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This is something that's been bugging me deep down for a long time.

When I first got Sunny, it was all biting biting biting, no time for affectionate at all, though he'd still follow me from room to room and lay at my feet.
After that phase ended at 13 weeks old, things started looking up. Significantly less mouthing, and he became more and more affectionate. If I laid down on the ground, he'd lay beside me. He seemed to like physical touch more and more. He'd even sleep in my lap. At times I'd allow him to sleep in bed with me and he'd snuggle close, head touching mine. If I moved and stood stationary even for 3 seconds, he'd lay on my feet. I'd say we bonded well, almost to the point of separation anxiety because he'd cry if I left the room and he couldn't follow me.

For the past few weeks, I've noticed he's becoming less and less affectionate. He no longer needs to be in the same room as me, he no longer lays at my feet, and I have to BEG him to get up on my bed. If I'm lucky, he'll sleep there for an hour at the foot of the bed, then jump off. But most of the time, he'll only stay there for a minute then leave. If I sit by his bed on the ground, he'll go and sleep on the tiles away from me.

When he sees my parents or friends, he's always so excited, wagging his tail and crying, even if he hasn't seen them in just 8 hours. He wasn't even that excited to see me when I had to leave him for 9 days!

Besides this "problem", I cannot fault him. He's an absolute delight, so friendly and loving towards strangers. Does fantastically with obedience training. Never gets into trouble at home. Doesn't yet have any behavioural issues. Seems to respect me. I'm so proud of him and he'd be an absolutely perfect puppy if he actually loved me back.

I know it seems like a silly thing to complain about, but when your puppy starts to show affection and then stops, it's a little upsetting, especially when you're the sole caretaker who puts so much time and energy 24/7 into him. I think about how some dogs are left outside all day and night, not getting enough attention from their owners, yet they're so much more grateful.

I'm not demanding Sunny to be affectionate often, but it actually seems like he dislikes me sometimes. Yes, I'm the one who has to put in the ear cleaning drops, give him baths, clip his nails, stick my hand in his mouth to get out garbage from time to time, but I'm also the one that plays with him 4 times a day, taking him on walks and visits to the park, training him, feeding him, showing him affection.

I don't know what's going on, but I'm feeling disheartened and really needed to rant. :(
 

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I had similar experiences.... When my boy was really young, he would lay on my feet, he'd want to climb on me in the car, he'd cry if I left him etc etc and then he started to grow up, gain more confidence and also seem more excited when he meet new people and/or people he didn't see all the time... I know what you mean when you say it's a bit disheartening when they seem less excited to see you (who does everything for them) than a stranger.... I think it's just because they get used to us and get excited to see someone/something new...As my boy gets older (he's 3 now so still young) I have found that his attention and excitement is now coming back to be more focused on me than it was when he was in those teenage years where he was a bit crazy, enjoying being independent and super excited to see new people that weren't always me lol.... Your dog loves you don't worry, as Sunny gets older I bet you'll find the attention will start coming back to you.
 

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My Brady showed no affection until he was about eight months old, no I can't get him off me!
 

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My pup Caleb was real independent when he was five months to year old. He would sleep alone out in the living room. He would be bouncing off the walls with more energy than I thought a pup could have. He was a very very bad pup to say the least. He thought he was the boss in the house. He would get into everything. It got so bad we had to take him to a trainer and leave him their for a week. Then went back for training every Saturday for 7 weeks. It was a 140 mile round trip. He's 15 months now and has made a complete turnaround. He follows me from room to room for the most part. He much closer to me than my girlfriend. We wrestle on the floor, something he doesn't even try with my girlfriend. When we come home, he comes to me. He's finally settling into being a great buddy. Just like my last golden Ginger. Even though they were complete opposites as a pup. Ginger was the best pup anyone could ask for. Caleb was the nightmare pup that we didn't enjoy. Even with some ripped shirts and some puncture wounds in my hand that drew blood. I was determined to stick with him and change things around.
 

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It's not really personal, it's biology. This is the age when everything in their gangly bodies is telling them to leave the nest, get out there, and expand the gene pool. It's also when they are best equipped to learn about the world...their senses are keenest and their brains are developing rapidly.

Blame Darwin? :) Right now I look at my pup, at five months, and he's all enormous head, big nose, ridiculous feet, and skinny butt. Give him a earbuds, jeans and a hipster tee shirt and he'd fit right in at any skateboard park.

They're teenagers. They'll be back.
 

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Sounds to me like maybe he's too hot? Casper mostly sleeps on the tile when it's warm. Casper is nearly four, and at this point, he doesn't even wake up and walk over to see me when I get home from work. I would be hurt, but we all it his "down time". He's just not very active at that time of the day.

At night, he doesn't follow me to bed. He comes up a couple of hours later. He's just too asleep I guess.
 

