Dog Behaviour Advice - Dog Advice Articles
A dog that dislikes men
For a few weeks now, I have had a dog stopping with me for one night at a time each week. It is a rescued dog that appears it does not like men. What the owner wanted was the dog to be sociable, as she has always socialised it previously. The owner wished this to continue so it can play with the dogs staying with me. For dog sociability, he does not have any problem.
On the first occasion, the owner brought the dog to a training class and then discreetly left, leaving the dog with me. He got on well with all the other dogs and there was no apparent problem. Whilst we went on with the class, one of the women called him to her. She then clipped him up to a lead attached to the fence so they could work their dogs. Still there was no sign of any problem.
After the class had finished and everyone had gone home, this left me with just Winston and four other dogs. They were playing very well together but when it came to mealtime, this dog would not come to me or even enter the house. The only way I could feed him was to call all the other dogs into the kitchen and then leave his food outside. He then ate it without the others trying to steal it.
A little later on, I found the food bowl was empty and the dog was standing at the other side of my garden. It would not come to me at all. I let the others out and they played until it was time for my meal. When I sat down to eat and watch a film, four dogs surrounded me, falling asleep in front of the fire, but with one exception.
I left both outside doors open and though there were no dogs to play with, as they were all in front of the fire asleep, the dog just stood at the front door. It would not dare venture into the house at all.
It was getting late and it was cold keeping the front door open, but he would not come in. No matter how often I called him or offered him food nothing would entice him over the threshold.
My first attempt was, after locking my dogs in the lounge, I showed the dog some more food. I placed it about two metres from the back door, just inside the kitchen. I closed the inner kitchen door and then quietly went out the front door. Once I saw the dog go into the kitchen, I sneaked up and closed the back door, trapping him inside.
Now successfully locked inside the house, I returned via the front door. I then let it out of the kitchen to wander about the house with the others. This time when I sat down in front of the fire to watch the film, the dog came by the fire and settled down. It even came to me for food treats and it seemed like a different dog.
Once the film had finished, I went upstairs to do some work on my computer. Normally as I work, a huge woolly German shepherd called Stryder, along with another German shepherd called Boise, would come and sleep in my office. This dog came too, but stayed outside the room. Eventually, when Stryder and Boise went back downstairs, it then came in, falling asleep next to my feet. I could even stroke it.
In the morning, everything was fine. As normal, I let the dogs out but when I made some food for a puppy and this dog, no amount of coaxing would entice him into the kitchen. The more I called him the more he moved further away into the garden. It seemed it was back to square one again.
I called my dogs into the house and then left his food outside for him to eat. After he had finished, he then moved as far away from the house as he could. I let the dogs out and they all played together. This brought him closer to me, but not so that I could clip a lead (Leash) on him.
Eventually the owner came to collect him. I told her what had happened and that I felt it was human sociability that he needed, as he was fine with other dogs.
A week later the owner brought him back again for another afternoon and night. Again, I had the same problem.
This second time he came into the house only if he thought I was not there. This time when it came to feeding all the dogs in the kitchen, I placed the dog’s food bowl just inside the inner kitchen door and I hid.
Once I could see the dog had reached its bowl, using a broom, I slammed the inner door shut. I then went outside and closed the front door so all the dogs were in the house. Inside, the dog was fine and showed no problems. I could stroke it, call it to me, feed it treats and it would settle down at my feet, in the lounge and in my office.
I was assuming human sociability was the problem, yet talking to Tanya, she said that during the class, he came to her and she was able to put his lead on without any problem. Testing this at the next class, she was correct, women are not his problem; men are.
I therefore had to ask myself what is the problem with men. This only happens when trying to clip a lead (leash) on him or call him for his meal into the house. What was or is the trigger that makes him react the way he does. It does not appear actual fear of me, only what maybe I might do to him. Before his rescue, what could have happened to him that is creating this problem?
Next week he comes again and I hope he will have improved, but I have my doubts.
To be continued.