German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi can anyone help with our shepherd's behaviour. He is a 6 year old rescue and had a rough past, however we have had him 7 months my wife and I have given him all the love in the world and after going through the separation anxiety phase and all the other issues that accompany a dog with his past he really settled down. Around 3 weeks ago though he has suddenly taken offence to my wife in the house, he will not go anywhere near her he pins his ears back when he sees her and even tries to hide behind me if she's about, he won't do a thing she tells him, go outside into the yard and he's all over her like nothing is wrong. When it's her turn to feed him he eats his food then looks at her and runs to bed, he will not even cross the floor to go for a drink when she is in the room. No neither of us have hit him or punished him in any way, he is walked at least once daily mostly twice he his fed top grade food and for all intents you would think him adorable. We have puzzled over what can have triggered this but can find no answer, any help would be appreciated. Thanks ~ Fred
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
377 Posts
Dogs are VERY sensitive to body language. Does your wife have
any new quirks? No offense intended here.
For what it's worth, I am 69. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
A GSD may have a favorite member of the family to bond with and it ignores every one else. This is expected. If you want an overly affectionate dog, a GSD is not the dog that lives to please every one.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
377 Posts
I must have a defective GSD, she loves my wife too.
GSDs aren't usually one man dogs, they adopt the household (pack).
It is common for rescues to 'cling' to one person but hopefully to accept
other household members more as time passes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,261 Posts
You say he's had a rough past, I wonder if she could have done something inadvertently. Something that might be innocent enough to us, but has a negative association for him. Are there any changes from your her normal routine? This might be a stretch, but what about new perfume, soap, shampoo?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
Has your wife started taking any new medications? I've heard of dogs showing odd, unexplained behaviours like yours after a change in the owner's medical status.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,369 Posts
A GSD may have a favorite member of the family to bond with and it ignores every one else. This is expected. If you want an overly affectionate dog, a GSD is not the dog that lives to please every one.
That's not necessarily true, my GSD adores both my husband and I, he also loves any stranger who gives him attention.

As for the op's dog, have you had him medically checked out, blood work? Sometimes these things can have a medical reason too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
if he is all right with her when she is outside with him she is probably more relaxed.
In the house you might be contributing to unease by focusing on the dog , staring at him wondering what is going on, putting pressure on the dog to be social .
Have her go through the routine and ignore the dog.
Pinning ears and hiding behind you shows the dog in avoidance. Stressed. You don't want to push the agenda and have the dog feel cornered and have him dart out with a bite.
Does the dog play?

If your wife were beside you what would he do.

Also do not praise or encourage your dog's behaviour. In other words when he hides behind you don't give him comfort by stroking him or telling him it's okay . You would be reinforcing whatever is going through his mind , affirming . Neither of you make a fuss when he is in this mode . Move . What would happen if you were to walk over and be beside your wife. Would the dog cling to you or leave you to head for his bed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
I'm not sure what to suggest but just wanted to say that I understand what you're going through. Years back my husband and I adopted a GSD from a breeder. There was no history of abuse; the dog had been raised and trained in a great home, but she was a softer dog and didn't really take to most men. When we went to visit, she went right up to my husband and walked around on leash with him so we took that as a good sign. My husband is a big buy but he's very kind and gentle. He's not that involved with my competition dogs now because he lets dogs get away with too much. Not the type of person that would intentionally or unintentionally give a dog a reason to be wary of him. When we got our dog he was very good at just leaving her alone. He didn't force any interactions with her and would drop treats around the house if she followed him. He did everything right but while at first she was neutral to him she got more and more scared of him. She was scared of him for over three years despite him basically ignoring her unless she initiated interaction and always giving her treats. We worked with a trainer/behaviorist who focused on shy/fearful dogs but it was always like one step forward, two steps back. The dog had a lot of amazing qualities and with me she was awesome (I trained her and put about a dozen titles on her and she was totally fine and happy in that context) but she also had some temperament quirks that were just genetic and the more we tried to help/fix her the worse she would react (if my husband tried to speak to her in a kind voice she would run and cower under a desk).

I just wanted to share this experience because it's quite possible you're doing nothing wrong and there is nothing medically wrong but some dogs are just wired with these quirks and it's easier to manage than try to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
990 Posts
Dogs relate to things much different than we expect - there could have been something your wife did that scared the dog that you'd never think of.

There was an example on a different post here recently, the posters dog is scared of smoke alarms going off. Now he get's terrified whenever someone makes toast because at the holiday house the toaster caused the smoke alarm to go off.

Another one was told at a training seminar recently:
The owner took the tractor down to the horse paddock and her Doberman was running along - the dog ducked under an electric fence but caught it with it's tail tip - now it's scared of the tractor (but only in the one paddock) It related the "shock" to the tractor not to the fence.

I'm mentioning these because in a dog whose past you don't know anything could be linked back to a experience it once had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hi Carmen,
I don't stoke him or fuss him when he his acting this way. If my wife and I are on the settee he will come and lay at the side of me for belly rubs and strokes, if I get up to leave he's off and running to bed. Prior to this when I got up to leave he would be across my seat to my wife for cuddles and fuss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,594 Posts
Fred - I have no idea if there was some subtle change that sparked your dogs sudden change. I cannot say what could have caused it. You've gotten some great ideas to explore and I hope you get more. One idea I have that I don't think has been mentioned yet is he may be resource guarding you. In human terms "jealous." In this case I do think you should force the situation a little. If after 7 months he has decided that you are his person...to change that from now on all good things should come from mom.

Like I said I don't know if this is the reason but I can tell you from personal experience it can be changed. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,892 Posts
I only asked because your scent changes and he might be picking up on that. Not sure what else it could be. Is there a behaviorist nearby?


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top