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My boyfriend has a 4 year old female pitbull/catahoula mix that I absolutely adore. The problem is...she adores me too, a little too much.

I was dating my boyfriend 4 years ago when he first adopted her as an 8-week-old puppy. I didn't live with him, but I visited enough that she knew me pretty well. Then, my boyfriend and I split up for about a year. When we got back together, she still recognized me and was super excited anytime I came over. At the time, the excitement was a little problematic because it took her hours to calm down each time she saw me. This reaction was different than one she had to anyone else who came over. She usually got excited to see someone and then calmed after about 15 minutes and then ignored them.

With me, she was still excitable and, frankly, out of control even 4 hours later. My boyfriend would resort to crating her for short periods just so we could spend some time together.

Unfortunately, he and I broke up again for another long period of time. We're back together again now (yes, I know we obviously have some other issues besides the dog) and her behavior is worse than ever.

She has become extremely possessive of me. She follows me anywhere I go, won't leave my side at all for anyone or anything. She's extremely protective and won't let anyone near me... including my boyfriend.

I've heard of dogs doing this when an owner introduces a new significant other, but it's always about the dog being possessive and protective of the owner. She's possessive and protective of me...against him.

She has never been violent or reactive before, but now she's growling and snapping at him if he leaves a room and then tries to approach me again. I do my best to put a stop to the behavior and she'll let him near and then act friendly towards him again, but she'll stay glued to my side. As soon as he gets up again, she immediately gets up and either tries to sit on me or lay across me. When he comes back, she gets angry again.

I get that she is probably afraid I'll leave again and we probably really screwed this up with my being absent for long periods of time. But she has never done this with any of his friends, family, or other girls he has dated when we were not together. It's only me.

While I love that she likes me...this is extreme and it's causing my boyfriend to get annoyed when I come over. I don't know how to handle this behavior or what we should do to try to discourage it.

I would appreciate any advice.
 

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My suggestion is that you and your boyfriend sit down and have a heart to heart talk about your relationship and your feelings for each other. I would hazard a guess that your boyfriend is terrified of you leaving again and the dog is acting out his fears.

Dog's are nature's ultimate empaths, and will always reflect back to us, in their behavior, our fears and emotions .
 
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