Why Does My Dog Move Away From Me? (5 Reasons + Tips)

So, let’s build a mental picture. You’ve got a dog, and you always hang out with each other. You go for walks, feed them treats, baths, and many more. Suddenly, your dog gradually starts moving away from you and distancing itself from you; it’s not like your dog is being hostile or aggressive, but they’re not as welcoming as they were.

If you’re currently experiencing this with your dog, you’d probably be wondering why your dog moves away from you. Well, there are many reasons your dog moves away from you; some are pretty easy to figure out, while others are more complex.

In this article, we highlight some of the most common reasons why your dog is avoiding you, and we also discuss some easy tips you can apply to stop your dog from moving away from you. 

Suggested reading: Why Does My Dog Leave When I Sit Next To Him (new tab)

Reasons Why Your Dog Moves Away From You

The following are possible reasons your dog is moving away from you. 

1. Intimidation

This is probably one of the most logical reasons your dog gravitates away from you. Of course, no normal person enjoys the company of someone who constantly intimidates them; this same logic applies to your dog.

Most pet owners are pretty sweet; they give out treats, take their dogs on walks, play with them, etc. However, there are still a considerable number of dog owners who treat their dogs very poorly.

Dogs that have had such bad experiences with previous owners tend to be intimidated whenever they’re in the company of their owners.

If, by chance, you adopt such a dog, chances are that dog would likely shy away whenever you’re around.

This doesn’t mean you’re a terrible pet owner; it’s just due to your dog’s lack of confidence or low self-esteem. If your dog is moving away from you, he/she has probably had a bad experience with previous owners.

2. Consent

One unusual reason your dog might be moving away from you is that you consent to them moving away. Let’s understand this; if you’ve tried sitting with your dog previously and they move away, you’re supposed to call them back or at least react to show your pet that you don’t approve of them moving away when you’re sitting with them.

If this cycle of consent prolongs, your dog takes it as a regular thing and would unknowingly start moving away anytime you sit with them. 

3. Depression

depressed dog looking sad

Many pet owners rarely factor in depression when raising their dogs. We as humans have emotions, hormones, feelings, and thoughts racing through our minds likewise our dogs.

Now, most causes of depression in humans are the death of a loved one, loss of job, monetary problems, etc.

Well, your dog doesn’t have to worry about losing their job or how to cope with rising inflation, but they can get depressed due to a recent turn of events.

While it’s practically impossible to ask a dog if they’re depressed, there are situations where that’s the only logical explanation.

A dog can get depressed when they move into a new home or you bring in a new pet, spouse, or even a baby. The most common causes of depression in dogs are loss of companionship or attention and loss of the owner.

4. They Want Some Alone Time

Humans aren’t the only ones who need some time apart either to rest; dogs also need some time to themselves to rest. During this resting period, your dog doesn’t want to be bothered and prefers being left alone for a while.

So if your dog is going through this phase, he or she would likely move away when you come and sit with them.

5. They Have a Favorite Spot at Home

If your dog has grown fond of sitting in a particular spot at home, they’ll always move to that spot. However, this has nothing to do with you or how you handle your dog; it’s just your dog being confident and comfortable.

If your dog has grown fond of any spot at home, they’ll always move over there to chill and relax.

Why does my dog move away from me when he sleeps

Why Does My dog Move Away From Me When He Sleeps

If your dog constantly moves away from you when he sleeps, you’ve probably interpreted this as a sign that something is wrong with your pet. You’d be more concerned if this is a newly developed behavior.

If your dog has recently changed his sleeping position to move away from you, the following are some reasons why he moves away when he sleeps:

1. It’s His Preferred Sleeping Position

Everyone has their preferred spot on the bed; it’s a personal comfort zone. Every time you sleep, you unknowingly position yourself that way; it’s a habit that you’ve built up over time, and you’ve just grown fond of it.

This same principle applies to your dog. Your dog might be moving away or avoiding you while he sleeps, but to your pet, he’s doing what gives him maximum comfort. However, if this sleeping position is a new development, you should check with your vet; your pet might be going through something.

2. To Protect You

As funny as that sounds, many dogs take up guard positions when you sleep. This is most common if your dog is a guard dog or has previous training as a guard dog. So that position you think he takes when he sleeps might be just him keeping watch for you while you sleep.

This is common with dogs who have attended dog training or have experience working on-site as guard dogs. Moving away isn’t their fault, it’s just how their brain has been hardwired to behave. 

Though this remains a theory, there’s no official source backing this finding, but we all know that dogs take up certain positions when they need to attack or defend themselves. Your dog is likely taking the best possible position to react to threats.

3. You Encourage Such Actions

If your dog suddenly starts moving away while he sleeps and you react with a positive gesture like scratching his back or giving him treats, they’ll likely repeat the process to milk you of more treats. 

Most times, the act of moving away while they sleep is built over time. If you fail to correct it, your dogs will gradually make it a habit. When your dog moves away from you while they sleep, it’s up to you to move them closer to you or leave them alone.

If you choose the latter, you shouldn’t complain about your dog sleeping away from you because over time, you’ve done nothing to show them that you don’t approve of their sleeping pattern. 

4. Your Dog Needs a Quiet Place to Nap

If your dog is sleeping close to you, chances are you’ll interrupt his sleep by petting him, scratching his back, giving him treats, etc.

Sometimes, the dog enjoys these kind gestures during their sleep, but if you repeatedly interrupt them during their nap, they’ll likely move to a different area to get their much-needed rest.

Your dog trying to nap without interruption can make it develop the habit of moving away. Think about it; they need to sleep well during the day to keep watch at night. If you keep interrupting them, they won’t get enough sleep.     

5. Something is Scaring them Away

This sounds a bit funny, but you should know that even as kids, we misinterpret something we see at night to mean a very terrifying thing. I mean, even a jacket on a hanger could pose as some frightening monster to you at night. Your dog might also be experiencing this.

If there’s something that terrifies your dog in your room or wherever you sleep, they’ll avoid sleeping there at all costs. If your dog has been sleeping by you but developed the act of moving away, they might be scared of something.

Surprisingly, dogs can be scared of things like night noises, especially when there’s poor visibility and everywhere is plain dark. If your dog is suffering from this, they will definitely move away from you when they sleep to find a place where they feel safer.

How to Stop your Dog From Moving Away

As we’ve stated earlier, there are several reasons your dog is moving away from you. So if you’d like to stop your dog from moving away, follow these quick tips:

1. Take regular walks with them

2. Play with them

3. Keep your dog in a place where you can keep an eye on them

4. Avoid doing things that frighten them, e.g., poking them, yelling at them, harsh punishment, etc.

5. Give them treats 

6. Take them to a dog training center to learn commands and tricks

Final Thoughts: Why does my dog move away from me

There is no definitive way to keep your dog from moving away from you, but you can take some steps to ensure that they don’t move away. If you’ve been puzzled about why your dog moves away from you, this article has provided you with a brief overview of some possible reasons and ways you can remedy this problem.

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