Does your dog bark or growl at your wife? It must be driving both of you insane. This article discusses your problem and solutions in-depth.
Why does my dog growl or bark at my wife? Aggressiveness or barking towards the wife carries some reasons including resource guarding, seeking attention, fear, wife behavior, lack of exercise & mutual trust. It can be prevented with proper training, positive reinforcement, patience, proven tactics.
When the barking aims at your wife, it tends to create tension between Both of you. So, This is a situation that should be dealt with patience.
Why does your dog growl or bark or aggressive towards your wife?
Here we gonna discuss 8 reasons why your dog growl or bark or act aggressively towards your wife.
First, here is a list of all 8 reasons.
- The behavior of resource guarding.
- Seeking more attention.
- Lack of involvement of your wife.
- Emotional jealousy.
- Lack of exercise.
- Body language of your wife.
- Interpreting hugging, kissing as a threat.
#1 The behavior of resource guarding.
Most dogs have the natural instinct of resource guarding. They tend to guard food, toys, persons, chairs, space, etc..To your loving pet, you may be the only valuable resource in his little world.
When your wife tries to kiss, hug, or cuddle with you, he will sense it as a threat to his most valued possession. So, as a protection, he tries to distract your wife from cuddling with you by barking.
I strongly recommend watching the embedded video below that teach you why your dog growls and what you can do about this problem by Dr. Jones.
#2 Seeking more attention.
Dogs tend to bark, growl at people when they feel that they are not receiving adequate attention. May be your wife isn’t paying attention as much as you do to him, although she engages in feeding or other day-today routines of the pet.
#3 Lack of involvement of your wife.
Is she is not interested in bathing, feeding, playing, and going walks with him? Are you the only one doing them? So that can be the principal cause.
Lack of involvement is clearly a hindrance to building a healthy relationship between the pet and the wife. So, if there is no mutual bond, there will be no trust at all in his mind about your wife.
#4 Your dog may growl at your wife due to Emotional jealousy.
This is a reason that some persons do not agree. But jealousy can be a reason why your pet growl at your wife. As there is a mutual relationship between you and the pet, he sees you as his/her parent. So, when he sees that you give your attention and love towards your wife, he will try to distract you from her.
Also, there are times your dog interprets you as her mate. So, when your wife hugs, kisses, or cuddles with you, your pet tends to bark or growl to show her protest against your interaction with the wife.
Recommended reading: How do dogs show love – 11 signs that prove your dog really love you
#5 Lack of exercise.
Lack of both physical and mental exercise can result in this kind of misbehavior. So, this can make him anxious and feeling annoyed, which can result in the arising of this barking problem.
#6 our dog may growl at your wife due to Fear
He may have unpleasant memories with women like your wife before you adopt him or may not have been associated with women much before. So, he becomes aggressive out of fear to protect himself.
#7 Body language of your wife.
The behavioral pattern or body language of your wife might not suit your pet. For example, if she is greeting or talking to him in a way that startles him, it will be a problem.
When dogs get startled, they feel threatened. So, they tend to show their aggressiveness out of fear.
#8 Interpreting hugging, kissing as a threat.
Specially hugging is not normal behavior in the canine world. So, they tend to think hugging, kissing, and cuddling your wife with you as a threat to their owner and showing their aggressiveness to protect their owner.
Keep in mind that the reasons mentioned above can singly or in combination can cause the problem.
How to prevent your dog from growling or barking at your wife?
At first, try to figure out the exact reason for your dog’s aggressive behavior towards your wife. Then take necessary measures to prevent it. So, let’s dive in to find what you can do to prevent your dog from barking at your wife.
Here is what you can do prevent this problem.
- Proper training.
- Adequate exercise. (both mental and physical)
- Try to distract him.
- Try to involve your wife in pet’s affairs more than before.
- Try to change the former behavioral pattern of your wife with the pet.
- Change the way your wife reacts to those behaviors.
- Give him the attention when needed.
- Encourage your wife to take basic obedience classes with the pet.
- Hire a professional trainer.
- Train him to sleep on his crate.
- Get advice from a professional veterinarian.
Proper training of your dog from his puppyhood will help to prevent these kinds of misbehaviors. So, giving proper training to your dog is a must you should do as a responsible dog parent.
Adequate exercise. (both mental and physical)
Lack of physical and mental exercise make your dog anxious. He becomes nervous and tense. Attention seeking and destructive behavior can arise as anxiety-based conditions.
So, aggressive behavior can be caused by a lack of exercise.
Try to distract him.
When he starts barking at your wife, you can distract him. Try to use his favorite toy to distract him. You can use commands also. Try to train him to commands like quiet and lay in your bed.
When he is growling, say “Quiet” in a calm tone. ( do not use a threatening or angry voice). If he obeys, give him a reward and praise him verbally and physically.
When he is growling, say “Quiet” in a calm tone. ( do not use a threatening or angry voice).:Lovely puppies
Try to involve your wife in pet’s affairs more than before.
Try to create some space between your loving dog, and you meanwhile try to involve your wife in his day to day routine more than before. Tell your wife to take him a walk.
Taking a walk together will definitely help to build a trustworthy and mutual relationship between the two. During the walk, let him sniff the surroundings, and when he behaves well, offer some food for him.
