Help! My Dog Hates My Husband!

I get this question more often than you would actually believe!

And I must be honest it isn’t always the “husband” sometimes it is the “wife” or even the kids or everyone “else” in the family.  Often I think it is the husband or the male because they tend to be slightly less nurturing than the woman in the relationship, but it certainly works both ways!

The problem is that these dogs can ruin relationships.

They can also end up in shelters or die because of their abusive relationships.

You see, THEY are the abusers.

They often sit in the lap of their “chosen” (person) and growl, hackle, and threaten to bite anyone who might trespass or get anywhere near.

Imagine having a child or an “X” sitting on your lap and anytime another person came up to hug you, sit next to you, or talk to you (including other family) they flashed a switchblade.  Now imagine they chased the person away with the switchblade, or even lightly cut them.

I think that would be a problem, don’t you?

And, most people would never accept this behavior from another person or child right?  The authorities would be called and the person removed and undoubtedly prosecuted.

Yet, owners put up with this from their beloved pets.


Both the one being “protected” or possessed and the person or people being abused act like it is no big deal when it comes from something with fur and teeth (instead of a switchblade).

You see, most often the person whose lap it is thought the dog is “protecting them” or the other person thinks the dog is “protecting the spouse” but actually the dog is guarding what he considers a “resource” or possessing the person (not nearly as fairytale-like as people like to think) for more on that click here.

Step One:  Stop Making Excuses

This leads straight into step one, which is to stop vindicating the behavior, making excuses or enabling the dog.

Start seeing him for what he is; an abuser!  Remember the analogy with the switchblade…

You can’t make a true change if you're empowering, enabling, and making excuses for the behavior.

And, if you don’t make true change you might lose your family and your dog might lose his life.

What will happen if the wrong person or child approaches you and this dog?  Bites often lead to euthanasia!

So even if you aren’t making this hard decision to change for your family; make it for your dog who might die if you allow this behavior to continue.

Step Two: Take Away Privileges

Life and amenities are a privilege, treat them as such.

If your child breaks a rule or takes advantage of you and your spouse what happens?

I hope that you say he/she loses a privilege.

The same rules should apply to dogs, especially those who are having aggression issues.


And, yes, threatening to bite your family and spouse is aggression!  Embrace it and call it what it is (this goes back to enabling and not making excuses).  If your neighbor’s dog was trying to bite YOU, you would call it aggression, yes?

If the aggression is severe and anyone is afraid of being severely bitten or there are young children involved a veterinary behaviorist should be involved.  For more on that click here

Provided That You Are Not Worried About A Bite, Continue Reading:

Aggressive dogs, those who are looking to possess you or threatening someone who approaches should NOT be allowed on furniture.

  • Being on the bed is a privilege.
  • Being on the couch is a privilege.
  • Being in your lap is a privilege!

And, dogs who bite, growl, hackle, bark or threaten people should not get these privileges.   Period!  I am all for well behaved dogs to be on the furniture, but I will be the first to say that dogs with aggression issues should never get this privilege; it gives them “little man or little dog syndrome” and plays into their idea that they should rule the house or the world.

Step Three:  The Person Being "Possessed" Needs To Separate Themselves

The person that these dogs idolize or “possess” should back off in their lives!

This is probably one of the hardest things for everyone involved.

For some reason, people who are seemingly the “apple of these dogs’ eyes”  have a really hard time giving that up.

But it is critical!

This person needs to step back, and the other person (the person that has been bullied) needs to step up.

The loved person needs to hardly interact with the dog at all, and the hated person needs to be in charge of all things essential and all things fun.

The Dog Must Be Forced To Interact & Depend On The Person They Dislike

It would stand to reason if you had to see the same people every day, or had to live with them chances are they would grow on you over time.   Even if you didn’t like them, you would find something to like about them (okay, not always but mostly).

But sometimes dogs bond to ONE PERSON and they feel like they don’t need anyone or anything else in their lives.

We must convince them that they are wrong.

Bad Dog

The person who is hated must feed the dog, they must walk the dog, they should try to engage in play with the dog; all while the other person mostly ignores the dog.

You see even if the other person does all of these things and the person the dog loves still cuddles and loves on the dog, the dog can still see no real need for the other person.

