Curious behavior that I need some insight into - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Curious behavior that I need some insight into

So Cloud is a male, almost 5 years old and we've had him since he was a puppy. My mom and I raised and trained him for most of his life. He isn't super affectionate, but he can be very playful and is generally well-behaved. We had a few issues with him resource guarding particular things (mainly kongs with peanut butter and occasionally his food bowl). Now those aren't really the issues I'm here for some insight and advice on. So.. some more background info, Cloud would hang out in my room, would frequently come in with a toy and request a play session, and just be more present wherever I was in the house. He'd follow me to the bathroom, and lay down by the shower door when I was showering. Before I go to bed I usually read, and he would come lay down on the bed while I read until I went to sleep. When sleeping he had a habit of moving around from one room to another (usually from my room to the living room).



A few months ago my younger brother, who Cloud knows but never spent much time with (maybe 1-2 days a week on and off for a few years) moved in with us. He is currently staying/sleeping in another room. Now Cloud seems to be completely attached to him. It wasn't gradual, it was more or less instant. He follows him around constantly and I mean constantly, lays by where he sits and uses his computer or reads, sleeps by his side (which he never did with me). It almost seems as if he's guarding or protecting the area he's in. Now if Cloud is happier and enjoying his days and sleeping comfortably, I'm happy too. But there is a part of me that's perhaps a bit jealous and confused as to why he has pretty much completely stopped being "my" dog. I don't mean that in the possessive way, tho that's pretty much what jealousy is... I'm just a bit down by what's happening.


I do a lot for Cloud, and have gone to great lengths to maintain his health, and to keep him active by taking him on nature trips outside the city, hiking etc. I know, I know, it's not about being rewarded for taking care of your dog, the reward is in the love and care you extend to them but I feel sort of... unappreciated? I guess I have this vision of a dog standing by my side no matter the situation and a sort of unyielding loyalty. Maybe that's just not who he is?

Last edited by ghostcake; 11-06-2019 at 01:48 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 07:36 AM
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Take some time and observe your brother's behavior toward Cloud. Does your brother act super confident with Cloud, does he greet him, pet him and then ignore him? Does your brother goo-goo over him and pet him on demand or get down on the floor and play with him? There must be something about your brother's behavior or demeanor that is rewarding to Cloud, makes him feel good/happy/secure with your brother. Your brother could just be a strong presence/demeanor that makes Cloud feel secure.

I would be a little jealous too if my dog was wanting to spend a lot of time with a new person. I would suggest that you continue to do things with Cloud, take him places and exercise him, play with him and teach him new things. The biggest key here to me is the resource guarding. I wonder how much respect for authority Cloud has. Did anyone spend time taking CLoud to obedience classes and working with him consistently on obedience? It's a big relationship builder to train a dog on a regular basis. IF you want to work more on your bond with Cloud, get back into classes - work on obedience foundation and look into doing something new and fun like agility or dock diving or field training. Work consistently with him.

Remember, too, that Retrievers were bred to work with multiple people on the job. They are wired that way and it's one of the reasons we love them so much. Try not to take those inbred traits too personally when they don't work quite like we wish they did.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 10:24 AM
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IMHO...It is all about how the dog views your brother's body language. He is probably projecting something different from you. Don't forget, Cloud is a dog and not a human being. What we think of as loving affectionate behavior may not be perceived as such by the dog---hugging, blowing kisses, excessive touching, "love stare", etc. Give yourself a self test on these things and try to change things up. JMO
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 12:27 PM
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I'm wondering about Cloud's experience with males being in the house? In your intro you state that you and your mom have cared for and trained Cloud. Was there a male figure in the home before now? In my experience with dogs and horses some just prefer males. I think it has more to do with posture and body language then the actual female/male.

