(Cranston, RI USA)
I have a male rottweiler, approx 2-3 yrs old…not sure, he is a rescue dog.
He has a peculiar behavior when my wife and i either hug or kiss. “Beemer”, starts breathing heavily, if we are standing, he jumps on my wife, not in a aggressive way, if we are lying down, he has to get in between us, breathes heavy, pushes my wife away with his nose and gets very excited, trying to climb on top of me.
I am thinking it is my very strong connection with him, and he is being protective, my wife thinks it may be anxiety? has anyone else experienced this, or know what this is?
Hi Al, I would say you’re right in terms of your Rottie’s motivation here. It may be a ‘possessive’ behavior (ie he thinks you belong to him) or it could be that the emotions you and your wife are generating make him anxious and unsettled. Or, most likely, it’s a bit of both.
You’ll need to be patient with Beemer on this. Correct him by gently telling him ‘no’ if he gets between you or gets pushy with your wife. Don’t allow him to control your behavior.
It might also help to make your most lengthy and amorous behavior private – in terms of keeping Beemer out of the room. If he sleeps in your bedroom perhaps it would be better to start him off sleeping elsewhere regularly – a comfy bed in the kitchen for example. This way he won’t feel ‘banished’. Every kiss or hug shouldn’t have to take place out of his sight though, he needs to get used to some affection being shown.
If he seems anxious in general (and rescue dogs sometimes are, even a long time after they’ve been in their forever home) I’d recommend getting him a pheromone collar (Adaptil is a well-known brand and sold on Amazon, probably in your local petstores too). These work in a totally natural way to reduce anxiety or fear in a dog. We use them for separation anxiety, stress caused by a house-move, when we bring a new puppy or dog into the home, and so on. They’re often very effective. I think you might find wearing one would help Beemer feel less stressed.
They do take about 24 – 48 hours to start working, so not immediate response, but worth the wait.
I’d also recommend that you make sure your wife is involved in Beemer’s day to day care. He needs to see her as his ‘alpha’ as well, and to recognize that both the humans in his family are higher up in the ‘pecking order’ than he is. Having her take turns to feed, train and groom him will help with this.
Hope this helps. Best of luck with it all. ~ Sue