You’ve surely seen movies in which dogs do heroic actions to protect their owners. It’s impressive.
Then there’s your dog. They’re the exact opposite.
Instead of protecting you from potential danger, your canine buddy just sits there and looks at you.
“Why won’t they protect me?”
Read on to discover:
- What breed has to do with a dog being protective or not.
- Serious causes that limit your pooch’s protective instincts.
- 13 surprising reasons why your dog ignores threats and doesn’t protect you.
- The mistakes you did that made them become oblivious to dangerous situations.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
Why is my dog not protective?
Your dog is not protective because they are not trained to be or they don’t see any threat. It can also be because they were socialized a lot as puppies, abused, or fear something. Other reasons include breed, disease, sadness, boredom, change in diet, obesity, weather or because they are fixed.
13 reasons why your dog is not protective
A lot of dog parents start socializing their fur babies early. This is so they can be comfortable around other people and animals.
After all, socialization has a lot of benefits. A study revealed that it has a direct impact on the behavior of dogs as adults.
And the results showed that:
- Proper socialization can help prevent problems like fearfulness.
- Socialized puppies engage better in positive behaviors with people.
- They can play games with humans compared to dogs without proper socialization.
- Puppies who are well socialized show less behavioral problems when they reach adulthood.
If you socialized your puppy a lot, they can turn into social butterflies and make friends with everyone.
They will not jump to protect you, even though an attacker is near. Instead, they might jump on the suspect to play.
#2: Not trained to protect
It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect. They are even inclined to protect newborn babies.
Plus, research suggests that dogs care about people and will try to rescue those who are in distress.
However, dogs can be different from each other as night and day. Some dogs are trained to protect while others are not.
And if your dog is not trained to do so, it is quite understandable if they don’t jump at every potential threat that comes your way.
Sickness can make you weak.
And when you are weak, chances are you won’t be able to get up and fight. You might not want to do it, too, even if life depends on it.
This is what sickness does to dogs, as well.
If a threat is present and your pooch is not moving to address it, it can be because they are ill. They don’t have the energy and the will to protect you and themselves, even if they want to.
And this is especially true if your furry pal was protective of you before.
This is why it is important to know whether your dog is sick and consult the vet, immediately.
Here are some of the most common dog diseases according to ASPCA:
- Kennel cough.
#4: Sadness or depression
Sadness and depression make people think that dogs are lazy.
However, dogs can get sad and depressed just like people. A study even said that dogs show the same kinds of symptoms as that of depressed people.
- Change in eating and sleeping habits.
- Not participating in things previously enjoyed (apathy).
A visit to the vet is due when these symptoms are present. Your fur baby will not want to act chivalrous in front of danger when they feel this way.
Instead, they will not be protective of you and appear indifferent.
The American Kennel Club says dogs do get bored. And when they do, it can lead to behavioral problems.
Some dogs can get quite active and even destructive because of boredom. This is how they find ways to entertain themselves.
However, some canines prefer to nap and laze around when they have nothing better to do. This is indicative of a lack of exercise and playtime.
And for this reason, your dog will also act lazy even in the face of potential danger.
#6: Change in diet
Suddenly changing your dog’s diet and eating pattern brings a lot of changes. And behavioral changes also come with this.
According to PetMD, the ingredients in dog food has a correlation with the behavior of canines.
Taking away certain components from their meals, such as fatty acid DHA, can result to:
- Becoming less trainable.
- Lesser attributes of agility.
- Decrease in mental acuity.
- Increased risk for cognitive decline.
Dogs will even fail to recognize family members when their diet lacks antioxidants.
When this kind of change in diet is experienced, your dog may not be able to recognize the need to protect you.
Or they can be weak with malnutrition and won’t have the energy to do so.
Visit the vet as soon as possible when you notice these signs.
Dogs as round as balls may be cuddly and cute.
But that’s where the good thing ends.
VCA Hospitals says excess fat negatively impacts a dog’s health and longevity. They are prone to serious diseases, which include many types of cancer and heart problems.
And it is pretty clear how the unbearable weight of obesity can limit one’s movement.
When your dog can’t even carry their own weight, how can you expect them to protect you?
#8: Hot weather
“What does the weather have to do with my dog not being protective of me?”
It can be puzzling indeed.
But try to relate the discomfort that dogs feel during hot weather and their level of activity.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs have more trouble breathing in hot weather. And they can easily suffer from heat exhaustion.
The heat can make your dog less active. And you will observe them as unwilling to play or participate in other activities.
This can explain why your dog appears to not be protective of you.
#9: Dog breed
Dog breeds are classified in 7 major groups. These are:
And dogs that make great guard dogs usually come from the terrier, hound and working groups. These dogs are known to be protective of their owners.
But when your dog belongs to the toy, herding, sporting and non-sporting group, it is more likely that their protective instincts are not very strong. Which is why they don’t protect you at all.
It becomes easy to understand why some dogs are more protective than others.
Your furry pal cowers and hides during a firework display.
They shake and cling to you when bigger dogs are present.
They bark and whine when a tall person with a big hat appears.
So, you wonder… “Is my fur baby afraid?”
Researchers believe that a dog’s mind is like that of a 2 to 2 ½-year-old child. This means that your pooch has some mental abilities and is able to feel different emotions.
And fear is one of them.
When your dog is afraid, they are likely to exhibit the following behaviors:
- Being less active.
This can be the reason why your dog starts to run away and hide when something threatening comes along.
As much as we love our fur babies and shower them with affection, there are some owners who can be abusive.
And why would dogs be protective of someone who abuses them?
Understandably, when dogs experience this kind of negativity, they become submissive.
Here, OVRS lists the subtle signs of abuse:
- Overly submissive.
- Separation anxiety.
- Unexplained fractures.
- Tail-tucking or flinching.
- Avoiding physical contact.
- Changes in texture or loss of fur.
- Whining or crying when approached.
- Attempting to nip or scratch when petted.
- Lunging or attempting to attack when approached.
- Avoiding eye contact, ears back, excessive panting.
Unfortunately, even when someone better already adopted an abused dog, it can still take a long time for them to get over the abuse. They won’t be protective of you for a while.
#12: No threat is perceived
When dogs think that you are with friends or someone familiar, they will see no need to protect you.
Imagine an estranged husband trying to hurt his ex-wife. Even with the dog around, they will think nothing of it since they know the attacker.
They might even be excited to see him and think: “Hey! It’s daddy!”
Additionally, this behavior can stem from your pooch seeing you around many people. It can be during walks or when you go out for exercise.
#13: Spaying or neutering
Getting your dog fixed will have an effect on their behavior. This includes their inclination to protect you.
We know that the main purpose of spaying and neutering is to stop unwanted reproduction. But there are behavioral effects that can be beneficial, too.
However, this study revealed the negative effects of the process.
- Fear and anxiety.
- Increased aggression.
- Decrease in trainability.
- Decrease in responsiveness to cues.
Yes, it includes fear.
Thus, your fur pal may not want to protect you when danger presents itself because of this reason.