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Old 11-19-2012, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My dog hates me?

I returned from a yearlong deployment at the beginning of October. My 2 year old GSD, Jax, was thrilled to see me, ran over and we rolled around on the grass for a little bit, I was covered in doggie kisses. He stayed with my parents thru the deployment.

I moved in with my OH as soon as I got back. For the first week, Jax stayed with Mom and Dad, but I went over daily and threw the ball, took him on walks, hung out etc. After about a week we decided to try Jax at OH's house, with his Lab, Rowdy. They get along fine on walks and at the dogpark, we just hadn't had them in 'Rowdy's' house together. No issue, they get along just fine.

Jax's routine hasn't changed much. He actually gets walked more now than before, generally twice a day. Most days of the week we do a small training session that ends in a long game of fetch. I am the only person that walks or trains him. My OH and his roommate (and I) play with him in the house, pet him, toss the ball a few times in the backyard, roughhouse with them etc. (except I don't roughhouse).

It's rare that Jax is left alone for any time exceeding 3 hours. (maybe once a week it ends up being four or five). When no one is home, Jax is loose in the house with chewbones and toys and Rowdy is crated in the garage because he'll chew the house to shreds.

Lately, (in the past week or so) I've noticed that Jax ignores me totally in the house. (Unless its time to eat, go on a walk or play ball). He used to come lay by me, beg to be petted, and listen to a quiet command (Whether "off" the couch, or "down" or "comes", though he will listen to these from the other two people in the house) now he avoids me, and wont listen to anything unless its in a stern voice.

The only time I feel like he's connected with me at all is on a walk and when its time to play fetch. (when working OB, sometimes I feel that he is just going thru the motions, there because he has to be)

Is there a way to repair my relationship with my dog?
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you left he was 1 year old, and now he is 2. He became an adult while you were gone. Male dogs tend to be more independent. My male, as I sit here, is somewhere else in the house. My two females are laying within 5 feet of me.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd say time, and maybe get into some sort of class or club with him! Training with him is a great way to bond with him. When you do work with him, are you using a stern tone, or a happy one? Do you use treats, etc? It's a change for him, and he was just a pup when you left. You need to get to 'know' each other again. He's changed, and I'm sure you've changed some too. Not all dogs remain the same when they get older. My previous shepherd didn't fawn all over me when they got older, either. I was the leader. They respected me. My wife they fawned all over, but didn't respect her. However, it also sounds like he's blowing you off some and isn't happy to train. Take some time off training to just do fun things, maybe. Re-bond with him. Don't be too hard on him. Beyond that, training together in a class or club in a fun way would probably help. Realize he's not the same pup you left. Start over with him. Even if he recognized you. Maybe he wants you to recognize him, and just spend some time hanging out and having fun while you two get reacquainted.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I strongly suggest you enroll in some sort of training class. The classes aren't just to teach your dog to do OB, or jump over jumps, it teaches your dog to trust you, to look to you for leadership etc. You won't be disappointed.

Also, thank you for your service to our country.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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First: Welcome home! Second: I agree with hunterisgreat. A year is a long time to be away and your dog deff has change. However, it sounds like you guys still have a bond. Keep spending time with him.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If I understand your post correctly, your dog was very comfortable with you and happy to be with you after you returned and has just now changed his attitude. I would guess that has something to do with your mood and/or the way you are training him. Avoidance and slow responses are calming behaviors. Are you feeling or acting differently lately? Is your training style different than the style your parents used? Is he is a soft dog?

Also, it's possible that he's missing your parents and what you are seeing is a little depression.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeK9 View Post

Lately, (in the past week or so) I've noticed that Jax ignores me totally in the house. (Unless its time to eat, go on a walk or play ball). He used to come lay by me, beg to be petted, and listen to a quiet command (Whether "off" the couch, or "down" or "comes", though he will listen to these from the other two people in the house) now he avoids me, and wont listen to anything unless its in a stern voice.

The only time I feel like he's connected with me at all is on a walk and when its time to play fetch. (when working OB, sometimes I feel that he is just going thru the motions, there because he has to be)

Is there a way to repair my relationship with my dog?
What is your training style? How do you motivate him... are you using treats or a toy for reward? Are you using corrections, or becoming stern when he doesn't obey? Or are you simply drilling the exercises over and over? It may be that he's simply not responding well to your particular style. He's not a puppy anymore, he's become an adult and may need something more to motivate him.

Some dogs naturally become more independent and less lovey-dovey as they mature.

Try doing more walks and more fetch play, and take a look at your training style and regimen.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I guess I'm feeling a little put out over it as Jax was always 'my dog' and it feels like he's blowing me off. I will look into possibly taking a training class with him soon. Any opinions if it should be basic OB or something like basic agility?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BowWowMeow View Post
If I understand your post correctly, your dog was very comfortable with you and happy to be with you after you returned and has just now changed his attitude. I would guess that has something to do with your mood and/or the way you are training him. Avoidance and slow responses are calming behaviors. Are you feeling or acting differently lately? Is your training style different than the style your parents used? Is he is a soft dog?

Also, it's possible that he's missing your parents and what you are seeing is a little depression.
BowWowMeow, he was excited to see me when I got home, he's always excited to see someone when he's been left alone for a bit, and those times, if you ask him to sit, stay, come, down, heel, etc he works with focus and energy.(in the house). I don't know if I'm feeling or acting differently, but I will try to be more aware of my mood when I'm with him. I use the same style training as my parents, possibly with a little more positive reinforcement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
What is your training style? How do you motivate him... are you using treats or a toy for reward? Are you using corrections, or becoming stern when he doesn't obey? Or are you simply drilling the exercises over and over? It may be that he's simply not responding well to your particular style. He's not a puppy anymore, he's become an adult and may need something more to motivate him.

Some dogs naturally become more independent and less lovey-dovey as they mature.

Try doing more walks and more fetch play, and take a look at your training style and regimen.
I can't label my training style, for fear it'd be the wrong term. But when 'training', he wears a choke collar up behind his ears and is rewarded periodically (for best efforts) with treats. He will do all the basic AKC OB exercises, and has more animation if he knows you have his Kong, which he LOVES. I do collar correct if needed, but it's not often. Sometimes heeling he'll need one, but is rewarded when he's right. We'll work some on lead OB, with a small fetch/play session thrown in (30 sec-1min) and work a little more. Then if we work off lead, we'll do some, throw the ball, do a little more, then tell him to 'find it' and have a party when he does. He is a soft dog. A stern "Shame" or "Shame on you" is probably the strongest thing he gets, even his collar corrections don't have as much effect.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Is he leaving your side to go spend his time with someone else, or is he just choosing to relax where he's most comfortable? My 1 yr. old has finally cut his apron strings with me - he used to be my constant shadow but now he prefers to relax where he can keep an eye on everything, not just me, lol.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My husband was gone the first month our boy was home, then traveled for work for extended periods of time his first year. Rusty would be excited when he first got home...then was over him...just didn't really engage him for play, pets, etc.

My husband started doing casual things with him...walks, exploring in the woods, a few shared apples, inviting him on the sofa while he was watching tv, feeding him some meals, going along for truck rides...they eventually formed a strong bond. It will just take time...good luck and welcome home
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