Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, new to this forum. It's a little embarrassing really to ask such a question, but its starting to hinder our relationship. The question: - Does my dog actually like me?

He's an RSPCA rescue dog, around 18 months old, and appears to be a mix of Boxer, Plummer Terrier and/or Staffie. He's a lovely fellow, with a very 'hungry' attitude to life. Loves his walks then spends a lot of the time on the couch sleeping.

My wife gets all the love off him. He follows her around the house, sits next to her on the couch and generally fawns over her when she's around. If I sit on the couch when wife is not around, he will at best sit a foot or so away from me. He certainly won't put his head on my lap like he does with my wife and daughter.

We both take him out (seperately due to comittments) and whilst we both throw balls and sticks for him, her really appreciates his walks with me a LOT more than when he goes with my wife. He gets super excited when I get the lead, less so for her. Our assumption is that this is because I tend to play more boisterously, giving him some proper 'boys time', tugging and swinging him around on his stick. He has a great time .... but then when we get home, he is back to hanging around my wife, giving me no idea of any appreciation for my efforts.

It's pretty downheartening really. Another example, I will get up in the morning and go into our lounge where the dog will be on the couch with my wife snuggling up. My wife gets up to let me on the couch and the dog will either get up with her and leave the room, OR at best, just move himself to the far end of the couch .. away from me.

I do admit to being the sterner character out of the two of us. I am the one with the louder voice when telling him off, and I'm the one who has to physically carry him upstairs to the bathroom after a muddy walk etc.

I would appreciate any ideas on this. Any other questions I can answer? I'd love to get this sorted in my head so that I don't feel left out of things, as it is definitely starting to hinder my relationship with the dog. :-(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,418 Posts
It sounds as though he likes you when he wants more active, boisterous play, but may not be fully comfortable relaxing with you since you are the louder, more active person in his life.

If I were you, I'd try to be a little calmer and quieter around him. Stop "telling him off" and start training him to do the things you want.

Who feeds him? Trains him? Who does the unpleasant stuff? You might want to try doing more of the fun things (e.g., feeding and positive reinforcement-based training) and take more of a backseat for the unpleasant stuff.

Too, some dogs simply attach themselves to certain people. My girl loves her daddy and will leave me to spend time with him, but my little boy is a total mama's boy - I even have to walk him halfway outside when my husband takes him. It's a personality thing, but not intended to be personal, if you know what I mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
How long have you had your dog for? Do you know anything about his past?

I do admit to being the sterner character out of the two of us. I am the one with the louder voice when telling him off, and I'm the one who has to physically carry him upstairs to the bathroom after a muddy walk etc.
I would think the above is putting him off you a bit.
Perhaps you could train him with positive reinforcement (reward) and show him the behaviour you want rather then tell him off .

Could you wash him off outside, some dogs prefer that to the bath .
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
295 Posts
Who feeds him? Do you ever give him yummy treats? My dog loves me to pieces, but will forsake me in an instant if we're at my parents' house and my dad is grilling steaks.

I don't think it's unusual for the dog to be more affectionate with your wife and more playful with you. It sounds like you guys have kind of established yourselves in those roles without really meaning to do it.

Your dog probably views you as a fun buddy to play with who is a bit more "intimidating" in stature, voice, and behavior than his "softer" female person. So he thoroughly enjoys the romps and exercise you provide him (VERY important), and also enjoys the quiet affection your wife provides (also VERY important).

Also, be mindful of how you're "telling him off". I'm not opposed to reprimanding a dog, but make sure it is completely devoid of any emotion. He can sense if you're getting angry, and it might make him wary of you. And there is really no reason to raise your voice too much at a dog. They pay more attention to body language than volume of voice. Oh, and the instant he responds correctly to the reprimand, pile on the praise, love, and treats. That will help.

Good luck! He likes you fine, I'm sure. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi, thanks for comments. All good stuff.

Some responses to questions: - His past? All the RSPCA told us was that he was a welfare case.He was removed from a property with his mum - who went on to another home. He is fed twice a day. First thing in the morning by my wife and last thing at night - by me, just before I put him in his crate for the night! (My wife lets him out in the morning, so maybe I am 'the jailor'?) We both give him treats as and when he has earned them. The not telling him off with emotion thing was a good call. I'm afraid I do let my emotions take hold and have shouted at him for weeing in the hall etc. Certainly not all the time, but occasisnally. Maybe that has made him wary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,418 Posts
I'd not tell him off at all.

