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Pup hurts my feelings unintentionally

June 1st, 2005, 01:47 PM
My pup (6 mts now) seems to prefer my husband over me now for some reason. It used to be the other way around. I am mostly the one to correct/scold/train/feed/walk/spoil (everything!) him. Seems like he would be more interested in me for being so much more interactive with him. I always welcome him whenever he wants to cuddle with ME. Most times now he wants my husband, so sometimes my husband will push Davy off several times to get him to come by me, but Davy STILL wants to be by him instead of me. It kind of hurts my feelings when he he's looking for a spot to laydown on the couch and he looks for my husband first, OR walks right over me to get to him :sad:
I feel a little childish complaining about it, but I can't help it!
Any suggestions?

June 1st, 2005, 01:48 PM
Moderator, can you please move this into General, sorry about that!! :)

June 1st, 2005, 01:54 PM
Same here, Diego prefers daddy over me, even though I'm the primary care taker. I guess it has a lot to do with respect: he doesn't respect me as much as he does with daddy.

Lucky Rescue
June 1st, 2005, 02:08 PM
I also used to wonder why my last dog loved and worshipped my husband, even though I walked, fed, played with, groomed and spoiled him.

I only recently found out the answer! After you read this, you will understand completely.:)

June 1st, 2005, 02:24 PM
I feel a little childish complaining about it, but I can't help it!

I don't think it's childish at all. This happens with me too. I do EVERYTHING for/with Levi, so it's normal to want to get a little love back. :)

I just read that link...good information.

June 1st, 2005, 02:52 PM
It's a great article Lucky! Although this technique would be really hard on me.

June 1st, 2005, 02:58 PM
Happens to me too! I just thought, it's because I maul him all of the time so he gets sick of me!

:eek: I just read the article! I don't think I could ever ignore my dog for more than an hour let alone 48 hours!! That's a toughie!

June 1st, 2005, 03:41 PM
Lucky, that's a wonderful article. I printed it out for some friends who are having this particular trouble.


June 1st, 2005, 07:33 PM
Think of it this way - remember when someone had a crush on you in school? They watched you all of the time, tried to be near you, hung on every word, would do anything for you? (sounding familiar?) Well, the natural reaction to such adoration is to reject that person and actually find it rather annoying. Now think about all of the things you just listed off when you described how you cater to your dog. You pet them, feed them, Groom them, walk them, play with them, massage them, etc. Sounds like you have put them on a pedestal. People are great at the love and not so great at the trust and respect. Time to put things back in order.
I have one phrase for you to use as your mantra...The one who cares the least has the most power.
Ponder that. When you are emotionally invested in something - your energy changes. i.e. You REALLY want a certain car. The salesman knows this and uses it to manipulate you. You would have much greater success getting him to 'deal' with you if you acted like you didn't care about that car. Well, your pup knows that he has you around his little paw and is aware enough to use that.
You need to ACT like you don't care - ignore him! Blow him off! Push him away! Make him suck up to you for a change. A week of this will turn things around. Do not pet this animal for a week. Do not coo at him. Do not even look at him. If you interact at all, make it about asking him to get out of your way, and do some obedience.
I know you think this will be hard on you - but how hard is it right now? Time to be fed up with being treated like a second class citizen when you bust your butt to do so much for this dog. (I am trying to get you riled and a little indignant - in case you han't noticed). You need to be miffed that he ignores you and gives his toys more attention that he does you.
Quickly he should start seeking you out and asking for you to notice him. Then you will smile inside and realize that dogs aren't so different than we are - they just don't take things so personally.

doggy lover
June 2nd, 2005, 10:20 AM
I've gone through this with two dogs, I trained both, fed, walked, you know the routien and they both prefered my husband than me. Maybe it is a male thing but I don't think it matters, they love who they love. Get another dog and the same thing could happen. Join the club :highfive:

June 2nd, 2005, 10:38 AM
Diego growled at me this morning when I put leash on him, and actually barked at me a couple of times. That's it, I'm going to give this social isolation technique a shot.

June 2nd, 2005, 10:42 AM
I attempted this technique this morning. It's hard to walk right by him when he expects me to say hello to him. I have yet to pet him all day...I think I have withdrawal. ;)

I'm going to try and keep it up, but it doesn't seem to be working. Are there any signs to look for that show that we're doing this correctly and the dog is "getting" it?

doggy lover
June 2nd, 2005, 10:44 AM
My vet said if a dog growls at you or shows his teeth, yell at him like you are crazy, throw pillows or other soft items at him, then take him into a room or spot that he doesn't normally go like the bathroom, close him in there for 15 min then when you let him out make a fuss of him. The dog is trying to be dominant and this is a easy way of showing who is boss. I'm trying it on Tucker as he seems to think I'm not the boss of him, ha thats what he thinks.

June 2nd, 2005, 11:53 AM
Ignoring is great for this situation but you must also begin to work on your respect. Men sometimes (massive generalization - sorry) seem to have a natural air about them & a naturally deeper (more serious) voice - which just lends itself to gaining a dogs respect. Try to imitate what your hubby is doing and how he acts. Really observe how he is with the dog. Use your low (I mean it) voice, don't gush, be 'matter of fact'.
Just the fact that you have tried for a day and are frustrated that you don't see a change means that you haven't truly disconnected emotionally. It's like you are trying to ignore the boy you have a crush on but are still secretly pining for him (and he knows it!).

June 2nd, 2005, 01:27 PM
Stupid question, but how do you "disconnect emotionally"? Just trying to understand.

As for the deep voice..I have tried that (I sounded like an idiot :) ). Wouldn't the dog know that that's not your..."sound", so to it's not..."real"?

