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belladonnalily 04-22-2014 05:54 PM

Social, friendly dog doesn't like ONE person...trying to understand
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I know there aren't going to be any solid answers on this, but I thought maybe some of you that are both more experienced, and more knowledgable about GSD behaviors, could give me some insight.

Tucker just turned 1 last week. He is intact, if that matters. He is a social, goofy boy for the most part. He's good with other dogs, although we've had some issues between him and our older female (but they've been better lately, knock on wood). He's always been good with strangers and children. As he gets older, he is less interested in meeting new adults (he still loves kids), but is always friendly with them. As an aside, he recently injured his foot and has had to go the vet 3 times in a week. The vet and staff told him me he had an incredible temperament and was a pleasure to work with. They allowed him to stay loose in the clinic most of the day.

So, the mystery:

I work for a small company in the corporate office. We have 9 employees in our office, 2 other offices on the property and some miscellaneous maintenance staff. Tucker has been coming with me to the office on and off since he was 8 weeks old. He loves everyone here...almost.

One lady I work with, I'll call her Jane, has known Tucker since Day 1. She has never been overly friendly to him, but that's okay with me. I've always assumed she wasn't overly-comfortable with him because he IS a big boy, and she doesn't have dogs. Over the past few months, Tucker has decided he either does NOT like her, or is scared of her, or both.

It began one day when I let him go upstairs on his own. Jane shares an office with another co-worker, Cindy, that Tucker adores. Part of his morning routine is to go in and get a treat from Cindy. He always minds his manners and Cindy is good about following any rules I've set up for him. This particular morning, I heard Tucker barking ferociously and I bounded up the stairs to find him barking at Jane. I scolded him and took him out.

After that, every time he would see her he'd get a funny look on his face and if I didn't take him away immediately, he'd bark, sometimes with hair raised.

He has met new employees recently. Completely fine. We've come home to find strange repair men in the house. Completely fine. As long as I've been okay with a person, Tucker has ALWAYS been.

This morning he again barked at Jane. But when he went into my office, there was a strange man (computer guy) IN my closet in my office and he startled me. Tucker had NEVER met him. Tucker sniffed him and was like "Okay, he's fine." No bark or raised hair. We talked for a few and I learned that the guy has NO dogs or cats, is scared of dogs, and showed me the scar from a dog bite years ago. So, my theory about Jane not smelling like pets (like everyone else does here) or Jane possibly being scared of him went out the window. And really, I almost expected Tucker to be upset about a strange man lurking in my office closet. :confused: But he always does his "interrogation" (quick sniff) and determines a person is okay.

The owner of the company has never really paid any attention to Tucker and Tucker doesn't care about him either.

So I'm stumped. What is it about this woman?

To be fair, she is not a favorite employee of anyone. She's a bit weird and can be a pain in the butt, but she mostly stays to herself. No one knows much about her personally. She's extremely well-educated but can't work a staple-remover :rolleyes: So, the office jokes about why this may be are really getting humorous. We're thinking of including Tucker in the next interview process...

SunCzarina 04-22-2014 07:23 PM

Jane drinks is my guess. I had a dog who hated the smell of alcohol sweating out through peoples pores the next day. Not beer or wine, hard stuff. Either that or she uses a weird detergent, maybe smells like moth balls, it's probably something odd about her the dog can smell.

angelas 04-22-2014 07:36 PM

There could be something about her he doesn't like, she could have done something to him when you weren't there to see, it may be unconscious signals you and the other staff are sending about her not being a "favorite" employee, who knows.

Or he could just not like her. Even the most friendly people in the world have people they don't like. But while we can smile and still work with them, dogs can't be anything but honest about their feelings.

From now on I'd keep your pup in your office or leashed. Jane's right to a safe workplace free of intimidation trumps pup's privilege of being there.

tottie86 04-22-2014 08:01 PM

You know my boy isn't particularly fond of my mum. She has never done anything to harm him whatsoever. He doesn't bark at her and can be in the same room, but just is very wary of her.

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Stosh 04-22-2014 08:18 PM

He has the right to choose who he likes and who he doesn't. I'd ignore it and go on, just keep him away from Jane.

belladonnalily 04-22-2014 08:21 PM

24 Attachment(s)
SunCzarina, I think you're probably right. She lives on the property and the maintenance staff says shes a bit of a hoarder. She is usually sloppily dressed, and we affectionately refer to her as Crazy Jane. I've asked her more than once if she slept in her car the night before (she does have a sense of humor).

Angelas, no worries there. I no longer allow him off leash when she is there and I've told her exactly what you said. If she feels uncomfortable, I won't bring him. It certainly wouldnt be fair to her.

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onyx'girl 04-22-2014 08:24 PM

jane says....

belladonnalily 04-22-2014 09:51 PM

24 Attachment(s)
Jane says nothing. She really is a mystery to everyone. She has a PhD in Psychology and we often wonder if we are part of some experiment she's conducting lol. Her personal life stays very very guarded. Not just office-professional guarded, but as in no one knows ANYTHING at all.

I've asked her if she feels uncomfortable around him. She says no. I haven't come right out and asked if she did anything to provoke him, and I'm not sure I should. If she did, it would ultimately be my fault for not having him in my control, and it would probably make her defensive. My objective would simply be to find out why for future reference, but I doubt she'd see it that way.

My only theory about that is this: Tucker loves to see whats in everyone's trash cans. It's a bit of an office tradition for him...he goes to the Italian's desk first :D (She also has treats for don't say No to an Italian about food, I've learned) He used to go around to Jane's desk to attempt to check it out. It's possible he went dumpster diving and she, not knowing what to do, went overboard. He never reacts negatively to the other girls pulling him out or telling him "Leave it."

But the drinking theory might be right too...and she does have some hygiene issues.

It's just really weird, though. He's been exposed to so many different types of people.

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lennyb 04-22-2014 10:03 PM

I know it won't help at all but I'm a firm believer that if my dogs don't like you then I probably won't either. I've seen time and time again that their judgement about someone is usually dead on..

SunCzarina 04-22-2014 10:25 PM


Originally Posted by belladonnalily (Post 5415969)
the maintenance staff says shes a bit of a hoarder. She is usually sloppily dressed, and we affectionately refer to her as Crazy Jane.

Maybe she has a stash of petrified squirrels in her hoard. Or she has to take medication your dog can smell and reacts to.

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