Is your dog making you feel like you are under constant guard from your other family members including your husband? The rise is certain dog breeds aggressively choosing to protect a wife from her husband or vice versa is growing at an alarming rate. But, why do dogs protect you and not your husband?
Naturally, dogs are predisposed to guard their food. … you are most likely the one who feeds the dog and not your husband. In this case, your dog feels thretened when anyone comes closer to you or any other person feeding them. If you are the one who always do the feeding, chances are that the dog is guarding you as a matter of survival instinct. For as long as you are the dogs food provider, you are the most treasured asset for their survival.
Way back in time, Dogs in the wild used to guard their kill long after they have fed. This trait can also be seen in domesticated dogs today who are resource protectors likely to feel motivated to guard the person who feeds them.
Needless to mention the dangers associated with resource guarding traits in our dogs, you need to take steps to make sure that your dog is aware or confident that he won’t have to scavenge for food. Alternating dog feeding duties is also how you and your husband including children living in a home with a resource-guarding dog must actively participate to de-escalate the situation likely to become unacceptably risky for your husband who may get bitten by your own dog.
While most dogs will follow you everywhere, excessive protectiveness in small dogs like Chihuahua (who pick a favorite family member) is no less of a dangerous situation than any other large dog breed. So, the moment you notice your cuddly dog getting snappy at your boyfriend or husband, you need to take steps to nip this behavior in the bud before the dogs turn to aggressive behaviors.
While dog protection is an essential trait for guard dogs or those prevent Coyotes from livestocks, but, when your dog is protecting you and not your huband, your dog is undoubtedly a huge liabilty as evrytime a family members gets too close to their owner they like the most,the dog may feel compelled to bite.
Lets face it, dogs have always been known to be man’s best friend. Well… Why wouldn’t they be? They grow with us, entertain us, and give us the one thing that we need from a best friend; companionship.
Most of all, they dedicate their lives to protect us. In fact, some dogs are such great protectors that they are often trained to become service dogs.
Some dogs are too loyal to their owners (mostly one person in the family) to the point where they only want to protect that person. It’s one thing for the dog to stick so close to you when you live by yourself.
But it’s certainly very nerve-racking when the dog is so fond of you that it chooses to protect you and not anyone else in the family, let alone your significant other- someone you care about so passionately.
If you are going through this situation, you are not alone. I would like to welcome you to the only post you will ever need, specifically on this topic.
Here, we will guide you through the cause of this behavior and what you can do to tackle it- and before it gets out of hand.
Why does your dog protect you and not your husband?
Your dog only wants to protect you and not your husband because overtime, you have been feeding him, curling up with him on a sofa to watch day time tv and showed him so much affection, love, and attention your husband has been falling out of grace and you have become the most treasured member of the pack, and not your husband.
Most dogs that are loved in this way tend to develop a habit of guarding toys, food bowl even their owners too.
These are called Resource-Guarding dogs. If the dog is only used to being around you, it will start to see you as a resource that it can guard, and this is exactly what is happening in this scenario.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that showing affection to your dog is a bad thing. But it’s the overdoing it part that is.
After all, too much of everything can be detrimental- even too much love and affection to your dog.
And, once your dog becomes resource guarding, it will be very alert not to let anyone near you and your property- not even your own husband.
At this point, it can resource guard many things in your home. These are things such as food, high value treats, toys, furniture as well as furniture.
This resource guarding behavior is a very common problem, and it is a contributing factor to the increase in population in the Kennels.
Most families simply can’t take the drama of having to choose to spend time with the dog and not family members under the defense “my dog doesn’t like it when I interact with you”. However, there are so many other dogs that can handle all the affection from you without these adverse effects.
How can you get your dog to get used to your husband?
- Limit or share evenly the amount of affection to the dog
Resource guarding dogs are not good at sharing, so, if your dog is aggressive towards your husband, it may be due to the fact that the dog is used to getting all the love and affection from you.
