- 3 years ago
SO and I are babysitting a dog. He’s very well behaved (he’s peed in the laundry where he sleeps the last 2 nights, but I suspect he just couldn’t hold on until I got up to let him out).
SO thinks I give him too many commands. I don’t! He starts to jump and I tell him to sit. When he sits, I pat him. Same with when I tell him to get in his bed, when he does it, I give him a pat. It’s positive reinforcement – he does as he’s told, he gets a pat! I asked SO what would motivate him to do as he’s told if he does it and gets no attention or praise for it?
He doesn’t seem to like the food he normally eats at his house. We left it overnight and he didn’t touch it. SO seems to think that if he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat it. I disagree – he clearly doesn’t want it. I bought him something different that he loves – I would rather him eat than not eat. We can’t force him to eat something he doesn’t like! And I don’t know why he doesn’t want his regular food – maybe it’s something he associates with home, and he’s not at home. Maybe it’s a psychological thing – bottom line is, he won’t eat it here, and I won’t have him starve. We have been feeding him the food I bought with great success.
SO left him outside yesterday until about 9.30pm. I could hear him protesting when I was in the shower. He just likes company, he doesn’t like when we’re outside and he’s not, or when we’re inside and he’s not. I said to SO maybe he should come back in, he’ll bug the neighbours, and he’s lonely, but SO thinks I’m too soft on him and not authoritative enough – yet the dog follows my commands. Yes he’s a dog who likes being outside, but not on his own! He’s 12 years old so he knows what he wants, and that’s company! He’s used to it at home, why should it be different here? He’s in a new place which is stressful enough.
SO seems to think that when we get a dog, it will be the biggest wimp because I’m too soft. He thinks all the training should be left up to him – which in a way makes sense because SO is home all week, I’m home all weekend – but the dog needs to learn to listen to me too. He had a dog for over 10 years, who was impeccably behaved (thanks to SO), and I have never had a dog so I’m inexperienced in training a dog. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be firm when I need to be. SO may know more about what works and what doesn’t, but these are things I will pick up as we go along – but we both have to be consistent, I know this. I can sense there will be conflict though. For example, I like the idea of crate training overnight, a dog won’t pee in their bed. It will let you know when it needs to go. I don’t think SO will go for that though. I’ve done a lot of research, picked up some great ideas, especially from websites of people who have the same breed of dog as the one we want. The good thing about a crate is that they feel snug and secure, and it also minimise the potential for damage to property and the dog if it’s secured.
Do you and your SO butt heads over pets? Or do you generally have the same ideas for training, discipline etc? I guess there’s always going to be a weak link, and that would be me!