In order for a real bond to occur between the once detested person and the dog, the person the dog seemingly loves or possesses must kind of break ties.

It doesn’t mean FOREVER but the person needs to ignore the dog almost completely.

Respect The Need For A Bond To Form--Let It Happen

Let me paint a picture for you.

I used to train Service Dogs.

I worked for several organizations, but one particular organization had a very high success rate and I believe I know why.

This organization did not allow any of the other family member to interact with the new Service Dog, really at all (unless the disabled person required it for maintenance like baths, nail trims, etc.), for at least a month.

You see, if the dog went home with their new partner and discovered that the “mom” always fed, petted, and loved on the dog while never giving commands, who would the dog bond to, right? The disabled partner was requiring work and effort from the dog for treats and affection.  They were making the dog work.

By not allowing the other family members to interact with the dog, the dog was given the opportunity to bond to the person that would be their forever partner and the family was given time to understand the need for this bond and respect it.

I believe the same must happen with these possessive pets.

They have to learn to NEED the other person in the home or relationship.

They need to be fed, they need to be watered, they need to be walked and they need to be trained and interacted with; if this is only coming from one source it stands to reason that the person now doing this would become more important.

The good news for those of you that might be panicking that YOUR dog will never love YOU again is that this is a silly thought.  Of course he will. Once you step back in and do the occasional cuddle after he has bonded with the other person, he will still love you!  He will still undoubtedly be YOUR dog but in order to be a happy family he has to learn to love other people!

Step Four:  Train The Dog

I say it in all my articles ;)  but it is true!

Obedience is also important.

It is important to be able to control these dogs.

It is crucial to be able to give them commands that they will obey.

You should not have to feel that you are at the whim of a dog!

If the dog shows aggression, you should be able to give a command and have the dog comply!

I feel that the person who is disliked should take a class with the dog.  Not the old fashioned: “Yank Them and Make Them” class but a fun positive reinforcement class.   A class where they can have fun and build a bond, will change their relationship!

Because good obedience should be fun and rewarding for everyone involved!


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  1. Barbara James says:

    Great article!!


  2. Nancy says:

    Wow, I wish I had this information before. It makes so much sense. I had to give up a beloved dog because he bit my daughter. I understand the dogs behavior completely now. I was able to find him a loving home with a person who had no children and understood his behavior but it would have been so much better if we could have corrected it.


  3. judy christenson says:

    I have a dog that I rescued as a 5-wk puppy. He is now 4 yrs old. My problem is that I’m the only one who can walk him and if I’m within eyesight he won’t even play ball with someone else. If my husband tries to walk him alone he refuses to go but will go with him if I go. I am his main caregiver but I have other dogs that are fine going with someone else. He has a few other quirks such as even when I walk him he will stop and refuse to go further when he’s had enough walking. This is sometimes just a block or two. We think he’s a pit/lab mix. Any suggestions on how to get him to unfocus on me?


    Minette Reply:

    Follow the plan in the article


  4. Gonza Fm Uganda. says:

    Very good lesson.I only wish I had attended the lesson earlier.I bought an adult dog some time back.It was a very nice looking bitch very friendly.But I later realized that it had been pampered so much by its former owner and was not comfortable with other dogs.

    As luck would have it one morning I was approached by a family which wanted a trained dog to lead their blind daughter.I told them that I did not have that expertise to train dogs to that level,but I said I had a dog which I would sell to them cheaply and the lady tries to teach the dog herself with help.

    To cut the long story short the lady was a lecturer and all she needed was a dog to take her to the lecture hall.With a few days practice the dog was able to take her next to the lecture hall where she would chain it on a peg and walk to the lecture hall.After she would only tell it kennel and it would take her back home as the kennel was inside her house.Together they learnt to go for walks and it would bring her back.

    But as fate would have it the dog became so possessive and started chasing any one who came so close to her.I was consulted I said that would go with time and advised her to shout at it whenever it showed such behavior.Finally I learnt that it became so aggressive and put her job at risk.So the parents picked it and took it to their home where it was eventually killed by other dogs after one year in a fight.How I wish……..


