Why Does My Dog Protect Me From My Husband?

Dog protecting woman

Dogs are known as a human’s best friend and rightfully so. They are very affectionate towards their owners and can get really protective too.

Your dog may even try to protect you from your husband. It is not as uncommon as you think. Reward on to know how to handle this situation.

Why Does Your Dog Try to Protect You from Your Husband?

There’s no one answer to this question. Every family is different and there can be many different reasons for your dog to be protective of you even with family members.

The most common reason is that they simply love you more than your husband. You are the central figure of the house to them and thus need to be protected from everyone else.

Sometimes possessiveness gets mistaken for protectiveness. If your dog is possessive of you, it is a serious problem and can be dangerous as possessive dogs get aggressive too.

A more unfortunate reason is that your husband might have hurt your dog or not taken care of your needs. This can make the dog see them as a negative figure you need to be protected from.

Here is a list of all the reasons your dog is trying to protect you from your husband:

Lack of Trust

Every dog has a different personality. Some dogs love interacting with strangers and will go bounding up to every person they meet while others might be wary of who they interact with.

You might think that your pet would trust every member of your family simply because they live with them, but this isn’t always the case. Dogs don’t think or feel the same way as humans.

This often happens if you met your husband after you got your dog. Your dog sees you as someone he can trust, but your husband has not proved himself to be trustworthy yet.

If they start spending time together, your dog will soon start loving your husband too. Once he starts feeling that your husband is ‘part of the pack’, he won’t feel the need to protect you from your husband.

Your Husband Hasn’t Bonded with Your Dog

Simply living in the same house doesn’t mean that your husband and your dog will become best buds. Dogs develop bonds with people who take care of them in some way.

Taking them for walks, giving them food and playing with them are all part of taking care of their needs. If your husband is not doing any of these activities, your dog has no reason to form an emotional bond with him.

If your husband does go for walks or plays with your dog and you still find that your dog tries to protect you from him, observe if your husband is mentally present when he spends time with your dog.

If he’s on the phone during walks or watching TV while he plays fetch with the dog, it doesn’t count as spending time with the dog and won’t help him form a bond with the dog.

Also Read: Can You Spoil a Puppy By Holding It Too Much?

Your Husband’s Mental State

Dogs are very observant of people’s mental states. They often mirror your energy—if you are stressed, your dog will pick up on it and act stressed out too.

If your husband is stressed out all the time or is in a negative mental state all the time, your dog will definitely notice.

This can make your husband appear as a threat or a negative presence in the house. So your dog tries to protect you from him.

In this case, your dog will also try to keep away from your spouse or start acting aggressively towards him.

Possessiveness

If your dog tries to protect you from your partner and is also aggressive when someone tries to touch his food or toys, he might be possessive of you. It is easy to confuse possessiveness with protectiveness, but they are different things.

It is in dogs’ nature to guard all the resources important to them. They will bite, snarl or snap at you if they think you are trying to take something away from them that they need.

They see you as something very important to them and thus react aggressively when your husband gets near you. You need to start training your dog to not be possessive and they will stop reacting strongly to your husband’s presence.

Jealousy

Dogs can get pretty jealous. It always looks cute when they are jealous of you petting other dogs in front of them, but it is not that adorable when they try to keep your husband away from you.

Jealousy is not limited to other animals or human beings. Studies show that dogs can even get jealous if you give too much attention to objects.

If your dog has been waiting for your attention all day but you give all your attention to your husband first, your dog can get jealous and try to keep your husband away so that you will pay more attention to your dog.

Your Husband Smells of Other Dogs

If you’ve got a dog, chances are that you and your husband are both animal lovers. If your husband frequently pets or plays with other dogs he meets outside, he will come home smelling of them.

Dogs have very keen noses and will sniff out the scent of other dogs. This makes them uneasy and they react strongly to your husband because of it.

Certain dog breeds like bloodhounds, beagles and dachshunds have more sensitive noses and will catch scents very easily.

Dogs can also gauge the emotional state of a dog from his scent. If they smell that you were around an aggressive dog, they will be very alert and might start acting aggressively too.