Encourage your wife to feed the dog whenever possible. Make him see that your wife is preparing food for him and let your wife put the food in his bowl. Because one proven tactic to win the trust of a dog is approaching via his stomach!
Try to change the former behavioral pattern of your wife with the pet.
The best behavioral pattern with a dog is staying calm. Especially do not do things that startle him suddenly.
Stop approaching your pet from behind, especially if he is a bit old. ( because their hearing ability is not much sharp when compared to younger ones). Do not greet or talk to your buddy in a much excited high pitched voice.
Dogs tend to feel threatened in such situations. Treat him with the same loving kindness and empathy you treat your little one as they expect nothing but a parent from you.
Recommended reading: How long do puppy blues last? (How to overcome)
Change the way your wife reacts to those behaviors.
When the pet starts barking at your wife, do not let her approach him. Next, your wife should stop what she is doing at that time and stay away from the dog for a while until it ceases.
If her reaction is a yelling, threatening, or a punishment, the situation will be worst. Then your dog will definitely repeat his misbehavior.
Give him the attention when needed.
May be your wife isn’t paying much attention to him as much as you do. So, It will result in a disruption of the relationship between the two.
Try to engage your wife in training sessions with the pet more than before and ask her to give her full attention during the training. If he behaves well, praises him by providing a reward.
Encourage your wife to take basic obedience classes with the pet.
It will support them to build a bond, and much necessarily, your dog will understand his place in the family. Also, be careful to choose classes that use positive reinforcement rather than punishments.
Hire a professional trainer.
This is not a must to do a thing. If you think your training is not helping him develop his behavior, you can hire a professional trainer.
Train him to sleep on his crate.
I know you like to cuddle with your dog in the bed. But getting him to sleep in your bed or your room can encourage his aggressive behavior toward your wife as the dog will consider your bedroom as one of his territories and your loving wife as an invader to it!
So, take the necessary steps to train him to sleep in his crate. You will not be able to do this instantly. Use techniques such as giving rewards when he sleeps in the crate and trains him gradually to the crate.
Get advice from a professional veterinarian.
If there is no slightest improvement in your dog’s behavior even after following the above-proven tactics, you should seriously consider consulting a veterinarian. Aggressive behavior can arise due to some medical conditions too.
Recommended reading: Why do dogs drool?| in-depth guide with 19 breeds
Things to be aware
You must bear some points in mind if you want to get rid of this problem soon.
Never punish your pet as a reaction to this behavior.
If you or especially your wife yell, threaten or spank or give any other punishments when your dog started growling at your wife, finding solutions to this problem will be more complicated.
Barking normally symbolizes a hostile attitude towards your wife. So, in return, if she also acting aggressively, there will never be a healthy relationship between those two.
If your pet is doing this out of fear, he will get more frightened, resulting in more aggressive behavior.
Do not use no barking training collars or muzzles.
There are various types of no barking collars and muzzles in the market. Can they be a solution to this problem? My honest opinion is No!.
They can stop your dog’s barking temporarily. But as soon as you remove them, your dog will start acting aggressively again. So, this is not a permanent solution as well as it can tend to disrupt the relationship between you and your dog.
Do not use water to distract him from barking.
There are some no barking collars with liquid and sprayers to stop your dog from barking. Those will help to prevent the barking and growling for some time period. But your dog will tend to develop a fear of water due to using them.
So, if you don’t want your loving buddy to develop swimming and bathing problems, never use them!
Keep in mind that he is not a human being.
So, do not expect your dog to behave like a perfect gentleman. Expect this kind of behavior as he is not one of us.
Avoid eye contact.
Suggest your wife avoid direct eye contact with the dog when interacting with him. As a veterinary student, I perfectly know the importance of this. So, Direct eye contact can make a dog nervous, making him unpredictable and uncontrollable.
Observe your pet’s body language.
It will help you to figure out his likes and dislikes. The barking or growling of your dog can result from when he experiences something he dislikes. If your dog dislikes something, you should not force him, instead try to figure out the issue.
Again, The proper training.
As a responsible dog owner, you must give your dog a professionally accepted training from its puppyhood. Taking amendments after he started misbehaving will not work at all.
As mentioned above, you can easily hire a professional trainer if you feel your training is not beneficial for your dog.
During the training sessions, try to involve your wife as much as possible. Try to give your wife’s 100% attention to the dog during those sessions.
Why does your dog growl at your wife when you hug your wife?
Dogs tend to growl or bark when they see, hear, or experience strange things. Hugging is not familiar in the canine world. So, they will tend to interpret hugging as a threat to their owner and bark to disturb the action.
Attention seeking also can be a reason for this behavior. When you are cuddling with your wife, your dog will feel your attention lacking on him. This can lead to your dog’s growling toward your wife.
There are instances where dogs consider their owner as her mate. So, when your dog sees your interaction with your wife, she will bark or growl out of jealousy.
In my experience, I have seen dog owners who had overcome this problem successfully. So, why you and your wife would not be able to overcome it? Be patient with your furryball’s behavior and follow the necessary guidelines.
In conclusion, I need to mention that your dog’s barking or aggressive behavior towards your wife is not a problem that you should get panic attacks. If you follow the above-proven tactics, your love life will not be interrupted by your loving pet.