My Husband’s Dog Growls At Me When He’s On The Furniture! – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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Your Dog Guards The Bed: Here is an real email from a past student. The situation was becoming dangerous…
My husband has an adult, 3 year old dog, named Trevor. He is, overall, a nice sweet dog and well cared for. My husband worked with Trevor and completed your Basic Obedience I class when Trevor was 5 months old. If you recall, I was not able to participate in the training. I was working a full time job, whereas my husband is retired and did all the lessons. As a result, Trevor obeys my husband, but doesn’t obey me. In addition, my husband has decided he likes a “natural dog”, meaning he doesn’t enforce any of the house rules, and let’s Trevor get away with things that I don’t approve of. That makes me very frustrated with Trevor, and my husband, at times. Now, we have a problem that I don’t know how to address, so I’m seeking additional training advice.
Normally, Trevor sleeps outside the master bedroom. On really warm nights we turn on a small air conditioning unit in our bedroom window. Because of the heat we sometimes move his bed into the bedroom and/or leave the door open so he can sleep in a more comfortable room. He sleeps on the floor. Our rule is: Even though he typically sleeps outside the room, in the morning, when invited, it is OK for him to come in the room. He has never been allowed on our bed. Tonight, my husband, Fred, had gone to bed and was asleep. When I entered the room Trevor was on the bed. I did not touch him but said his name (calmly) and told him “Off”. He became upset and growled and showing teeth had his lips pulled back in what I read as “attack'” stance. I could not get near the bed. He then stood and was growling at me from the bed. This woke Fred. When Fred told him off he again growled showing all teeth, lips pulled back. Even after he got off the bed he was growling and showing all teeth. His entire posture was rigid. Fred and I both walked out of the room. Because I was scared I went outside to sit. Trevor sat by the door looking out at me like he does when he wants to play. Earlier in the evening he was so gentle and calm. I can play with him, give him treats from my hand and not have any issue. He is also generally very “protective” of me. I cannot go anywhere in the house or outside without him being right beside me and getting even closer if a stranger comes near us. I do not understand this sudden and dramatic change. Not knowing what else to do, Fred and I both chose to ignore him saying “Bad Dog!” We would be very interested in hiring you, and receiving your recommendations as to what to do with these unexpected situations.
Get Professional Help: Even though I worked with the husband and the dog, note that the husband didn’t continue doing what I recommended, and started his own way of relating to his dog. In addition, note that the wife didn’t decide to participate in the lessons, and the husband didn’t follow instructions and transfer what he knew to his wife. So, even if I do everything right, if you don’t follow up on the homework, then things can unravel like this with some dogs. In situations like this, you need to hire a professional dog behaviorist. This is not something you should be handling on your own. You won’t find the right answer on the internet, and the longer this goes on, the more dangerous it can become. It is also almost always able to be fixed if you handle it right. In this case, I had to go back, give them free follow up, and showed them how to get this fixed.