Work on training him to do the things you want. If you want him to lie on a mat while you're eating dinner, train it. If you want him to sit politely to greet guests, train it. If you want him to walk nicely on a leash, train it.

Shouting at him can certainly make him wary. My understanding is that boxers and staffys can be sensitive to handler corrections, so that may have contributed to his reluctance to relax with you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
295 Posts
Hi, thanks for comments. All good stuff.

Some responses to questions: - His past? All the RSPCA told us was that he was a welfare case.He was removed from a property with his mum - who went on to another home. He is fed twice a day. First thing in the morning by my wife and last thing at night - by me, just before I put him in his crate for the night! (My wife lets him out in the morning, so maybe I am 'the jailor'?) We both give him treats as and when he has earned them. The not telling him off with emotion thing was a good call. I'm afraid I do let my emotions take hold and have shouted at him for weeing in the hall etc. Certainly not all the time, but occasisnally. Maybe that has made him wary?
Yeah, shouting at him could definitely make him a bit wary. I've learned the power of making the "AH-AH!!" noise to verbal warn/reprimand/correct my animals (works on horses too). It's a sound that gets their attention, but because it's not actual words, it somehow lessens the likelihood of me letting emotions enter the equation. "No!" "Stop it!" etc. might automatically let emotions in if I'm not careful.

Keep in mind though, that "AH-AH!!" is only for the actual moment that the dog is exhibiting unwanted behavior. Reprimanding a dog after the fact does absolutely no good. None. They don't know why you're yelling at them, even if there is a puddle of pee right there. They live in the moment.

Good luck to you! And hey, switch feeding times with your wife and see what that does. It might not make much of a difference, but it couldn't hurt!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Hello there,

We've had the exact same issue with our rescue dog Jax, he's so my dog it's unreal but over time has gone from being incredibly weary of my partner Lewis, to now loving him in his own way, it takes a lot of time and patience and the hardest part is to trying not to take it personally! It really upset Lewis when he tried so hard with him and yet Jax just wasn't interested but just remember he's not doing it to upset you and to be honest I think that may be part of the problem, Lewis was simply trying too hard, the best advice I could give you would be to give him some space and let him come to you, to actually stop trying so hard for a while! I know it sounds silly but it worked for Jax, I think Lewis just crowded him without meaning too and it was too much for him, couple that with a fear of men and you then have a problem. Letting Jax get to to know Lewis in his own time has made a huge difference to both of them, I'll always be Jax's person as it were but there's a little space in his heart for my partner and he's happy with that.

Also I agree on the not telling him off part, Lewis again made that mistake a few times and it really was the worst thing he could do, a dog needs to know an owner can make the right choices and react in a calm way to any given situation, this sudden change in Lewis's tone, posture, body language etc just proved to Jax that he wasn't coping too well so he automatically looked to me for reassurance which in turn strengthened our bond and distanced him from Lewis even further.

Be as much fun as you can when interacting with him, make everything a game but also give him his space at home, let him choose to come to you, treat him kindly and fairly and you should soon start to see a difference.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Oh goodness, reading this post is like reading one I made about 5 years ago here when I first got Lola. I did all the training, grooming, feeding, everything. I was a broke college student eating Ramen to pay for her vet bills (she was a sickly rescue puppy) and expensive food. Yet she still much preferred my boyfriend/now husband. He didn't even like her all that much in the beginning either!

Best I can tell you is to focus on quality time--walks, training, treats, etc. Try to be patient and have an even keeled temper him. Your dog will come around. Lola loves me dearly these days and loves spending time with me, but it was not always so.

I hope things get better for you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
I have the opposite problem. I'm my dog's sole owner, so I do everything. He loves cuddling with me and lazing around with me, but he doesn't really like playing with me or really ever get playful with me at all. But he plays with pretty much everyone he meets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Hi, thanks for comments. All good stuff.

