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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is silly, but it makes me feel bad sometimes. He's almost a year now, and I can count on one hand the times he's gotten that really happy, joyful, relaxed look when interacting with me. Nowadays he never gets it with me.

But whenever he meets someone new, he gets it. Anyone new at all. It's so sweet and adorable!

Why can't he look at me like that?

It's not just the smiling. He doesn't really ever want to play with me. But he plays with pretty much everyone else in the world. With me he just wants to cuddle and go on walks - nothing else, really.

Somehow our relationship has developed without a sweet, fun, playful spirit. I feel like I'm the mean, disciplinarian mom.
 

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Yup very similar to problems I have with my rat terrier Chase. He would actively avoid me before, though that has almost stopped. As a few people said it might, getting a second dog made a HUGE improvement in our bond. Rather than becoming jealous, he immediately took on the role of 'big brother' and enjoys 'assisting' me in teaching Unna (though often I don't want his "help" lol which consists of loud snarls at her when she acts out). His confidence has dramatically improved now that he is always 'the good one'.

Before we got puppy, I just practiced not being Chase's owner, if that makes any sense. I let my partner do everything with him and I just randomly gave him treats. I stopped trying to call him to me, or touch him, and just gave high value treats randomly like bits of cheese and turkey. After a week he was coming to see me with a wiggly bum when I got home from work rather than curling into a tiny ball on the couch and shaking like a leaf.

So maybe for a few days just try stop asking things of him and just play, give treats, and be very chill.

I get jealous too when my dogs go bananas over strangers - its always women - women can turn on that sugar-sweet baby voice that makes dogs melt. I sound like Eeyore the donkey. My sweet baby voice makes dogs give that whale-eye look like "stop being weird and fake". I've just learned to accept it but I admit it still bothers me sometimes so I totally empathize with you and know what you mean, its bothersome when you try your best with your dog and then then act like they want to go home with the first person who flashes a smile. Its cause strangers are just a source of pets and treats and sweet voices.
Anyway not sure what advice to give really, except maybe spend a few days or a week just being your dogs friend rather than parent, have someone else do the things he may not like very much for a bit if possible. Its working for me. But Chase is very sensitive. Some dogs might take that as an excuse to becoming controlling and crazy, I dunno.

But I totally know what you mean here! I got really depressed about my relationship with Chase and thought it was hopeless but just forcing myself to relax with him and loosen the reigns has really helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks @Terriermon.

I'm actually a single woman who lives alone with him, so there is no other person to "take charge" and be the disciplinarian. My family visits but they know nothing about dogs so I have to be the one in charge, still.

He really actually hates the sort of sugar sweet baby voice you speak of - if someone tries it on him he turns and walks away, lol, which is good because I'm not the sort to use that voice on him.
 

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It could simply be his personality. I had to learn to except the fact that Zody is never going to be the type of dog that act overjoyed when I come home. I had to except that he's not going to act thrilled when I get out his gear to take him for a walk. He never goes crazy when I get a treat or fix his food. It took me a very long time to except that about him. The two dogs I had before him would get super excited when any of that happened. I'd be met with the dance of joy and two talking dogs when I came home, they'd be so overjoyed to go on walks, and treats or meals were met with dances of delight. Zody is there polar opposite.

Now when Zody sees people he knows on his walks those people are met with expressions of delight. When he sees my friend who raised him (she gave him to me) he goes crazy he's so happy. With me it's a rare occurrence, his attitude when he sees me is more of "Oh, hi I'm glad your home, nice to see you", rather then..."YES!!!! YOU CAME BACK!! OH I"VE MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!!!"

It took me forever to except that it's just the way he is. That he loves me with all his doggy heart, he's just a more chill, laid back, dog. He shows how much he loves me in other ways, like always wanting to come with and staying with me even when he does love the other person.
 

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wants to cuddle and go on walks - nothing else, really.
Hah, I think that is a nice thing, really...especially the cuddles :) I have the opposite issue in which our adolescent is bursting with energy and all he wants to do is play, play, play...even after a 6 mile walk or a running session, we come back home, he rests a bit then is all ready to go again (tug, flirt pole, chase games...omg, sometimes, we're just pooped).

About your dog showing more attention to strangers...I wouldn't think much about it, as strangers are 'different and new' and can obviously be more exciting, especially to a young dog. When our pup was younger, any person looking at him and talking to him in an excited voice, would send him over the edge. He's getting better now, but still has those moments.
 
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