my dog dislikes my husband

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my dog dislikes my husband

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Old 09-20-2011, 07:11 PM
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my dog dislikes my husband

we adopted a 3 yr old shih tzu 3 months ago and he , Max, has bonded with me 100%. He still doesnt like hubby though. We have tried everything from my hubby ignoring him, to sitting on the floor, giving of treats...but still Max doesnt like him. Max will walk on leash with hubby if I am along. If I dont go and try to get Max to go with hubby, then hubby has to almost drag Max down the street. After the walks, hubby throws a tennis ball and Max will run and get it bring it back, play with my hubby, but then we go back inside and Max stays away from him.

Hubby takes him out to pee in the morning and Max goes but then acts like he doesnt like him once back inside,...avoids him. Hubby feeds him about half the time ( his hours dont allow him to be home for feeding all the time). If my hubby walks into the family room, Max will walk to opposite side of room until hubby sits down, then he will go back to where he was laying. Max does act a bit possesive of me and if he demonstrates any growling or agressive behaviour towards my hubby, he dominates Max, to show him who the boss is, so to speak.

We are just out of ideas. Could it be that Max has 'man' issues?? Or are shih tzu and other small dogs prone to be 'one owner' dogs.? My hubby just wants Max to like him!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisiMarie View Post
we adopted a 3 yr old shih tzu 3 months ago and he , Max, has bonded with me 100%. He still doesnt like hubby though. We have tried everything from my hubby ignoring him, to sitting on the floor, giving of treats...but still Max doesnt like him. Max will walk on leash with hubby if I am along. If I dont go and try to get Max to go with hubby, then hubby has to almost drag Max down the street. After the walks, hubby throws a tennis ball and Max will run and get it bring it back, play with my hubby, but then we go back inside and Max stays away from him.

Hubby takes him out to pee in the morning and Max goes but then acts like he doesnt like him once back inside,...avoids him. Hubby feeds him about half the time ( his hours dont allow him to be home for feeding all the time). If my hubby walks into the family room, Max will walk to opposite side of room until hubby sits down, then he will go back to where he was laying. Max does act a bit possesive of me and if he demonstrates any growling or agressive behaviour towards my hubby, he dominates Max, to show him who the boss is, so to speak.

We are just out of ideas. Could it be that Max has 'man' issues?? Or are shih tzu and other small dogs prone to be 'one owner' dogs.? My hubby just wants Max to like him!

What do you mean by dominate him?

Your situation sounds similar to mine when we adopted Emma. She was clearly abused and had a fear of all men, not just my husband. She used to refuse to go outside with him, or eat when he was around. It took her some time to get used to him, but she eventually did. He never tried to "dominate" her or anything. He would just be with her if that makes sense. Eventually she got comfortable with his presence and would want him to pet her. It simply takes time for them to get used to their surroundings. Emma still doesn't 100% LOVE my husband. Of course she loves to see him come home from work, and she likes to sit with him from time to time. But, ultimately she's my dog. That may just be the way your dog is. BUT, if the dog continues resource guarding (guarding you) I would consult a trainer or behaviorist. There is a sticky about resource guarding, I suggest you read it.

Good luck!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:30 PM
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It's very likely the part where hubby "dominates" him to show him who's boss that drives the perceived dislike.

Your hubby doesn't need to "dominate" or "show who's boss".

Check out this link: http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior...fication-7511/

It talks about resource guarding which may be what your dog is doing. I'm dealing with similar issues between my two dogs right now, so I'm no expert, but I'm learning a LOT from a book called "Mine! A practical guide to resource guarding" by Jean Donaldson. Great book to check out. (available on your kindle if you have one)

In the short term, probably best to stop dominating the dog. This is scary and unpredictable for the dog, which only adds or confirms his suspicions about your husband. I'm sure someone else will chime in with some more tips and experience - this is just mine.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:39 PM
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By dominate, I mean he gently turns him on his back and rubs his tummy so that Max is in a submissive position. We learned that back when we had a german shephard many years ago, who was very aggressive. So when Max grumbles at hubby, he places him in submissive position, while petting and talking softly to him.
How long did it take for your dog to want your hubby to pet him? We had dogs in the past, albiet not a rescued one, that loved us both and wagged their tags when they saw either of us. Its kinda sad that Max wont let my hubby love him! We've only had him 3 months but in that time he has grown very attached to me. I am like his security blanket it seems. I wish there was something definitive that we could do.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:44 PM
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I will look for that book.
I will tell hubby to not dominate any more. But what do you when your dog growls at your hubby just because he comes near you? The grumbling seems to only happen when Max is laying in my big oversized chair with me at my side....maybe half of the time.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:13 PM
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I read the link about resource guarding. Max doesnt show any of those signs towards any toys or things. The only time he shows any actual 'bad' behavior is when he growls at my husband, and that is rare, and usually when Max is sitting in my chair with me and hubby walks over and leans in to kiss me goodnight or the like...so in doing that, it does appear that he is being protective of me. But otherwise he never shows signs of possesiveness towards me, only signs of fear toward my hubby. I dont like him growling at my hubby as much as my hubby doesnt like it. We've never had a dog act like this toward one of us. I guess all hubby can do is keep trying! Any other suggestions? I may have to ask a behaviorist about this behavior and how to correct it because nothing seems to be working. Maybe with more time things will improve. You would think that after 3 months Max would see that hubby is nothing but a good person...not someone to fear or avoid. Also, in the 3 months we've had him, hubby has only dominated him maybe 3 times, so its not like an ongoing action on hubbys part. But I will have him stop doing that. What do I do when he does growl?
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:15 PM
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My guess would be he's doing this b/c he's insecure. I'm in no way prepared to give step-by-step instructions how to handle the situation, but I would start with hubby giving treats during the half-time that max doesn't guard you. This may start to provide reassurance, rather than fear. Keep in mind, max's growling is him saying "I'm really uncomfortable with this situation and am warning you about that discomfort". If you told somebody that and then they proceeded to manhandle you and turn you upside down, you probably wouldn't like that either. Not implying that hubby is rough or anything less than gentle, but it's still an unwanted interaction at that point. Somewhere (can't look, as I'm on my phone), there's a sticky on books and in there's the name of a book about calming signals...recommend this as well, as you may be able to learn more about when your pup is trying to tell you he's uncomfortable.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:23 PM
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Thank you so much for your input!
I have to say that Max is doing better now, than he did a cople months ago , so there has been a teeny tiny bit of improvement. Earlier on, maybe after the first few weeks after we got him, we were having hubby keep treats in his hand, so when he walked into a room that Max was in, he would drop the treat in front of Max, in order to try to get Max to associate a good thing with my hubbys presence. Like I said we have tried all sorts of things ! I will look for that sticky on calming....
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:35 PM
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Have your husband take over the care and feeding. Don't give him any food or treats at all, just your husband. He will learn to depend on him. It happened very quickly with my dogs. They paid very little attention to my husband until he took over the feeding and now have bonded to him. He became top dog by being the food guy.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:42 PM
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I will try this suggestion as well. Thank you. Hubbys work schedule doesnt permit his being totally in charge of the feeding but I will have him do it as often as is feasible. I will refrain from handing out treats...and only give praising. I will try everything and anything at this point.
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