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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but here goes...

I recently took my 12 year old niece into my home to go to school. Initially, I felt it was imperative that she get along with Apache--my GS--and that Apache respects her. But the closer they get, the more jealous I'm becoming. :help:

Am I a nut case?:eek:

When we go to the dog park I'm use to Apache following me around, but now she follows her around. In the car, Apache stares at her nonstop when she use to stare at me. At home, she's usually glued to my hip, but now she tears through the house looking for my niece. :cry:

Am I crazy, guys and gals, to be jealous of the relationship a 12 year old has with my GS or am I really being replaced as alpha in my GS's eyes? And has anyone else ever felt like this, or should I check myself in? :eek:
 

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Actually it's very normal. We had kept a friend's Lab with us for over a month while they went out of country (work related move). When they came back, needless to mention their dog had a lot of attachment for us as well. Now when we visit them, their dog follows me around and not my friend ! It drives him nuts...but I love it !! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What do I do about this? And am I really being replaced or does she have enough love to go around?

I heard the GS's only have one owner; is she choosing her owner and is it not me?
 

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you're not crazy. My best buddy Zena is MY dog no doubt about it.... but she's spent a large portion of time with my father in law and as she's living with them now, i'm pretty much nothing. I dont just get jealous i get POed about it. I rescued her, i took care of her, i did everything for that dog and the wench is more attached to my FIL. Everyone says how rescue dogs are more grateful because they know they got a second chance. freaking bogus ungrateful.... yes... i'm bitter.
 

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Nash is all eyes for my 2 year old niece when she is around, I could not exists for all he cares if she is around. If I tell him to lay down, but she tells him to sit, he sits. I am not to jealous because we really only see her once or twice a week, but if it was all the time, then I would be! He is my dog after all!
 

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you're not crazy. My best buddy Zena is MY dog no doubt about it.... but she's spent a large portion of time with my father in law and as she's living with them now, i'm pretty much nothing. I dont just get jealous i get POed about it. I rescued her, i took care of her, i did everything for that dog and the wench is more attached to my FIL. Everyone says how rescue dogs are more grateful because they know they got a second chance. freaking bogus ungrateful.... yes... i'm bitter.
I didn't rescue her--I paid top dollar for her, but that's exactly how I feel. I mean seriously, I take her to the vet and make sure she has her shots. And when she got fixed, I cried with her and slept on the floor beside her!! And it's me who makes sure she eats the best food, goes outside, and get's excercise.

She's an ungrateful little twit to make me feel like this!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nash is all eyes for my 2 year old niece when she is around, I could not exists for all he cares if she is around. If I tell him to lay down, but she tells him to sit, he sits. I am not to jealous because we really only see her once or twice a week, but if it was all the time, then I would be! He is my dog after all!

You know what's really sad, I almost want to send my niece back to her mom so that it's just me and Apache--I won't but, boy don't I want to. I guess because I've never had a child or anything else that has belonged to only me, I'm holding really tight to her. I mean, **** it, she's my baby and I don't want to share her with anyone.

I'm so glad you guys understand. Now, I don't feel like too much of a selfish, childish, prick. :D
 

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Your niece is fun. Children are fun. Children play with them. So take her out and play with her more. Be fun but still be the leader. I don't believe you are being replaced as the "alpha"

I would be glad if my Jax helped my niece make such a large adjustment as yours is making. She's not with her parents, apparently in a new school and at her age it is a hard adjustment. I would say that right now, your niece NEEDS her more than you do and maybe Apache is picking up on that.
 

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Feelings aren't good or bad, they just are. How we deal with them and how we cope with them, and how we work our way through them is what is important.

For one, having the unconditional love of a dog is the best feeling a person can have. I think feeling somewhat jealous is understandable.

I think it is WONDERFUL that Apache and your niece have hit it off so well! Thank goodness you DON'T have to worry about your niece mistreating Apache or Apache being agressive towards your niece. What a special boy you got there, be proud of him!