So, it’s only a natural response that the dog feels the need to protect you and not your husband. So what happens if you limit the amount of affection that you give to your dog? Limiting the amount of affection implies to the following:
- Not giving your dog treats all the time
- Limiting the praise that you give your dog
If you do, your dog will likely notice it. This might trigger confusion in your dog, especially in those first few days. But over time, the dog will naturally adjust to the changes, and he won’t be attached to you so fiercely.
Eventually, you will be less likely of a resource that they always want to guard. Your dog will learn to share your attention with your husband, and will seek affection from the husband too.
- Create space between you and the dog
If your dog is only used to being around you, it might develop the habit of always following you around the house, and won’t let anyone near you.
To address this behavior, you have to create space between you and the dog. In this way, your dog can get used to not being right next to you at all times.
Create this space involves teaching the dog, particularly the place command. In this way, the dog will have a specific spot to stay (his bed, the couch, or his favorite corner), and you will be free to move around the home.
- Share the cost with the dog
Besides not protecting your husband, there might be other behaviors that your dog is exhibiting. Your dog may start growling when he sees you and significant other:
- Holding hands
- In bed
In the dog’s world, affection through things such as hugging or kissing doesn’t exist. So when your dog sees you cuddling with your husband, he might immediately associate this as a conflict, and the dog will then start growling to get you to stop.
And sometimes instead of growling, he might simply come and sit in between in order to separate you (but this only happens when the dog is used to being around both spouses). This should not be misunderstood with jealousy.
So when the dog starts barking or growling, take it to the next room and put it on the leash. What you are doing here is that you are letting your dog know that the growling is unacceptable.
Sooner or later, your dog will associate the growling to the leash (and the leash to the next room- away from you). This can correct the dog’s behavior.
- Socialize them
Socializing has to be the most effective way of handling aggression in dogs, especially towards other people and family members.
Sometimes it may just be that your dog is not used to being around your husband. This is very common in new families.
So, you have to make sure that your husband and the dog spend some time together. You can take turns with your husband to feed, groom and exercise the dog. In time, they will develop a bond, and your husband will become someone that the dog will protect as well.
What are some of the causes of this aggression towards your family?
There are quite a few factors that can trigger aggression in dogs, especially of this type. But there are some theories that remain misunderstood.
While most people believe that a dog’s aggression may be triggered due to the lack of a dominant member in the family. But, aggression in dogs, especially towards family members, is not likely to be related to dominance, nor is it caused by social status.
Dominance-related aggression is a common misconception, which tends to lead to the introduction and implementation of inappropriate treatment strategies. Eventually, these strategies can worsen of the aggressive behavior instead of making it better.
What is the true cause of a dog’s aggression?
According to animal behavioral psychologists, most of a dog’s aggression is triggered by fear, anxiety as well as conflict about what to expect and what to do about it. In addition, the anticipation of possible punishment for their wrong doing could create fear, which is also likely to cause aggressive behavior.
Final Thoughts On Dominance-Related Aggression
If fear is causing aggression in your dog (behaviors such as growling and the like) then any training programs that you will design to enforce the human family members, alpha or dominance, for instance using conflict or intimidation-based involvement, you will only end up increasing the anxiety rather than decrease it, and this will accelerate the aggressive responses.
Here’s why these dominance strategies don’t work
As I said before, dogs’ aggressive responses are often caused by fear and anxiety, and so on. Those Strategies that are made to achieve pack leadership or dominance over your dog do not address those triggering factors; the fear or anxiety and lack of understanding of what to expect or how to react in the situation.
Now we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t have control over your dog. Being in control of the interactions with the pet is desirable by every dog owner. After all, if you can’t control your pet, your home will become chaotic.
While it is good to apply strategies that will let your dog know that you are the boss, those strategies should be achieved in non confrontational ways- these are the ways that decrease those underlying emotions; anxiety and conflict.
In summary, your dog protects you and not your husband because he is not used to being around your husband. Sadly, dogs with protective nature like this often bite when they feel threatened. Luckily, with proper socializing and creating space between you and your dog, your dog will less likely be attached to just you, and will be able to share your love and affection with your husband.