Help please!

Hi everyone! I need some advice please! 🙂 Our new puppy is doing well, she has been with us for 2 weeks, she's 13 weeks now, she was easy to potty train, has learned some commands, etc. However, for the last 2 days she’s been nervous around my husband. She was fine with him the first 10 days home, would go sleep on his lap or shoulders. But now if he tries to pet her, she runs off and trembles. Nothing has changed in our routine, it’s like she suddenly didn’t recognize him. Has this happened to anyone? I work from home so she’s fine with me. She gets to see my husband only in the evenings, when he gets back home. She's also great with our two daughters. My husband loves her and feels bad that he can't even approach her anymore. Oh and yesterday evening she started peeing on the sofa while looking straight at him... and she normally goes outside to pee... maybe she was upset that he was home? I told him to hand feed her this weekend, I’m hoping this will help but any other advice would be greatly appreciated! I’d like to fix this ASAP. Thank you! 🙏

Let him take over feeding her.... and treats... let him walk her..... be apart of the process when he is home

@tanza He does take her out, he does walk with her in the late evening and gives her treats... However he isn't there for the feedings during the work week because of his schedule and this cannot be changed. That's why I said he should hand feed her on weekends...

To clarify, my husband does walk her when he is home (which is late evenings and weekends) and he does give her treats, etc. And up until she started her change in behaviour towards him 2 days ago, she would snuggle up to him and fall asleep on him every evening. That's why the only thing I can think that would help, is him (ONLY him) feeding her, by hand, on weekends.

I'm hoping for advice that can help improve her anxiety towards him.

One trick that worked for our Sheba was to wet a hand and let her lick it. It helped her get over her fear of men.

Puppies go through fear stages where they can freak out about something they were fine with previously. This is likely just one of those. If you don't over react is will likely pass quickly.

Tanza's suggestion of having him feed her is a great idea. Having him give her yummy treats is also good. Nothing is better than a trusted food source!

last edited by DonC

@donc We're doing everything else that was mentioned already, hopefully him feeding her (just him) this weekend will help 🤞 . Thank you for mentioning the fear stages, let's hope it goes by quickly! 🙂

A pocket with pieces of her favorite treat. The minute he walks in the door,and every time she makes eye contect and/or allows him to touch her. Does she have a favorite toy, in case she is one of those who is not food motivated, same process. Dont worry about over feeding, just cut back on regular portion during this process.

@basenji_life Already good suggestions. Just to add, his reaction may be feeding the behaviour. When she doesn’t want him to pet her, then have him immediately ignore her.

My first two dogs didn’t like strangers, however they warmed quickly when ignored. The more a new person would try to pet them, the more they would be suspicious. It’s a little reverse psychology, I think often when someone is trying hard the dogs pick up on that but view it as suspicious or threatening.

I tell all visitors to ignore the dogs completely, then they become curious and before you know it they want attention. If they try to pet them, then they become suspicious and feel threatened.

Often with my dogs, they want to be petted but “their way” lol. Sometimes I will pet their back and they get all annoyed because they want their chest petting. Most times I don’t care but once in a while I will tell them go away then lol. Then I get the offended look lol.

Basenjis are very different and do have quirks!

@dagodingo This is interesting! Thank you we'll try this! 🙂

@joan-duszka Thanks for the advice 🙂 He'll give a treat every time he walks in!

I agree with the ignore. You can do that and treats. When he walks in, without looking at her, drop a treat and keep moving. Maybe place hand palm up with a treat on it while on the sofa. Let her approach and get the treat. Add in "good girl" when she's comfortable with that. This way she isn't pressured to respond except in clearly positive (walks, feeding) situations, and she does the approach at other times.

He may have done something that startled her without realizing it. With patience she will get over it. Licking his hand to get his scent is great...maybe smear his palm with a little cream cheese or peanut butter (don't overdo it).

We need pictures, btw.

@debradownsouth This morning he feed her himself by hand, however she only came and ate when he looked AWAY 😆 as mentioned so thank you! It's progress!

We went out with her today and did a few stops and we noticed she's reacting his way to all the men and she's fine with the women 🙃

@basenji_life said in Help please!:

@debradownsouth This morning he feed her himself by hand, however she only came and ate when he looked AWAY 😆 as mentioned so thank you! It's progress!

We went out with her today and did a few stops and we noticed she's reacting his way to all the men and she's fine with the women 🙃

That's a big clue. Looking at her, particularly directly into her eyes, will likely be read as dominance or aggression and frightens her. When he does look in her direction it should be with unfocused eyes. Eventually when she relaxes with him you can teach eye contact. Clicker training is good for this.

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