I have a three year old Jack Russell Terrier named Dexter. He has always been very sociable with other humans, never aggressive, always licking their faces like crazy. However, my boyfriend and his two dogs recently moved in with me and since that time Dexter has become completely terrified of my boyfriend. He gets along fine with the other two dogs, they are used to each other now and play with each other. My boyfriend has never hurt Dexter in any way but he does scold him when he misbehaves. About a month ago he took him for an un-leashed walk in a wooded area by the river, he had to scold Dexter for not listening to him and Dexter ran away from him. He had to chase him for about a mile before he caught him. Dexter was so afraid that he had been running through dense, thorny bushes and ended up taking a chunk out of his cornea and cutting his legs up so bad that he couldn't walk on them for days. Other incidents include pooping uncontrolably when he goes to pick him up and he did just recently bite him on the hand pretty good. We have tried all different kinds of solutions to make Dexter feel safe, my boyfriend feeds him, gives him biscuits, comforts and pets him, praises him, etc...but Dexters behavior isn't getting any better. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem and has any suggestions? Of course we can't ask him why he's afraid but we want to fix the problem. I don't want Dexter to live in fear and be unhappy. Please help!!!
I didn't adopt him. I got him as a puppy from a breeder. Another thing to add is that since he was a puppy I lived at home with my parents and two brothers. He never acted this way towards my step-father or my brothers. This is why his behavior is so puzzling to us. Sometimes he will get up on the bed while my boyfriend is sleeping and he'll give him kisses and curl up right next to him. This is a rare occurrence but sometimes he doesn't act afraid of him at all. I just don't get it!
sounds like the dog is associating that bad experience in the woods and the injuries with your boyfriend still. all i would know to do in a program of desensitizing, have your bf sitting on the floor with food, not looking at dexter, hold out food, let dexter come up to him, do this everyday, gradually have bf try to touch him, move slow, then start talking to him, gradually add eye contact. leave eye contact till later because eye contact means dominance to a dog. it's good dexter will come up to him when he's sleeping. that's a start!
Has your boyfriend grown a mustache, beard, started wearing glasses, wear a hat? These are some things that can set a dog off. I would suggest that your boyfriend only interact with Dexter when Dexter is willing to. Trying to pick him up may frighten him. Have your boyfriend carry some treats and just put his hand down while he's sitting, so Dexter can come up to him in his own time to get the treat. Remember, hands coming down at him from way up could look very scary to him! It might take a while, but don't push Dexter too much. Best of luck! LTLGTO
My 6 month old Yorkie is the same way with my boyfriend. She seems terrified of him and will not leave my side when he is around, By the way, I do not live with him and he has never been alone with Cassidy, so I know he has never abused her. I think it started about a month ago when a friend was visiting and brought her 13 yr old son who I found out later was trying to chase cassidy into a corner to pick her up. I was unaware this was going on at the time. Ever since then she has been afraid of males. My boyfriend is over now and Cassidy is right here with me at the computer. Hopefully in time they will learn to trust our boyfriends. :-)
That sure would make me wonder. I would trust my dog. There is a reason why your dog feels this way and animals are great for telling the truth. I don't mean to be a smart a** but they really do know people.
Critterlover, I would have to agree that dogs are great judges of human character, however , I also have two "human" children as well as an 11 month old Yorkie who love my boyfriend. We have been together for 5 yrs, since shortly after my divorce when my daughter was 7 mnths old. If I did not feel I could trust him with my furry kids then I deffinstely would not trust him with my children. On the other hand, if I had a boyfriend who was abusive to my kids, canine or human, he would be kicked to the curb. :-)
I also agree that dogs are a good judge of character, however, I know that my BF is not abusing him. He has two dogs of his own that he loves dearly and he has never hit them. I truly believe that Dexter became overwhelmed when he moved in because Dexter was used to being the top dog, head of the household. It was only me and Dexter living alone for a few months before my BF came along. He is definitely dominated by the other two dogs, they are both 10 years old and much bigger than him. I think that he also feels dominated by my BF because he views him as the man of the house now and Dexter is at the "bottom of the pole" to put it bluntly.