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Why does my dog do this??

  1. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    I rescued a springer spaniel about 2 years ago from a lady who wanted to put her to sleep just because she didn't want her any more. Since having Holly in my life, she has been a fantastic companion and is like my shadow. She loves everyone and everyone loves her...apart from my 19 year old son...he likes her but she starts to act very strange when he comes to visit. If I am, say, sitting at the computer and my son walks into the room, Holly will continually nudge my hands off the keyboard, or try to get between my knees to jump up on my, panting hard all the time. If Im relazing infront of the TV she will pounce on top of me trying to sit on my shoulder, again panting all the time. I push her down, telling her NO but she is straight back up doing it again until either my son and I part company. She is fine with my 17 year old daughter and even my sons mates of the same age. My son loves animals, there is no question about it, he would never have hurt her, I just cant understand this behaviour. Can anyone shed some light on it?

    1. 60
      MartyZposted 6 years ago in reply to this
      1. 60
        MartyZposted 6 years ago in reply to this
        1. komal93 profile image59
          komal93posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          all dogs have a tendency to be intimidated by a person from the family and maybe the dog is really attached to you and feels that your son might be taking away the love the dog deserves...my dog did that for a long while with my brother.
          if you want your dog to stop doing that. let your son take it out for strolls and take care of its things!!
          in some time it'll learn to accept things this way!!!! i hope i've bin of some help!!!

    2. susansisk profile image82
      susansiskposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe if your son joined in an activity that Holly likes, such as playing ball, it would make a difference.  Also, maybe your son wears something that your dog is afraid of.

  2. mistywild profile image60
    mistywildposted 6 years ago

    she is trying to claim dominance in the household, it seems to me. my boxer did that for a while.

  3. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    Thank for the reply, how did you manage to stop your dog from doing it?

  4. mistywild profile image60
    mistywildposted 6 years ago

    clicker training. when you make her get down tell her good girl, a rub under the chin and a click.

  5. mistywild profile image60
    mistywildposted 6 years ago

    she could also be jealous of your son getting attention from you.

  6. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    Ok thanks I will try what you said. She is very obedient the rest of the time, just not when he is around. Thanks for the advice

    1. mistywild profile image60
      mistywildposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      no problem, I have 4 dogs myself, good luck, treats or a clicker is the way to go for sure.

  7. rebekahELLE profile image92
    rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

    hmmm, does your son interact with the dog, petting her, playing with him?

    maybe afraid of him?

  8. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    He tries to, but she growls if he comes near her

  9. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    it isnt a nasty growl...she growls and wags her tail, she isnt sure what she feels I dont think

    1. rebekahELLE profile image92
      rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not skilled in understanding dog behavior, but it sounds like there may be fear on both ends. your dog senses your sons hesitation? a dog usually senses fear or a bad feeling, like an awareness. I have read that tail wagging can be a sign of conflict, your dog unsure how to deal with her emotion, the excess energy her body is feeling.

      have you talked with your vet about the situation?

      I don't know what to tell you to do other than try to have your son continue to warm up to her and respect her space.

    2. 61
      JUAN DE LA RIBERAposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Forget growls and tail. Look at front paws, if together serious, if apart I want to play.

      Seems stupid but get your son down on all fours then place hands far apart with head down.  This is come play with me dog language.

      Also when you know your son is going to arrive, go through the seven times table in your head.

      I say this because as you are concerned about her behavior you give off body language and a scent that states you are afraid/worried.  She picks up on this and therefore protects you. As the seven times table is to the majority of people hardest, it take all your efforts and you do not display worry as you are too busy doing this mental task.

    3. rmcrayne profile image95
      rmcrayneposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      My [rescued] Boykin Spaniel did the same thing around other dogs.  If not restrained, she would charge.  Trainer said it was aggression, but with fear.

