Skip to Content

My Dog Is Aggressive Towards My Husband: 7 Reasons + 3 Tips

My Dog Is Aggressive Towards My Husband

You and your dog adore each other.

But you can’t say the same thing for them and your husband.

Your furry friend snarls when he is around.

The barking doesn’t stop especially if your husband gets near.

Your dog is always ready to lunge at him.

You start to feel frustrated:

“Why does my dog hate my spouse?”

“What can I do to avoid getting my husband bitten by the dog?”

Continue reading to find out:

  • 7 reasons why your dog is aggressive towards your husband.
  • 3 tips to stop your dog from growling and lunging at your spouse.
  • How to know the reason why your dog is aggressive through behavior signs.
  • And so much more…

Why is my dog aggressive towards my husband?

Your dog is aggressive towards your husband because they have been abused in the past by a male. They’re jealous, territorial, or fearful. Or, your dog lacks socialization skills.

7 possible reasons why your dog is aggressive towards your husband

#1: Guarding

You’re the main caretaker of your dog.

You feed them during mealtime and play with them daily.

The doggo sees you as the source of their needs.

Naturally, your furry friend wants to guard the source.

When they see your husband around you, they start to get aggressive.

Your dog is guarding you against your husband.

They don’t see him as another fur parent but someone who might take the source.

Study says that resource guarding is a dog’s defense for something or someone they see as valuable.

How do you know if resource guarding is your dog’s main plan?

Look out for these signs:

  • Growling.
  • Stiff body.
  • Lifting lips.
  • Hard stare.
  • Baring teeth.

#2: Fearful

You may think that a fearful dog is someone who cowers, hides, or escapes.

A dog’s response to a scary situation can either be fight or flight.

Flight is when they try to escape, while a fight is when they become aggressive.

Fight is the more serious reaction to fear.

When a dog reacts in fight mode, they feel cornered.

How does your husband approach your dog?

They may become aggressive when the dog feels cornered and can’t get away.

If they’re against the wall, the dog will most likely get hyperactive.

It can get worse if your husband is fearful as well.

The dog can sense his fear. They’ll think that your husband isn’t the leader they need.

Dogs respond well to a calm and firm leader.

How to determine if your dog fears your husband?

Take note of their body language such as:

  • Biting.
  • Barking.
  • Growling.
  • Snapping.
  • Lip licking.
  • Destructing.

Check out also: 11 Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Walls + How To Stop It

#3: Jealousy

Your Dog Is Aggressive Towards Your Husband Because Of Jealousy

Do dogs get jealous? Absolutely.

It’s as natural for them as barking.

When they see you giving your care and attention to the man of your life, they feel envious.

They won’t get aggressive towards you but to the one who made them jealous.

Study says that jealousy occurs in dogs when there’s a triangle.

Your dog feels that your bond with them is threatened because of your husband.

You, who’s the object of their affection, may be snatched away by a third party.

Our apologies to the husband for being the third party here. Kidding aside, we’re trying to see the situation in the eyes of your canine.

Aside from aggression, there are other signs that hint your dog is jealous.

Observe if your dog acts this way:

#4: Past experience

Your dog is aggressive to your husband, probably because of a bad experience.

Did you know that the FBI reported that animal cruelty is a big problem all over the world?

As heartbreaking as it sounds, your dog may have been abused in the past.

They may associate your husband with their painful experience.

His build, tone of voice, or physical looks might trigger the memory, especially if the abuser was a male.

Abuse can either be neglect or physical mistreatment.

Neglect is when a dog isn’t provided with their needs, such as food and proper shelter.

Physical mistreatment can range from wrong handling to hitting and kicking.

Aside from being aggressive towards your husband. An abused dog exhibits these behaviors:

  • Pacing.
  • Spinning.
  • Rapid eating.
  • Digging holes.
  • Destroying stuff.
  • Excessive barking.

Read also: 13 reasons why your dog sits behind you

#5: Territorial

Being territorial is a normal behavior of a dog.

Your canine guards your home and the people inside it.

But if your dog is aggressive towards your husband, the dog thinks they’re not part of the territory.

Your furry friend only sees you as the territory, and your husband isn’t a part of it.

Keep in mind that it’s not your husband’s fault. Your dog isn’t at fault too.

Something different in your husband’s action or scent may cause them to think that way.

When a dog is territorial, they want the intruder to leave.

In this case, your dog wants your husband to leave because they see him as an intruder.

What is the behavior of a territorial dog? Keep a watch for these behaviors:

  • Biting.
  • Barking.
  • Lunging.
  • Spinning.
  • Growling.

#6: Lacks socialization

Socialization is vital for dogs to grow up confident and secure.

Poor socialization skills make dogs fearful and shy.

It can also lead to aggression because they’re unfamiliar with the surroundings or other people.

If your dog is aggressive towards your husband, it can be because they’re not well socialized with males.

Females often take care of dogs at home. Canines see them as nurturing.

If the dog only sees your husband when they come home from work and during the weekends, they don’t interact often.

