aggression towards one person

Posted by jkd
Mar 12, 2013
My three-year old Havanese is a delightful dog, friendly to all dogs and all people except my son-in-law. We do not live in the same city, but when we are visiting she growls the instant he comes into view. I keep her on-leash and close by me and tell her "no" when she growls, so she stops but she will do it again if he happens to move from the chair or walk to another room. She has also bitten him, twice. This happened with eighteen months between events. I was not with her on either occasion. My son-in-law was trying to make friends. The first time he had her on his chest, trying to get her to relax. He must have moved too quickly and she nipped him very close to the eye, causing a major black eye. The second time he was walking her, he thought they were playing in the snow [with his dog] and she bit his hand. This is doing nothing for family harmony. My son-in-law is great with other dogs and he'd like to be on friendly terms with this one. I'd appreciate any advice.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 24, 2013
Hi jkd! Long time no see. Hope you and your four-legged families are doing well. How is Sunna (sorry I forgot her name..) doing?

I read this post and I have a very similar situation. Noah, my 7 yr old male dog, is sooo people friendly but there is only one person he gets very uncomfortable with. That is one of the sales associates at Petco. The guy is of course very dog savvy and he has a border collie himself but for some reason, Noah always barks or growls at him, just like a totally different dog. He never bites any people but his behavior is very intimidating and I don't want him to take a wrong action (ie. biting, or getting too wary at specific people). Every time I see this guy, I hand him some treats and ask him to give treats while not looking at Noah. He does take treats from him but I can see he is still quite uncomfortable.

There must be something about this guy, the way he looks, he smells (like his lotion or soap) , his voice, some kind of chimistry reminds Noah of some bad experience in the past, before we adopted him.

The only thing we can do is to get Noah and your Havanese get over this fear over time. Don't let your son-in-law approach her too soon. Instead give her plenty of time and have her approach him gradually. I know it it frustrating but don't let her make feel like attacking him again. I am sure Sunna will be a big help too. Remember when my foster dog Dundee learned to trust me by looking at my 3 dogs interacting with me.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Posted by Preethi KOP
Mar 31, 2013
Hi there

Sorry to hear that your doggie is causing disharmony I am just wondering what kind of relationship your dog has with your daughter? Was your daughter around when you got her as a puppy? Did their relationship change in any way after she got married (i.e. did you daughter leave your home etc.)?

Looking forward to hearing from you!