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I am going to cross post this on the aggression board as well... I would love ANY advice....We have an 18 month old male GSD, whom we have had about two months, and he is fantastic. Loving, wonderful with everyone. A little standoffish at first with people he does not know, but as soon as we say "its okay" he wants loves and belly rubs from them as well. Well, the last few days it has been over 110 degrees and a zone of our AC went out, causing our 4 kids and I to sleep in our bedroom, and my husband in the family room. This change in sleeping arrangements, part of the house being boiling hot, as well as the fact we have construction going on outside the house, seems to have put "Van" on edge. He seems skiddish, and the past three days he has started to bark at my husband. He barks when he gets up to get dressed for work, as well as when he comes in the house. When he barks, he looks scared of him (my husband has been nothing but sweet to Van). The bark is not constant, but does continue off an on, until I come in and say "its okay." Then he still seems really really skiddish around him! He is fine when we take our family walks, Dave often holds his lead, and he walks like a champ. He comes running to my husband if he is the one who picks up the lead and collar as well, ready to go for his walk! My question is, why, all of a sudden, is our dog treating my husband like a stranger? Is it the odd sleeping arrangements? The constant construction? He does not growl, or have his hackles raised.... but nonetheless, he barks, and we want to nip this in the bud! My husband thinks it is aggressive behavior, but I do not see him growl or snarl or anything. This morning I had my husband feed him, and offer him a treat etc. He would not take the treat from him. I am calling the trainer from him breeder today, but would love any other ideas! BTW, he is altered, and he is great with our 4 kids, not skiddish at all, and with my father (older gentleman).
 

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I can understand why your Van is on edge. The different sleeping arrangements. Van, the kids, and you in one room. Your husband in another. Van has now gotten the idea that he is the protector of you and your kids from your husband because your husband is not sleeping in in the same room. So he barks at your husband to go back in his room. First, I would stop with the "okay" that is only telling Van that something is wrong because he hears in your tone voice that he is being praise. Instead - tell him to be quiet. Heat or not, if possible have your husband sleep in the same room with a you , the dog, and the kids. Or go back to your rooms - have you and your husband with Van in one room, the kids in another. Van needs to realize that your husband is still a member of the family.
 

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Mary Beth, thanks so much. Tomorrow night I will do what I can. We are struggling with the lack of AC and they cant get out to fix it until next week, and my husband has to go to work at 3am so we are on different schedules. it has never been an issue, until now. Maybe I can leave the kids in the other room and try sleeping on the couch, near my hubby, but my wee one, given she isn't in her own bed will come find me in mid night, not find me, and wake the whole house. :( I will see what I can figure.

I spoke to our new trainer, as well as the one Van was trained with for 16 mo at the breeder. They both pretty much said to have the food and treats come exclusively from my husband, also to make my husband be the primary source of fun, training and exercise for awhile. In other words, when we walk, he holds the lead, have him be the one to initiate play, to reward etc. They said it is clear the bond with me, and even with the kids is strong, so now we need to work on the bond with my husband.

Three of our kids and I will be leaving for 3 days, 2 nights, over the weekend, so Dave and Van and my one son will be home. The trainers both said this is good and perfect timing, in that Dave (my husband) will be the one Van relies on for everything. It should help.


The fact this started with the AC out, the contractors all over, and the upset of normal life.... and the fact Dave isn't here as much.... I guess it makes sense. I am happy to be working with good people. Van is such a great dog... and I want my husband to enjoy the fullness of the relationship as well, as does he! So we will do everything in our power to help the situation and I am always thrilled for advice! Thanks!
 
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