they tuck their tails between their legs, or their fur may rise up.

If a dog doesn’t like you, it will refuse or hesitate to accept treats from you. They may also seem to prefer spending time with someone else over playing or cuddling with you.

If they really hold a grudge against you, they spit or chew on your stuff, and if you approach, they growl, show their teeth, scratch, or bite at you.

Final Thoughts: Signs A Dog Doesn’t Like Something

Although dogs cannot speak, they may communicate efficiently if you are willing to “listen”. 

Their body language and the sounds they make can reveal their feelings and often tell us if the dog likes or dislikes something.

So what are the signs a dog doesn’t like something? To sum it up, it can be presented with signals of stress and aggression and a warning signal that there is something the dog hates in its presence. 

So, have you seen these signs in your dog or in other dogs? Let us know in the comments below!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.