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15 Reasons Why Your Dog Wants To Be Alone (What It Means)

Why Does My Dog Want To Be Alone

Does your dog keep isolating themselves?

Instead of staying in the same room as you, they go away. 

Doesn’t matter what you try. You can’t convince your dog to stay by your side.

You start wondering,

“Doesn’t my dog like my company anymore?”


“Is my dog depressed?” 

You’ve come to the right place.

Continue reading to find out

  • 15 reasons why your dog wants to be alone and what it means.
  • Things you can do when you notice your dog wants their solitary time.
  • What possible health issues your dogs have that lead them to keeping to themselves.
  • And much much more…

Why does my dog want to be alone (all of a sudden)?

Your dog wants to be alone all of a sudden because they feel anxious. Some canines react this way when their needs are neglected. It can also be caused by being away from you. The root of anxiety can either be: fear, old age, and separation. Underlying health issues can also be the cause.

What does it mean when your dog wants to be alone?

When your dog wants to be alone, it means they feel tired, depressed, or are bored. It can also mean that your pooch has health-related issues. Fear may cause wanting to be left alone. This could be directed towards you or a family member and they want to feel safe in their corner.

15 reasons why your dog wants to be alone (suddenly)

#1: Someone hurt them

Hurting your pooch accidentally can happen. And it makes us fur parents feel bad.

However, your pooch may not understand that you didn’t intend to hurt them.

It’s happened to all of us at least once

You may take a wrong step and hurt your fur baby’s tail or paw.

When this happened to me and my dog, Lissa, I felt so bad… I immediately started petting her. And I whispered comforting words.

It feels horrible, right?

And what happens next makes any fur parent feel worse than the actual stepping on their tail.

Our pooches may try to distance themselves from us to try and recuperate from the pain.

But after a while your dog will be okay and you’re cuddling each other again.

Especially if you have built a relationship of trust and love.

However, there may be other people in your vicinity that have hurt them on purpose.

Makes my blood boil, to be honest. Thinking about how they can hurt such a loving pooch.

But this can be just a poor reaction caused by not being educated when it comes to dogs.

Some people try to punish a dog when they do something undesirable such as:

If this is the case, it can make your dog aloof and not want to interact with people in general.

#2: They got injured

As we all know, some dogs are very outgoing and love socializing.

It can get them to places that you probably haven’t even been to. Especially if your pooch has the freedom to roam around your neighborhood.

And when they go out, you won’t know what sorts of adventures they could get into.

I wouldn’t be shocked if our pooches would be on T.V. getting interviewed for Man v.s. Wild.

Well, if they’re in it, it’d be Pooch v.s. Wild.

And because of all the adventures they’d go on, they might get injuries.

Examples of these would be:

  • Falling off ledges.
  • Stepping on glass and other sharp objects.
  • Eating things that can be poisonous to them.

Your pooch may also meet other dogs while they’re out.

And we don’t know who they’re going to see. If they interact with aggressive dogs, a fight could break out.

If this happens, your pooch might have wounds and bruises.

When you have the chance and if your pooch lets you, check their bodies.

They might have hidden injuries that need tending to.

#3: They feel sick

When dogs have health problems, some of them have the tendency to stay away from the crowd.

This includes people and animals alike. They might even hide from you.

The urge to keep their sickness to themselves is an instinct they got from their ancestors.

Dogs used to live in the wild where there are natural predators that could hurt them.

When they have sickness and injuries, it can leave them open and vulnerable.

Especially if their pack doesn’t have a lot of numbers. Or for some reason they are travelling alone.

They’re just trying to protect themselves from those who would harm them.

Even if dogs’ environments are safe now, they still show some of their ancestor’s behavior.

And because of this, they are wired to try and keep away from those who they think might hurt them.

#4: They feel anxious

Your Dog Wants To Be Alone When They're Anxious

Anxiety is common in dogs according to a study.

The paper says that more around 72.5% of dogs showed symptoms of anxiety. 

“Wow, that’s such a huge number.”

When dogs feel anxious, they sometimes withdraw and stay away from you.

The VCA describes this action as avoidance or displacement behavior which they show through:

  • Turning away.
  • Sniffing the ground.
  • Licking their genitals.

According to the AKC, the possible causes of this feeling in dogs are:

  • Fear.
  • Old age.
  • Being away from you.

I’ll discuss each in the following items.

#5: Something made them feel scared

When a canine feels fear it’s normal for some of them to leave the cause of this feeling.

It can occur when they look, hear, or interact with something suspicious to them.

Dogs are naturally curious beings. But sometimes, this curiosity can backfire.

How many times have you seen your pooch sniff on things while you’re out on a walk?

This can also be true even if you’re inside your house.

They can roam around from room to room and find interesting items.

Or maybe just chill in your yard and have an interaction with other creatures.

