16 Things Only People Who Have Been Rejected By A Dog Understand

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 13, 2016

You’ve been more than patient, biding your time hoping that little fluffer you’ve had your eye on will come around…but to no avail. He hasn’t warmed up to you. You’ve tried every tactic you know, but your thirsty attempts to win him over only make him push you away further.

“Don’t look at me.”

For those of you who have extended your heart to a pup, only to have it handed back to you in shredded pieces, here are 16 things you’ll probably understand a bit too well.

1. How lonely it feels to watch a puppy pile you can’t get in on.

teritorial giphy

OMG it’s like middle school all over again! But this time, instead of not getting invited to Rebecca’s pool party (I heard they played Spin the Bottle and her mom made guacamole!) you’re left sitting alone on the couch pondering what it’d be like to kiss cute Steven… err, I mean, what it’d be like to hug up on that beautiful shepherd mix. Sure you could try to muscle your way into the dogpile, but TBH that would take this situation from sad to seriously tragic. C’mon, you know you’re not wanted there.

2. You’ve learned to recognize a dog by his profile or the back of his neck rather than his face.


At this point, you’re used to getting the cold furry shoulder from the dog of your dreams, but that doesn’t make it sting any less. If you close your eyes and try to picture the pup who rejected you, what do you see? Chances are the image that comes to mind isn’t a smiling lil snout, but a side view of a pensive pooch doing his best to act as if you don’t exist.

3. The sore throat that comes with baby-talking at a dog for an exorbitant amount of time, before you’ve realized it’s a hopeless cause. 


You were only trying to make the pupper feel comfortable and show him that he could trust you, but after 45 minutes of this you sound like a crazy person and your voice is going hoarse. Plus now ya gotta make a trip to the drugstore for a few honey-lemon Ricolas.


4. Feeling both mentally and physically exhausted after contorting your bod/jumping up and down/running in circles to get the pup’s attention, but failing. 

You’re all like:
And he’s all like:

6. That there are multiple places for a dog to hide in every room.

When a dog doesn’t want to be around you, he will do everything in his power to get as far away as humanly doggly possible. He might squeeze himself under the couch, hide behind a curtain, or even use another human being as a shield. You try your best to keep a strong face, but yowza that hurts.

7. Sharing the same genes as someone the dog loves doesn’t necessarily mean he will love you.


Let’s say the dog you’re eyeing loves your dad. That doesn’t mean he’s going to automatically enjoy your company just because half of your genes are your dad’s genes. In fact, forcing yourself between your father and the dog when the dog is “just not that into you” will most likely breed resentment.

8. Attempting to change yourself to make the dog like you.

1If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Maybe if I smelled like chicken liver he’d let me hug him?” — you’ve definitely been rejected by a dog somewhere down the line. You may think it’s a good idea to change who you are to win the affections of a fluffer, but trust me… it doesn’t work. It will only send you deeper into your dog-rejection despair (and honestly make you look a little desperate).

9. You’ve tried multiple times to bribe the pup who rejected you into your loving arms via toys and other material goods… to no avail. 

This t-shirt is fun but no I still don't like you.
This t-shirt is fun, but no I still don’t like you.

It takes time to realize you can buy a pooch all the chew toys, squeakers, t-shirts, booties, and trinkets in the world, but it won’t win you his respect and adoration. Sure he might accept all the material stuff, but that doesn’t mean he will accept you. In fact, he’s probably sittin’ on top of his mountain of treasures (paid for on your dime), laughing at the fact that you’re still sitting alone in the corner.

10. Acting out for even the teensiest bit of attention.

2 giphy

So, you think you’ll try to engineer some drama to possibly shake things up and get that pooch interested in all you have to offer. Surely he’ll pay attention to you if you’re in danger, and need a helping paw? NOPE. People who’ve been rejected by a dog know that said dog could not care less if you’ve “fallen and can’t get back up”. He’ll just continue on his merry way.

11. Being left behind with a handful of treats.


I once tried to give a friend’s dog a little nibble of chicken (the friend said it was okay!) thinking the pup would be over the moon about this special little morsel. Not only did the dog run in the opposite direction, I (a vegetarian) was left holding a juicy piece of chicken in my fingers. I touch meat for no one other than dogs. It was a very sad day.

12. Asking your therapist “Why do I need the attention of this dog to feel validated?”


If you’re a dog lover who has been rejected by a pooch, chances are you can’t just shrug that off. You feel the need to figure out why doesn’t he want you? Are you even worthy of love? Why do you think you need this dog’s affection to feel validated? These are all reasonable questions. A therapist (or perhaps a little theraputic journaling) is often the only place you know to turn when these queries arise.

13. That sometimes it’s okay to be angry/upset with a dog, even when they’re technically not doing anything wrong…


You gotta look out for yourself, protect your heart, and accept that sometimes a dog won’t like you. Thanks to all your therapy sessions, you’ve come to realize that it is A-OK to feel hurt and upset with a dog, even if that really goes against everything you stand for as a human being.

14. But still you don’t resent the dog and would totally accept love from him at the drop of a hat at any point he so chooses, even if it only lasts for like three seconds, you know?


Sure you might feel like a yo-yo, but hey! You’ll take what you can get — and of course you’ll try to document the momentous occasion should it ever arise.

15. The embarrassment that comes with having a pup reject you after you’ve bragged to your friends that you’re a dog whisperer. 


You told your friends your dog skills could put Cesar Milan out of business. You told your friends you’d never met a dog that doesn’t take to you immediately. You told your friends you couldn’t wait to make friends with the dog at this party, but when you roll in, the dog runs in the opposite direction and sticks his head in a bush. Oof, sorry.

16. The need to pick yourself up and move on…

dog love giphy

Sometimes when you’re feeling rejected, it’s hard to remember that there are plenty of floofs in the sea. Those of us who have unrequitedly pined after a canine know that there comes a time when we must ultimately pick ourselves up and get back out there. We may not ever fully forget the pooch who got away, but we can certainly chill with lots of other loving doggies and live a happy, slobber filled life!

Featured image via @liddy_millar

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 13, 2016

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