A dog is most familiar with the person they always bond with.

How can you tell if your dog has poor socialization skills?

Their aggression isn’t only with your husband but with other people as well.

Your dog may also exhibit these signs when around other dogs or people:

  • Yelping.
  • Nipping.
  • Shaking
  • Drooling.
  • Jumping.
  • Raised hair at the back.

#7: Wrong approach

Now it’s time to assess how your husband approaches your dog.

It can be the main cause why your canine is aggressive towards him.

Dogs usually see males as more threatening than females because of their build, voice, or demeanor.

Yelling or big voices can be a problem. Approaching aggressively is something your dog won’t like as well.

If your husband believes in punishing the dog to correct inappropriate behavior, it could worsen the relationship.

The dog identifies you as a caring and nurturing fur parent. It might be the opposite for your spouse.

Talk it out with your partner so you will be one the same boat in caring for your furry friend.

Take note that you’re not alone in this struggle. There are other fur parents who went through the same thing.

Watch this video to learn from their experience.

3 tips to stop your dog from being aggressive towards your husband

#1: Spot the cause

The first step in improving your dog’s relationship with your husband is by spotting the cause.

It’s important to identify your dog’s triggers so you will know how to train them around your spouse.

They may associate your husband with a bad experience in the past. Observe what triggers your furry friend.

Is it your husband’s scent or tone of voice?

Can it be his favorite hat or glasses that he can’t wear without?

Try to remove these things and see if the dog still reacts the same way.

If the dog has poor socialization skills, determine whether it’s just with males or with kids and other dogs as well.

What if it’s more about rivalry and jealousy?

Check how your dog reacts when you and your husband interact versus when you go to them separately.

These are the steps you can do for starters. Consider keeping a journal so you can have a solid basis during your observation.

You can take note of the situation, your husband’s approach, and your dog’s reaction.

Slowly but surely, you can help their relationship flourish.

#2: Start the training

Now that you’re sure about the cause of your dog’s aggression towards your husband, it’s time to start the training.

The training can be both for your husband and your furry friend.

Let’s start with eliminating the triggers of your dog. It could be an item or scent that your husband wears.

Start introducing your husband to your furry pal calmly and soothingly.

If they follow you, reward them with treats and praises to associate the meeting with a good experience.

Make the meetings last a bit longer day by day until you include your spouse in your activities.

Allow your husband to give treats to your canine.

Do you know what else your dog loves? Schedule.

A structured schedule is suitable for our canines.

They like it when they know what to expect.

When they slowly warm up to your significant other, their activities can gradually involve feeding and playing time.

What is your husband’s part?

Aside from eliminating possible triggers, your husband can also change his approach by doing the following:

  • Talking calmly.
  • Approaching sideways.
  • Squatting to the dog’s level.
  • Spending time sitting nearby the dog.
  • Giving praises and treats when the dog reacts well.

It’s an exciting time for the loves of your life. Sooner or later, the three of you will enjoy bonding time together.

#3: Sharpen social skills

As fur parents, we love to see our dogs thrive and enjoy their lives.

If your dog is now comfortable with your husband but not with other people, you can do something about it.

Identify if your dog is unfamiliar with other males, dogs, or kids.

It would be best if you adequately socialize a puppy before they turn 16 weeks old.

But don’t fret if you already have an adult dog. We can still improve their social skills.

Dogs should get used to different kinds of people-tall, short, males, females, and children of all colors.

Dogs should get used to different activities that humans are doing, such as laughing, running, dancing, and biking. 

They should also be familiar with various scents.

How do you start sharpening their socialization skills?

Bring your dog outside but let them observe from a safe distance.

If you have a puppy, let them ride in a carrier while touring them around.

Slowly extend the time of observing people and animals outside.

You can also get them nearer each day.

Give treats to encourage them positively.

Do you have family and friends coming over?

Introduce your dog to them one by one.

Tell your friends to be calm when the dog is around.

A good start for them is just silently sitting while the dog is nearby.

Dropping treats may encourage the dog to get comfortable.

Keep in mind that socialization should be a positive experience for them.

Don’t ever force your dog if they’re uncomfortable.

Being patient and calm always wins. 

How to know if your dog has good socialization skills already?

A happy dog will show it in their body language even when people are around.

Your dog is happy when they show these signs:

  • Smiling.
  • Blinking.
  • Leaning in.
  • Tongue out.
  • Wagging tail.
  • Not stiff body.
  • Relaxed eyes.
  • Showing belly.
  • Healthy appetite.
  • Relaxed ears and mouth.

People also ask:

Why is my dog mean to my husband?

Your dog is mean to your husband because he reminds them of a bad experience in the past. Your dog can be guarding, fearful, jealous, territorial or has poor socialization skills.

It can also be that your dog is just possessive towards you and doesn’t want your husband to get near you. 

Why has my dog started growling at my husband?

Your dog started to growl at your husband because they’re guarding you as the primary source of their needs. It can also be that they’re afraid of your husband. The approach of your husband towards your dog is crucial on how they respond.