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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just adopted my puppy (Piper) from the animal shelter a little over a week ago. She is said to be about 12 weeks old. The first few days I had her she kept to herself and didn't really want to play with me, despite my best efforts. She ignored me and my boyfriend and didn't really seem interested in interacting with us. But now I've started to notice that she loves my boyfriend. She always wants to play with him, follows him around and her tail is always wagging when she sees him. I also noticed that she is like this toward other people as well because she was very sweet to the vet.

She seems to like everyone except me and I can't figure out why. I am the one who feeds her, walks her, trains her, etc. I try to play with her as much as she wants, but she doesn't seem interested in me. She tends to tuck her tail under her legs when she interacts with me. If I sit on the ground and call her she just stares at me. If anyone else does she immediately goes running toward them. I don't know why she doesn't like me. I give her lots of treats and only use positive reinforcement during training. I've never had a dog (especially a puppy ) who just didn't like me.

What can I do?! It's breaking my heart.
 

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First, I'd be really happy to see that she likes and bonds to other people. That's a great sign! I'd be much more worried about a puppy who was shut down and not responding to anyone. This sounds like a temporary glitch, although I understand that it feels a lot more heartbreaking than that.

Second, I don't know why your puppy finds interacting with you more stressful than with your boyfriend. If I were there and could actually watch, maybe I'd notice something...so it might be worth looking for a nice trainer to work with for a bit, to get the help of another pair of eyes!

Sometimes, we tend to put more pressure on a puppy than we think. It might seem like positive attention from our point of view, but feel stressful to the dog in some way. Even just being called over for a cuddle or treat might be stressful, if a puppy is new and feeling a bit overwhelmed. It might be worth changing your approach for a bit, and spend more time ignoring the puppy. If she approaches, give her a little gentle attention or a tasty treat, but led her set the tone for the interaction.

No matter how young or old a dog is, moving into a new home involves a lot of changes. It takes a dog a long time to settle in, bond to the new family, and truly feel comfortable. And it's normal for friendships and relationships to take a long time to grow! When I got my dog, I bookmarked this blog post from Dr. Patricia McConnell and read it several times a week for the first few months, to remind myself that this is a process that takes a long time (link to blog post: Three Ways to Confuse a New Dog). Six months later, and I am finally feeling like my dog and I are really starting to click!
 

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Aw, don't feel bad! First of all, it is awesome she wants to meet, interact, and play with other people. That holds really good signs for a confident, happy, dog. My Border Collie puppy is always happy to see me when I come home from the grocery store or running errands, but I'm home with her all day every day. As a result, new people are simply WAY more exciting than me, I'm kind of old news.

It takes a while for puppies to come around and really get that "bonded" feel. Don't stress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! Things have actually been surprisingly better today. I spent a lot of time playing with her and she's been following me around so yay!
 
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