  10. 60
    MartyZposted 6 years ago

    Dang I am new here anf I keep messing this up but here i am trying again. I have a 3 yr old mini schnauzer that I have trained to be my service dog. She is almost perfect except when my 23 yr old son would come home. She would pull on the cuffs of his pants and yell at him every time he would come home. She would be fine if we met him somewhere else.  I realized when we were at home he would tease her some (not being mean just trying to get a rise out of her.) I also know that at home she tends to be more territorial than when we are out. 

       Now when he comes home I put a lead on her and give her a mild reprimand when she gets pushy with him. I also have special treats for him to give her when she is behaving and they are beginning to like each other. Also I told him NO MORE teasing the dog even when you think it's funny.
       Anyway good luck

  11. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    Oh bless you for continuing to try and welcome to hub pages. My son does tease her sometimes, but she seemed to enjoy it, she didnt seem stressed by it. However she would then back away and do all that strange stuff...I will try getting him to give her treats and see if that works...thanks for taking the time to reply. I shall look forward to reading your first hub.

  12. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for your reply Rebekah, I never mentioned it to the vet, didnt think he could help. I just hate seeing her stressed and jumping all over me. My son doesnt seem scared of her, but he is 19 so probably wont admit it lol...

    1. rebekahELLE profile image92
      rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      your vet could help you understand what it may be. maybe a phone call might help. we have a new pet this past week, so I've been going to dog websites trying to brush up on what to do when you bring home a new dog. I really like cesarmilans site and there is a hubber here also that knows a lot about dogs. maybe she will see your post.


      maybe you can find some answers at his site. good luck! smile

  13. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    awwww cheers for that...I will check it out, everyone is so kind..thanks everyone x

    1. blue dog profile image80
      blue dogposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      it could also be a flashback to her interactions with men from her previous life (unless of course she's only behaving this way with your son and not other men). 

      who knows, rescue dogs sometimes have had a bad go of it.  with patience, discipline and love she'll outgrow it.  i rescued an australian shepherd who was a terrible barker, so bad that all previous attempts to find a home for him failed.  it took almost 18 months, but for the most part it's under control, now barking on signal when cars drive up. 

      although some might disagree, look at cesar's way for practical advice in common sense 101.  you'll do the dog a huge favor by understanding its language.

  14. Tracy Mason profile image60
    Tracy Masonposted 6 years ago

    Thank you for your reply, she isn't like this with other males just my son, I thought maybe a teenage boy was cruel to her before I had her but she is great with my sons friends of the same age. I certainly will look at Cesar's site in my quest to get to the bottom of it. Thanks again

    1. nikki1 profile image60
      nikki1posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Possibly ask your son to quite teasing her. Keep in mind she is in a different environment. She is clinging to you, because she sees you as a mother figure. That alone should tell you something. Your son may not be hurting her. However, it is not a good sign on what she is doing around him. They aren't in a way getting along. If he is growling. Does she ever smile or wag her tail when he comes over? Again, ask your son to quite teaching her. And, both of you together pamper her. Showing her lots of love can help.

      You are indeed an outstanding person for saving her life. I highly admire you for standing up for her ;D. Way to go.

  15. lrohner profile image84
    lrohnerposted 6 years ago

    She's just claimed you as hers, that's all. You need to practice NILIF - Nothing In Life Is Free. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. For instance, she is not allowed on the couch when she wants. She is only allowed on the couch when you say instigate it and say it's okay. Make her earn her food, treats and petting by always obeying a command first. Do not let her walk in front of you on leash, and never, ever let her out of the door ahead of you. There really is a lot more to it and I'm sure you'll find a lot more online.

