Why Does My Dog Bark At Me And Not My Partner?
[Full Guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated June 30, 2021

You don’t have to feel sad if your dog barks not at your husband, but only at you! No, I’m not just saying it to make you feel better. There are multiple reasons why your dog barks at you and not your partner, and we will tackle all of them in this article. We will also look at ways you can manage or change their behavior and create a better relationship between you two.

So, strap on and get ready to be loved by your doggo very soon!

Why Does My Dog Bark At Only Me And Not My Husband?

I understand that the feeling of not being liked by a dog is very heavy to carry. Worse, if the dog is yours! But it’s nothing personal when it comes to the pet barking at the wife (you) only and not the husband. If anything, your dog is probably just trying to protect your husband or maybe wants your attention! Read all the reasons why you are the target of your dog’s barking below.

Resource guarding

Remember how we try to protect our favorite, precious dessert from all our family members by either hiding it away in some corner of the refrigerator, keeping it close to us for as long as possible, or simply telling everyone to back off and leave your love alone. 

Dogs do something of the like with what they consider as treasure or a resource to them. Food, toys, cushion, and other stuff that belongs to them are resources that they guard when they perceive anything or anyone as a threat. Apply the same logic with your dog and your husband. As a dog trainer, I assure you that this behavior is nothing but natural in dogs.

There is a possibility that your pet considers your husband as a resource. Seeing you (or anybody for that matter) near your husband may make your dog feel insecure or uncomfortable, as they might think that their precious resource might just get exhausted or is under threat.

You are a threat to your husband

I’m not saying that! It’s what your dog might be thinking.

While the first reason is keeping your husband in the light, this one focuses on you a.k.a the wife. In that one, your dog might have a concern regarding something happening to their resource, that is your husband. Under this possibility, your dog might have a concern about you itself. 

Don’t worry; it’s nothing serious! In a dog’s world, hugging, kissing, or cuddling is not very common, you see. When you are close to your partner, and very rightfully so, your dog might be unhappy because they don’t trust you and aren’t comfortable with your presence around anything they consider important to them. This could mean that they will start barking when you’re cleaning up their toys or simply fluffing their couch.

Seek more attention

This one is tricky and really interesting if you just pay attention to the psychology of your dog.

In simple terms, some might state that your dog is being annoying or throwing tantrums. But if you look closer, your dog might be asking you for something (quite a simple demand, actually). 

Your attention! All that a dog wants is lots of belly rubs, petting, and loads of love from their family. Your dog might be trying to tell you to give more time and attention and share some family playtime with them. Although barking might have felt a lot more aggressive, remember that the dog can only do so much to communicate with its owner.

Get the hint already!

Feelings of Jealousy

Some believe that certain dogs may think of their dog owner as their mate. In such a case, your dog may have feelings of jealousy towards you for getting close to your husband. 

This reason is not backed by any research, so we can’t say for sure. But sometimes, it might just feel too real. 

There could also be other reasons, particularly regarding you and your dog, that’s been making your pet bark at you.

Let’s take a look at those.

What Went Wrong Between You Two

You understand what your relationship should or can be like between your dog and you, but your dog only sees what they see and nothing more. If even unknowingly, you have ended up making your pet feel uncomfortable or insecure, then we need to work on rebuilding your image in the eyes of your canine.

Most commonly, your lack of involvement in their routine may make them think you are an outsider. They will compare your involvement directly with that of your husband, and find a clear winner. For a healthy relationship, you must share certain aspects of their everyday routine, allowing both of you to hold mutual trust and companionship. It is important for you to make them understand that you are a friend and they have nothing to fear when training or playing with you or simply chilling.

If your dog was rehomed or rescued, any memory from their previous life could be the reason for their distrust or anger with you. In case they have had a bad experience with a woman, they might be correlating that with you.

Generally, pets don’t like to be shocked or surprised. Startling behavior such as picking them up out of nowhere, hugging them too tight, playing aggressive games might have caught your dog off guard. Your body language also plays a major role in telling your dog that you are family and they don’t have to fear you.

More common but impressionable mistakes that dog owners make are shouting or being too strict with their puppy too early in the training period, not spending enough time with the dog, or leaving the dog alone for too long or too little. 
All of these call for your dog’s extreme behaviors that will now require special attention and training from your side. 

