My family dog is too attached to me

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My family dog is too attached to me

This is a discussion on My family dog is too attached to me within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi everyone! So my family and I (me, my mom, my dad, and my sister) have a 3 year old golden retriever named Oliver. I'm ...

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Old 07-17-2019, 09:18 PM
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My family dog is too attached to me

Hi everyone!

So my family and I (me, my mom, my dad, and my sister) have a 3 year old golden retriever named Oliver.
I'm a college student so I'm not at home for 9 months of the year and this wasnt a problem when I came home last summer, but ever since I got home in May this year our dog has been obsessed with me.

We thought it was just because I had been gone for a while but now I've been home for over 2 months and it's just gotten worse.

When other members of my family call him he actually runs away from them towards me, and at night he's started refusing to go to sleep in his crate (which he normally loves) if he can see me or knows I'm in my room.

It's gotten pretty bad, and both of my parents are starting to get annoyed with him not listening to them. And I'm worried about how he's going to do when I go back to college in a month!

I really don't have any idea what to do to change his behavior so I would really appreciate any
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:20 PM
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For some more context : we got out dog as a puppy from a family friend who breeds golden retrievers so he's never had any other owners.

And to clarify, we've had him for 3 years and him being so attached to me to the point that he ignores other members of my family when they're trying to take him for a walk or something has only been an issue for the past 2 months now but never before then.
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Old 07-18-2019, 06:42 AM
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This could be a kind of dominant behaviour that is usually called "claiming" or "guarding".

Google that and see if what you read rings a bell
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:09 PM
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It sounds to me that since you disappeared for a long time and he didn't know what happened to you, he's now worried that you'll disappear again and he doesn't want to let that happen so he's keeping an eye on you. That's a sad scenario.

Since you only have a month until you're gone again, take action now to get him used to sleeping in other areas on occasion and work your way to something more frequent. But don't stress him out over it. Try to make it something that he thinks is his idea. Maybe if you're the one feeding him you should have other family members feed him. Other family members should interact with him more. Play with him, give belly rubs, treats, etc. He needs to get from others what he's currently getting from you. Attention, love, cuddles, etc.

You could also try talking to him on a video call and get him used to seeing you that way. Call him while you're right there in the room so he knows you're the one that's talking to him. Use the biggest screen possible so he can see you as well as hear you. I'd do that as much as you can between now and when you have to leave. That way when you're away again you can still call him up to reassure him that you're still around. I feel bad for dogs when their people leave. The dogs don't know what's going on, they're just missing their person and they have no idea why they're no longer around. Some dogs get very depressed over that. Think of it from his point of view. You're part of his family and he clearly loves you...then one day you're just gone and you don't come back for a very long time.

Be inventive and do what you can to reassure him that you're still around.

It would be good to leave something of yours with him. Something that smells like you. It'll be comforting for him. And then, take the extra step to send him something with your scent on it every month or so, so the scent stays fresh. I think it'll help him at least to some degree.

Last edited by DogFaming; 07-19-2019 at 01:12 PM.
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