View Full Version : It's breaking my heart

7th March 2008, 06:56 PM
We have a big problem with Maija (13 months). She doesn't like my husband. In fact she seems to avoid him at all costs and it looks as if she was afraid of him! My husband waited a long time to have these dogs and was the happiest man on earth when we got them. He loves them to bits. Hermione adores daddy, follows him everywhere, whereas Maija will skulk away and keep as far away from him as possible. When she has to be in the same room with him she puts her head down, ears back and low, her tail between her legs and often she shakes. She looks absolutely and thoroughly miserable. But when my husband has a treat or says 'walkies!', Maija is the first one there with him with her tail wagging and looking excited and happy. When they come home from their walk she runs quickly away again.
My husband is sooo patient with her and tries to have one-to-one time with Maija and take her out for walks (where Maija is ok) on he own etc but nothing seems to help. I can see that it's breaking his heart - and mine too! I just don't know what to do anymore. This has been going on for several months now. My husband works abroad a lot and comes home for a few days every 10 days or so. During those few days Maija won't even play with Hermie, she just sleeps and keeps quiet.
Will it pass or is this going to go on for ever? I've never heard of anything like this before. I could understand it if Maija had been treated badly but on the contrary, no dog could have been loved more.
Please help. :(

7th March 2008, 08:47 PM
I don't really have any advice to give you but I read what you wrote. I would be heartbroken to! :( I'm just wondering why she's not happy around him even though he takes her for walks and gives treats. Well, the only thing I have to offer is let him do almost everything with her. Let your husband prepare her food, water, walks, treats... I dunno can't think of anything else right now. :cool:

7th March 2008, 08:59 PM
I can tell you,Alfs doesnt like my brothers teenagers boys and he hides and runs away.They have done nothing bad to him.He also prefers to be with me,the only time he bothers with hubby is for walks,food and cuddles when i have gone to bed.So i dont know either.Perhaps she will grow out of it.

7th March 2008, 09:11 PM
Is your husband OK with trying different approaches with her? I would think it might be effective if he acted "hard to get" and kind of ignored her when he first came home and was super sweet with the other girl but acted as if her shyness was "no problem". Have you tried leaving a shirt or other article of clothing by her bed? She could be picking up a little on his frustration during greeting time. High value treats when he comes home might make the heart grow fonder and make their bonding a habit-seems as if she is responding as if he's a stranger.

7th March 2008, 09:44 PM
hmmm....does your husband have a particularly deep or booming voice? Some dogs can be very sensitive to noise - for example, they'll run away from vacuum cleaners, hide during thunder storms etc... And since he's away a lot it isn't like she becomes accustomed to hearing it everyday.

8th March 2008, 04:10 AM
aww I am sorry you are going through this, it must be terribly hard :(

If you think about what happens when she avoids him, does she run to you onto your lap for comfort? If so, it would probably be best not to say "oh it's OK" or console her or any way as you may be inadvertantly praising her for not paying attention to him.

If I were in your position, I would have your husband deal with all of the treats, walkies, and feedings and everything that they love. It also might be good to get her into some kind of training and have your husband work with her to strengthen their bond together. I find that my walkies with my two are some of the best opportunities to work on training things.. and training of course equals treats, which we all know Cavaliers live for ;)

I also agree it's a good idea to keep an article of your husband's around her bedding area.

I hope this helps even if it's in the slightest :flwr:

Good luck! :)

8th March 2008, 02:39 PM
Does your husband use an after shave of other scented product?
Or, perhaps she is afraid because your husband is away for long periods of time.

Just a couple of thoughts.
Good luck.

8th March 2008, 06:22 PM
Thank you for all your helpful comments! I'll try these. I'll put an item of his clothing in their bed tonight. :thmbsup:
The odd thing is that when my hubby comes home Maija is just as excited and happy to see him as Hermie, and he makes a big fuss of them both. Then, after the greetings, she seems to remember that oh boy! this is that guy, I'd better run away or to mummy. And as soon as he's left again Maija is like a completely different dog, playful and running around. Sad.