I Used To Love My Dog, So Why Do I Hate Him Now?

why do I hate my dog

Owning a dog can be extremely rewarding but also comes with challenges. Many dog owners go through periods of disliking their pets for various reasons. Some of the most common causes of dislike or resentment toward dogs include:

  • Lack of training and discipline – Untrained dogs often exhibit destructive behaviors like chewing furniture, digging in the yard, jumping on people, and refusing to come when called. Owners get understandably frustrated when their dog continues to misbehave despite their efforts. Consistent training is essential for a well-behaved dog.
  • Excessive barking – Nonstop barking at every little sight and sound quickly grates on owners’ nerves. Dogs left alone all day may bark from boredom, anxiety, or fear. This constant noise annoys neighbors, too. Training a dog not to bark unnecessarily takes time and patience.
  • Unmet expectations – People often idealize dog ownership and underestimate how much work caring for a dog entails. When reality doesn’t match expectations, they resent the burden and confinement of owning a needy pet. Thorough research beforehand helps set realistic expectations.
  • Lifestyle changes – Dogs severely restrict freedom and spontaneity. Owners can’t sleep in, leave town for the weekend, or go out after work without arranging care for the dog first. This loss of freedom and added responsibility can be jarring.
  • Perceived aggressiveness – Even playful jumping, nipping, or barking can seem threatening, especially to inexperienced owners. Nervous or reactive dogs require expert training. However, most dogs behave aggressively out of fear, not malice. Owners should learn canine body language to correctly interpret their dog’s behavior before assuming ill intent.

Frustration with Dog’s Behaviors

It’s common for dog owners to become frustrated with their dog’s undesirable behaviors, such as:


Dogs, especially puppies, chew on things as a natural exploratory behavior. However, destructive chewing of shoes, furniture, etc., can frustrate owners. Chewing may indicate boredom, anxiety, or lack of exercise.

Providing plenty of chew toys, reinforcing training, and ensuring the dog gets enough activity can help curb destructive chewing behaviors.

House Soiling 

Dog owners often get upset when their previously house-trained dog has frequent accidents inside. This regression may stem from changes in routine, marking behavior, medical issues, or lack of proper house training reinforcement.

Patience, consistency with potty training, and resolving underlying causes (like health problems) can help minimize indoor accidents.


Owners may feel frustrated and defeated when a dog ignores commands or doesn’t respond to training.

Curbing disobedience requires starting training early, using positive reinforcement methods, keeping sessions short and engaging, and being consistent. Refresher training courses can also help dogs get back on track with commands.


Overly energetic and hyperactive dogs that constantly run, jump, and roughhouse can be exhausting for owners.

Providing adequate physical and mental stimulation through walks, play, puzzles, etc., allows dogs to expend their energy in productive ways. Consulting with trainers and vets can ensure hyperactivity doesn’t stem from health issues. 


Excessive or poorly timed barking is a top behavior issue that aggravates owners. Determining the cause (boredom, anxiety, territorial behavior, etc.) allows customized training solutions. Teaching “quiet” cues, desensitization techniques, exercise outlets, and even citronella bark collars can help control excessive vocalization.


Hostile behavior like growling, lunging, snapping, or biting understandably alarms and upsets owners. While aggression should never go unchecked, using only positive reinforcement training is key; punishment can make dogs more aggressive.

Identifying triggers, consulting professionals, and medication may be needed for severe aggression. Rehoming may be considered if aggression poses serious danger.

Feeling Overwhelmed as a New Dog Owner 

Bringing home a new dog can be a fascinating experience. However, adjusting to new responsibilities and restrictions can also be overwhelming for first-time dog owners.

Having your life suddenly revolve around caring for a dependent animal can be a significant lifestyle change.

Many new owners feel overwhelmed by the need to adhere to a strict schedule for feeding, exercising, training, and caring for their new pup.

Taking dogs out for frequent potty breaks can feel burdensome, especially in bad weather or when you’d rather be relaxing.

The constant need to watch and supervise dogs to prevent destructive behaviors like chewing, begging, or accidents in the house can make owners feel trapped.

