I've had my adorable pup "Gimli" for about 2 months now. He is now 5 and a half months old.
I work full time, Mon-Fri from 9-6 roughly. My husband gets to stay at home with my puppy the entire day while I'm at work.
When I get home, Gimli acts like he is afraid of my husband. He hides behind me, won't "come" to my husband when he calls him, cries whenever my husband tries to pick him up, etc.
My husband tells me that this only happens when I am home. When I'm at work, Gimli follows my husband around everywhere. He listens and obeys commands, and isn't "afraid" of him.
I figured maybe I could stop this behavior by ignoring him everytime he cries, or tries to hide behind me, but it hasn't stopped.
Why could he be doing this? How can it be fixed? I'm a little lost at the moment. :( I just want him to be happy all the time! I don't want him acting scared whenever I am home.
Awh that sounds like a tough situation:( I don't have any advice (I am not strong with dog behaviors) but I wanted to toss in that the picture of Gimli is beyond adorable! He's so handsome!
Good luck, and I'm sure that someone on the site will have a useful tip or two!:) Keep your chin up!
Thanks so much Kymii. :)
There are several possibilities. One is that it is attention-seeking behavior and he's not really afraid at all. It may have worked once and he's learned to put on an act. Will he approach your husband and take food from him confidently when you are there? If so, he's probably not really afraid. If not, then the fear is real.
It's also possible that at some point something scary happened, both you and your husband were there, and for some reason he's come to associate the scary thing with your husband but only when you are also in the picture.
I would use a combination of ignoring (by you) the unwanted behavior and counter-conditioning (by your husband) to encourage desired behavior, whether the fear is real or not. You do not respond in any way to any of his distress. ACTIVELY ignore him by looking pointedly away while continuing to interact normally with your husband. In the meantime, your husband should feed him and throw a favorite toy for him and other things that he enjoys.