Why do dogs push you away?


Dogs are known for being one of the best companions a person can have. They’re loyal and loving, and they always want to be by your side.

They do things that may seem strange to us. Dog owners must learn how to communicate with their pets. Their way of expressing themselves can go over our heads at times.

They can be very pushy about things, too. No pun intended. What’s up with that?

Why do dogs push you away?

If a dog is pushing your hand away when you pet him, he probably likes the pressure it causes. Try messaging his face. He’ll love it. If he pulls away from you, that’s a different story and means he does not want you touching him because you’ve upset him or he’s sick.

There’s one thing that dogs do which may seem strange at first glance: they push you away with their nose when you try to pet them. Why would they do this? The answer is simple: because it feels good!

It turns out that dogs are great communicators. It’s the human owners that aren’t so bright. We often misinterpret what our little friends are trying to say.

In this post, we’ll look at the different ways dogs push us away. Not emotionally. If your dog is emotionally withdrawing from you, that’s a whole other dog post. I’ll save the depressed puppies post for another day!

Reasons Your Dog Is Pushing You Away

Your dog is doing it because he likes it or he doesn’t like it. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. When you figure out what his motivation is, you will understand him better and why he is doing this!

Reason #1 He likes the pressure.

When you pet your dog’s face (or anywhere on his body), it feels good. It could be compared to a massage. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice massage at the end of a hard day or week?

Dogs, similar to humans, were created to live in a community. Part of living in a community means being touched. Touch is one of your dog’s love languages. If you are petting him in a certain spot and feels good, he might push into your hand to increase the pressure he feels.

Reason #2 You’re scratching his itch

Similar to a massage, the pressure could be causing relief from an itch. We take it for granted, being able to reach our bodies well enough to itch just about anywhere.

Well, dogs have to settle for their paws and their owners. If your dog’s face itches, especially around his eyes, he might be trying to get relief by pushing into you.

It’s normal for a dog’s face to itch, but they can get eye infections at times, which will cause the area around his eyes to itch more than usual. This is more common in certain breeds, like Shitzus, but is possible in all dog breeds.

Whatever the reason, if your dog’s face itches, he’ll use furniture, the floor, your hands, almost anything to get relief for his itchy face. No harm in giving him a hand here!

Reason #3 He wants you to stop

Another reason for your dog to push away from you is that it’s uncomfortable for him. Suppose he isn’t doing it because he likes it (which is easy to tell, by the way). In that case, he’s doing it because he’s not feeling well, or you are doing something that’s making him uncomfortable.

This could be anything from the way that you are petting him to how close your face is. Your dog might push away because he wants a break or time out, so try giving him a little space and see if it helps.

His tummy could also be upset. Give him some space.

Reason #4 You’re not interesting, at the moment.

You may not be aware of this, but dogs are naturally very curious and eager learners. They might push away because they want some space to investigate new objects or smells that interest them. It doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re the one doing it, but he needs time to explore and have a life of his own, ya know.

‘Dogs need things to keep them stimulated. If something else is on your pup’s mind, then he might just push you away when you touch him or try to hug him.

It’s not personal. If there is other stuff going on that has his attention, let him enjoy himself. 

Reason #6 It’s a way of saying ‘no.’

If you are doing something your dog doesn’t want to do, like give him a bath, it’s natural for him to want to pull away. He may even push you away when you try to grab him.

Maybe, he does it when you want to give him a hug? If that’s the case, he just doesn’t want a hug at that moment. Give him space. It may not be the best time for him. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.

Why do dogs push you away when lying down?

If your dog pushes you away when he’s trying to sleep, then you are disturbing him. Leave him alone! What’s wrong with you!? If he is pushing INTO you, then he wants to snuggle up. Your body gives him comfort.

Why do dogs push on you when they sleep?

Dogs push on their owners in their sleep because it gives them a sense of security. In the wild, dogs lived in packs, and they all slept snuggled up close to each other. You are your dog’s pack, be proud of that.

I know it’s annoying, though, especially if it wakes you up when you’re trying to sleep. I had to train my dog to sleep at the foot of the bed. He’d push against me and kick me in his sleep. It woke me up so often, and I tolerated it for a couple of years.

I finally got so aggravated at one point, I started forcing him to sleep at the foot of the bed. Eventually, he got used to it and stopped doing it. He still wakes me up on some nights, though, so I ultimately made him sleep in a dog bed on the floor.

He didn’t like it at first, a bit surprised, but he got used to it. That’s the thing about dogs, they may not like something, but they adapt very easily.

Why does my dog push me away when I hug her? 

As a dog lover, you’re probably always looking for ways to show your pet love. But when it comes time for hugs and cuddles, sometimes their approach seems more like they want space. They push back with their paws or turn around in an attempt to escape could be because of one of these reasons:

  1. They have something better going on, like a bone, a new person to smell, or just something more interesting than you
  2. Your dog doesn’t like being hugged or cuddled, and they could be communicating that to you with their body language.
  3. He’s sick, has a tummy ache, or isn’t feeling well, and you’re making it worse.

If you’re feeling rejected, don’t worry. There could be many reasons why your dog is pushing away from hugs and affection. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.

Why do dogs push their head into you?

They like the pressure. It makes them feel secure and can act as a massage to their head and to their face. If they itch around their eyes, they will also do this. A nice eye rub or head massage should do the trick!

Why does my dog push against me when sleeping?

In the wild, dogs lived in a community called a pack. Their pack went everywhere and did everything with each other, including sleeping and snuggling up close. Your dog wants to feel secure, and pushing against you when he’s sleeping does that.

He could also be having a bad dream if it’s accompanied by whining and crying. If that happens, you can gently wake him up, and everything will be ‘A-Ok.’

Final Thoughts

So, still, wondering why do dogs push you away? We gave you our ideas, no, it’s your time to give us YOURS!

Let us know in the comments if your dog pushes you away (or against you) and why you think he does it!

Andrew

I am a dog trainer and passionate about canine health and behavior problems. I train dogs of all ages but specialize in training dogs with behavioral issues such as aggression or anxiety. My favorite part of my job is watching the transformation that takes place when an owner starts to understand their pet’s needs and how to meet them.

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