Your Husband Upset the Dog

It might have not been his intention, but if your husband accidentally hurt your dog, your dog can be upset with him.

If your husband was alone with your pooch and accidentally stepped on his tail, yelled at him because he was startled or spilled something on him, it can be a traumatic experience for your dog.

Dogs remember these memories and continue to be uneasy with similar situations. It will take some time for your dog to learn to trust your husband again.

Your Husband Punished Your Dog

If your pup did something mischievous or did something he wasn’t supposed to do and your husband punished him for it, your dog will register him as a negative presence and try to shield you from him.

Punishment does not work while training dogs because your dog doesn’t know what he is being punished for. Positive reinforcement is much more effective in training your dog.

Ask your partner to reward positive behavior to encourage it rather than punishing your dog for unwanted behavior.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Bury His Head In The Couch?

Mistrust of Male Figures

Dogs have great memory. If you have adopted a dog and he’s apprehensive of your husband, chances are that he has had traumatic experiences with male members of the house before.

If they have seen a male hurt a female before, it is very likely that they will try to protect you from your husband.

You need to be very patient in this case and devote a lot of time and effort to start making your dog feel comfortable around your husband.

Your Husband’s Personality

If your husband is usually very loud and rambunctious, it might be a little startling to your dog. Humans find his behavior charming and attractive, but your dog can react very differently.

If the sound of them talking is enough to wake your dog from his slumber or they tend to laugh very loudly and animatedly, their presence can be really alarming for your dog.

It might seem irrational but dogs have a keen sense of hearing and can get easily bothered if someone acts very animatedly around them.

Your Husband’s Behavior

It is also possible that your dog is just plain annoyed at your husband. Observe his behavior with the dog carefully.

Is he doing things very differently than you would do? Does he play with your dog at mealtime and delay his meals? Does he playfully tease your dog?

This kind of behavior might seem playful and harmless, but your dog doesn’t see it this way. They do not like disruptions to their routine or excessive socializing.

If your husband is behaving in this way, ask him to change his behavior to make your dog more comfortable around him.

Your Husband Is Too Rough

If your husband is too rough while playing with your dog, he might be unintentionally hurting your dog.

Actions like pulling on his tail or lifting him unexpectedly and bouncing him can be very startling and upsetting to your dog. He might even get injured or hurt.

This can prompt him to try to “save” you from your husband. If your husband stops this behavior and starts being gentle with your dog, the situation will improve.

Your Husband Interrupts the Dog’s Sleep

If your husband’s activities around the house keep interrupting your dog’s sleep, he will try to prevent the same thing from happening to you.

Dogs need 12 hours of sleep on average. If they don’t get enough sleep, they will be groggy and cranky.

It is not a pleasant feeling, so they try to protect you from your husband. Being more considerate of your dog’s sleep cycle can help solve this behavior.

What to Do When Your Dog Protects You from Your Husband

Here are a few things you can try if your dog tries to keep your husband away from you:

  • Demonstrate to your dog that having your husband around is a positive thing. Give your dog treats when your husband arrives or have your husband ring the doorbell and welcome him to the house. This helps your dog understand that you want your husband in the house, he isn’t forcing his way in. Having your pooch cuddle with your husband and you or sit on the couch with you two also helps him get used to your husband’s presence.
  • Talk to your husband and explain your dog’s needs to him. Knowing how to take care of the dog and the proper way to act around him will make the house more comfortable for your dog. Whenever they are alone, your dog will start seeing him as a caregiver and learn to trust him. If your husband accompanies you and your dog on walks or plays a small role in caring for him, it makes a lot of difference.
  • Do not positively reinforce your dog when he protects you from your husband. If you find it funny and laugh or give your dog treats right after, he might see it as good behavior and repeat it again.

Also Read: Should I Leave the Light On For My Dog?

Wrapping Up

It can be a very complicated situation to deal with if your dog keeps getting in between you and your partner. Try to zero in on the cause of this behavior and deal with it accordingly.

Some situations might require expert advice, so feel free to consult the vet or a trainer to help your dog be more comfortable around your husband.