I adopted the dog from an older couple that needed to give him away about a month ago. When visiting i couldnt particularly tell whether the dog was closer with the man or woman. It didnt particularly strike me either way.
My boyfriend has been around a lot lately, and was there when i get the dog (his name is sam,) but he doesnt live with me, and doesnt feed, drive around, brush, walk, etc. sam usually either. The way the dog behaves is kind of starting to hurt my feelings. I understand that it takes time to become close, and im fine with that. I just dont understand why my dog would be so much closer with someone else so much more quickly.
Sam not only listens to my boyfriend more (commands such as sit are nearly impossible for me if hes around,) but is generally more affectionate, making eye contact more often, sitting his head on his lap.. etc.
Luckily, my boyfriend is going away for a month and im hoping that i can bond with sam when hes away. I am often only alone with sam while taking care of him, and hes generally more affectionate with me when my boyfriends not around. The second hes around sam basically ignores me, wont listen to me, watches my boyfriend if he walks away, tries to follow him....
Ive asked my boyfriend not to give sam treats anymore (he was carrying them around in his pocket, and i didnt know this, and it annoyed me when i found out.) he stopped about a week ago.
Sam is VERY smart (as sheepies often are) and holds grudges! i had to take a rawhide bone away from him that someone else had given him (i was told its bad for their digestive system & can seriously hurt them) and he was mad at me for three days. i feel that because i am the actual caretaker, and sometimes a dicipliinarian, sam doesnt like me as much...
Does anyone have any tips for this? I know dogs often prefer a gender of human over another, but is there a way to overcome this? Does anyone have any advice on building closeness & trust with a dog?
i spend a good amount of quality time with him at the park, etc. with out my boyfriend. is there something i should be doing?
|Ohhh . . . I know it is so hard not to take it personally, but try not to. It is really great that Sam is bonding with anyone in his new situation. WHo knows why he might feel more comfortable with a guy. . . If you can try and just be pleased for his happiness, you will come to feel really close and bonded. I don't think they hold grudges like that about taking something away. To me, they seem to live in the moment. Maybe you should try the treats in your pocket? Are you around this weekend to come to our park?|
|One more thing -- I remember being a bit sad when I got CHummie because she would run up to old couples like she was so thrilled to see them. I thought she missed her old family. Now she just runs up to random people like she is so thrilled to see them and I am tickled by her cute, outgoing nature.|
|sam TOTALLY holds grudges. i like it though. hes got character.
it hurts my feelings a little, yeah, and i know its kind of silly, but the main problem is that he doesnt LISTEN to me when wes is around, which is an actual problem. if were alone its completely different, but he still doesnt listen to me as well....
|Something else occurred to me -- I know that my dogs behave better for me if I don't shower them with affection. It is counter-intuitive but the more I act cool and nonchalant, the more eager they are for my attention. At the end of the day, I cuddle and say sweet nothings but at other times, I'm pretty remote and businesslike with them. Is it possible you are giving Sam too much affection?
Or maybe Sam just prefers guys based on his past experience. I don't have any experience with that type of situation.
He is such a cutie though. Hang in there! The first few weeks and months are a strange adjustment period.
|We always say at our house, the dogs like James but they love me. It's kind of a joke because of course they love him, but, for me, they never leave my side (at least my boys). They listen to me but they know that James is much more firm with the training and he won't put up with the shennanigans that I will with them. I'm definitely the "fun" parent.
Don't take it too personally. Your boyfriend is the equivalent of a spoiling grandma that comes to visit. It's always harder with rescues because they need time to feel comfortable with where they are and you too. It's a lot of stress on them.
Also, to stick up for rawhide for a second: all my dogs get them and have no problems with them at all. With larger dogs, and as long as they chew them up well, you shouldn't have a problem. But, some dogs have sensitive tummies and can get sick. There's can always be too much of a good thing but rawhide in moderation shouldn't cause you any problems. Just keep an eye on him and make sure to toss it before it gets too small so he doesn't choke. He may be confused when you took it away if he got to eat them at his other home!
|It's best to try not to anthromorphize dogs (attribute human emotions), they don't think like us.
I think as Valerie said, if you don't try to garner his affection as much he may view you in a higher position in his heirarchy.
|It's quite the same in our house as in Jill's (Butterscotch). The pups follow me around much more as I'm home more frequently and I eat more often too so they look for handouts. I also give out love (hugs and kisses) much more frequently. My husband is more straight down to business and when he comes home, Annie pines for attention from him.
There is also something about the deepness of a male voice that makes many dogs listen to them more. All the dogs I've had in my life have been this way.
Something else occurred to me -- I know that my dogs behave better for me if I don't shower them with affection. It is counter-intuitive but the more I act cool and nonchalant, the more eager they are for my attention.
Makes total sense from a dog perspective - the pack leader is always aloof. Pack members have to kiss up to the Big Dog. So the more nonchalant you act, the more your dog considers you the alpha.
I'm the disciplinarian here, Tim is the buddy who dispenses treats and food. I've done most of the training classes and am more consistent so I tend to get better responses with commands. But there's still lots of room for improvement!
|Melissa, I'm not sure I have an answer for you, but I can certainly sympathize and share my experience with you. I was in a very similar situation when I got Callie. I picked her out as a puppy and she came home to live with me. My boyfriend at the time thought I was crazy, but he (QUICKLY) grew to love her. And she loved him too - more than me, it seemed. I did the feeding and the grooming and the walking and all of that, but he did a lot of the playing and running (even as a puppy, I couldn't keep up with her). We both took her to puppy classes, and it quickly became apparent that she would respond to his commands much more consistently than mine. I agree with what someone else said, I think it must be the male voice that sounds more authoritative.
The interesting thing to me, though, is that he was much more likely to discipline her than I was. I think that probably had something to do with it. She knew that if she didn't do something I was asking her to do, I would eventually give up. He wouldn't. She would do it or she would get punished (or not rewarded). I think that made her respect him more as the pack leader.
Anyway... we are married now and so we both do the feeding and the grooming and the playing - and the disciplining. She has gotten better about listening to both of us and loving both of us (but deep down I think she still likes him better, but I'm okay with that.... she likes me second best)
|one day after writing this, i was moving furniture and stuff around & my boyfriend was over helping. Sam really wanted to come in the room but there was stuff everywhere so we had the door closed. When the door was opened he bolted in, and the first time i had to be the one to drag him out (he REALLY didnt want to go out so it was difficult.) My boyfriend kind of made me feel bad for being so stern with sam. SO second time when he ran in i just looked at my boyfriend and said "well? your turn then..." and he too struggled with sam, and sam really didnt like that and held grudges against us both, and we were treated as equals after that! haha!
And now my boyfriend is away for a month, and sam and i have been spending lots of quality time alone, and hopefully when wes comes back we can maintain this...
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