  5. Carol Hiler says:

    I have 2 dogs, a Maltipoo and a Yorkie. Both are friendly, non aggressive and love able. They are very jealous of each other. Whatever one has the other one wants it. In spite of all that, it is fun to watch them hide their bones and the other one look for it. My problem is they both wet all over the house. I take them out every 3 hours, I walk them 2x a day. I praise them when they go outside. I have tried keeping them in one room and always find a wet spot but never catch them going. They sleep in my bed and Never wet there. I am beside myself and don’t know what to do. Help please!


  6. Nancy says:

    I live alone with three dogs. three cats and one parrot. My 2 older dogs and cats all get along as well as with the bird. Then I got my 3rd dog. A female GSD. 8 weeks old. She bonded with me so much that she will not let my old dog in the house. She only gets along with one of the cats and wants to chase the bird. I took her to puppy classes but she is so headstrong. I can’t even walk her because she pulls. I sent her to “boarding school” and he had her for 10 days. Brought her back and said how good she’s doing. Well, sure, as long as she’s being yanked around by a prong collar. Then he said he could use her in his “family” training other dogs. I gave her to him. 10 days later she was found running loose 90 miles away at 1 in the morning. I couldn’t get a hold of him so I drove and picked her up at 3am. He had left her in his mother’s back yard and she jumped the fence. The next day, after reading my frantic emails, he said to me “you aren’t bringing her back?” umm, NO! I think she’s meant to be MY dog. I love her to death. But, she barks at everyone and everything that moves. I take her as she is.


    Minette Reply:

    You need to find a different trainer and work WITH her. Boarding and training does no good because then the dog only respects the trainer. YOU need to be the trainer.

    You also need to understand the GSD. They are a dog with very high prey drive and small things like birds, kittens, etc look like prey.

    I have a Malinois and a Dutch Shepherd. Due to their high drive they need constant training and stimulation. Read this

    With obedience and work she will be a lovely dog, but you have to invest the time and not put up with her dominant tendencies. I make my dogs do down stays on their beds if they want to get jealous of my time with another pet. But that takes time and work!


  7. veronica says:

    i have a chihuahua,she is one. she lives with my 97 year old mom and my self.
    she is good with all the grandchildren, and my daughters. the problem is when my spouse, my son or son in law visit she`ll bark and bite at them. they only have visited about 3 times in the past year and only for one or 2 days.. how can i get her use to them? they live 5hour away. we are taking positive training classes and i feel so far from success.


    Minette Reply:

    If they aren’t over often it is more about control than it is about forcing the dog to like them.

    I would use a leash and make the dog do obedience when they come over and use a crate when you can’t.


  8. Jane says:

    Hello, my husband and I rescued our 3 year old terrier mix about a year ago. We realized pretty quick that he was a “fearful” dog and have been working with him to get over these fears. He has improved in some ways, but his relationship with my husband has really only gotten worse. It went from fear/hiding to more recently aggression, and he has begun lunging at him even when he is not anywhere near him (like, running over to him only to bark and growl at him). This pretty much only happens when I am around (if I am not there he basically just hides – which is not good either, but an improvement over the lunging). We have had several sessions with a dog trainer and are trying medication too, but I really just want to know if there is any way to get this lunging to stop. The exercises we do with the trainer kind of work, but as soon as we are not in a controlled situation (aka my husband getting up to walk into the kitchen rather than us planning his arrival home and getting the treats ready) he barks and growls and lunges again. My poor husband really can’t walk freely around the house. Any advice?

    Thank you!


  9. Erin says:

    Hi there,
    My family and I adopted a 6 year old American pit bull mix two days ago. When we went to meet her before we adopted her, she was great. She was a little unsure of my husband but her foster mom said she was like that with her boyfriend and warmed up to him quickly.
    Well, that was Saturday, we adopted her on Tuesday. She stalks my husband and growls at him. Then last night, she attempted to bite at one point when he walked passed her, and then later she actually DID bite him. It left a small puncture wound. We were all on the kitchen and one of my son’s started to throw up so my husband and I ran to him. She ran in front on him and as he passed her, she bit the back of his leg.
    He does as much as he can for her but he works almost two hours away so it really reduces time for him. And even when he’s doing stuff for her, she growls at him the whole time.
    I have three children ages 12, 8, and 5 (almost), and she’s ok with them. Doesn’t really bother with them much but will allow them to pet her… But since she bit my husband, I am a little leery when they’re near her.
    Any advice?
    I talked to her former foster mom about this and she was surprised. Said she’s never tried to or actually did bite anyone… I’m also planning to call the shelter trainer today as well.


