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Hi there - slightly misleading title as he is 7 months old now! I've been trying hard whilst raising him to make sure he knows I'm the 'pack leader', for the most part he is respectful towards me and does as he is told! Occasionally he will test me with a few growls when I'm stopping him doing something naughty, and sometimes when I take him out in the garden he'll decide it's more fun to jump up and bite at me to get me to play I suppose! Nothing out of the ordinary for an adolescent puppy...
But when it comes to cuddle time (I get on the floor with him, he doesn't come up on the furniture) he'll never look at me. Infact he actively moves his head away from me. If I come closer to his face he'll strain his neck to get away, and look at me out of the corner of his eye as if to say 'don't touch me, can't you see I'm trying to get away from you!'. We're almost like opposing magnets, as soon as I take my face away from his he'll move back to where he was. I wish I could snuggle his face, but he's so uncomfortable with it it just feels so wrong :(
He isn't scared of me because one minute he'll be avoiding my cuddles like the plague, and the next he'll be trying to jump up on me and mouthing! He never looks scared, just uncomfortable and waiting for the crazy woman to stop.
I should add he'll look my mum and dad in the face, he'll even kiss my mum(!) but he also sees them more as playmates on a day-to-day basis, they haven't ever really disciplined him (left it to me!) and I think that's why he doesn't like me :(
Anyone else have puppies that won't look at them or ever want cuddles? :confused:
 

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Dogs don't really like to be hugged or to have you right in their faces. It makes them uncomfortable because in the dog world, being in another dogs face is rude.
 

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Kate
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Dogs don't really like to be hugged or to have you right in their faces. It makes them uncomfortable because in the dog world, being in another dogs face is rude.
I think this should be "some dogs" or it depends...

My guy has been extra clingy for the last few days, and when he gets like that he is either getting up in my lap and holding his face so I kiss his nose and tell him it's OK, or he's cuddling with me when I'm trying to sleep and burrowing his nose in close to my face. And the rest of the time he situates himself so he can clearly see my face at all times.

I do agree that as far as being grabbed and having cuddles forced on them, dogs do not like that. A hug can feel like a "alpha pin" to some dogs. And you have to be conscious of your expression or mannerisms when you look at your dog. Your expression can be praise or a correction to a dog. <- Probably a good example would be at the trial I was at with my idiot on Saturday when I put him in the sit stay and walked the perimeter of the ring. You aren't allowed to say anything, but in training I go overboard with a smiley expression paired with praise when I tell him he's doing good and I want him to keep at it. And then when I had him in the ring on Saturday, I dropped the verbal and just did the OTT smiley expression. I probably looked insane, but it was for my dog's benefit.

they haven't ever really disciplined him (left it to me!) and I think that's why he doesn't like me :(
The term "disciplined" here worries me, because the behavior as you describe is evasive or submissive. It could be you have gone overboard with trying to assert yourself as pack leader that you've actually accomplished that. :(

Various things you could be doing is be conscious of how you stand or posture yourself around your dog. Go down to his level and make yourself "inviting" to him. Do not be so hasty to correct him when he is obviously just playing and being a normal dog. Be conscious of your expression as well. Soften and relax your face.

And be QUICK to praise your dog when he looks at you. Find every reason possible to praise and babytalk to your dog.
 

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I've heard that wolves don't make direct eye contact unless there's a conflict brewing--it's a challenge. The alpha wolf will stare the others down. So his not looking you in the eyes could be interpreted as his recognition of you as pack leader. It's one reason it's best not to look straight into the face of an unfamiliar dog until you've "been introduced" in some manner.

Humans on the other hand (in most cultures, not all) think eye contact is great.
 

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Will he look you in the eye when you're farther away; say, when he's sitting in front of you and you are standing?

Penny will stare deep into my eyes for long periods of time while I talk to her but when it get right 'in there' with hugs and kisses, she pulls away or averts her eyes. I'm quite sure she is alpha around here and knows it. ;) So it isn't submissiveness, just doesn't like it.
 

