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Discussion Starter #1
For the last 2 weeks I've been living away from work. I'm certain my dog Stanley whose 8 months old sees me as pack leader. While I've been away he's apparently been barking much more.
More of a worry is the fact that he went to bite my wife. I'm told he didn't do it aggressively. Just as she was preparing to go up to bed she approached Stanley who was laid on the floor in the lounge. She bent down to pick him up and generally encourage him to go to his bed in the kitchen. That's when he tried to nip her hand. He's never done this before to anyone. It's not as if it's unusual for my wife to put him in his bed, this is something both of us do.
I'm just wondering if the fact I'm not there for the first time in his life could cause behavioural changes. Has anyone else experienced this?
 

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I've no experience Mat but you sound spot on to me. Probably fretting wondering when you were coming back. Really a shot in the dark but I wonder if he was trying to gain superiority over your wife in your absence. Have you seen Hatchi A dog Tale ( i think thats what its called ) with Richard Gere x
 

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No experience of this. I don't think we can ever really know why our dogs do what they do, I would love to have a day in Flo's head to see how she sees, smells and thinks.

I would say what you are thinking could be right and he is missing your leadership which is making him a little uncertain about whether he needs to be in charge in your absence, barking to protect the territory and maybe being a bit nippy as he's feeling uncertain and a bit fearful.

When Flo barks in the evening if she hears a noise she's not sure about I either say shhh then distract her by taking charge and telling her to sit, down or come, as if to say don't bother about that noise, I'm in control so just concentrate on doing what I'm telling you to or sometimes I will get up slowly and quietly walk ahead of her to the door or window take a look then say 'nope, nothing there' then sit down as if to say 'OK I've looked and all is well so you don't need to worry'. Do all this quietly ad slowly without to much fuss.

He may have been nippy when approached when asleep just because he was caught by surprise, I always talk to Flo or say her name if I'm about to touch or move her when she's asleep so she knows it's me. Or maybe he just thought 'I prefer to be here cos I need to keep a watch on things while Mat is away'.

If you want a good read to get more insight into why dogs do what they do I would recommend 'The Other End of the Leash' by Patricia McConnell. Lots of scenarios and case studies about dogs behaving oddly or not as expected, what the causes might be and how they were solved. :D
 

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yeah things are different when you arent around, and at his age he is just testing the bondrys,

a bit like kids asking mum if they can watch tv and mum says no, so the will go ask dad because they thing he is the soft touch and he will let them watc tv lol they know who they can get away with things.

however is it possible that she gave him a satrt, like he was sound aslee and he got a fright when she went to move him. does he have any problems with your touching him en genneral, some dogs (male) dont like their tummys being touched (bit close to their privet parts) as it makes them feel volnerable.
 

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Does sound a bit like it could be a pecking order issue. He obviously accepts you as his leader but maybe is not so sure about your wife. And I'm sure he was sad because you were away as well. I've previously had a situation where the dog has accepted me as the alpha but not my kids and has given them a hard time, so it may be useful when you are back to reinforce that all humans in the house are boss.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. It could well be that my wife startled him? He loves to be touched and cuddled so I'm certain this isn't the problem. I'm back home from today so hopefully this will all change. I know he'll be thrilled to see me when I return anyway!
I'll keep you posted
 
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