    Minette Reply:

    Take her back! Your children’s lives are not worth the risk.


  10. Erin says:

    You think she’ll do the same to my kids? She hasn’t even growled at them… She’s been growling at my husband since he got home from work on Tuesday…. I just figured it was something about my husband since she only acts that way to him.


    Minette Reply:

    Is it worth the risk? Or fair to your husband?

    Most dogs get more comfortable after a month and their behavior gets worse.

    You have a significant liability at your house, that you admit bites.

    You could lose everything you own if the dog bites someone else.

    Or one of your children could lose their life.

    Just wouldn’t be worth it to me.

    there are good, nonaggressive dogs out there that need homes


  11. k bowron says:

    I would not get rid of the dog as I don’t like to give up on them.Something must have happened to this poor dog so it deserves a chance.I think it needs plenty of exercise to calm it down so when the husband came home I woild get him to prepare the food for the dog and take it out with his wife.I would also put him in a crate so he couldn’t bite the husband.I think if the dog was given treats which smelt of the husbands scent he will get used to him.He is OK with the kids.I dont think dogs should be discarded like this and replaced by another dog.Its as if they are a commodity and easily replaceable.I have a rescue who was badly treated and growled at people but I persevered and now he generally ignores people as I got him to focus on playing with a ball to the exclusion of everything around him.O also give him a good massage from time to time and I am sure this calmed him.


  12. ZeusMama says:

    Advice please! I have a 4 yr old yorkie I just moved in with my boyfriend and me and is exhibiting quite similar behaviors at times; he growls and tries to bite my boyfriend when he kisses me goodbye in the mornings when I’m still in bed. He is generally protective of me, but that’s partially because I have been injured with a broken leg most of the 3 and a half years I’ve had him. He will attack anyone who tries to wake me up when I am sleepig, or pretending to sleep to demonstrate. Zeus has been with family the past year, away from me. I just got him on Sun then had to leave town immediately for several days, forcing him to bond with my boyfriend. Both get along rather well regardless of my presence. How do I retrain Zeus to not attack when people approach me when I’m sleeping? I want my boyfriend to be able to tell me goodbye and kiss me without being attacked by my dog.
    Also, yes, Zeus is probably considered a spoiled dog with little training. He sleeps on the bed next to me, has free roam of the house, always has food and water, gets treats several times a week, walked several times a day, never went to obedience school, was taught basic commands by me and fam and friends and still doesn’t listen 75% of the time. I know he’s prob not the best dog to most people, but he’s mine and I love him, and I love my boyfriend and I want to keep both. Please help!


  13. Minette says:

    Sometimes you have to drive to a veterinary behaviorist and get a room and stay a few nights or drive a few days. People will drive for dog sports or for vacation, but they don’t consider driving for an appointment that may save their dog’s life. I would find the nearest vet school with a behavior department and get an appointment


  14. Danielle says:

    Thank you so much for this article, we just adopted a third dog and he has decided that I am his – he is fine with the kids, and the other dogs (after a little discipline) but is scared of my husband and barks and growls when he comes in, he is not aggressive per say, but scared – he is a chihuahua, they bark and run backwards, haha. My husband told me last night that we have to figure this out or he is going to have to find another home, and it breaks my heart! I told him I would look for some articles and direction to help deal with this situation. It will be hard to ignore this little buger, but I think you are absolutely correct, he has to have a need for my husband to be around and they have to create a bond.


    Minette Reply:

    I am glad you found this and it can help 🙂


  15. Marilyn says:

    I have a Yorkshire Terrier and he don’t like my husband we can’t stand close to each other or kiss around Prince he don’t like my husband know we’re near me. Prince is fine it’s just when he see my husband by me he try to bit my husband and if my husband is in the kitchen and I walk into the Kitchen Prince will try to attack my husband so I will not go by my husband because I know how Prince is. Now when it come down to my grandkids Prince is so good with them. It’s just my husband. I need some help my husband Joe said he needs to go but I will not give up my dog. So I need some help on what to do.