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How are you going about it? Are you talking to him in a high pitched "happy" voice and trying to make eye contact? Or are you going about it in a more dominate manner?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Definitely in a nice way- after a lot of sitting on the floor with him a while and lots of strokes/massage. I've tried closing my eyes and mum says he still pulls away when I put my face close to him. So is it eye contact or just contact of any kind?!
Further away he'll look at me, and when I give him treats and toys I ask for him to look at me and not just focus on the goodies, and gets the reward for the eye contact.
I also take care not to smile at him because I know this can be seen as baring teeth, but mum and dad both smile and look him in the eye and he is quite happy with it. But then again he'll leap all over them and be a lot less respectful generally. Guess I can't have it both ways and it's confusing for him.. just wondered what other people's dogs did! Thanks for all replies and any other suggestions/experiences would be welcome :)
 

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Oh goodness gracious, please DO SMILE AT YOUR PUP. Dogs know the difference between smiling and baring teeth. Sounds like you've been reading books.:uhoh::uhoh:

Your pup sounds perfectly fine to me...doesn't like close ups or hugs...very normal.

Relax, enjoy your pup, play, laugh, be joyous.
 

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Oh goodness gracious, please DO SMILE AT YOUR PUP. Dogs know the difference between smiling and baring teeth. Sounds like you've been reading books.:uhoh::uhoh:

This made me giggle! You are right, but the thing about reading books is too funny (and so true so many times).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't worry! I enjoy him and we have plenty of games and laughs - I just want some cuddles too!
 

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Not all dogs like to cuddle. Our Penny thinks cuddling is her laying at her end of the couch and me sitting at my end. If I touch her, she gives me a look and gets down. Gives me another look and plops herself someplace else.
 

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Still sounds like I've got to get to know him a bit more then :) It's just he's very cuddly with other people, even strangers!!
 

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Hi there - slightly misleading title as he is 7 months old now! I've been trying hard whilst raising him to make sure he knows I'm the 'pack leader', for the most part he is respectful towards me and does as he is told! Occasionally he will test me with a few growls when I'm stopping him doing something naughty, and sometimes when I take him out in the garden he'll decide it's more fun to jump up and bite at me to get me to play I suppose! Nothing out of the ordinary for an adolescent puppy...
But when it comes to cuddle time (I get on the floor with him, he doesn't come up on the furniture) he'll never look at me. Infact he actively moves his head away from me. If I come closer to his face he'll strain his neck to get away, and look at me out of the corner of his eye as if to say 'don't touch me, can't you see I'm trying to get away from you!'. We're almost like opposing magnets, as soon as I take my face away from his he'll move back to where he was. I wish I could snuggle his face, but he's so uncomfortable with it it just feels so wrong :(
He isn't scared of me because one minute he'll be avoiding my cuddles like the plague, and the next he'll be trying to jump up on me and mouthing! He never looks scared, just uncomfortable and waiting for the crazy woman to stop.
I should add he'll look my mum and dad in the face, he'll even kiss my mum(!) but he also sees them more as playmates on a day-to-day basis, they haven't ever really disciplined him (left it to me!) and I think that's why he doesn't like me :(
Anyone else have puppies that won't look at them or ever want cuddles? :confused:
Hello! I know this is a very old post, but my 7 month old GR sounds exactly the same and I’ve also had the push the pack leader in the early days as she was biting and mounting me in the first month or so we had her. She’s now absolute gorgeous, is so exited and cuddly with members of the family, and although she loves it when I stoke her, she prefers to formally sit and look away when I do. If I stop stroking, she’s push my hand until I start again, but she doesn’t like my face next to hers. When feed and training she stare at me in the eye as I’ve trained her...but it’s really only for food!

Just wondered if this ever changes, and if it’s a pack leader thing too?!
 

