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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have no idea why, but about 6 weeks ago our female Golden retriever, Cider, began acting tense, and slightly aggressive to our youngest child, a 9 year old boy. She will curl her lips and sometimes give a slight growl when he tries to pet her, unless someone else is near being a "chaperone", but even then she goes very tense, and I can tell does not want him near. I do not believe there was any negative incident to bring this on, and she will still play with him outside and romp around, but when its time to be calm and affectionate, she does NOT want it from him. We have tried some different things, and haven't had much success. She did just come into heat for the first time a couple days ago. Not sure if hormones are messing with her, but its completely exclusive to him. Any ideas or experience with this, what to do to help them become great friends again?
 

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Kate
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He might have done something to her when you weren't looking.

Other thing is dogs can smell/sense things that are different about some people. If he has epilepsy or other conditions that would change his body chemistry or scent - that could be something that she's picking up on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He's has a mild allergy to dogs, other than that nothing that I know of that could bother her about his person. Does anyone have any ideas for the appropriate way to try to amend this problem?
 

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My first thought was that something happened where he hurt her. It may not have been intentional, maybe he just stepped on her tail in the house.
 

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Lisa
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I'm sorry this is happening. This is such a stressful thing in a household.

My puppy didn't trust my smaller son, who was also afraid of my puppy. (My son was about five at the time.) At six months, my dog growled at my son just for sitting next to him on the couch. It was an era where I didn't dare leave them alone.

We still keep a watchful eye, but Bailey seems to have grown out of it. Here's what we did:

1. Lots of training. My son became associated with treats and rules. My son actually did the training and gave the treats. It helps that my dog loves training (and loves treats even more).

2. As things healed between them, we supervised them playing tug. Bailey loves to play tug, and everyone else in the family is sick of playing tug after about 10 minutes, but my six-year-old will keep going much longer. We stand next to my son and use a huge, thick rope with many knots in it. This didn't start until Bailey was two, and he started to calm down and chill out a lot. Now Bailey will take the tug rope and dump it at my son's feet when he wants to play. He is much gentler with my son than he is with his nine-year-old brother or with me -- he seems to understand that everyone's level is different.

Not sure what your dog's favorite game is, but the bottom line is to engage in a positive activity while supervised to rebuild the trust between them. And while I don't know anything about girls in heat, maybe it would be best to give her a little space while her hormones are surging. :)

I've seen a ton of improvement in my dog's people manners between nine months and two and a half. He tolerates things now that might have freaked him out before. I'm sure you'll find the same with your girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for your suggestions. We have been doing some of those things already (lots of treats and training from him), and having him be the food and water provider at mealtimes, and I think we are seeing some improvement in the last couple days. I guess it will be a little by little process, and as long as we seem to be moving in the right direction I'll try to not be discouraged! Attached a photo of "the good ol' days" !:smile2:
 

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