Sexist dog? Protective dog? Traumatized dog?
July 8, 2014 10:19 AM Subscribe
Does a dog's behavior against his owner--in only about 50% of circumstances--warrant concern?
The answers in this
ask were helpful, particularly this one
(there is much of item #3 that happens during play). But what I want to know is whether his dog's behavior around step-brother + a female might point to something from his past.
posted by magdalemon to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
My step-brother, B, has recently moved closer to home after a long period away, and we're getting to know each other again. He has a small dog that was adopted from a shelter. The dog seems to have a fine rapport with B as long as my nephew, dad, boyfriend, B's male friends, etc. are around. But as soon as a female human gets physically close to B, the dog snaps into protective mode, protecting the girl/woman from B.
My stepmom can't hug B without some snarling. The dog gets hyper-protective over B's young daughter whenever he enters a room where they are. It's weird.
This is not a question about anything on the periphery here (and there's a lot), but I'm wondering how likely it is that the dog has witnessed B doing something harmful to a woman or female in his life. Or is it equally likely that the dog witnessed something before he was rescued that traumatized him?
B was much older than me and not around for most of my childhood. We weren't in touch for most of the last ten years, but my general impression is that B's time away was spent working transient jobs (organic farming, related startups, maybe some retail?) and hanging out, bachelor-style, while being an overall decent father to his kids. I have no idea where B's ex is; we met her once, when he was staying with us for a bit, and I don't think they've been together for some time. As far as I know, he doesn't exhibit any pathologies of violent or abusive men. I'm pretty sure B has sole custody of the two kids, and they seem healthy and happy.
I'll admit that my guard has been up, mostly because of the sudden inclusion of this guy who is essentially a stranger in all of our family gatherings. So it's equally possible that I'm raising my hackles over nothing, and yes I already know it's probably none of my business. But it weirds me out that B's dog is so aggressive against his owner, and only when girls and women are around. Could there be anything to that?