June 2nd, 2005, 08:24 PM
Sometimes it takes getting fed up with being ignored (sometimes your dog is actually thumbing his nose at you - in his own way) and then you can genuinely disconnect - it doesn't mean you don't love the dog it means you are no longer willing to beg for his love and approval. In the mean time just fake it as best you can.
It is really an advantage I have over my client’s dogs when I walk in. I am not emotionally invested in other people’s animals - which permits me to behave differently than the 'owners' do. I can still adore the dog, but I don't have that emotional umbilical cord attaching me to the dog. My cord is not attached like yours is.
In fact I have to do it with my teenager (2-legged) at times. When she crosses that line she knows it because my whole being shifts (she knows I love her, but I am not going to tolerate her attitude), and the second I disconnect she comes running with apologies and begs to have me be her friend again.
You may feel foolish at first using a deeper tone, but if you find the voice/attitude you would use with someone who just made you mad - then imitate that - you will sound more convincing. I do a demonstration for our clients where I imitate an hysterical person waving their hands and screeching with a high voice (some peoples version of mad) and then a person who is so intensely angry that their voice becomes calm, they barely move except to point at the other person and profoundly state their feelings in a firm and low tone. The client is always very clear as to which person they would take more seriously (the 2nd one). You dog understands this focused/intense energy as well.
Sometimes it takes time to reach the place where you are trying to be. Often when I client calls and says "that's it I've had it, if this dog doesn't change he's out of here" I am actually pleased to hear those words because I know we will be successful in changing the person so the dog can change. Some people need to get to the point where they think they have tried it all and done just what people recommneded, but it takes a true shift in attitude and energy before anything can really get better.

June 2nd, 2005, 09:29 PM
LOL-- My solution was to get a second doggy for me and she's even MORE attached to him than the first was.

I think it has to do with chemistry. My old dobie was MY doggy. He was my protector, my buddy and everything and I didn't do anything to deserve it. He just picked me.

June 2nd, 2005, 10:29 PM
Dobies are very dedicated and natural protectors. You could practically gush on some of them all day long and they will still stick like glue to your side. I am glad you had such a great dog in your life - doesn't it feel so good?

June 3rd, 2005, 07:05 AM
Both my wife and I act the same way with our dogs (three, ages 6 mos, 16 mos, & 7/8 years), yet they tend to hang around me, which on occassion upsets my wife. In a case like this, would it be beneficial for her to ignore them as discussed above and for me to continue as I've been doing? Or should we both do the ignore routine? Also, is it an all or nothing thing i.e. all dogs rather than selective ones, say the two youngest? The oldest will, on occassion, stick to my wife when I'm in the house - often it is whichever of us has the most avail head scratching hand.

June 3rd, 2005, 08:37 AM
As in any relationship - the more time spent together and connecting the deeper the relationship grows. But if she just coddles them all of the time they won't respect her for it. She needs to be a confident leader and disciplinarian.
Ideally you should not do the feeding/obedience or grooming - you should try to be too busy. When she tries to interact with them and they go to you for rescue you need to push them away - don't rescue them. She should start being the main parent for the dogs but not gushing on them.
It's as if your kids were being rude to mom - your job is to support mom and make sure the kids are treating her well. If they clammer to you and reject her then you need to NOT embrace them but encourage them to go to her. Only concentrate on the kids who are being rude - why mess with a good thing if its fine with the other dog?
The dogs who are ignoring her need to start looking to her for the answers in their life and to look to her for leadership. The more she asks of them (and makes sure it happens), and the more she controls the good stuff (food & toys) the more they will look to her and respect her.
The dog who treats her the worst should be attached to her on a leash in the house as much as possible. She is the leader he is the follower. She should ask him to do tons of things while they are attached - but be emotionally disconnected. NO petting or cooing. Be rather militaristic about it. When she feeds the dogs the food is only down for 10 minutes and then she takes it away (eaten or not). Her attitude needs to be 'too bad, so sad'.
Practicing our drills would help a ton. We have relationship drills that change things immediately and put everything back in balance. Unfortunately they can be lengthy to describe (which is why we did the DVD) so let me know if you want me to out line any of them.

June 3rd, 2005, 08:53 AM
Thanks for your reply. I will pass the info along to my wife. Neither of us tend to coddle them, and they do tend to listen and obey her when she asks them to do something; however, when we are both in the house they gravite to me (when I am out they will all stick to her). We'll give it a go and let you know the results. cheers

June 3rd, 2005, 09:02 AM
Dobies are very dedicated and natural protectors. You could practically gush on some of them all day long and they will still stick like glue to your side. I am glad you had such a great dog in your life - doesn't it feel so good?
Yes, especially when you're young and in a house full of testosterone... He was great. He actually was a sire before I got him, so maybe his genes are still out there. (He died at 13 so they'd be good genes too). He was the best judge of character. If he barked at somebody you knew that they had bad intentions.

June 3rd, 2005, 09:53 AM
I started ignoring my dog yesterday. This morning and last night he was acting up and I needed to fuss at him. I know I'm supposed to completely ignore him, but what do I do if he's being bad and noone else is around to correct him??
Last night he kept jumping on the couch and I kicked him off over and over. I felt bad doing it, but I kept it up. I just hope after doing it so much he doesn't just give up on me and stop trying all together! I haven't spoken a word to him since Wednesday night, I hope he even notices!

June 3rd, 2005, 10:32 PM
Definately correct bad behavior! Ignoring him is really about not overwhelming him with love all of the time. People are great at the love but not so great at the respect and trust.
Feel free to give him directions and to correct bad behavior, but don't lavish him with praise when he does something right and don't fawn over him for nothing at all.