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Old 01-08-2013, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puppy is acting out against my husband

So our new puppy has become extremely attached to me. In some ways its really good because he's going to be my service dog, so I want him to be bonded to me. When we go for hikes and such, my husband will run ahead of me and Huter (puppy) will follow him for awhile. But he will not get too far ahead of me. He stops following my husband and will turn around and wait for me to catch up before continuing on. I like this behavior.

However, there are other behaviors that are proving to be very annoying and potentially serious problems. Huter is like the perfect dog for me. He's potty trained when he's with me. He listens to me. Obeys, does his tricks, sits at a door before entering, walks well on leash, comes when I call etc... But whenever my husband is watching him or trying to interact with him, he's a little demon puppy. He bites, pees/poops on the floor, ignores him, pees on husbands dirty laundry etc... Its not even when he's unsupervised. He NEVER has an accident when he's with just me. But for example, yesterday, husband and I were in our room with Huter. Huter barked at the door to go potty. Nick got up to take him out, Huter turned away from the door, walked over to Nicks dirty uniform and peed right on it. Then walked over to me for attention and love. I did not give him attention or love after that. Nick picked him up and took him outside to his potty place.

Has anyone else experienced this? That was just one example. This stuff happens frequently and its obviously directed towards my husband not me.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like your husband has the patience of Job. I would switch all the feeding and potty times, etc. so much as possible over to him. And if he is willing, have him take him through classes.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How much of a role has/does your husband have in his training? Does he respond to commands from your husband and is just a terror when it comes to eliminating and such, or does he ignore commands as well? Also, how old is your puppy?

My first thought is that your husband needs to work on establishing a relationship with the puppy, without you around. He can start by doing consistent obedience training with the pup, taking him for walks, and maybe even keep Huter tethered to him in the house for the time being (both to help them bond, and to help him head off "accidents" better). However, if he's already regularly training and walking the puppy without you there, then it may be a more complex situation.

Also, look into NILIF (nothing in life is free). That can really help with situations like this, as long as you both practice it consistently.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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How old is this puppy? Some folks call their dogs "puppies" for life, so it's hard to say in this thread.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Agreeing with Msvette...it's hard to say without knowing his age.

Depending on the age.... how consistent is your husband when handling him? Does he consistently enforce what is and is not acceptable? Dogs (especially "terrible teens") figure out real quick who will make them behave and who they get a free pass with. My guy is GREAT with everyone but my mother... who enforces basically nothing. He can be a holy terror with her, while he is completely obedient with everyone else (my husband, father and I). He knows he can get away with racing down the stairs, barging out the door, etc. This started early, and there's essentially nothing I can do about it, because she still refuses to make him do...anything. She also has a people and dog aggressive, very dominant cocker spaniel, who was neither of those things when she rescued him

I agree with previous posters-- get hubby (and anyone else in the family) as involved as possible. If not classes, which is preferable, then daily training sessions. Have him feed the dog, groom him, build a bond with him. Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page with what is and isn't acceptable... if he's very young, he may be confused.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default 9 weeks old

Huter is 9 weeks old. Nick has him during the day while I'm at work. He does work with him with a flirt pole, walks him and takes care of him while I'm gone. I do night time potty breaks and morning routine. We both have times where we walk/train separately and together. Nick is definitely not a pushover. He can be a little overbearing by nature. Not specifically with the puppy, just in general he's an intimidating person by nature, though kind at heart. Nick is also very stressed right now so I wondered if maybe the dog could be picking up on that?

Huter does not respond well to him either. Sometimes with proper motivation (ie:food) he will listen and obey, not not consistently. He obviously responds better and obeys better for me. Sometimes Nick will call him and puppy will walk right past him and come to me instead. It appears OBVIOUSLY deliberate. I try not to encourage this behavior, but I dont know what to do.

Overall, he's a great puppy. Not EVERYDAY is bad. But the difference between how he is with me and how he is with Nick is uncanny. And if I'm around, he will completely ignore Nick. Walk past him, turn his head and ignore him, run away from him etc... Like I said, it appears very deliberate. In the mornings, Huter will run up to Nick and give him lots of love. So its not like he's afraid or anything. He just refuses to respect and obey him.

He starts puppy class in a few weeks. Nick will not be home for the first 2 classes, but for classes after I'll make sure he participates. He's not an absent owner by any means. So Im just not sure whats going on.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know that 9 weeks is very young. Maybe its just a phase and it'll get better with time? But 9 weeks seems so young to be doing such deliberate actions against Nick, I want to make sure it doesnt turn into a bigger problem.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He is an infant. Was the breeder a male or a female? He may just be more comfortable with you. Consistency? I am sorry, but if you are expecting consistency out of a nine week old puppy, you are setting yourself up for serious disappointment. The puppy may be ignoring him because he may not have decided yet whether or not he trusts him. And the peeing, it could be submissive urination, it can be that when he goes to the door and then it's HIM that is coming, he dances away, still has to pee, pees wherever, just happens to be on something of HIS. If the dog was six or eight months old, I would think maybe there is something going on. Not with a baby like this one.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Im not expecting a puppy to be consistent. I'm noticing a pattern. The first few times, I ignored it and brushed it off as coincidence. But its no longer coincidence. He doesnt just happen to pee on something of Nicks. He NEVER pees on my stuff. It always lands on his stuff or is a deliberate turn around away from his potty spot, to pee/poo on something else nearby. Again...something he never does with me. He doesnt submission pee, I've seen that many times in other dogs. I agree that it could just be taking longer for him to trust Nick than it did to trust me, but I also want to look to others for their experiences right away. Because if at 6 months or a year old he's still acting like this, its going to be a lot bigger of an issue. He doesnt get in trouble for it, he's 9 weeks old. But I am keeping an eye on it, and wondering if anyone else has seen this kind of behavior so young.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I dont think any of this is the puppy's fault. Nor do I expect him to be perfect. A pattern is obviously progressing and getting a little worse everyday. If he is developing a problem with my husband, its obviously a dynamic that we the owners are creating. I want to correct that dynamic before he's 85lbs instead of an adorable 20lbs.
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