New dog owners often struggle to balance their pet’s needs with their needs or other responsibilities. Feeling like you suddenly can’t spontaneously go out after work or sleep in on weekends can be an unwelcome shock.

Depending on you, travel and vacations also become much more complicated with a dog. Juggling the dog’s care with demands like work, family, and hobbies creates stress for first-time owners.

Having restrictions and responsibilities forced upon you can understandably make new dog owners feel frustrated, regretful, and overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in pet parenting.

However, there are ways to adapt your lifestyle and mindset to make this transition period more manageable. Recognizing the temporary problematic adjustment period can help overwhelmed owners stick it out.

Changes in Lifestyle

Life changes and transitions can lead to clashing lifestyles between owners and dogs. When major life events occur, like having a new baby, moving, or starting a demanding new job, the time and energy an owner can dedicate to their dog often decreases.

New Baby

A new baby introduces sleep deprivation, constant demands for attention, and unpredictable schedules for parents.

Caring for both a newborn and a dog can become overwhelming. The dog may act out with barking or destructive behaviors due to changes in routine and less attention.

Parents struggle to meet the dog’s exercise and training needs, and resentment toward the dog’s imposed responsibilities can develop.


Moving to new houses or apartments presents dogs with unfamiliar environments. Adapting to new spaces, noises, and routines is stressful for dogs, and they may bark, have accidents, or show separation anxiety.

Busy moving tasks leave owners with limited time to adequately exercise, train, and adjust their dogs. Owners in rented spaces may dislike restrictions or fees associated with dogs.

Job Changes

Starting demanding new jobs or careers reduces time at home. Dogs accustomed to owners at home all day become confused and anxious when left alone. Less time to exercise the dog leads to pent-up energy and boredom.

Owners feel guilty about neglecting the dog’s needs but are exhausted after long work hours. The lifestyle clashes resulting from such job changes make owners resent their dogs.

Health Issues in Dogs

Dogs, like humans, can develop illnesses or chronic health conditions.

Should your dog suddenly receive an unexpected diagnosis, you may find yourself thrust into the role of at-home nurse, administering medications, changing dressings, or physically supporting your dog’s mobility.

It’s emotionally taxing to care for a sick pet while worrying if it will recover.

Chronic conditions like arthritis, incontinence, allergies, or digestive issues can mean daily maintenance and constant cleanup.

You may resent the extra workload of caring for a special needs dog. It’s easy to become frustrated when you plan for a healthy companion and end up with a dog requiring intensive care. 

Watching your active pup turn into an invalid can be heartbreaking. The constant vigilance medical issues demand can leave you feeling like your dog has become a burden.

Don’t feel guilty for finding it difficult – you didn’t sign up to be your dog’s full-time nurse. It’s understandable to be upset at the situation.

You can adapt to being a dog owner and caregiver with patience and adjustments. Identify any tasks you can outsource, like medication administration or physical therapy.

Support groups connect owners dealing with similar diagnoses. While your relationship may not be the one you imagined, focus on providing your dog with the best quality of life possible.

Remind yourself that none of this is your dog’s fault. With time, caregiving fosters a deeper bond and appreciation for your dog.

Perceived Dangers of Dog

While most dogs are friendly and safe, some people develop a fear of dogs due to negative past experiences or misconceptions about specific breeds and sizes.

If a person had a bad encounter with a large dog as a child, they may generalize that fear to all big dogs.

Others may be wary around muscular, powerful breeds like pit bulls or Rottweilers because of their reputations, even though these dogs can be adorable when adequately socialized and trained. 

People commonly perceive large dogs as more dangerous if they jump up or pull on a leash. However, little dogs can bite, too, and should not be underestimated.

Any size dog with aggression issues or that hasn’t been trained presents risks. Past trauma, like a dog attack, can understandably create lingering phobias.

But it’s important to recognize that most dogs want to play and be loved. Living harmoniously with dogs of all sizes is possible with proper precautions and training.

