Fear of My Husband??

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mommachap's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-28

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I know that I have posted a similar question about Emerson not to long ago, but it seems like his fear of my husband is getting worse.

He finally has had his shots, so I have been taking him for walks and to the dog park, and he is doing great with both other dogs and people. It seems to only take him a couple of minutes to warm up to the other pups and then to the other people:) I was so happy with how well he has done the last couple of days at the park.

Our issue seems to be now with my husband, Garry. Its like he goes into panic as soon as Garry calls his name, he starts running like crazy from one end of the house to the other with his ears pinned and peeing,  looking like he is trying to find a place to hide. He will sit beside Garry some times, but it is never by choice. I was just wondering if any of you have had any similar situations with your guys, and if so what did you do to help them get past it. It is to the point right now that Garry can't do anything with him, if he opens the door to let him outside, Emerson just wont go. He usually runs in the other direction ears pinned to hide in his kennel. He will try and feed him, but Emerson wont take the food if Garry is the one to give it to him. Emerson is my first pup as an adult, so I have no idea what to do in this situation. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry if it seems like I keep asking the same questions over and over. I just want to make sure that I do things right, and I want Emerson to enjoy ALL of us, and for him and Garry to be able to have fun together too.

Thanks again

Sir-Phin's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-17

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I don't know what to say other than maybe it's the tone of your husbands voice that he's reacting to.  I know that when Luke was going out of town a lot with work and Phin was home with just myself and my 2 girls for an extended period of time, when Luke would come home Phin would seem leery of Luke.  I think it had something to do with being around higher pitched female voices for a long time and then all of a sudden there's a loud booming male voice that sounds like he's being "yelled" at due to its deeper octave.

We had a rescue dobe that was fearful of any men that had a mustache, a friend of ours came to our house after not visiting for about 3 weeks, he had grown a mustache and Dobie went nuts barking and defending!  The same friend came back the next day, clean shaven and no reaction other than a wagging tail and bowing down to play.

cynfully2's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-12

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Hi mommachap:


My Loki was also fearful of men, he was a rescue and we did not realize when we picked he that he was so fearful. I have two 6 foot plus sons and he cowered under me that first few moments in meeting him. He had to be neutered the next day before we could bring him home and I was not able to go myself to pick him up, so I sent the two of them. Well he again cowered in fear and hide under chairs in the shelter until they were able to find a female employee to assist them in getting him to come out. Unfortunately she did not walk them out to the car which presented another problem, again a kind female stopped to help. Much of what I did was to stand, sit or whatever close to both sons, he was quite leery but began to not run and pee in fear. The boys would not touch him unless he allowed it, and peanut butter worked wonders, he loves it. It took about a week before he stopped backing away and about two weeks before he was comfortable with them. Sometimes he is still leery of certain men on our walks but he is so much better now. Good luck and try the treats, I also agree with Sir-Phin it may also be the deeper voice.

scotty's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-06

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How does your husband present himself to Emerson, maybe the puppy finds his size threatening, especially if he is looking straight at him. 

We have a cross terrier who was a rescue and was really nervous of my son (who is well over 6 ft) when we first got him and we got over this by having my son crouch down side on to Archie.  He never made eye contact with the dog and didn't speak, he just sat their quietly.  He had a treat in his hand and eventually Archie made his way over to him.   My son didn't touch him but let him take the treat from his hand.   Archie kept going away and coming back to him for another treat and eventually when we felt he was comfortable being close he gently put his hand out and scratched him under the chin, no quick movements otherwise Archie was off !

It wasn't a quick fix and my son had lots of patience with Archie and never forced himself on him but he always had a treat or a toy to give him and he always went down to his level rather than tower over him.   Now they are the best of friends and, in fact, my son gets the biggest welcome from Archie when he comes into the house.

Might be worth a try.

mommachap's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-28

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Thought I would give you guys an update....Thank you all for your suggestions, they seem to have worked... My hubby was really calm with him and just kept trying, and all of a sudden there seems to be trust:) He doesn't always go to him when he is called, but most of the time he now greets him with a super cute wagging bum. He will actually go and play with him now, and when he is told to go to his bed by Garry, he actually goes.... all of this with no pee anywhere!!!! So happy that they have started to bond... We couldn't be happier, he is turning in to such a great dog! Love him so much!

Joined: 2011-07-20

Great news!  Keep up the great work!

scotty's picture
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Joined: 2011-04-06

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So pleased to hear that they are now bonding, sounds like you have it sussed.