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Though Rundle is notoriously a cuddle bug, I have noticed her getting a little more independent at this age as well. Mainly in that she more often than not sleeps in the living room on her bed rather than in the bedroom with us. And now she is so excited to play with other dogs that it sometimes difficult to get her to leave daycare or the dog park to come home. This may not sound like much, but it is a big change for our little girl that used to need to be reassured during the night that we were still in the bed next to her crate. I'm guessing it is as most people said and he is just excited about the new things/people/independence he's getting, and that eventually he will return to being glued to your side all the time.
As an aside, I'm glad to know he cries with excitement as well. I was really confused by this with Rundle as I have never had a puppy before and I have never known any of my dogs to do this.
 

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What everyone said: entering the teen phase, It can happen. They just have too much going on to settle for a snuggle. But also, it's getting warmer. I find that Thor is not as prone to getting on the couch or the bed when it's warmer, and instead seeks cooler surfaces to nap on, which sometimes aren't as close to me as he normally prefers to be. Could this also be a factor?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As my boy gets older (he's 3 now so still young) I have found that his attention and excitement is now coming back to be more focused on me than it was when he was in those teenage years where he was a bit crazy, enjoying being independent and super excited to see new people that weren't always me lol.... Your dog loves you don't worry, as Sunny gets older I bet you'll find the attention will start coming back to you.
It's nice to hear that they'll start coming back to you. Some are lucky to have affectionate dogs all through puppyhood. I've heard that Sunny's littermates are very affectionate still! I guess they're all different, and I eagerly await the end of teenagehood.

My Brady showed no affection until he was about eight months old, no I can't get him off me!
Wow! I'll be interested to see if Sunny shows more or less affection at 8 months old. So Brady became more affectionate as a teen? I'd imagine that would make adolescent shenanigans more tolerable with a love bug. :)

He's finally settling into being a great buddy. Just like my last golden Ginger. Even though they were complete opposites as a pup. Ginger was the best pup anyone could ask for. Caleb was the nightmare pup that we didn't enjoy. Even with some ripped shirts and some puncture wounds in my hand that drew blood. I was determined to stick with him and change things around.
I'm very glad Caleb made a turnaround for you! All the hard work paid off in the end.
Sunny is a fantastic pup, has been since 3 months old. He's so chilled out in the house, it almost looks sulking 24/7 saying "I hate my life". We do a lot of work together with tricks, agility, obedience, I thought these activities would strengthen our bond, but he's just drifting away. Doesn't care to be around me unless we're training or playing. I hope he'll change later on in life too.

It's not really personal, it's biology. This is the age when everything in their gangly bodies is telling them to leave the nest, get out there, and expand the gene pool. It's also when they are best equipped to learn about the world...their senses are keenest and their brains are developing rapidly.

Blame Darwin? Right now I look at my pup, at five months, and he's all enormous head, big nose, ridiculous feet, and skinny butt. Give him a earbuds, jeans and a hipster tee shirt and he'd fit right in at any skateboard park.

They're teenagers. They'll be back.
Hahaha, that's a great way to put it. Personality must play a role as well though. Other pups Sunny's age are still really affectionate, like 3Pebs3's Rundle!
I have a picture of Sunny in a hipster jacket looking all lanky and angsty. I'll post it in a sec.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds to me like maybe he's too hot?
I did notice that he became a little more affectionate and didn't hate his crate as much during the colder days. It's winter right now in Australia. It's still cold, but maybe not cold enough to snuggle. Even on hotter days, he used to snuggle, so I don't think weather alone is a factor, though it could play a role!

Though Rundle is notoriously a cuddle bug, I have noticed her getting a little more independent at this age as well. Mainly in that she more often than not sleeps in the living room on her bed rather than in the bedroom with us. And now she is so excited to play with other dogs that it sometimes difficult to get her to leave daycare or the dog park to come home. This may not sound like much, but it is a big change for our little girl that used to need to be reassured during the night that we were still in the bed next to her crate. I'm guessing it is as most people said and he is just excited about the new things/people/independence he's getting, and that eventually he will return to being glued to your side all the time.
As an aside, I'm glad to know he cries with excitement as well. I was really confused by this with Rundle as I have never had a puppy before and I have never known any of my dogs to do this.
I mentioned Rundle being affectionate before I even saw your comment!
Sunny still sleeps in the crate downstairs in the living room, but now I no longer sleep in the same room with him. I sleep upstairs. I never thought I'd ever leave him to sleep alone, but I finally get to sleep through the night without waking up heart pounding from him rattling on the crate. Now that he knows I'm not with him, he doesn't bother making a fuss. I was going to get him to sleep on the floor in my bedroom upstairs, but I think he'd rather sleep on tiles where it's cooler. For now, I think we both enjoy the independence at night.
Sunny sometimes cries with excitement, but most of the time it's like a long groaning kind of sound? Very endearing. :)