  16. Elizabeth says:

    My husband’s chow (6 yr old male) bit me (when we were engaged). I was in the back yard with both of them. I threw the ball twice and he went to fetch it. On the third time, when I was taking the ball from his mouth, he bit my forearm. It wasn’t extreme but I had to get a couple of stitches. He did not give him away. Now that we’re married and I moved in, I don’t get near him. I greet him when I see him through the window but that is all. I don’t trust the dog so I don’t pet or feed him. I would like for my husband to give it away and we can get another pup that we can both raise. But I don’t want to tell my husband. I want him to make that decision. What would you recommend?


    Minette Reply:

    I would recommend that you and the dog do some training together. When you go to take something out of a dog’s mouth, that is often considered “bad or rude” behavior by the dog. It isn’t right in human terms but understanding it from his standpoint can be helpful.

    Instead of avoiding him totally I would take him to a class or enroll in one of our programs so that you can change your relationship.


  17. Barbara says:

    Wow. I am going to try this with genesis. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thank you. Pray YOUR day is bless.


  18. Liz says:

    Help! I am at wit’s end. My family and I bought a one year old maltese. We were told she growls and barks at unfamiliar people in the beginning, but that she has never bitten anyone. She apparently had some bad experiences in the past and no training whatsoever. The first 2 days were terrible with her extremely attached to me or my 5 year old daughter and barking at my 7 year old son and my husband. She also growls and barks at men and boys while on walks.4 weeks on, she appears to have settled in and she loves to cuddle with us all and be petted all the time. However, she goes absolutely crazy when my husband touches me. He cannot kiss or hug me with her around. She growls, barks, snaps and tries to bite him!!! Every time he sits next to me, she plants herself in the middle! He feeds her, plays with her, walks her during the day and she spends the most time with her because he works from home, so I don’t understand the sporadic agression. She bit him once when he tried to pet her to calm her down. Also today, she crawled under the sofa and lay there and when my daughter reached in to try and pet her, she tried to bite her! Luckily, she ended up with just a scratch, but both children were in tears and distraught. I don’t know what to do!


    Minette Reply:

    You need the help of a veterinary behaviorist.


  19. Giba says:

    This is a really interesting article especially for our situation. We got out JRT as a rescue from a family who I don’t think socialised here enough or taught her right from wrong early enough on. She adores both of us now after 3 years with us but she still has so many issues. When we first got her she was biting and threatening to bite both of us, and others all of the time and just couldn’t be trusted at all. We took her to training classes and were really firm with her and slowly but surely her behaviour improved. She never used to be able to walk outside with other dogs but wil now happily go for long walks and pass most dogs no problem at all (dogs off the lead she has an issue with) and passes joggers and cyclists with no issues. Her behaviour for me when we are alone is impeccable and I never have any issues with aggression towards me however my husband will have issues whenever he goes to touch me. She also plays much more aggressively with him. Very early on I asserted myself with her whenever she used to bite/attack me – I’ve never tolerated that as I know it can lead to bigger issues. The way I asserted myself was to get aggressive with her in return. So it was a quick pick up by the scruff and straight to the kitchen to be locked in for 20 Minutes in peace and I would shout bad girl as I closed the door. 20 mins later she’s as good as gold and I repeated that whenever I needed to – now I very rarely if ever need to do it. My husband however has never been able to do this as she’s too cute (or whatever!) and the longer he leaves it the harder it is for him. I’m really lost with what to do as I don’t feel she is dominating me as I tried really hard to dominate her when we got her so we didn’t have a ‘top dog’ ruling the house scenario but maybe she still is!!! I’m really at a loss because she is great all the time apart from when my husband goes to touch me and even then it isn’t all the time.


  20. Yashashri Masurkar says:

    Hi! I have a 2 yrs old German shepherd. He was a family dog until we moved to a new place. He is always taken care by everyone in the family. We have diveded the work. Suddenly he has started showing all the symptoms you talked about in article. After I came back from vecay he absolutely denies to go for a walk with anyone else and starts growling to an extent where he is an absolutel attacker. I am going to imply everything that you have said but I think I need more help here.