I always felt that it was great for my dogs to have special friends. It broadens and deepens their world and social and emotional development, and gives them richer life experiences. I would not begrudge that. Not to mention that your niece is in a difficult age, and having a friend like Apache can do miracles for her self-esteem.

Talking about self-esteem, take a step back from your feelings and see where you could improve your own self-confidence about your relationship with Apache - the relationship that your niece and Apache have is certainly hiting some sensitive button in you, one that you may want to examine a bit closer, and try to find the perspective you are looking for (and I am not bashing your for being jealous - I think it is great that you are aware of your feelings in this situation, and are looking for perspective - and we all have our insecurities that stem from a bazzillion different reasons and past experiences - they are there, it is how we acknowledge them and how we work our way through them that matters.)

And I would do as others have suggested: have some special one-on-one time with Apache - go somewhere excititng, have some fun! Spoil him to death, LOL!

Apache sounds like a very special soul - let him give of the love he has, it is certainly very needed in this world!
 

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Don't feel bad my GSD is my dog all the way until my son comes home from school- he is her baby and my lab is the same with my daughter. Both of my dogs listen to me and are beyond affectionate with me, but there is something about kids that most dogs read into. Kids are more vulnerable than us and I think dogs feel their immaturity kinda like they do with puppies. Apache will always be YOUR dog, but you should focus on developing a relationship with your niece and broaden your own attachment beyond Apache. The three of you can have an amazing relationship where the love and attention is shared. I get the jealousy though, but turn it into a positive instead:)
 

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Wow, guys and gals, I feel enlightened and stupid all at once. Thanks, seriously. It feels awesome knowing that many of you have felt the same as I. I feel enlightened because while I have definitely been a disciplinarian to my niece, I haven't been her auntie or made her feel as if she's welcomed here (considering the circumstances of how she came to me). Perhaps Apache sees this and is trying to do what I haven't done.

I don't know but, I'm going to definitely work on both my relationships with Apache and my niece. I'll let you all know how it goes.

And thanks for the advice.
 

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Oh yes with a teenage girl build that bond or all the disciplinary stuff will be regarded as judgment, hatred, and lack of love:) I took in my own teenage sister when she was 15 and building the bond and trust is what made her easy to discipline. She needs to feel accepted, welcome, and a part of your family. Teenagers generally act out because no one accepts them, trusts them, respects them, or gives them an outlet to be open and themselves. Do lunch, manicures,go shopping, tolerate her music, and try to understand her hobbies and the things that interest her. Encourage what is positive and talk to her like you would a girlfriend of yours. If she thinks you won't flip when she opens up she'll be more likely to do so and take your advice and guidance willingly. Apache is already doing it, but she'll need it from you as well:)
 

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I didn't rescue her--I paid top dollar for her, but that's exactly how I feel. I mean seriously, I take her to the vet and make sure she has her shots. And when she got fixed, I cried with her and slept on the floor beside her!! And it's me who makes sure she eats the best food, goes outside, and get's excercise.

She's an ungrateful little twit to make me feel like this!!

i didnt mean to make it sound like you'd rescued your pup. I rescued Zena and the rat is all eyes for my father in law. ungrateful brat. I flat out told my husband if we lived in a lower humidity area that would allow me to have Zena back, whenever my inlaws come to visit Zena gets locked away from them. I honestly want her having nothing to do with my FIL because after she see's him, its a PITA getting her to listen because she thinks he's coming back and going to allow her to do whatever she wants and not listen to. But when he's not around, she's the most loyal dog on the planet.
 

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Wow, Castlemaid. You said it just perfectly. I get jealous too, but of my husband. When Niko is really misbehaving and locked into a mindset that I can't get him out of, DH can. I don't know what the difference is, maybe just that his voice is deeper. But it feels like DH gets more respect sometimes.

On the other hand, I'm the one the dogs come to when they feel scared or nervous.
 
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