Common Reasons Why Dogs Bark At You

There could be some common reasons that are making your dog aggressive towards you. Everyday exercise means a lot to your pup, so lack of that routine workout could be making them annoyed or irritated. Some kind of physical pain or injury could also lead to frustration and fear. It’s always better to check than regret later.
Although these reasons are mostly applicable when a dog shows general aggression, anxiety, or irritation, I still suggest my clients and fellow dog owners to check and confirm the absence of all of these. I advise you to do the same.

Note

Keep in mind; your dog might be barking at you for any one or more of the given reasons. Take time to identify as many as possible, to remedy accurately, and not have a vague strategy to deal with this problem.

What You Can Do

A temporary but effective solution nonetheless is indulging your dog in toys or ways of keeping them busy. This way, they won’t be bothered by you and what you’re doing as much as usual. 

As I said, this is only temporary and not a remedy forever. 

Get involved

Experts say that this is the most important and effective way of dealing with your dog’s targeted aggression, fear, or plain barking towards you. 

Make an effort to get involved in your dog’s routine as much as possible. Right from their morning walks to putting them to sleep (if that is a ritual).

Make sure you’re not just doing their chores, cleaning up their toys and tasks alike. You have to make them like the time they spend with you. So, include playtime, cuddles, and petting in your everyday interactions.

Try to do tasks with your canine alone, in the absence of your husband. This will help your dog slowly trust you and feel comfortable around you. 

When you go for walks together, walk beside each other. Don’t let your canine get ahead or behind you. This allows them to learn that you’re in control (by not letting them walk ahead of you) but not to fear you (by letting them walk with you and not behind you).

Don’t be in a hurry to earn their trust. Move slowly and cautiously. Take one task at a time, and don’t start petting or hugging them on the first day! Match with your dog’s pace in building a mutual friendship.

Change your reactions

If you have shouted or been strict with your dog before, they might have reservations about you due to that. Even though you might have been reasonable, the timing might be wrong, or your dog must simply need more time. 

To improve your bond, you must approach your dog’s behavior in a more comforting manner, even when you have to train them or scold them. 

This can be difficult, but it’s possible. Keep in touch with your love for them, and this change will come easily to you.

Desensitization with Reinforcements

Start with small tasks that take less time of your dog’s and move up to more important tasks that will require you to spend more time with them. . And don’t do it all in a day’s time. Serve them food, give them a toy in the beginning. And slowly, start spending more time with them as days progress. Towards the end of this entire process, you should be able to take them for long walks, give them long baths, sit together, and play also. 

Make use of reinforcements such as toys, treats, etc., as and when needed. 

Cook, prepare your dog’s meals

Food is an essential part of your dog’s life. They love it and trust the ones that serve it to them. Along with that, if you prepare their meals in front of them, they will see what you do themself and trust you with much more ease. 

Right from getting the ingredients to serving them their dish, let your pet see the entire process. This will also induce hunger in them. And when you feed them, their happy hormones will go up, and they will connect this feeling to you as you have served them their happy meal!

Obedience Classes

Many dog trainers and academies offer obedience classes that you and your dog can attend together. These help your dog get more disciplined and also upgrades the bond between you two. 

Dog couch or crate

If your dog sleeps between you and your husband or in your room even, then that’s not helping your cause. Try assigning a separate couch or crate for your dog to sleep in.

When you allow your pet to sleep in your room, it confirms their belief that it’s their territory. So, if you constantly find your dog barking at you when you sleep beside your husband, then your pet probably thinks you’re intruding in their space.

Ignore

A kind of training. You can try this method to modify your pet’s behavior. 

When your dog starts barking at you, instead of trying to calm them, play with them, distract them, or even getting angry at them, you can try ignoring them. If they were looking for attention, chances are they will bark louder and harder. But you must still ignore it. After a while, they should realize that barking is not getting them the much-desired attention and, therefore, will stop. 

After more than 4-5 seconds of not barking, give them attention, treats, or pet them. Doing so regularly will teach them that not barking but keeping quiet gets them your attention and love.

Finally

Understand that your dog wants to be loved as much as you want to be able to pamper them and show your love! There is a mutual need, just a lack of mutual understanding. So, pay more attention to their whims or tantrums, and you will find a clear message they are trying to convey.

All the while, don’t panic because you see no progress. Every little step is essential while creating a new relationship. Trust is hard to build, so be patient. Give it your all, keep reminding yourself of all the love you have for your pooch and keep going. And soon enough, you two will be best buds!