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Decoding Your Dog’s Sulky and Standoffish Behavior!

Do dogs sulk? That seems like such an odd question to ask, but it’s something many long-term pet owners have wondered about at some point.

After all, it seems like the only explanation for certain types of behavior that dogs exhibit from time to time.

We cannot talk to our dogs so understanding the meaning behind their actions is not always easy. You have to pay close attention to them to figure out what’s wrong and even then, they may still hide some things.

Finding out if your dog is sulking is also just part of the process because you still have to address the underlying issue.

What we want to do with this article is to help you understand the behavior your dog is exhibiting.

Find out if your dog is sulking, upset, or if some other issue could be bothering them. Furthermore, we also want to give you some tips for addressing that kind of behavior. Get a better handle on your dog’s behavior by checking out the information we’ve provided here.

Do Dogs Sulk?

The idea of a dog visibly sulking or pouting can seem very strange and so out of character, but do not rule out the possibility that it is indeed what you’re seeing.

Dogs will start to sulk or pout for different reasons and those include being uncomfortable in their environment, being lonely because you’re not at home, and even an illness can inspire that kind of behavior.

You also cannot be surprised if your dog starts to sulk after you subjected them to experiences they don’t like such as bathing or grooming.

Now that we know that dogs do engage in sulking, how exactly can you tell if your pet is engaging in that kind of behavior?

They certainly won’t try to hide the fact that they’re sulking because they will tuck their tail between their legs, look at you with sadness in their eyes, and they may even whimper and whine.

Even your pet’s behavior may change as they may refuse to eat for a while and they could also start to ignore you.

An important thing to note about your dog’s mopey behavior is that it doesn’t always mean that they’re feeling sad. When dogs sulk or pout, they may be doing those things as a way of getting you to change your behavior.

They may be trying to avoid a scolding because they know did something wrong or they could be sulking just because they don’t want to follow your command. Dogs are pretty smart so they may just be trying to trick you.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Sulking?

The sight of your dog sulking is not pleasant and as their owner, you understandably want to help them through whatever it is they may be experiencing.

Stopping your dog from sulking can either be a difficult challenge or something that you’ll be able to address with relative ease. The best way to resolve your pet’s issues and to stop them from sulking in the process is by simply fixing the underlying problem.

Start by thinking about any recent changes that your dog may be experiencing, including any new developments at home or with your schedule. If you recently welcomed a new pet into your home, your dog may find the presence of that new animal to be quite disruptive.

You will have to socialize your pets so they can get used to each other’s company. A change to your working schedule may also be causing your dog to feel lonely at home so ask a family member or hire a sitter to keep them company.

Sulking brought about by your dog’s reluctance to engage in something like bathing or grooming has to be addressed differently. In that scenario, the solution to stopping your dog’s sulking is some additional training.

Consider giving your dog a treat if they behave during bath time or their regular grooming session. Teach them to associate those things with treats so they learn to like them more.

Do Dogs Ignore You When They’re Mad?

We already know the answer to the question “do dogs sulk”, and we even know that our canine companions may ignore us if they’re doing that. Now, will they also give us the cold shoulder if they are mad at us?

Your pet will not ignore you if they’re mad because dogs do not possess the capacity to get angry. Even if you do something that your dog does not like, they will not harbor any negative emotions and start resenting you.

It’s good to know that anger is an emotion that dogs do not experience, but what explanation is there for them ignoring you? As we mentioned earlier, a dog ignoring you can be a manifestation of their pouty behavior, but it can also be the result of other more concerning issues.

Your dog could be ignoring you because they are feeling very stressed out at the moment and they are struggling to deal with that or it could also be a result of some illness or injury that is causing them physical pain.

Pay close attention to your dog if you want to find out if they’re just pouting or if they’re dealing with a potentially serious issue.

Your dog seemingly ignoring you for a long time is a red flag and it’s a possible indicator that they are dealing with a health issue of some kind. We also recommend taking your dog to the veterinarian if the change to your dog’s normal behavior is accompanied by other symptoms.


Hopefully, the information we provided here today will help you better understand if your dog is sulking or just exhibiting some other form of unusual behavior. A dog sulking is unusual, but once you understand why it happens, you can see why your pet may engage in that kind of behavior. Use the tips you picked up here today to stop your dog from sulking or address other issues they may have so your pet can return to their cheerful demeanor.