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Thread: behaviour differs between me and the wife!

  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    Default behaviour differs between me and the wife!

    G'day All,

    a question for you behavior experts!

    when my wife and i are sitting having a coffee or a beer or somethin, gypsy will jump up on my wife for a scratch. It's not a full on jump, but she will put her front paws up on her lap and give the occasional lick, the wife will give her a cuddle and an ear scratch etc and we move on!. However with me she will sit at my feet and wait for the pat.

    The other thing is that she seems to be more obedient with me than she does with kaz, and she can be a little more on edge on walks when kaz comes along (she's still not aggressive)

    also, if kaz is home alone she does guard more than when i am home.

    the behavior isn't really at a problem level, just wondering why she does it ?
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" Author Unknown

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    I am no expert, but as a watcher of multi dogs, id say your bang on the mark, that the dog is guarding more, in your absence.
    my GSD will put his head up my dressing gown sleeve, and sing to me, to get a scratch, same dog sits at my partners side, and waits for a scratch.
    My rottie has always pushed her way onto a half sitting on your lap position to get a cuddle. I like it, have reinforced it. She has never done this to my husband.
    My french mastiff is like velcro and his massive head, is generally on my lap or foot. Never my husbands. When people arrive into the house, and my husband is not home, he has been known to jump in front of me, and front up to the noise of intruders, he doesnt bother if my husband is home.

    they all behave differently, depending on circumstances, environment, and confidence in the leader. The dog seems more confident around you, than your wife.

    and whilst my husband might want to call the dogs back to him when out, its me they come to. Its me they retrieve to, regardless if it was my husband who threw the ball.
    go figure. it just is.

    Ive never considered guarding me, a problem. or what was the point in having 3 giants?

  3. #3
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    I think it comes down to what your dog thinks her job is in the family. She clearly thinks your wife needs more looking after than you do. And I think she looks to you and ask permission for a pat, where as she demands/or invites your wife to do same.

    Volunteering licking (or a pat) is what puppies do to their mum. All round the face. It starts out as feed me - and sort of progresses to respect/take care of me/don't hurt me stuff. My dog doesn't lick me very often - because I don't do anything to encourage it (like pat her). It's good from an obedience point of view - to not reward the dog with a pat every single time it demands attention. (massive fail on my part). Sometimes is ok, every time (or more than 4 out of 5 times - not so good.

    Cos then your dog thinks they're in charge and they have to look after you (guard) which can up the doggy stress and anxiety levels - depending on the nature of the dog. Heelers are definitely into guarding your stuff.

  4. #4

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    In my experience this is quite normal. It comes down to who the dog see's as it's leader, who it has the most fun with and therefore wants to be around the most etc etc etc

  5. #5
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    Maybe it's just an assessment of with whom they have a better chance of getting what they want. If Nero needs a cuddle he'll jump up on the sofa and try lying on my lap like he was still a little puppy but he almost never does that with OH. Maybe because OH can't do two things at the same time. It's either scratching the dog or watching the movie Roxy jumps up in the mornings onto the bed for a cuddle and forces her way into OH's arm, regardless if he is awake or not. If necessary she'll lie down on his chest licking his face until he IS up. I'm not a morning person. At all. It's very doubtful if she was successful trying that with me and sure enough she has never tried.

  6. #6
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    with whom they have a better chance of getting what they want
    This is exactly it. You reward some things but not others, and your OH complements you by rewarding what you don't... this way the dog is driving the bus... he just has to change buses depending on where he wants to go...this one for the 4WD tracks and this one for the city...

  7. #7
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    I see it as just fitting in with the different people in the household, what they want to do (allow paws up and pat etc)
    Mine know not to expect anything if I am eating so they just lie around.
    As hubby sometimes gives them stuff they stay near him when he eats.
    I don't feel that things always have to be uniform unless it causes problems in some way.

    Jodi guards me and tries to keep the others away as she is a selfish little cow. The other dogs and we just ignore that behaviour as she knows I will pat them if I want to and she can't do anything about it except voice her grumbling displeasure when this happens. Everyone also ignores this.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8
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    thanks all. like i said, it's not really a problem, i've just always wondered why she does it.!

    i do agree we probably need to be a little more uniform!
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" Author Unknown

  9. #9
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    Dogs are very good at knowing different rules for different people and contexts.

    If it doesn't bother you - you don't need to change anything.

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