Lack of Human-Dog Bonding

Dogs are pack animals that thrive on companionship and bonding with their human family. If there is insufficient quality time spent together and affection shown towards the dog, it can negatively impact the human-dog relationship. 

Some common reasons that prevent bonding include:

  • Busy lifestyles result in the dog being left alone for long periods or permanently in a crate/kennel. Dogs are social and need interaction.
  • Not making the time to play with, exercise, train, or engage in activities with the dog daily. This provides mental stimulation and meets their needs for activity. 
  • Showing impatience or frustration instead of empathy when the dog misbehaves. Yelling or punishing usually makes behavior worse.
  • Treating the dog more like property than a family member can distance the relationship. A lack of touching, petting, and positive reinforcement can also be detrimental.
  • Having unrealistic expectations about dogs based on breed stereotypes or comparisons to previous pets. Each dog is unique.

To improve bonding, dog owners should prioritize spending quality time together through daily walks, play, training sessions, car rides, or just relaxing while petting or brushing.

Creating routines and showing affection helps dogs feel safe and loved. Additionally, attending obedience classes is a great way to strengthen the human-dog relationship.

Stress and Emotional Burnout

Caring for a dog can be physically and emotionally draining, especially for first-time dog owners.

The constant demands of feeding, walking, training, grooming, and cleaning up after a dog require time and energy that can take a toll over time.

This can lead to stress, frustration, and even exhaustion or burnout, known as “compassion fatigue.”

Some signs of compassion fatigue include irritability, anxiety, sleep issues, lack of enjoyment in the relationship with your dog, feeling overwhelmed or resentful, and dreading caring for your dog.

The responsibilities start to outweigh the rewards. Fatigue builds up until dog owners feel emotionally drained and dislike or resent their pets.

To prevent or recover from compassion fatigue, consider asking friends or family for help with dog care tasks or temporarily hiring a dog walker.

Look into daycare a few days a week. Take time for self-care through exercise, meditation, or relaxing hobbies.

Talk to your vet if you feel depressed or overwhelmed. With rest and support, you can renew your energy and rebuild a positive bond with your dog.

Grieving Loss of Previous Dog 

Losing a beloved dog is incredibly painful. Grief can take a long time to resolve, and some find the process unbearable. When getting a new dog, comparing them to the previous dog you lost unfairly is common.

You may even resent the new dog for not being the same. This reaction is natural but unfair to the new dog, who deserves a chance to bond with you. 

Give yourself time to grieve before getting a new dog. Don’t expect the new dog to be identical or fill the hole left by your loss. Appreciate your new dog for their unique personality and quirks.

Celebrate what they bring to your life rather than focusing on what they lack compared to your previous dog. Building a bond takes time, so be patient and keep an open mind. 

If the grief over losing your previous dog is still raw, consider waiting longer before getting a new one. There is no set timeframe here – go at your own pace. Unresolved grief can prevent forming a close bond with a new dog.

Seek support from those who understand this type of loss. Cherish your memories while making room in your heart for new beginnings. When you’re ready, a new dog can bring joy back into your life.

When Rehoming is Appropriate 

Rehoming a dog can be the most responsible decision for you and your pet. It should only be considered after exhausting all training options and medical treatments.

If the issues are due to a lack of time, energy, or resources, reevaluate ways to provide more for your dog first. 

However, some circumstances do warrant finding your dog a new home. Aggression issues that endanger family members or consistent escapes jeopardizing your dog’s safety are examples.

Or if your lifestyle has changed dramatically, like having a baby, you cannot meet your dog’s needs.

When rehoming, find an appropriate home that matches your dog’s age, energy level, and temperament.

Screen potential adopters thoroughly about their experience caring for dogs. Be transparent about any behavior or medical issues. Schedule meet-and-greets on neutral territory first. 

Saying goodbye will feel heartbreaking. But your dog’s quality of life with the right family will be happier.

Relinquishing a beloved pet does not make you a bad owner. Recognizing when a pet’s needs outweigh the desire to keep them takes courage.

Do not feel guilty for doing the best thing for your dog. Stay strong, knowing your pet will receive the love they deserve.

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