7 Signs Your Dog is Mad at You

Angry cocker spaniel dog snarling his nose and showing his teeth

Oh, I see. You thought you could do no wrong in our eyes? Ha. I laugh in the face of your inflated ego. Ha. That’s me laughing again for good measure. Your dog can and will get mad at you.

Don’t be silly. Humans are super annoying.

Dogs are emotional beings and can get aggravated and even angry at their humans. Do you think you get on your dog’s nerves at times? The answer is a resounding, yes. Be on the lookout for flattened ears, excessive licking, and eye contact avoidance as these can be signs of anger from your dog.

You know you. Do you really think it’s possible to not get on our nerves from time to time?

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

1. What Are Your Dog’s Ears Doing?

This sounds like a crazy question, but a lot can be told about the emotional state a dog is in by simply looking at their ears.

Are they flat and laid back?

This is a flashing sign that you are doing something that is really annoying them. Do you remember the blog I wrote that highlighted 31 different things your dog is trying to tell you? Several times throughout that blog I pointed out mine and Callie’s ears in direct association to our emotions.

Our ears are a humans best dog hack. We just can’t hide it.


Ears down and back.


Ears down and back.


Ears down and back.

This is your dog’s go-to for showcasing uncomfortable behavior. It stems from evolutionary retraction and protection.

2. Is Your Dog Excessively Licking Their Lips for No Apparent Reason?

This is our version of running our mouth.

This is a completely different type of lick when compared to the, ‘oh, you have a peanut butter sandwich?, lick.

Totally different version. Learn your licks, humans.

When food isn’t around us, these licks I’m referring to here can mean one of two things.

Anger or distress.

I lick my lips like this when my mom starts to bug me. She really knows how to push my buttons. Oh, or when kids try to come up and hug me.

I don’t like this.

I’m out when the kids roll up.

Fun Fact: Your dog may also fake yawn in an overly aggressive and seemingly annoyed manner when they’re frustrated about a certain situation. You’ll see this displayed as a sign of anxiety as well.

3. Is Your Dog Peeing On Your Stuff?

This makes me laugh so hard. I would never. But the fact that other dogs are out there peeing on their human’s possessions is absolutely poetic.

Keep up the fight, you precious little vindictive pooches.

My heroes.

I could argue that this goes without saying, but if you crawl into bed only to find yourself basking in a puddle of your dog’s pee, then chances are, she’s pretty mad at you about something.

*Unless your dog has an underlying medical condition that would warrant an uncontrollable bladder.

Same type of thing goes for your older pup chewing a pair of your shoes into tiny unrecognizable strands.

If this is out of character, and your dog is well past that horrific puppy stage, try not to react in anger.

Easier said than done, I know.

But really try to figure out what you did to make your dog so mad that he filled your shoe with a puddle of pee just moments after he chewed the toe clean off the front.

We’re emotional – not stupid.

We don’t lash out irrationally.

There will always be a reason for this.

And chances are, it’s all your fault. 🙂

4. Is Your Dog Growling at You and Showing You His Teeth?

If this wasn’t an obvious sign…

Do you really need the psychological breakdown of why a dog showing his teeth means he may be mad at you?

You’re going to make me explain it to you, aren’t you?

When a dog is agitated, they snarl their nose, show their teeth (this is an evolutionary intimidation behavior), and growl.

In a dog’s mind, showing you (or another animal) their teeth is scary. Kind of like saying:

“Check out these super sharp razor blades. I’m not afraid to use them but this is your one warning. Take a good look and back off.

I can’t believe dogs and humans have co-existed this long and you never knew that’s what all that meant.

Now you do.

And let’s be honest – of course you already knew that. But sometimes it takes reading through other signs to finally connect the dots and perhaps even realize that something you’ve been doing is really starting to annoy your dog.

No, your dog isn’t going crazy, they’re just trying to tell you to stop doing whatever it is that you’ve been doing.

5. Is Your Dog Avoiding Eye Contact

Dogs are such stubborn creatures, but hey, so are humans.

So we’re at a impasse.

My friend Erin Askeland, a dog behavior expert and trainer goes on to back me up on this.

She says, “A dog who is happy and comfortable will likely be willing to make eye contact with his owner and seek out their attention whereas a dog who is angry or upset may avoid this type of interaction and move away from their owner, leave the room, or even sleep in a different area.”

Another sub-sign niched right under the eye contact avoidance is the visibility of the whites of your dog’s eyes.

Let me explain by highlighting the opposite.

When a dog is extremely happy and trying to please you, they will semi squint their eyes and dilate their pupils.

This makes those super cute big puppy dog eyes that makes most human’s hearts melt.