  21. Ann says:

    Please help! We recently got a 4 year old JRT being re-homed from a breeder. The dog adores me, but thinks my husband is some scary, horrible person. He’s been giving her lots of treats, and trying gradually to pet him. She has got a little better, but is still very, very wary, and will take circuitous ways around the house to avoid him. He’ll visibly shake, as well when my husband approaches. My husband feels rejected and I am afraid he is giving up. The dog has also snapped at him (no breaking of skin) on occasion. Generally, however, the dog is very non-aggressive, very sweet-tempered – he just doesn’t like my husband and feels threatened. My husband and I are arguing at length about this, as I am getting tired of hearing an inventory of the dog’s behavior each day. I love the dog, and don’t believe in giving up on the dog. I know there is more my husband can do, but I can’t really fault him – he’s really tried (just not as much as I would). I’m at my wit’s end.


    Minette Reply:

    Read and follow the tips in the article


  22. Leslie says:

    I have a black Lab puppy he has always been Aggressive. We worked with a trainer and now the dog is better with me. I used positive reinforcement as much as possible. My husband gets irritated with the dog and if he pushes the dog away the dog starts lunging, growling and nipping. I try to redirect and snap him out of the behaviour which usually works. I feel my husband has no bond with the dog. I am home everyday with the dog so I must be the caregiver while my husband is at work. My husband walks him on the weekends. It would be impossible for him to walk during the week especially in winter as it is dark in the morning and at night when he comes home. Is there any other suggestions with regards to how I can ignore him while having to care for him on the weekdays?


  23. Miriam Bynum says:

    I adopted a 3 1/2 yr old chiwawa in late December. He took to me immediately. When I got him home he played extremely well with all my grandkids, but barked and snapped at my husband and any larger man that entered the house. You have a great article here with fantastic tips. However, my husband works out of town Monday- Thursday & is only home Friday-Sunday (hints the reason for a companion). Is there any chance that my dog will learn to love &/or accept my husband if we can only follow your tips 3 days a week?


    Minette Reply:

    you would also have to extend the not being affectionate with the dog on those other 3 days.


  24. Deanna Crenshaw says:

    I need some advice so this behavior doesn’t continue. My husband came home from working a night shift. He came into our bedroom and leaned over and kissed me and put his hand on my pregnant belly. Our dog started making weird wining noises and layed infront of me to block him off, my dog then barked at my husband. We got her on the floor and had him touch my belly while I was hugging him to show her it was ok and she just acts nervous and then barks again. I have to admit…. My dog is my fur baby. I admit ….we let her sleep with us, lay on the couch and spend all day loving on her. We adopted her about 3 years ago. She is incredibly sweet and great with kids but she has been acting weird ever since I got pregnant. Any special advice? I just fear she will be over protective with my daughter once she is born. Uuuggg…..I kicked her off the bed. She is sitting here staring at me with her puppy eyes.


    Minette Reply:

    Yes, get her off your bed. I would go back to strict rules and crate training to establish control BEFORE the baby.

    If all goes well after the baby arrives you can go back to having her on the furniture.


  25. Debbie S. says:

    Great article and so timely for us. We are fostering an approximately 2 year old male papillion mix. We’ve had him since the beginning of January. The Rescue told us he may have some issues with men. Initially, He did have trust issues with my husband. Eventually he was choosing my husband to curl up with while watching tv. He loves my husband BUT The issue is that when my husband approaches him to leash him, sometimes the dog will attack him. He’s drawn blood but my husband never looses his cool. He puts on thick leather gloves to protect his hands and shoes on his feet and stays with the dog until he has calmed down. What we have realized is that this usually happens when the dog is laying next to me. Just tonight we have decided that my husband will be his person. That we will keep him off the furniture. NO SLEEPING WITH US IN THE BED. That I will show him no affection and remain indifferent to him. This will be difficult during the day which he spends with me and my 10 yr old JRT mix. They love each other and play all day long. Oddly, my husband is the one who wants us to keep working with him in the hopes that we can adopt him. Our JRT has never been so happy and he’d like to keep them together. The Rescue has told us they can’t put him up for adoption with this biting issue. That basically he is unadoptable!!! So we are in a catch-22 situation. (p.s. if he was attacking me, I wouldn’t be so patient. He would be out the door.)


