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Old 10-28-2009, 11:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Over attached to a particular family member

I had some questions about a dog being overly attached to a particular family member.

Why do they do this? How many of your dogs do this? Is it good or bad? What does it mean for the person being 'ignored' vs the person being 'obsessed' over?

I am just curious as Penny is very much attached to my BF. If it's just me and her I am the apple of her eye, but if it's both of us and her she seems to mostly have eyes for him.

I wonder if it comes from the male/female bond or maybe from when I raised Penny for her first two yrs in another city than BF only seeing him weekends and such, maybe she thinks he or we will leave again- but then I wonder if dogs even think that way.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

Thats a good question.
As my dog (male) tends to like me more than my bf.
(But I am his primary care taker.)
So maybe its b/c they spend more time with a person and have a deeper bond with them?
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

I think that it's not uncommon with GSDs. Heidi is extremely attached to me and has been right from the start. If I leave the house and my husband stays home, she'll sit by the front door, waiting for me to come back. When he goes off to work, she doesn't give it a second thought!
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

Interesting. Jerzey LOVES John and it's very obvious when the two of us are together. She'd rather follow him, lay next to him, listen to him, etc. She'll do all of those things for me if it's just her and I but not if John is around.

I always chalked it up to the female dog-male human bonding I had read about around here, but who knows!
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

All my pets have always had one particular family member they preferred, childhood (5 people plus) to adult (me and BF).

Of the current crew....

The Husky (male, neutered, rescue) is the BF's shadow, even though he's been mine 6 years and the bf only a live in for 3. He adores BF, but is my buddy when BF isn't around. Total love hound.

Chester the (big!) kitty (male, neutered, rescue) got last summer is also the BF's buddy, will hardly come near me (are we sensing a trend here?!)

and Mags the wunnder runt kitty (undersized) (female, spayed, rescue) is my buddy and rarely leaves my lap or shoulder if I'm home and sitting, and follows me all around the house if I'm doing chores. She'll tolerate the BF if I'm not home and he is seated. A warm lap trumps snobbishness I guess!

So the male/female crossover definetly doesn't apply in our home.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

This is interesting!

Ava is all about me. She has always been extremely attached to me, never a bond she shared with my ex-boyfriend. She tolerated him but she was/is always in eye sight of me. I have always been her care taker, and I think that is something they pick up on. She has never really been all that crazy about men. She loves my mom, but doesn't give it a second thought when she sees my dad. She is very much a mommy's girl.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

My male dog HATES when another man is close to me or stands too close, my dad, my bf, brothers etc.
Women can hug me or whatever and he doesnt care.....
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

All of my animals are/were more attached to me...but OVER attached would be Ava. The whole family could be home...but if I go out...she will go in her crate and not come out until I return. The whole family could be up and about in the morning...but she will not leave the bed until I get up. She loves the whole family...but mom cannot be out of her sight.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

Quote:
Originally Posted By: myamomAll of my animals are/were more attached to me...but OVER attached would be Ava. The whole family could be home...but if I go out...she will go in her crate and not come out until I return. The whole family could be up and about in the morning...but she will not leave the bed until I get up. She loves the whole family...but mom cannot be out of her sight.
Jax is the same way. I've been told, with some disgust, that she's a different dog when I'm home. She will go to my daughter, probably because she was home with her all summer, but usually just sleeps somewhere until I get home. She does not take toys to anyone but me and if I move, she moves.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Over attached to a particular family member

Quote:
Originally Posted By: GSDgirlAL I have always been her care taker, and I think that is something they pick up on.
That's what I think is strange about Penny as I am the primary care taker of the dogs and for her first couple years it was mainly me and her. I joke and remind her, "Penny, don't forget who raised you now"

Maybe it's that dad is more fun, not as many rules, lol.

And this topic also makes me think about home greetings.

She goes *nuts* over coming home to dad or if dad comes home. With me she acknowledges it and comes to say hi, but I don't get the whole whine, roll over talking type greeting. Not sure if I am wording this right, but, does this greeting behavior say something about which of us is the bigger leader or who she has the most respect for?
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