Well, i'm honestly not quite sure what to call this somewhat new behavior, but "favoritism" is the closest i could come to describing it.
Zumi is a 3 year old basenji boy. un-neutered and generally very good with people. Over the last few months a new and VERY disturbing behavior has been cropping up that i am completely unsure of how to handle. I'm hoping maybe someone has been through something similar and may have some advise?
Zumi hates my sister. Literally.
He adores her two small kids( a 6 year old, and a 13 month old) absolutely loves them and her husband is Zumis best friend! He even gets happy baroos when they come over.
But when he sees her he put his hackles up , tail goes down, ears are lightly laid back, he licks his lips in a very nervous signal and he does a very low, deep sounding grumble. his body will be very tensed up. the best way i can describe his posture is that of a dog on the defensive against a coming attack! My sister has never yelled at, hit, or done anything to him! I will admit she is not a "dog-person" and is always a bit nervous around some dogs, but this goes beyond anything i've seen before.
Zumi will be happily playing with the older girl or the husband happy as can be, running around with toys, but if he passes her its auto-defensive position, with him watching her as he passes! until he is at least 5 feet away then it's happy time again! i am sorry but this completely baffles me.
I am not sure if he can smell her hormones? she is scheduled for her c-section on February 9th, and Zumi will approach her occasionally to sniff her tummy, but if she moves at all, its defensive position, growling and getting away…
I have so far instructed her to not be nervous around him, don't reach down or try to touch him, even if he approaches her first.
This evening was the kicker though, he went up to her (she was sitting on the couch) he sat at her feet and touched her leg with his paw, asking to be pet.. so she calmly reached down to rub his chest. (nothing over his head.. just encase) he stayed, but he was throwing all his nervous signals then fast as can be jumped up and got away from her. He sat there for about 30 seconds before he got away.
so my question: does anyone have any experience with anything like this? He is perfectly fine with me, friends, mail lady, neighbors, the rest of her family, my brother, my other sister and her male friend, a house nurse, etc.. but just not my one sister. this is especially troubling as she comes over almost daily.
please help if you can.. i am just terrified that one of these days he may nip at or even bite her out of this "fear". he has never bitten