Our small dog is 8. As a puppy my husband taught her to chase the ball. She reliably brought it back for more. Suddenly this year she will ONLY chase the ball if I throw it. If my husband throws it she immediately cowers and refuses to chase, but is happy to be with husband. She WILL chase the ball for anyone else. Nothing untoward has happened to change this odd behaviour. I have tried not taking her out for three weeks, and only my husband taking her for walks. She is totally ball obsessed, but still she won't run for my husband. The second I appear she happily chases the ball for me. And even odder, in the house she will chase a ball for my husband, just not in the garden or park.

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Dogs sense things very differently compared to humans. Smell is more important to them than it is to humans. Body posture means a lot to them. A direct gaze is often interpreted by a dog as highly aggressive, where a human might see it as simply open and interested. Tone of voice is important in ways that humans don't notice, or interpret very differently.

Your husband should try to make special friends with puppy. He should approach and notice carefully what the dog responds to in a positive way, and what she does not respond to or draws back from. Does a low voice or a higher tone attract her? Does she like to be petted and "scritched" this way or that? Under the ears and around the neck or on the back? And so on. Your dog will give you hints what she is happy with and what she is not.

My brother's dog, for example, responds to me when I pat her head, scritch her ears and under her collar, then give her a pat on the side of her chest. And while I do all of this I make this low noise "Dah dah dah dah. Dah dah dah dah." Then she turns around, sits on my feet, leans on my legs, and demands it all over again.

There are many potential triggers for interesting dog behavior. Does your husband have a job or hobby activity where something smelly gets on his clothes or shoes? Anything from car engine oil to detergent to photocopier toner could cause a dog's sensitive nose to cause her to be reluctant with your husband. House paint, road salt, etc. Even something as silly as his aftershave lotion could tickle puppy's nose in a way she does not like.

Especially, your husband's outdoor clothes or shoes. Anything odd about them?

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