However, when they’re upset with you the opposite takes place and you can easily see the whites of their eyes.

This is because they’re annoyed, eyes are typically restricted and they have no intentions of attempting to make your heat melt in this instance.

You know, most of these are emotional queues that can be picked up on instinctively.

You don’t need cognitive research to tell you when you’re dog is mad at you.

But if you’re one of those humans who obsess over written literature and deductive reasoning, then I’ll oblige.

Keep reading.

6. Is Your Dog Refusing to ‘Sit’?

If your dog is refusing to listen to you and obey commands, then he may be mad at you.

I feel like I’m in that old Jeff Foxworthy bit where he would say, “You might be a redneck if…”, and continue to iterate some ridiculously obvious ism that we were all too scared to say, but all knew was spot on.

I’m Jeff right now.

“You might have made your dog mad if….”

…he refuses to listen to a word you have to say to him, including sit, stay, and come.

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say it. But I’m going to anyway.

If your dog is giving you the silent treatment, you’ve done something to annoy him.

You have to remember that these “out of character” behaviors are intentional on your dog’s behalf.

They’re telling you something here and you need to pay attention.

I’d say you’re already on the right track if you’re actually Googling signs your dog is mad at you, right?

I applaud you for taking the time to read this and do a deep dive into how your dog thinks, reacts to certain things, and acts based on situational circumstances.

Stay with me here, you’re almost done.

7. Is Your Dog Avoiding Your Touch?

I promise this is a dog blog and not an angry wife blog – although from reading this one, I can see where confusion could blossom.

If you’ve been a booger of a human lately and you try to reach out to pet your dog and he avoids you like a biblical plague, you’ve done something to annoy him.

Your dog may even take it as far as hiding from you. Avoidance of any kind should be accepted as puppy anger.

Dogs are notorious for being overly loving and in constant need of their human’s undivided attention.

This is a blanket character trait of dogs, regardless of breed.

Therefore, if your dog is suddenly unaccepting of your touch or company then they’re letting you know you’re in trouble and haven’t done something right.

Try to figure out what this is so you can fix it.

Bonus Sign: Your Dog is Making Strange Sounds

This behavioral sign is two-fold.

First, if your dog is making odd moaning and groaning noises while staring at you reluctantly from the couch, he’s upset with you.

Dogs obviously don’t communicate with you using recognizable words in your native human language, but they will talk to you in their own way.

Emitting noises like this are their way of telling you that you’re doing something that isn’t necessarily sitting well with them.

The second part of this can be explained as follows:

You’ll also hear odd noises come from your dog if you’ve banished them to an area of the house without you.

Let’s say you’re vacuuming the living room because you have a husky and there’s hair everywhere.

You want to get it all cleaned up before your hairy husky comes back and generates even more loose hair.

So, you put her in the bedroom.

She’s inevitably going to whine and cry because being in this room, alone, was not her decision and she needs you to know she is NOT happy about it or with you right now.


Hopefully this was helpful in understanding what it looks like when your dog is trying to show you signs that they’re really annoyed with you.

In most cases this may have been one of the most obvious posts you’ll ever read, with a dash of insider information from a dog who’s been annoyed with his human parents a time or two in his life.

We’re more like our human counterparts than most people realize. We get annoyed and we find annoying ways to let you know about it.

As always, just pay attention to us.

Don’t reciprocate with equal emotional craziness. This only intensifies the underlying issues at hand.

Instead, really try to figure out what’s bothering us.

Per usual, people, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

Related Questions

What to Do If Your Dog is Mad at You

If your dog is genuinely mad at you then stop whatever it is that you’re doing that’s making him / her mad at you.

Dogs are simple, emotionally charged beings.

Showing signs of anger, frustration, or annoyance are one of their ways of communicating with you.

Aside from stopping whatever annoying behavior your displaying towards your dog, try the following while you’re at it:

  • Try to talk to your dog in a calm, loving, and higher pitched voice.
  • Walk up to them with your hands out as a sign of apologetic submission to them.
  • Love on them.
  • Give them their favorite treat

That should do the trick.

How Do Dogs Say Sorry?

Since dogs can’t articulate an apology using words, they rely heavily on communicative signs displayed using their body language.

The way your dog says sorry is as follows:

  • Sad, droopy eyes
  • Excessive panting coupled with and overly excited tail wag
  • Nuzzling up on top of you and burying their head in your neck
  • Pawing at you incessantly
  • Wiping their face and body all over your legs

Pay attention to your dog’s apologies. They need you to recognize what they’re trying to convey to you through their actions.

Give them a hug and tell them it’s all okay!

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

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