However, the things they can find can sometimes hurt or startle them.

Examples of these would be:

  • Insect bites.
  • Moving an object that made a loud sound.
  • Biting into something that tasted bad or caused a tummy ache.

All these can make your pooch withdraw from interaction with their surroundings.

And may push them to just stay put in their corner.

If this is the case, you should check the last place they went to.

And if you find something that could’ve caused them fear, try and remove that object.

#6: They’re already old

When your pooch is already advanced in years, they can grow to be more anxious.

It can stem from the fact that they are no longer as healthy as they once were.

And more health issues and injuries may come up.

Their senses might also be dulled down and therefore they won’t know what’s going on.

If they have a poor grasp of their surroundings, it can make them anxious.

I mean, it would make you feel this way too if you don’t know what’s around you, right?

Not being able to see, smell, hear, and feel things properly can make some dogs anxious.

And being in this late stage in their lives, they probably don’t want to do the things they enjoy.

Unlike before when they could still run and jump around, they’d prefer staying in their fave spot.

#7: Being away from you

Do you leave your pooch at home with other family members or roommates?

Especially if you’re going to a place where animals aren’t welcome, you’ve got no choice.

And a heartbreaking report from your housemates would be, “Your dog looks so sad.”

This can be a result of them getting anxious because you’re not there. 

And it’s totally okay if you leave home every once in a while.

I mean, we have lives outside our home.

Sometimes we’ve got personal emergencies or work stuff we need to take care of.

This is normal for us fur parents.

But during times like these, your fur baby could feel anxious.

When your pooch is surrounded by people they don’t trust, it can scare them.

Sometimes, they might even get aggressive when someone unfamiliar to them approaches.

Your fur baby could even do the following:

  • Bite.
  • Snarl.
  • Show their teeth.
  • Growl at a low register.

All these are signs that they’re getting aggressive.

Being alone keeps them away from the stress of having strangers around.

Or maybe your pooch knows them but they don’t have a relationship with them.

And that’s why they want to be left alone for a while.

#8: They feel bored

Most dogs are active creatures.

They can sometimes be fountains of unlimited energy. It’s like they have D Type Duracells in their brains and can run for hours.

That’s why if they have nothing to do, it can bum them out and want to be left alone.

I mean, have you ever had days that you’ve got nothing to do?

Like long weekends with no plans with friends or family?

There are days when we just don’t want interaction, right?

This can be the same for dogs – boredom led them to lounging around doing nothing.

They might also do this because you’re busy during their designated playtime hours.

Dogs are creatures of routine and they remember what activities you usually do at a certain time.

If you don’t engage in their invitation to play, they sometimes just wallow in a corner.

And they’d want to be left alone by other people.

#9: They feel tired

Dogs with all their energy and limitless crazy adventures can get tired, too.

Have you recently gone out on a run or exercise longer than usual? Then this might be why they want to be left alone.

Increasing the intensity of their activity can also cause them to be tired at the end of it.

Even if the amount of their exercise is well within their limits, they’d still want to recharge.

One of the ways they do this is going into a place with no crowd and sleep.

Or maybe they’d just sit around minding their own business. When your pooch are feeling this way, it’s pretty normal that they wouldn’t want you to disturb them.

They could crawl into a space where no one can try and play games with them.

It could be either of these places:

  • Under the couch.
  • Inside an empty room.
  • A corner in the house nobody goes to.

These locations are also good for when they don’t want to interact with other pets.

#10: They don’t trust the people you’re with

Imagine this: you invite your friends over to your home.

Probably for a party or just a simple get together with them.

When they start to arrive, your pooch most likely will be overwhelmed by the people.

Especially if they’re not used to being in a crowd.

And since most dogs don’t want to be around people they don’t trust, they go away and hide.

Has this ever happened to you?

It doesn’t even have to be friends who’d go to your house.

It could be family members and people you love most but still they display this behavior.

And because of this, they have the tendency to just leave the area and go somewhere quiet.

#11: They smell another dog on you

Us fur parents cannot resist petting other dogs when we go out.

Well, provided that their dog parent gives us the go to rub them and give them.

Maybe dogs even come up to you – some fur parents are canine magnets!

You might even go to a dog-friendly cafe and have the scent of another dog cling on you.

To us humans, this wouldn’t be such a big deal.

We might even barely smell the pheromones that have attached to us when we interact with dogs.

But dogs on the other hand… nuh-uh… they will know if you’ve been “around.”

Some of them might even get jealous and sulk because you’ve pet other pooches.

Cute, right?

Dogs will be able to smell other dogs on you because of their amazing sense of smell.

Especially those who were bred for hunting and scent-tracing such as:

  • Beagle.
  • Malinois.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Coonhound.
  • German Shepherd.
  • Labrador Retriever.

