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We are looking after my son's 6 year old Ridgeback for a while while he moves house. He's a loving and lovely dog but he has bonded with me and not my wife for some reason. At first he was affectionate to her but as the weeks went by his attachment to me has been worrying. He cries if I leave him at all even when I am in the same house in another room say. He sits outside the door or at the bottom of the stairs.

My question is, why won't he respnd to my wife? He virtually ignores her when she comes down in the mornings. She feeds haim and gives him treats, but it seems as if he couldn't care if she is there or not.

Any ides? Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't think you have anything to really worry about here. Some dogs just have a stronger attachment to certain members of the family than others. It's likely because it's your son's dog, and you're also a male too (and maybe smell similarly? Who knows) that helped to create the stronger bond. Does your son have a girlfriend or wife? If he is not around women much, that might have a little to do with it, but I really feel it is just that you are another male of the family.

For an example of dogs that bond to some and not to others; we have three dogs. My hubby and I got a puppy in '09 that was "his", though I take care of him, feed him, etc. Tiger will follow my hubby around, sit outside the bathroom door if my hubby is in there, out to the garage, etc. :D It probably doesn't help that I trim nails and do other unpleasant things, but Tiger still loves me and plays with me. I have my "own dog" too with our youngest, Spicey, but again, this is because I dote on her like my hubby does with Tiger.

Dogs, like people, will sometimes show their favorites, so we really should not take it personally, because it's not meant to offend us. It's just one of those things that happen naturally, so I hope your wife isn't upset by this too? Give it a little more time, and continue with what you're doing, and keep a solid routine. If your wife wants to try a little harder to make inroads, have her sit on the floor with him with some treats periodically, perhaps, which will help reinforce the thinking that: spending time with the wife = good treats sometimes! She could try to teach him some minor tricks too if he's tractable, along with extra juicy positive praise and treats. :)
 

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My husband adores our dog & she him, but she is bonded with me far more than him. If I leave the room, she'll be right there beside me - even if she has been in a heavy sleep, she will know when I move. But if my husband moves around she will just ignore him. We just accept this now :)
 

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My BF's dog is bonded with him, and she is ok with me but really, if I disappeared tomorrow she wouldn't waste any time wondering what happened to me. My dog is bonded to both of us, but to me a little more, so he'll do things for me he won't for the BF, and also come to 'get' me when its walk time/bed time, which he doesn't do for the BF.

In a previous life, I had a lovely GSD cross, and I wanted her to be my dog, but she bonded with my male partner more than me. We got another dog, and he decided I was the better human. Can't really blame dogs for having preferences. :)
 
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