Dog training/behavior - advice?

DH and I adopted an ~2 year old female dog this summer, picked up as a stray. Embarq test ID’ed her as 100% Mountain Cur, and she clearly looks it. She also tracks and bays at squirrels when we walk our property, but she’s not excessively hyper. She doesn’t have a “job” but gets ample outside time.

Overall, she’s awesome. But looking for ideas about one issue. DH is retired, but I still work. When I come home and sit on the couch, near her bed on the couch, she will get up and pace around DH in his recliner, sometimes growling or whining in a low, agitated but non-aggressive way. I try to distract her by asking if she wants to go out or to bed, and try both. Her bed is her crate beside the couch or the bed on the couch.

Sometimes a brief “time out” in the crate short circuits the anxiety. But basically looking for thoughts on her anxiety triggered by me being home after being at work or away (she is calm with DH all day and generally calm when I’m home all day). And of course, ideas for addressing it appreciated!

Hmm, so it seems like it’s the change in people being home that she’s reacting to? My first reaction is to give her a routine and something to do. Like when we’re all home and go to sit down then, and only then, we bring out high value toy, chew, or stuffed kong (whatever she’s most into).

ETA: Since it seems to be you who is most affected by the behavior, I’d also ask who is doing most of the training work? Curs can be pretty “one-man dogs,” and since your husband is home all day, it probably defaults to him. I’d make sure you’re also spending some one on one time with her (ideally training to get the “partner” idea across), and handling at least half the feeding time to butter her up some more.

Some good points here, thank you! I actually do all the feeding, but we both walk her and interact with her. We’ve been calmly either letting her outside or putting her in her crate when she gets manic, and that seems to help break the cycle. And she’s better when it’s not horrifically cold outside, too! A tired dog is a good dog;). Just weird that she’s fine when I’m home all day or if just DH is home all day. The trigger is me being “back” after working… If they could just talk!

Is she not liking you near what she must consider " her space" and " her person"? I would move her bed to another more neutral spot if you can where she isn’t threatened and see what happens?

With your husband home with her all day, she may want him all to herself. Being a stray you really have no idea what her quirks are.

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I have a mountain cur and she is among the most sensitive beings with which I’ve ever co-habited. Yours may be similarly so. Is there a way to start a new “tradition” in that time period after you get home? Say, you and the dog take a short, brisk walk around the block? Or you trick train with her or engage in some nose work? (As curs, they have great noses and nose work really engages their brain.)

We also used to have a black mouthed cur who was a foster-adopt situation. Initially, she was a naturally quiet dog and well-mannered, somewhat reserved. About six months into living with us, she really bonded to us - like really, really bonded - and it brought out her considerable protective and possessive nature. She lit into our ancient heeler one afternoon, blindsiding him and frightening our son, who was too little to pull her off. In her case, she went to live with a rancher as a solo dog, which better suited her.

My point in that story is not that yours may become a fire-breathing dragon, but that I think you are wise in figuring out how to defuse her anxiety. If it is a possessiveness about your husband, you may need to call in a trainer.

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sounds like she’s doing her “Resource guarding” and Hubby is the ‘resource’.
pretty common with many dogs. sometimes they guard a toy, or food, or a person.
A good trainer can probably help out here.