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You might want to start a new thread so people can find it easier.
Just a hint, for goldens especially the pack leader mentality is never a good plan. There have been studies to prove this theory is very wrong. Because of this training early on you have made yourself the dictator, not his friend to respect. When you make eye contact it's probably intimidating and polite response is to not make eye contact with you. This is one of those behaviors you get when doing this training they don't tell you about. If you watch closely on the TV show you will see the dogs avoid looking at him and sometimes walk away. He may be the boss but he certainly isn't someone they want to hang out with.
You need to rebuild your relationship with your pup. Mouthing and playing rough when they are puppies is what puppies do, he wasn't being disrespectful or aggressive he was being a puppy playing with his new litter mates. It's all he knew how to do. On your next puppy you might do some alternative training to teach behaviors you want vs trying to show a baby puppy who's boss. Just a friendly suggestion.
Here is a video... there are actually a series of 3 that should come up but she has lots of great training tips to use as a reference. She has one on focus to get the dog to look at you but thought this one might help too.
 

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Hi, thanks for the reply and I'll see if I can create a new thread another time! :)
I didn't try to become "pack leader", but I'm the one in the house that had dogs as a child so I kind of naturally took the role. In the first couple of months though this wasn't really boisterous play, this was teeth baring and bloody bites and torn clothes. She'd literally throw herself at me and bite hard. Perhaps it was still play, but nothing like I've seen on YouTube so far. Most of time I was calm and using positive reinforcement but there were times I had to use a firm voice and put her behind a door for a few seconds or prize open her mouth when she'd clamped on my kid's ankle or arm.
She'll follow me, almost like the video you suggested, and happily look me in the eye when there's treats or she's waiting to cross the road. We'll play flight together and she loves it and never ever bites. But when I'm just stroking her she looks away, though she's enjoying the petting. I don't think it's a problem, but I wonder what's going on in her mind!
 

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Puddles
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Ruff play with a pup is never a good idea, it encourages the "attacking" sort of behavior. Try a good game of tug or something more engaging to get her playing a more controlled game... you decide when to stop and when to start... not a way to burn off energy but good teaching. Teach the behavior you want, not the stuff you don't. Not all dogs know when this ruff behavior is acceptable.
But like I said, if you have been more of a boss than a trainer she is trying to show respect by NOT making eye contact. kikopup also has some "look at me" training but you can also check out another trainer on gettoready.net. Her entire training program is about building a better relationship with your dog. She has a really great book out that can help you realize things we do unknowingly that might solve your problem. It's inexpensive and available on her site.
 

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Thanks, you're right of course. Games are short and when we play tug, she'll drop and swap toys as soon as I ask her. And I'm checking more now, when I come in the room she looks directly at me and we hold eye contact as I smile and talk to her. She only looks away when I'm petting her. But if I say her name then she'll look at me briefly. Her tail wags and she comes over and sits on my knee and cuddle on the sofa. She's really fantastic. It's just when bend down to stroke her she looks away....!
 

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Not all dogs are cuddly. My oldest prefers to sit in front of you facing away to be pet. She’ll rest her head on your leg or next to you if she wants something. Sometimes she will try to snuggle up next to me but it’s more than likely her sister is trying to bite at her paws.

Her sister is 5.5 months and she will climb in my lap and rest her head on my shoulder. She’s basically a baby.

They both cuddle each other extensively. I’d say that dogs are just like kids...you can have the exact two parents and two totally different kids. And that’s 100% my girls.
 

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Not being able to see you and your family around this dog all anyone of us on the GRF can do is guess. So if your pup will snuggle and look at the rest of your family it's up to you to figure out what you are doing that causes you to get a different behavior. Dogs are extremely quick to pick up on body language and is getting some sort of vibe from you to behave the way he is. So guess it's going to be one of those self learning awareness sort of things. Just like relationships with anyone, if you want a different result you have to change something... good luck!
 
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