Duke, my 9 year old, is my dog. He will not go to bed until I say lets go to bed. My husband can ask a thousand times and he will just wait for me. He was trained to hunt and hunted for years with my husband and son, he definitely has a connection with them both, but I'm "his person". Moe, our 1 1/2 year old, is completely my husbands. He loves me and is excited to see me. He will cuddle with me, but when my husband comes in he goes to sit by his chair. It's really odd because I play with him more, but my husband started his training and is the authority figure. I've worked on tons of training with him but I get about 70% of the results my husband gets from Moe. Moe is a dog that respects the authority figure. Duke just wants to be with me, he will do absolutely anything I ask. The only thing Duke does for my husband is hunt/field related activity.

I have had horses my entire life, my husband was never near one until we were married. I had one horse, a mare (female), that loved him. She was gentle for him and a pain for me. If I walked by her stall she would throw her head and look mean, if he walked in she waited for him to pet her. He is not a horse person, but enjoyed the irony so developed a relationship with her. Five other horses in the barn knew I was the one they needed to respect and were always happy to see me, not her.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DblTrblGolden2 View Post
I'm wondering about Cloud's experience with males being in the house? In your intro you state that you and your mom have cared for and trained Cloud. Was there a male figure in the home before now? In my experience with dogs and horses some just prefer males. I think it has more to do with posture and body language then the actual female/male.

I'm a guy.


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Originally Posted by gdgli View Post
IMHO...It is all about how the dog views your brother's body language. He is probably projecting something different from you. Don't forget, Cloud is a dog and not a human being. What we think of as loving affectionate behavior may not be perceived as such by the dog---hugging, blowing kisses, excessive touching, "love stare", etc. Give yourself a self test on these things and try to change things up. JMO

I hear you. See the thing is my brother doesn't have to feed him, groom him, really do anything to take care of him besides the occasional walk. I wonder why he would be attached to him when they haven't gone through any bonding process. Maybe he just prefers his energy? I received a PM from someone mentioning that Cloud might comforting my brother because of some emotional distress, perhaps having to move and maybe other issues he could be dealing with. What do you think?


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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
Take some time and observe your brother's behavior toward Cloud. Does your brother act super confident with Cloud, does he greet him, pet him and then ignore him? Does your brother goo-goo over him and pet him on demand or get down on the floor and play with him? There must be something about your brother's behavior or demeanor that is rewarding to Cloud, makes him feel good/happy/secure with your brother. Your brother could just be a strong presence/demeanor that makes Cloud feel secure.

I would be a little jealous too if my dog was wanting to spend a lot of time with a new person. I would suggest that you continue to do things with Cloud, take him places and exercise him, play with him and teach him new things. The biggest key here to me is the resource guarding. I wonder how much respect for authority Cloud has. Did anyone spend time taking CLoud to obedience classes and working with him consistently on obedience? It's a big relationship builder to train a dog on a regular basis. IF you want to work more on your bond with Cloud, get back into classes - work on obedience foundation and look into doing something new and fun like agility or dock diving or field training. Work consistently with him.

Remember, too, that Retrievers were bred to work with multiple people on the job. They are wired that way and it's one of the reasons we love them so much. Try not to take those inbred traits too personally when they don't work quite like we wish they did.

We took him to an obedience course and he "passed" but I'll be honest and say that we didn't really keep up with his training. He's not the most disciplined dog, but he will listen to me when it counts. He's kind of goofy and gets distracted easily, but he's also independent and likes to have his space even outside when he's off leash in our community yards. My brother really had nothing to do with his training, but he also never had to discipline/correct him so maybe he sees my brother as more relaxed? It's almost like the uncle everyone has and loves because they aren't "punishing them" or having to deal with their behavioral issues like parents do. :p I will also say that Cloud generally prefers being in the living room even when I'm home, but before my brother moved in he would come into my room and "hang out". Now he doesn't even do that.


Thank you for the replies. They are much appreciated.



Last edited by ghostcake; 11-06-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 09:51 AM
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I have seen two people get together with their dogs. The dogs immediately "switched owners". I don't really understand it except that there is a novelty that lasts a long time.

Last edited by gdgli; 11-07-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 11:08 AM
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So sorry!! You know what they say about assumptions....

Last edited by gdgli; 11-07-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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So sorry!! You know what they say about assumptions....

Don't worry about.
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