  16. 61
    sfth27posted 6 years ago

    mrs tracy, i am a die hard animal lover and protector,i have three dogs of my own, and from what you have described, i always listen to my dogs and what they are doing and trying to say. if it were me, i would take it as she is trying to protect you when he comes into the room, like their is something unsettling about him to her. that is the way i would read it if it were my dog. you should always listen to your dogs, they have a amazing inner intinct. TRUST IT!! i know this is your son and all, but not every mother knows everything that goes on with their kids ya know, hope this helps and hope everything is ok.( if someone comes to my house and my dogs dont like them, they dont come back, i wont allow it because my dogs are telling me about something i cant see for myself right then) they are protecting!
    ceaser millian the dog whisperer could help you more,

  17. Adopt-a-Dog profile image61
    Adopt-a-Dogposted 6 years ago

    Hi, Read all your posts. I am a dog behavioral expert and spend most of my time helping out people. I tried to understand your problem best I could. Some possible reasons I can figure out for your dogs behavior are-
    1- She was ill treated by some teenager early in her life so she is afraid.
    2- She is want to impress your son by becoming alpha female in the house. That may explain her climbing over you.
    3- She is territorial and want to keep it safe.

    Some remedies which I can suggest you are-
    1- Ignore her. Refer my hub on it- http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Correction … gnore-Them

    2- Try feeding technique. This you will have to start when your son is not in home. When you are feeding your dog, just show her that you eating something out of her plate. It may be a lice of bread or anything( I mean just show her you are eating from her plate, dont actually eat). Only when you show her that you have ate then offer her the food. with this she will understand your dominance over her and wont try to become alpha female/

    3- Tell your son to try above technique with your dog when he comes. this may arouse her initially but slowly she will understand her place in the pack. Only try this when first and second wont work.

    Have fun.

  18. Arthur Fontes profile image91
    Arthur Fontesposted 6 years ago

    I think you have already received great advice but here is my 2 cents.  The dog is claiming dominance and is afraid your son will take her spot in the household.  I think you your son and the dog need to spend some quality time together.

  19. Ivorwen profile image84
    Ivorwenposted 6 years ago

    There is alot of really good advice here. 
    One thing that I have noticed about my new dog is that he is afraid of certain smells.  A man with gas on his hand tried to pet the dog, who coward, and tried to run away.  Later, when the man had washed his hands with strong smelling soap, in sent the dog was familiar with, he calmed right down and allowed the man to pet him.

  20. 0
    lyricsingrayposted 6 years ago

    Claiming ownership and control big_smile

  21. 0
    MrsMoeposted 6 years ago

    The nudging and panting are signs of anxiety in your son's presence.  This CAN be overcome.  Clicker training is a great idea.  You start with your son in the room and him not making any eye contact with the dog.  (Hopefully she's a chow hound and will work for food).  He needs to be as far away from her as the room allows.

    You are next to Holly and every time she even LOOKS at your son, click and treat.  Have him S-L-O-W-L-Y move towards you, a foot at a time, when Holly looks, click and treat.  ANY signs of anxiety, panting, nudging, whining, have your son move back.  Always with NO eye contact between him and Holly.

    The time will come when you pass the clicker to him, and HE clicks and treats.  This may take a while, but it WILL work if you're dedicated to the exercise.

    Always end on a positive note.  The first day you try this, have your son leave and end the training wihout him having come even close to you or making any eye contact with Holly.

    Good luck!

  22. 61
    DogTrainerUKposted 5 years ago

    Please disregard any advice that contains the words  "dominance",  "alpha" or similar. Particularly ones that mention eating before the dog, going through doorways before the dog, etc etc etc.

    Dogs are well aware that we are not other dogs.  We decide when/where walkies happen. We decide when the dog eats.  We have opposable thumbs to open dog food cans.  We decide when they go outside.  A dog is WELL aware who controls resources.  THEY KNOW WE ARE NOT OTHER DOGS.  Which is why it is totally pointless - not to mention a bit comical - to try to pretend to be another dog and regain  "dominance"  by eating before the dog etc. 

    This sort of thinking is vastly outdated and largely debunked.  The dominance myth arose from studies done on wolf packs, by David Mech.  However, the wolf packs were a) In captivity and b) Artificial - ie comprising of different families of wolf.  David Mech HIMSELF has since stated that he was wrong about dominance. And STILL people spout on about it.

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    dave345posted 5 years ago

    its a pure dominat behavement...its not clear who is the boss for her. So the dog try to get his chance.