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Acting Different growled
An_254343 posted:
My dog ( Heeler )3 yrs old- has always been happy playful and loving well behaved ,NEVER growled at me or anyone, never whined etc. . She got spayed a year ago ( no changes in attitude ect ). Its always been just her and me ,But in the last 6 months we moved in with someone he has 3 dachshunds ,the dachshunds are older and don't play with my dog much but they all get along.But when there up wandering around my dog starts whinning and nudging them ( I know that's heeler behavior ) but when my spouse gets home she whines and runs around and jumps on him . ( so I think shes happy ) but a few times shes been on the bed hes went to get in bed with us ( she sleeps at foot of the bed ) but lately shes been laying on my pillow and she has growled at him .then 2 times she has growled at me and she NEVER HAS BEFOR. she has lots of attention shes my world and a great dog but im worried if shes stressed because she is also holding her ears down or off to the side not up as usual is she stressed ???
if she is how can I make her feel better ???
thank you a worried pet owner .
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
It sounds as though you and your dog have had a very close relationship that is now being challenged by the presence of your husband and his dogs. You are correct. Being a heeler can make him genetically try to corral and herd the other dogs.

It sounds as though your dog may be jealous of your relationship with your husband. Having the dog sleep on the floor or in a kennel would be a good first step. Try having your husband be the only one to feed your dog...husband equals food which boosts the fondness level. Don't put yourself or your spouse in harms way. Let the dog know that when he behaves in a less than friendly manner that it is unacceptable. Rather than stress the negative, every time he is friendly towards your husband praise her and reward her.

I am concerned that the change in behavior may indicate an underlying medical issue...are her ears bothersome,,,does she have a bad tooth? Please make an appointment to have her examined by your veterinarian. If all checks out normally, she may need the services of a board certified veterinary behaviorist.

Best of luck....


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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