My 2-year-old 85lb dog sits on me. His name is Moose. He is a very snuggly boy desperate for affection and is only satisfied if he is directly (and painfully) on top of me or my guests. When you ask him to “get off” he ignores it all together or pushes in even harder. He has also started to swipe his paw at me too.
When I resort to pushing him off he stands or sits directly in front of me and barks. He does the same whenever I tell him “no, off, sit, down”.
I don’t want Moose to stop snuggling all together, but I want him to go about it in a more gentle fashion, and what does all this barking at me mean?
The barking means he’s gone from being persistent to demanding. You haven’t set boundaries so he’s telling you what they are going to be.
The answer to this is straightforward enough. Stop treating Moose like he’s a child and start treating him like he’s your husband. If he keeps coming back for more after you think you said “No!” than he didn’t hear “No!”
This happens to women way more than men. We (men) are wired differently when it comes to saying “No!” to a dog. When we say it, from a dog’s perspective we look like the word is in CAPS and has an exclamation mark in bold.
Some dogs perceive a woman’s “No!” as if it’s written in a flowery font with a question mark at the end and so the dog looks over at the husband and asks, “Isn’t that her, “We need to talk look?”" and jumps on the couch for a nap.
That being said women almost without exception are better dog trainers then men. Firstly, as a rule they see subtleties in their world that most men are oblivious to. Asked if he saw the way another couple was interacting at a house party, a husband is more likely to answer, “Were they there?” Seeing subtleties in a dog’s behaviour results in the ability to catch ideas before they turn into actions.
What turns it around for most women is when I point out that the dog actually sees her affections as its inalienable right. I usually follow that up with, “How does that make you feel? Generally speaking for the next few days where the dog used to see “She wants to talk” it now sees, “The last time she looked like that I got neutered.”
When a dog is as “Moose” in body as it is in name another reason they’re not so responsive is due to what I call the, “Once a dog realizes it’s stronger, it sees no reason to listen any longer.” factor.
The playing field can be turned to your advantage by leaving a leather leash on (leather grips and nylon burns) and a collar that gives control of the dog’s head. The one I designed uses a cord lock to keep it behind the ears and under the jaw and you get the power steering without the choking. It’s a good choice with the dogs that think might is right. You can find in stores or on-line. – wadecollar.com
Don’t worry that if you put an end to his bullying – which is what it is – that he’s going to have mommy issues and need therapy. He won’t love you any less but he will respect you more and what relationship isn’t stronger with those ingredients?