Some responses to questions: - His past? All the RSPCA told us was that he was a welfare case.He was removed from a property with his mum - who went on to another home. He is fed twice a day. First thing in the morning by my wife and last thing at night - by me, just before I put him in his crate for the night! (My wife lets him out in the morning, so maybe I am 'the jailor'?) We both give him treats as and when he has earned them. The not telling him off with emotion thing was a good call. I'm afraid I do let my emotions take hold and have shouted at him for weeing in the hall etc. Certainly not all the time, but occasisnally. Maybe that has made him wary?
Well done for giving a home to an unwanted dog. Whats his name?
He must be feeling all over the shop and very unsettled.

I wouldnt tell him off or shout, and definitely not for weeing in the hall because he will think you are telling off for weeing and not realise its because he is weeing in the wrong place. Often dogs will avoid going to the toilet in front of their owners when they have been told off and sneak off to toilet elsewhere. Dogs communicate mainly by body language and they learn to read ours very well. If you become angry or cross and they dont know why , this can make you seem unpredictable and can make them wary of you.


Dogs dont speak English . Do you remember the TV programme Give Us a Clue , I rarely used to get it right. Its like that for dogs.
Dogs repeat what is rewarding (reinforcing)to them and avoid what they dont like , at the beginning of training , you need to reward frequently and get the timing of the reward right so they cam make the connection between the reward and the correct behaviour .

Perhaps you could have read up about positive reinforcement training .

There are a couple of books by david ryan that are worth reading

Dogs secrets and Guide and Control

http://www.dog-secrets.co.uk/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I have a similar problem- my younger dog doesn't like my dad. He interacts happily and seeks attention from everybody else when my family comes to visit, but he just tends to avoid my dad.

As a nonprofit CEO, my dad has a "large" presence in the room. He talks loudly and does that shoulder back/head up walk, he looks everybody in the eye. He is very kind and loves at the dogs, but my puppy just can't handle the overwhelmingly "dominant" energy. I think he takes some of my dad's behaviors as aggression.

So, be careful of your body language, you are always displaying subconscious messages. Also, be sure that your corrections are gentle and consistent. I think that if you had a trainer come check out the situation, they would say that you may be confusing/scaring your pup when you discipline him. Make an effort to seek out physical interaction with the dog. Go over to him and sit quietly and pet him. However, in this case it seems like your dog just seems you and your wife taking up different roles in the family: you are the "playmate" who sometimes acts unpredictably, while your wife is the "mother" who is emotionally supportive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
in this case t seems like your dog just seems you and your wife taking up different roles in the family: you are the "playmate" who sometimes acts unpredictably, while your wife is the "mother" who is emotionally supportive.

That kind of sums it up really. My wife is an earth mother, everyone loves her gentle loving matriarchal spirit, whereas I'm a little 'wacky' and fun, singing around the house, tossing my grandaughter about and generally bursting into 'fun' mode at random. Sure, I should know better - I'm 50+ after all, :D but, well, its my personality - same as my late dad's really. As is insinutated here though, maybe it's making the dog wary ala "Who IS this lunatic I'm living with - where's my mum". :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
My BF gets offended now that sometimes his dog is a bit more affectionate towards me. He sounds a bit like you, he likes to wrestle with the dogs and be high energy with them much to my annoyance.

His dog is not really affectionate, at all. Sometimes he gets excited when we come home, otherwise he does not care in the least if you are around or talking to him. Yet he started to notice that when I call Kota there is a high chance he will just stare at me and maybe wag his tail. Sometimes he will come to me. When my BF calls him most of the time he wags his tail and runs away...

When Kota does come to me I typically just verbally say hello, let him sniff my face and maybe scratch him behind the ear. My BF on the other hand wraps him up in a big bear hug, picks him up, and typically Kota falls into his lap because of his balance problems. He lick lips and is tense the entire time and my BF always says he loves it. Yet he wonders why Kota never runs from me.

Even my puppy avoids him sometimes because he does the same thing to her.

Yet both dogs love him and in truth is my BF and I were to walk in different directions and let Kota decide who to follow I'm 100% sure he would still follow my BF. Ease up on the rough play, stop with the telling him off like everyone suggested and sometimes just have calm relaxing walks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
My husband often addresses our dog with the kind of voice you'd use with a baby - soft, a bit high, and cooing. It's not difficult to do since our dog looks like a roly-poly living teddy bear. That may sound silly, but our dog seems to like it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
He is a rescue dog, maybe he has met something terrible in the past, and he didn't get over it yet. so sometimes you would feel his dislike you.

i think when you and he get along more longer, this would change.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top