    Minette Reply:

    Find a veterinary behaviorist in your area to get more help


  26. Cheryl says:

    My husband and I both know that my dog is very possessive of me and I know I shouldn’t make excuses but he (husband) is such a tease! He would do things that will make our dog angry on purpose. Then, if by chance our dog gets him, he would hurt him (dog) back. It frustrates me because I don’t know what to do! ?


  27. Jennifer says:

    We are going through the same issue with our American staffordshire terrier he is 1 1/2 he lunged attack’s him and he tries to infuse it I tell him to stop and dog bites him only my husband he loves everyone else but don’t hit me if iou slap at me he will growl 3-4 times in warning before he reacts like his warning if he takes him off the bed he stops but will jump back up and do it again u til he is completely removed from the bedroom which is what have been doing seems to be the only way to stop it. I also think he has chosen me to protect other people our friends have tried same thing and he reacts the same way. Now I’ve trued Same things with my husband and he will not react. What to do?


  28. Lore says:

    Our rescue dog will sleep with my husband, we sleep in different beds due to snoring, but In the morning she Is back to barking and raising hackles at him when he gets up or comes home. She is a jumpy dog and easily startles. She has this issue with many males. I’m just stymied by her sleeping with him but then fearing him when he is awake


  29. Becky says:

    This is regarding a 6 year old male fixed Chihuahua. He is only about his male owner. My husband. He has bit everyone in my home. He also was a rescue. Ive told my husband he needs to go but doesnt care. Hes Even bit him a few times before. Lets see. Sometimes i cannot or my kids cannot walk past him without him growling. I cannot touch my husband if hes anywhere around him. He will growl and try to go after me. I also have a 7 year old female fixed chiweenie. There is not a mean bone in her body! Shes great with my kids and loves everyone. His male tho has snapped at her many times. Husband pushes it off. Neither dogs are currently allowed on my couches. But they sleep with us in bed. Im thinking about cutting that out too. Well i cant go down to pet him. Walk past him. Anything. When my husband is home he is up his butt. 24/7. He cant even go to the bathroom! I will make a remark that the dog needs to quit following him. He never has a sturn voice with him. Well we have a new baby due in 2 months. Im ready to give my husband the ultimatum here. Baby or dog. He thinks he will be fine with her. I tell him he will nevee be trusted with her!


  30. Peggy Smith says:

    We just rescued our 3 year old Yorkie 2 months ago and he is very possessive of me and will lunge at my husband. I love this article and hopefully I can get my husband to follow it with me! It’s hard to get my husband to put his phone or newspaper down, or get his butt out of his chair to take care of and play with the dog. I tell him if he doesn’t want to get lunged at, he needs to follow the article. My question is since my husband works part time and I am retired and home during the day, do I still mostly ignore my dog (other than letting out to go potty) or just when my husband is around? Thank you!


    Minette Reply:

    I would try to foster independence without you there, more time outside, in a crate or structured activities like walks to make her tired.


  31. Simone says:

    My partner and my Jack Russel do not get on at all. In thr beginning my dog was all about him but my partner usually ignored him and gave attention to my other dog (he found the bouncy Jack Russell behaviour to annoying). Than we had a baby and my partner went in over protective mode and shouted and roared at my dog a few times and once or twice threw a his direction. My dog is brilliant with everybody, especially my now toddler but is afraid of my partner. For a while it was so bad that he would hide his tail and squeal if he had to get past him. My partner is trying to make ammends for the last 3 months but instead of the hidden tail and squeal the dog now growls at him if the three of us sit on the couch. I usually send him off to hiis crate but tthat won’t solve the issue in the long run. Help. He is such a good dog bar his growling on the couch towards my parter.


  32. Lee says:

    Thanks for the article. Question, I was walking my dog and a dog got off his leash and came bouncing over, the owner was right behind him but had two dogs, my dog did ok as I was calm and verbally reassuring him. When the owner was releasing his dog I calmly called my dog to my side, he came but so did one of the other dogs. My dog stepped between me and the other dog sniffed it and then started to growl. I realize my dog was being protective/aggressive. I kept a loose lease and calmness the entire time.
    What else can I do? I do not want my dog to be protective/aggressive over me or anything else. I’m a 1 person 1dog household.
    Thank you for your help!


