7 month old could care less about me now
Looking to get some advice with handling a situation. Here's the back story; I got my male puppy from a breeder when he was almost 4 months old. I was living in another state from my wife (I'm in the military) and he was never introduced to her until he was about 6 1/2 months old. He used to follow me everywhere I went, had great mannerisms and focus with me. He had/has a bit of a problem with chasing his tail, which I had almost fully broke that habit, and he would rarely do it.
Now that my wife and I are back under the same roof, it seems he has no interest with me. He rarely comes to me when I call him, follows her everywhere, doesn't go outside when I say "go potty". When I come home from work, he greets me and searches the house for her. It seems like he's transferred all of his excitement/focus to her.
One of my biggest issues aside from him having no interest in me anymore is his habit of chasing his tail has come back worse than ever! As soon as she steps into the door, spin spin spin and its so hard to get him to stop. I'm afraid of this turning psychological. He almost looks stressed and pants while he chases his tail.. I give him plenty of exercise with walks, playing fetch, and time at a local dog park daily.
He also seems to be afraid of me for some reason now.. He bows his head sometimes when I put his leash on for walks. Sorry for the long post.
Just being male puts you in a stronger leadership role in your house. Getting more respect and deferrence. You are bigger and have a deeper voice.
This means that you need (in my opinion since you naturally have the leader role) to WORK (and I mean WORK) on also having the fun role.
And the reason I say work is it takes time and is exhausting :) . You need to make your voice high and happy (I'm not kidding, and it's why your wife NATURALLY has an advantage here). And you need to be PRO-active about playing tug WITH your dog.
Look at this guy tugging, it's work!
How many tricks does your dog know???? More than 20?
Listen to Michael Ellis in this video. LISTEN to his voice going higher and more 'girly' when he calls the dogs name (Cap Cap?) and when saying 'yes' and praising. TONS of treats and HIGH voiced praise.
Can you get your dog involved into any sports so you are working together as a team? I think that really helps with building a good relationship in a fun way.
I think my boyfriend is in a similar position as you are.
He always asks "why doesn't he like me as much? How come he follows you so much?"
In my house, I see several reasons for this: His "praise" voice is exactly the same tone as his "correction" voice. For guys, this is probably a challenge! But make sure the pup can differentiate what your voice means.
Also, I feed the dog, I train the dog, I clean his eyes and ears, trim his nails, I take him to the vet. I drive him places, I socialize him, I do the "work" - the dirty and not-fun stuff as well as the play. Bf does only walk and play but I think taking a caretaker role can help you bond too with the dog. Ward wants to follow bf when he goes outside for "fun" but for any other situation, he comes to me. I think having a well-rounded role and over-arching role in your dog's life is what seals that bond. Joining a class or a group helps a lot too, as someone said.
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