Is your dog growling at the sight of your husband in bed? Listen, dog aggression is the liability you do not need, and if your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior towards your husband, it’s time to teach him that he is not the boss of the family pack. Still, why does your dog growl at your husband in bed?
Your dog’s aggression towards your husband in bed is the dog’s possesive traits combined with resource guarding. The dog feels threatened and is standing the ground to protect his pack position if not the most favorite family member. It’s very common for dogs to guard their food, toys of their furniture. Still, everytime the dog feels threatened or feel less inclined to get off the bed when you ask them to, it’s resource guarding as moving makes them feel like yielding their comfort when they have been there for some time and are comfortable is not what they want.
So, if your dog is being aggressive towards your husband when he is in bed with you, its time to train your dog that regardless of how long he has been curled up on that bed or sofa, when asked to move over he must get “off” without growling.
As much as dog aggression when your husband joins you in bed is a sign that your dog is possessive, there are numerous reasons that your dog begins to exhibit aggression toward your husband when in bed. If your dog feels conflicted about sharing your bed with someone else other than him, then the underlying causes of his aggression is conflict aggression, fear-based( fear of loss as dogs are hierarchical pack animals, defensive aggression, status-related aggression, possessive aggression, food guarding aggression or it could also be redirected aggression if he’s always away.
Let’s all admit it. Having an aggressive dog is one of the most stressful situations that you can ever go through. It’s even worse when you are not sure what caused the aggression in the first place.
Generally, a dog’s aggression depends on the breed. Some dogs are too friendly to be aggressive, even if it’s towards a person or a dog that has never encountered them before.
ON the other hand, some dogs are wary too much of strangers, which automatically triggers the aggression, because they want to protect their owners. But sometimes the aggression may be a bit excessive.
A while back, a woman confided in me about her dog, saying that it is friendly to her but not her husband. One of her greatest concerns were that the dog constantly growls at the husband, especially in bed.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the things that can trigger an aggressive behavior in a dog, how you can recognize the aggression, as well as how it can be addressed. But first,
Why does the dog growl at your husband in bed?
The dog likely growls at the husband because it is not fully used to being around him, as well as sharing your time and attention, among other things. A lot of dogs like to be affectionate to their owners.
This love and affection can get so extreme, to the point where the dog always wants to be around you- at least most breeds are this way. They also want to be given the same affection that they are giving to their owners.
This may result into a jealous behavior when the owner is, for instance; petting another dog, holding someone’s hand, hugging someone and, in this case, being in the same bed with someone other than them.
This is a very common occurrence in dog breeds such as the Australian cattle dog, which is commonly called the heeler (because of their signature move: they like to nip heels).
Cattle dogs are known for developing a very tight bond with their owners, are prone to separation anxiety if the owner is away for an extended period of time.
The level of aggression in dogs can worsen if they haven’t been socialized enough as pups. Other breeds that fall under this “aggressive” category are Chihuahuas, Shiba Inus and many more.
In true sense, dog shouldn’t be growling at your husband at all. Regardless of the amount of time that the husband has been around, or how often he is not home, a dog will always recognize the husband as a member of its family.
But in some cases, the dog simply doesn’t want to share your time with the husband, and this indeed is a big problem that can affect your home.
So, why is your dog growling at your husband in bed?
There are a few things involved here. I will list these below.
1) Fear of losing their owner’s time and affection
First of all, your dog feels like it’s going to lose you to your husband. And if the dog is already prone to separation anxiety (like most breeds), losing you will be the last thing on their mind.
Plus, the dog is acting up in bed. This is likely the spot where he is used to getting all the affection and play from you. So it’s not entirely uncharacteristic that he is acting this way.
2) Lack of socialization
I’m sure you have come across this word a couple of times: Socialization. It’s a very simple process that, when applied to your dog’s daily life, can make a huge difference, especially in the long run (as they get older)
Socialization, in this case, involves exposing your dog to all sorts of things in the environment. When it comes to socialization, there is one thing you should always keep in mind.
“If your dog is introduced to someone early, he will likely be acceptable of that person when he is older”
So the main aim of socialization is to get your dog used to as many things as possible. Pick the things that he will be hearing throughout this life time.
When socializing your dog, let him get used to people of all ages, different indoor or outdoor sounds, various smells, as well as other pets. You get the idea.
What should you do about it?
Now that we have answered your question, let’s give you a few tips on how you can correct this problem in your dog, especially before it drives you crazy- if it hasn’t already.
Now there are a couple of options that you can adapt in order to restore peace in your bedroom, and ultimately, your home.
Here’s a list of the tips you can follow:
1) Limit the affection to the dog
Now I agree; this idea does sound like it’s going the opposite way and away from what we are trying to achieve, but it helps.
Allow me to explain. As I mentioned earlier, most dogs prefer to be around their owners because they are fiercely loyal and want to protect their owners at all times.
What will happen when you limit the affection to your dog? Your dog may start to get attention from the other person, which in this case is the husband.
2) Create Space between you and the dog
Also, it is important to create space between yourself and the dog. You want your dog to stop the habit of always wanting to be where you are- or your shadow.
It can take a while for the dog to get used to this, especially if the dog is very loyal to you. To speed up this process, consider teaching the dog the place command so the dog has a specific spot to stay while you either watch TV, stay in bed, or simply move around the house.
If your dog still wants to follow you around the house, try other methods of keeping him in one spot, like a leash for instance.
Or when you are training him to stay in one place, consider using positive reinforcements to keep your dog engaged and attentive to the training. This generally involves the use of treats, associated with praise. Dogs love that.
3) Share the consequences
What consequences are we talking about? The growling. Instead of having to deal with the growling yourself, let your dog feel the consequences for his actions.
IN this case, it is suggested that you put the dog on a leash as soon as it starts to growl. On top of that, the dog should nor crated.
Once the dog is on the leash, you can then issue the right corrections to the behavior. Be sure not to go overboard with this and start yelling or punishing your dog. This will only make the situation worse that it will make it better.
The aim of putting the dog on the leash is simply to tell him “If you growl, you will be kept far away from me”. Sooner or later, your dog will start respecting that.
But if this doesn’t seem to work, you can turn it up a notch by
1) Getting the husband involved in taking care of the dog
The whole purpose of this article is to minimize your dog’s aggression towards your husband, and what system can do the job better than this one?
Your husband has to be actively involved in caring for the dog. What do I mean?
Well, are you the only one that feeds the dog?
If so, then consider having your husband take over. Your dog will get used to your husband very fast in this way. And when feeding, you can also advise him to try hand-feeding the dog.
Worried that he might get bitten? That’s very unlikely. The number one thing that can distract dogs from literary anything is food. If he is the one doing that job, your dog will be less aggressive to him, even during bedtime.
On top of feeding, you can also have the husband getting involved in training exercises as well as during play sessions. When you are taking the dog for a walk, let your husband come along, and have him hold the leash.
In a nutshell, the dog is growling at the husband because he is simply not used to interacting with the husband and sharing you with anyone else.
But, there are a few things you could do in order to keep that aggression at bay. You should consider limiting the amount of affection that you give your dog, while creating a space between you two.
Furthermore, you can apply corrections to your dog when he starts growling, so as to share the consequences- so to speak.
Last of all, get your husband involved in activities such as feeding and grooming, taking the dog for walks and exercises. In the long run, the aggression will naturally disappear.