    Minette Reply:

    I like to appreciate my dog giving me information (the growl) but I want to put an end to aggression when I ask.

    The more obedience the less your dog is protective and feels a need to step in… I would recommend more obedience consistently at least 5 times per day, don’t worry, he will love it.


  33. Ashley says:

    Hello I have a 1.5 year rescue of 4 weeks who is having these problems. He is hyper bonded to me and has problems with my husband. My husband is the only one that feeds him or gives treats (has been since the start). Also he is not allowed on any furniture. The other night my husband was trying to work on sit with treats and when my husband wouldn’t give him the treat without sitting first he became aggressive started barking and bit my husband calf (no skin breakage). I am going away for a week and it will just be the two of them. Should I ignore him when I return?


    Minette Reply:

    You need to work with a veterinary behaviorist due to the aggression and I wouldn’t leave them alone together I would board the dog until you can find a boarded veterinary behaviorist… this is not normal at all and very concerning.


  34. Bree Jordan says:

    I know this article is super old, but I’m glad I found it! We’ve had our rescue Wheaten terrier mix for about two months, and she’s the sweetest thing on four legs, but she’s started resource guarding me specifically? She’s not aggressive to my fiance – she’ll let him walk her (though he doesn’t do it often,) but she does seem to be afraid of him. She runs away when he enters the room and rarely comes up to him.

    She sleeps on a dog bed in our room, and lately she’s started growling and barking when he gets too affectionate. Even touching my arm or pretending to bite me, anything. Then it started happening downstairs, so we’re trying the plan outlined in this method. Turning walks, feeding, training and cuddles over to him, and having her sleep in my mom’s room in the basement. I’m not worried about her biting, but I am worried about her getting so possessive. How much is too much, though? If I ignore her, is she going to feel abandoned all over again? She’s been dumped a LOT of times, and I want this to be easy on her. I may be ascribing more human emotion to her than I should, but it’s so hard.

    How normal is this situation, and what are generally the odds of recovery in your opinion? Thank you!


  35. Jo-Ann says:

    I have a rescue who now it’s been deteined was physically abused by a male. She is fine with my husband when I’m not home. She is fine with anyone who enters our home but she continually barks and my husband. He has become angry at the dog and yells at her and refuses to “work” with her at this point. He has no patience for her and now 2 1/2 years later I also torn because I love her dearly and she is very loving towards others and gets along well with all other dogs. Is there any hope to keep her? Would another dog in the home distract her from husband?? She ignores him totally when I am not home. Any suggestions? I thought of getting a no bark device. If she didn’t bark at him it would be fine. Ty!!


  36. Erica says:

    Adopted a 1.5yr fixed male mutt (shar pei/pit/gsd/boxer) with sister 3.5 months ago. Female bonded with husband and I, male just with me. Learned all about kennel mate syndrome (too late). Trained separate, worked on separation anxiety and made a lot of progress. Good on down/stay/come. Yet male still not friendly with husband. He feeds 90% of time since beginning. Dogs kennel trained. Have access to one couch but not other. Decided to return female to see if it helped male bond to husband (male is the one I like more). With option to go back for her. Still nothing (no obvious separation anxiety from litter mate). He is happy and will acknowledge him when they go on walks together, car ride, park all without me. But get home and different dog. He growls at him, won’t come to him when asked or just because. Runs away from him when he gets to close. Tucked tail, fear, anxiety. When he tethers with leash during day dog will follow him without complaint, though still exhibiting fear – tucked tail, shivering, obviously not happy, but will listen. Soon as leash off he is out. Trainer (30yrs experience) thinks is not going to work as behavior no different after 3.5 months of working and separated from sibling. We tend to agree but it hurts my heart. Would love your opinion.


  37. Caitlin says:

    So thankful for this, it’s exactly what we are dealing with our 1yo Treeing Walker Coonhound rescue. He has become very possessive of me and will chase my husband away from the hall, barking and growling, if I’m down there. We found this and started doing it just 3 days so far and it’s already making a big difference!

    How long does it normally take for the dog to learn to accept the other person? I’m worried about stopping too soon.


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