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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning when my husband was playing with Spencer, our new Cavalier puppy, my husband made a realistic "rruff!" sound. It wasn't loud.

Spencer ran under the table and hid! He wouldn't come out for my husband. He came to me, and I picked him up and my husband petted him, but he still won't approach my husband!

What can my husband do now?
 

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I'd have him drop (not hand) extra delicious treats around the puppy (cooked chicken or something he doesn't normally get). I think the puppy will come around pretty quickly when he learns that your hubby = special treats.
 

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Yes, husband will have to become soft and sweet, and give up that man-thing I see where guys feel compelled to "play dog" with puppies. No trying to "speak dog" or "wrestle-like-a-dog." He can take this as an opportunity to tune into his feminine side and get all luuuvveee for a while, lay on the floor and entice the puppy towards him with treats, and in all ways act like a NON-threat.

Puppy will get over it soon enough. Don't push the issue as that will increase pup's concern and stress. Give pup time to realize Dad is indeed a friend.

You could get Dad this book so he can learn to speak "dog" in a more friendly way. Its a terrific read for anyone, new or experienced with dogs. I learned a ton.

Amazon.com: On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals (9781929242368): Turid Rugaas: Books
What Dad did not realize was that he yelled at the puppy in dog language. If you are going to try to talk with a dog in their own dialect, you may as well learn what to say! :)
 

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In addition to doing what's been said above, you can also c/t every time the puppy looks at the husband.

Then going towards the husband.

Then sniffing the husband.

This will start changing his emotional association with the husband, changing the "big scary dog" association he's currently formed. While also shaping the puppy to go towards the husband as well, and earning the puppy rewards for doing so, which further changes the association positively, and teaches that's it's good to go towards/be near the husband.

And get that Calming Signals book! I loved it - read it often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE: Spencer and my husband now get along just fine. The breeder suggested that my husband lay down on the floor with him, and that was helpful. Also, I think a few days of "no barking" from my husband made Spencer think that everything was back to normal.

I definitely notice that Spencer prefers women to men, even if the men are very quiet and gentle. When we were at a relative's house for New Years, my brother-in-law -- a stranger to Spencer -- approached him, and Spencer just lay there quietly to be petted. But a few minutes later, when my sister-in-law -- also a stranger to Spencer -- entered the room, Spencer leaped up and raced to her!
 

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Thanks for the updates! Its good Spencer is doing so well. Puppies go through all sorts of stages and what you have described with his reactions to different people sounds very normal to me. You are doing all the right things to help him to learn about the world! ;)
 
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