What everyone said: entering the teen phase, It can happen. They just have too much going on to settle for a snuggle. But also, it's getting warmer. I find that Thor is not as prone to getting on the couch or the bed when it's warmer, and instead seeks cooler surfaces to nap on, which sometimes aren't as close to me as he normally prefers to be. Could this also be a factor?
Now that I think about it... he will move away from me from his position on the tiles sometimes! It's like he's avoiding me! He may be associating me sitting on the floor while he's sleeping with me always wanting to cut his nails?
As a puppy he used to ALWAYS nudge his way between my legs and the couch and slept there. Now he'd rather just sleep far away, but still in the same room. Hmm. :(
 

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"It's like he's avoiding me! He may be associating me sitting on the floor while he's sleeping with me always wanting to cut his nails? "

Every male golden I've had has gone through different patterns of where they prefer to be. My Duffy is 9 mos. now and while he is very affectionate he will only stay on the bed for a few minutes and then he's off to the floor. Many times he will prefer to curl up in the kitchen because it's the coolest on the tile. Most of my goldens have tended to position themselves in what I call "guard" position where they position themselves between the "outside" world and us so they can "protect" their owners.
 

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Ben is at 11 months,

I can't even go to the bathroom without him sitting on the other side of the door whinging...

Don't stress, they come back. I wish he'd give me 5 minutes haha
 

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Ben is at 11 months,

I can't even go to the bathroom without him sitting on the other side of the door whinging...

Don't stress, they come back. I wish he'd give me 5 minutes haha
My dog does the same thing. If I leave the bathroom door open. Forget about it. He comes in and leans right up next to me.
 

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My dog does the same thing. If I leave the bathroom door open. Forget about it. He comes in and leans right up next to me.
Yeah well... if you've ever stood up to pee and your dog sticks his head between your legs to what's happening...you'll understand why I now shut the door
 

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My dog does the same thing. If I leave the bathroom door open. Forget about it. He comes in and leans right up next to me.
Ha! I thought my toddler was bad, but she would just sit there. My guy gets under my feet, and now that he is 32 lbs, well it is comical. But on the bright side, I know where he is.

I do sense him wanting more independence (16 weeks) but he remains affectionate. But he also bites after awhile, so it isn't all fun and games (for us at least.).

My daughter is adopted (internationally) and came with all sorts of attachment disorders (not equating puppies to kids at all here) which in turn prompted me to research many treatments, symptoms etc. One symptom is anger at the primary care giver. And being extra affectionate to strangers. As the teenage years come (I'm there now) it gets worse, as it does with all teenagers. As everyone mentioned these pups are reaching their teenage stage - and I can see where some of the same issues can exist. Again not comparing kids to dogs...but you gotta admit they do tend to act alike. They are wanting to meet new people and strike out on their own. And show you they can do it. As the mom of a 12 (going on 21) year old fiercely independent teen, there are times when I would like to just toss her a bone and put her in the crate! :p:!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry, I forgot you are in Australia so it is not getting warmer for you; that wasn't helpful input.
Cold for us in Queensland is like 8 degrees celcius or 46 fahrenheit. I see goldens bouncing around in snow and over here we're all putting ours in coats! Our summers are shocking - around 107F.

You were right though, weather has played a role. Last night was particularly chilly, so I snuck downstairs at midnight, opened the crate and allowed him to sleep on the bed downstairs with me. This time, he didn't jump off, or even sleep at my feet. He slept right beside me sharing my pillow until morning! After breakfast, he continued to sleep in on the bed until 10:30. Amazing.
 

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Ha! I thought my toddler was bad, but she would just sit there. My guy gets under my feet, and now that he is 32 lbs, well it is comical. But on the bright side, I know where he is.

I do sense him wanting more independence (16 weeks) but he remains affectionate. But he also bites after awhile, so it isn't all fun and games (for us at least.).

My daughter is adopted (internationally) and came with all sorts of attachment disorders (not equating puppies to kids at all here) which in turn prompted me to research many treatments, symptoms etc. One symptom is anger at the primary care giver. And being extra affectionate to strangers. As the teenage years come (I'm there now) it gets worse, as it does with all teenagers. As everyone mentioned these pups are reaching their teenage stage - and I can see where some of the same issues can exist. Again not comparing kids to dogs...but you gotta admit they do tend to act alike. They are wanting to meet new people and strike out on their own. And show you they can do it. As the mom of a 12 (going on 21) year old fiercely independent teen, there are times when I would like to just toss her a bone and put her in the crate! :p:!
Wow, that's really interesting! I can definitely notice the similarities. If only it was easy for you to deal with human teens as it with fur teens... the human equivalent of a crate is probably "Go to your room!" :p:
 
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