my boyfriend has recently taken on a 5 year old rottie. she was left in a shed all day by her previous owners and clearly hasn’t been socialised. she is generally well behaved… but it seems to be when she wants to be!
he’s had her three months and we’ve been together for 2. she was fine at first, but when i was alone with her she very clearly dominated me. she didnt listen to anything i said when she misbehaved and climbed on me. when i told her to get down she just turned her head towards me and growled. she always stands between me and him, and wont move out of the way of me. when i come to the house she just sits at the top of the landing looking down at me, doesnt come and greet me which i have never experienced with any dog.
i used to have a doberman and an alsation so am used to big dogs and have never been scared of dogs, but her behaviour seems so erratic and unpredictable. she digs, barks, and when she gets excited she bites feet. she wont listen to anyone but my boyfriend and even then its when she decides to and im just worried about what could happen.
It sounds as though this poor girl has had a rough start and she’s in need or some intensive re-training and socialization.
She’s bonded with your boyfriend but (not surprisingly given her history) is very protective and jealous around him, and hasn’t accepted you as part of her ‘family’.
This is a situation your boyfriend needs to take an active role in changing, or I can see a huge potential for trouble down the line. She obviously recognizes him as ‘alpha’ and although that doesn’t need to change, she needs to see you as also being above her in terms of authority. Only your boyfriend can help her understand that by allowing you to take an active role in caring for her (dogs respect those who control resources such as food/toys/treats etc.), and by correcting her behavior consistently and firmly if she attempts to dominate you.
I can only recommend that you discuss this with him and both of you figure out a plan to tackle this issue, and the sooner the better. If you feel that you both need some extra help with this (and I think it would be an excellent idea), then talk with a veterinarian or local dog trainer or behaviorist and get some hands-on help.
She’s not being a bad dog, or being overly aggressive, but this behavior does need to be corrected NOW, before it becomes an ingrained habit, so get together and tackle it asap.
Best of luck, hope harmony reigns soon.