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HELP! Puppy avoids male of the house. A little desperate. LONG!

Forum: Pet Owners and Animal Lovers


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January 4th, 2011, 06:12 PM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,971
Hi folks,

I am brand new to this board (but not to JM). And I have a curious issue. We are the breeders of a litter of mini dachshund puppies. We are not a puppy mill or irresponsible breeder (just so I don't get flak for it). We did our research, have a breeding coach, and are on board with our vet every step of the way. We only have one litter a year, if that. And the dam(s) are our pets. This is our third litter, second from this female (with the same father for the two litters).

One of our puppies went to a friend. They are an elderly couple who had a dachshund who recently died at 17 years old. They took one of our tiny females who was loving and delightful while here. I (a woman) did the primary care. But my husband also loved to be around the puppies and took care of their needs. There was no yelling or discipline on our end. Just for background.

The puppy has been with the couple for 2 months and completely avoids the man of the house. Apparently, he is a sweet, gentle man who has never disciplined or otherwise been unfavorable to the dog. The little dog adores her mom, the visitors (an adult female and a male child) who regularly visit. But will not allow the man to do anything for her. If he takes her out on the leash, she will not potty. But if the woman comes and takes the leash, she will go immediately. She will not take treats or food from him. Will not sit with him if the couple is watching TV at night. She will, however, do these things if her ONLY option is him (say the woman is out or away for a night). The thing that threw me off too as the dog will go out of her way to avoid the man, like if he is in her walking path, she will give wide berth. She does display aggressive behavior, like raising her hackles and rumbling if he comes close (while she is with her mother). So I wonder whether we would be able to tell jealousy from fear or protectiveness in this situation.

The couple is heartbroken as they want to share the little dog (she will be their last). And I have never heard of this to this degree. Apparently they have tried to have him take care of all her needs, but she doesn't relent. They have tried to have him give her lots of love and care. But she still runs away. They really want to work it out, but are out of ideas. And we have no issue with our 5 that we own regarding this.

I am sorry this was so long, but I felt you needed as much info as I had to give. If ANYONE has any assistance or insight, it would be greatly appreciated. I am going to gather as much as I can before suggesting things they can do. Thank you in advance. I really appreciate it!
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January 4th, 2011, 10:31 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
I say they should get with a behaviorist in their area...NOT a trainer, but an actual behaviorist. I would also say that the man of the house needs to take over care of the dog 100% until it starts to regard him as part of the family. "Mom" needs to back away. Puppy should not be free fed (if it is) and man should feed the pup and require the pup to do something (sit is usually easiest) prior to eating, he can start training the pup and giving it treats (or offering anyway), taking it out to potty, etc and the lady will just need to stay in the background for awhile. Once the pup recognizes the man as it's food supply, leader, etc things should be okay. I'd try that for a couple of months first. If that doesn't work absolutely contact a behaviorist who can see the behavior one on one.
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February 8th, 2011, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
I agree with Mommie2one - going and getting professional help is a good option for them. The dog sounds like he has lack of respect for the man and therefore is in competition to be further up the theoretical totem pole. My advice would be that the man needs to assert dominance over the puppy - even if it might be harsh for a few weeks. After the dominance is engrained, the dog should respond to the male also.

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