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Why Does My Dog Avoid Me When I’m Sad?

Does your dog try to comfort you when you’re sad?

Recently my senior dog Ace has been doing well healthwise.

However, in early 2016 things weren’t looking so good and on one of those evenings I knelt down on the floor, held my dog and wept.

That was the first time I’d cried since Ace had been ill. I let myself sob for 2 or 3 minutes, my face in his fur, then pulled myself together.

Ace is not one of those dogs who tries to offer comfort.

If anything, my crying makes him uncomfortable.

He doesn’t lick my face or nuzzle me.

Why does my dog avoid me when I'm sad?

That night, he actually turned away from me and grunted a little. Like he was annoyed.

Oh, Ace. Not a cuddler.

My cat Beamer, however …

If Beamer sees me crying, he always tries to sit in my lap and get really close. He purrs and purrs, and he did so the night I was sobbing over my dog.

Tan tabby cat Beamer

Beamer lets me hold him as long as I want. He loves to be held. It may not be so much about comforting me but taking advantage of someone willing to hold him! Either way, it is nice. Beamer has offered comfort many, many times.

And then there’s my cat Scout …

I’m pretty sure Scout doesn’t even notice when I’m sad.  Either way, he really doesn’t care.

My cat Scout

They’re all individuals, I guess.

So I thought I’d bring up the question here.

Do your pets try to comfort you when you’re sad?

Let me know how it goes down at your house when you or a family member is sad.

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Kalani A.

Sunday 27th of September 2020

I have two dogs and a cat. My first dog is a SD, and she absolutely loves to snuggle with me whether I'm sad or not, but on the other hand, we have another dog. This dog likes to ignore me as a whole. He'll only pay attention to me when I have something he likes. He also likes to bite me when I pet him. It makes me devastated to know that one of my dogs do not care about me. Am I doing something wrong with him? He is completely healthy, and used to be the complete opposite when he was a little puppy. I'm deciding if I should rehome him, because he does so well with strangers, and even lets them pet him! I've kept him since he was a newborn...but I think it's time to let go...


Friday 24th of April 2020

My dog literally ignores me when I'm genuinely upset and silently sobbing. It's as though he honestly doesn't even notice or care at all. However if I do an obnoxious fake cry he will run over and bite me and cry. Not sure if that's so much out of concern as it is annoyance. He's not really a snuggler in general but it kind of hurts my feelings that he shows absolutely zero concern for me..... Like ever, at all. In fact when I was with my ex and we would play wrestle or he'd pick me up my dog would bite me. Not sure what to make of it really. I'd like to think my dog loves and cares about me but sometimes I do wonder. My love for him is unconditional though even if he is a jerk sometimes lol

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 24th of April 2020

My current dog, a weimaraner, is the exact same way. It's nothing personal. He doesn't seem to notice or care if I'm sad and he'll bite me and paw at me like you describe in other situations. This is his way of trying to show affection and interaction.

Barbara Rivers

Tuesday 31st of October 2017

Whenever I cry, I can always count on Buzz to come running, practically sit in my lap if possible, and lick up all of my tears. He's so cute when he does it that the tears typically don't last very long ;-) Missy is not the licking kind, but she will snuggle up right next to me.

Jillian Weaver

Wednesday 27th of September 2017

My dog doesn't console me when I'm sad, in fact, as loving as she is notmaly, she literally bites my hands, arms, or anything blocking my face. She panics and's like she doesn't understand my actions and it concerns her in some type of way. It's interesting to say the least.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

About three years ago, I had a huge medical crisis that landed me in the hospital for over a month. For a time, I was in a medically induced coma and on life support. That was the longest I had been away from my boys and it really bothered me. One of the doctors that covered the weekend brought a black lab named Lucy on rounds with her. She made arrangements with the staff that my friends could bring my boys to me on a Sunday for a visit. Bailey, my pom came right to me. He sat right beside me, leaned against my leg and wouldn't move. Mickey, my half Bichon/half Shih Tzu wouldn't give me the time of day. He had to be brought to me and he'd leave as soon as he could. He was however fascinated by the hospital bed. It was so funny because it was like they switched personalities. Mickey is usually my snuggle bug, and Bailey is more stand-offish. It was great to see them, although Mickey's reaction kinda bothered me. Just a reminder that we all have our individual reactions and limits to what we can take in at any given time. Bailey to this day is very observant of me and is so sensitive of how I'm doing physically or emotionally. He is like a canine nurse. His devotion really touches me. Mickey is back to his lovebug self and is the biggest goofball ever. He is like my canine cheerleader, always encouraging more of whatever we are doing. Quite the pair, those two. I am most blessed. Gonna give my boys a hug. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

Aww, such a sweet story about your two boys.