If they can track criminals from miles away, they can smell another dog’s scent on you.

Canines even have the capability to smell Covid-19 in humans according to research.

And their hit rate is somewhere between 75% – 100% per dog.

Impressive, right?

#12: They want to go potty

Some dogs want to be left alone if they’re going to relieve themselves.

It’s such a private thing to do and that’s one of the reasons why they prefer doing it with no one around.

Dogs are also in a vulnerable state when they’re pooping.

They will be focusing on one activity that they won’t be able to look back on and see potential danger.

It’s like when dogs are eating – they don’t like it when someone touches them.

Well, you could attribute it to resource guarding… but they get startled too if you go near them.

When it comes to pooping, you’ll notice that your pooch will go to a certain spot in your house.

Hopefully you’ve potty trained them to do it outside.

Or maybe in their litter box if you’ve got one.

If you don’t, the Pet Mate Arm & Hammer Large Sifting Litter Pan is an option to consider.

#13: You trained them to do this

One of the most common reasons why dogs do something is because it’s reinforced in them.

And it might even be an accident. I mean, in this case, you most likely did it unintentionally.

Who would want their dog to stay away from them, right?

I know you’d want your pooch to be around you for most of the time. If not even all the time.

Well, maybe except for when you’re busy.

I get it. I’m with you. We lead busy lives and sometimes our pooches can get in the way.

Online meetings, errands, and other activities that might be hindered if there’s a dog nearby.

Just look at these pooches trying to get their fur parents’ attention:

Such cutiepies!

But when this happens too often, sometimes dogs might think you don’t want to do anything with them.

And probably have given them rewards when they stay put and not “disturb” you.

“I definitely didn’t give them rewards.”

Well, maybe not on purpose…

When you give kind words, pets, and rubs to your dogs after they do a behavior, they’ll repeat it.

For example, when you give a treat to a dog who went into a corner and sat patiently, that’s rewarding.

 Your fur baby will then remember the action and do it again, expecting treats.

Do dogs like to be alone sometimes?

Dogs like to be alone sometimes especially if they feel emotionally down. Another reason why they go into solitude is because they have health issues. If your pooch is also tired from exercise, it can make them want to be alone.

3 signs a dog wants to be left alone

#1: They growl when you touch them

This is one good sign that your dog wants to be left alone.

They’re not being aggressive per se, but they might bite you if you still continue to touch them.

Best thing to do is to just let them be alone for a while.

As long as you’re sure that they don’t have any wounds or health issues.

Growling and snarling can also happen if they are eating or playing with their toys.

As mentioned earlier this can be attributed to resource guarding.

This research paper clarifies the definition of this term.

It’s when dogs are using avoidance and threats to protect food and non food things.

Especially when a person or another animal is around.

And true enough, most dogs do want to be alone when they’re eating.

This kind of behavior will most likely come out if you have an adopted fur baby.

They’re not used to having people around that they can trust.

And because of this, your pooch will always be wary and on the lookout for threats.

Including you – since you might be someone who would take their toy or food away.

#2: Your pooch is hiding from you

Another good sign that your dog wants some alone time is that they physically stay away.

Your pooch does this by going into places you normally don’t go.

They probably don’t want to interact with you yet and want to recharge their energy battery.

If they are prone to hiding, try and make sure that the usual places they hide are clean.

Keeping their fave spots free from dust is important so they stay healthy.

Since these places would likely be ignored when cleaning, it can be a spot for ticks.

If your pooch is exposed to this, they might have complications in their skin.

According to the AKC, here are possible diseases that can be caused by ticks:

  • Bartonella.
  • Anaplasma.
  • Lyme Disease.
  • Canine Ehrlichiosis.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

You may not be able to change your dog’s mind in wanting to be alone.

But at least you can give them a good spot to hide when they do.

#3: Your pooch wants to leave home without you

Have you ever noticed that your dog randomly scratches the door?

As if they’re saying, “Let me out, please, hooman.”

When they do this, it can be a sign that they have been feeling overwhelmed with your presence.

Especially if you’ve been home for a long time and have been doing activities with them.

It’s not that your dog doesn’t want to be with you. They do.

Just not all the time.

People also ask:

What do dogs do when they want to be alone?

Dogs try to move away from you if they want to be alone. They sometimes growl or snarl if someone tries to touch them. Your dog will also go out on their own if they need some alone time.

Why does my old dog want to be alone?

Your old dog wants to be alone because they probably have health issues. Joint pains and stomach problems are common for older dogs. Your canine may also be feeling anxious because of old age. This is caused by not being able to feel their surroundings properly.

Why does my dog want to be alone at night?

Your dog wants to be alone at night because they are trying to get a good night’s sleep. Being constantly around people, might disturb them and hinder their much-needed rest. Extreme fatigue can be caused by too much exercise or exposure to heat for a long time.