From the moment we welcome a new rescue dog into our lives, we want them to be as happy and comfortable as possible.
Most adopters are aware of the fact that some rescue dogs come with baggage, but many do not expect their new pup to be afraid of someone in the home.
So what do you do when your rescue dog is afraid of your husband?
In this article we will discuss the reasons why your rescue dog may be afraid of your husband, and offer you some tips on how to stop your dog from being so fearful of men in general.
Rescue Dogs Always Have A Past
We can never know exactly what our rescue dogs went through before finding their way to our home.
Many had an unstable past that leaves them a bit unsure of themselves, while others experienced outright neglect or abuse.
We just never know what they have endured in the past, so it’s important to remind yourself of this when you discover any fears that your new rescue dog has.
While your dog may have acquired an array of fears along the way, they can always work through these fears with the help of your unconditional support.
Having a better understanding of their fears is essential when attempting to help them, so let’s discuss the fear of men in detail below.
Why Is My Rescue Dog Afraid Of My Husband?
Once you have discovered that your new rescue dog is afraid of your husband, you are likely curious as to how your dog acquired this fear.
We may never know exactly what led to your dog’s fear of men, but there are a few possible factors that caused your dog’s unease around your husband.
They Are Not Used To Being Around Men
Some dogs simply were not properly socialized around men in their younger years.
Just as you need to introduce your puppy to plenty of new sights and sounds, you need to introduce them to new people as well.
If a dog is not exposed to men or has not had any positive experiences around men, they may be afraid of them by default.
This is an issue that I dealt with personally, as my dog was not exposed to many men for the first year of her life.
This led to her barking at every man that approached her, as well as having a general unease around men she didn’t know.
She never had a traumatic experience with a man, but she was simply afraid of them because she wasn’t around them often.
They Give Off A Different Energy
Though this is not always the case, some men tend to give off a different energy than women.
Many men are larger, have a deeper voice, and even hold themselves a bit differently than women do.
Because of this, your rescue dog may be afraid of your husband if they are not used to being around men.
They Have A Different Scent
Men tend to have a bit of a different scent than women do.
Due to our differing hormones and the fragrances present in our care products, your dog may be overwhelmed by the differences in your husband’s scent.
This is especially common in dogs that were not around men often, as they have a hard time adjusting to these scents.
They Had A Bad Experience In the Past
While we hope this isn’t the case, some dogs will be afraid of men due to a traumatic event in their past.
Your dog may be afraid of your husband because of a man that scared them in the past, and it’s hard for our dogs to separate the two.
Many dogs will move past this fear once they learn that not all men are as bad as the one that initially hurt them, but it can take time.
You Have Different Training Styles
If your rescue dog is afraid of your husband when they correct the dog’s bad behavior, it could simply mean they are fearful of your husband’s training style.
This could be due to something as simple as the tone in your husband’s voice, as your pup may not be used to this.
If it seems like your dog is afraid of your husband throughout the training process, it is likely time to reassess his tactics and see what works best for your new dog.
How To Stop My Dog From Fearing Men
Most people that adopt a fearful rescue dog are understanding of their phobias, but it doesn’t mean that you should not help them get over these fears.
A fear of your husband is something that your rescue dog will need to work through, as your home needs to be a comfortable space for everyone involved.
To help you assist your rescue dog in getting over their fear of your husband, let’s discuss a few of the most effective tips below.
Make Sure Your Husband Gives Your Dog Time
Before attempting to help your dog through their fear of your husband, it’s important to make sure that your husband gives them plenty of space.
Your dog will need time to warm up to your husband no matter how much you work with them, so it’s essential to offer them the opportunity to come to your husband on their own.
If you force any interactions while they are still fearful, this may just exacerbate the issue.
Create Positive Experiences With Your Husband
One of the best ways to get your dog over a fear is by helping them create positive associations with their phobia.
This stands true for a fear of men as well, so you will want to make sure your pup thinks of happy experiences when they think of your husband.
This means that your husband should:
- Give your rescue dog plenty of treats
- Offer them praise at any opportunity
- Engage in fun activities
- Any other interaction that your pup seems to enjoy
Get Your Husband Involved In More Of The Caregiving
A dog will quickly become aware of who is the main person caring for them.
Most dogs will bond with the person doing the most of their caregiving, so it’s essential to get your husband in on the action.
This means making sure your husband is the one filling their food bowls, opening the door to let them into the backyard, and even taking them on walks if they allow your husband to walk them.
Implement Obedience Training
Once your rescue dog is becoming more brave around your husband, you should begin to implement some obedience training.
Your husband can play a direct role in teaching certain tricks and offering them rewards, and this will help your pup create positive associations with your husband going forward.
Desensitize Your Dog To Men
If it seems like your dog is afraid of all men and not just your husband, this means that you will need to work on this fear moving forward.
The best way to do this is through proper socialization with men in different settings, ranging from men visiting your home to men you encounter on walks.
Just be sure to do this at a pace that suits your pup, and to not rush this process if they are having any difficulties.
If you are having a hard time with this process at any point, you can always reach out to a dog trainer or behavioral expert.
Will My Dog Ever Like My Husband?
We know it may seem hopeless at first, but your dog will likely come around to your husband in time.
You will need to offer your rescue dog as much patience and love as possible.
As long as your husband is bringing as much positivity to the relationship as possible, your pup will eventually let their guard down.
Just be sure to give your dog space as they adjust to the new humans in their life, and they will soon warm up to each person in the home.
Final Thoughts On Rescue Dog’s Being Afraid Of Men
Many rescue dogs will develop fears as a result of their previous life, and a fear of men is one of the many possibilities.
As long as you allow your pup to warm up to your husband at their own pace, you will begin to see the blossoming of a beautiful friendship.