Post # 1
any ideas are appreciated 🙂
Fiance has a giant golden retreiver whom I love very much, and can’t wait to help take care of when we move in together. But theres one little problem. This dog does not listen to me. He listens to fiance, most of the time, but he completely ignores any command I give him. He is a pretty well trained dog, responds to hand signals (from fiance) and voice commands (from fiance.)
Yesterday we took him to a friends house and fiance stopped at the gas station leaving me and puppy in the car, puppy flips out, he’s like jumping all over the seats, fur is flying everywhere, it was pretty hilarious now that I think about it, but at the time I’m thinking “holy crap there is a 100 lbs of fur and claws tearing up my upholstery and he won’t freaking listen to me” He completely ignored any commands to settle down, sit, get in the back seat, stay, lay down etc. Now I understand he was freaked out because fiance left him etc, but I just wish he would listen to me. Then once we get to our friends house I’m trying to make him come to me because he had plopped down in front of the hallway and wouldn’t move out of the way, so I’m like “come on puppy, come here, come on, come, come here etc” and nothing. Fiance says his name once and he hops up and runs to him. Ugh.
Anyway how do you think I can make this dog realize that I too have some authority over him. He’s about four years old, so I don’t know if he’s still trainable or what, but I’m just afraid when we live together I’m going to be home alone with him and he won’t listen to a word I say. It’s not that I care if he listens to me, I just worry about his safety in some situations. Like a few weeks ago he was outside with me (the yard is not fenced, which is usually fine because he USUALLY stays within the yard) and the neighbor next door comes home and he runs to this guys driveway and I’m not quick enough to get him and the neighbor almost runs him over, and he will not obey my commands to stop or sit or come here. This has happened a few times when I’ve been alone with him, when fiance is in the yard with him he stays, when it’s just him and I, he runs to the street, and he’s so big I have a hard time wrangling him back inside. And don’t even tell me about him needing to be fenced in or on a leash, I completely agree, but fiance and his dad will have none of it, because, well…I’m the only one who has a problem with him!Anyway any doggy training tips would help.
Post # 3
It’s the way you’re talking to him. Sharp commands usually work best. But the “come on puppy…here puppy” isn’t going to work with any dog. If you talk out a list of commands, the dog of course isn’t going to listen to you. Telling him to get in the back seat doesn’t translate to anything to him. A firm, “Fido, SIT!” will work much better. Try to emulate exactly what your Fiance is doing. Your body language will also translate to the dog as well. We need to get you some Caesar Milan!
Post # 4
I would probably go to dog training and you be the one to go with him. It sounds like he could use more training anyway and if you go with him you would become more alpha.
Post # 5
@2PeasinaPod: yeah I should probably add that I have the freakin voice of a 5 yr old. But yes, even when I try to imitate fiance and come up with a stern “puppy! SIT!” I get an eye roll and a heavy sigh. yes..this dog totally rolls his eyes. I wonder if I could take him to a training class, just me and the pup. Just wondering if 4 or 5 yrs old is too old for that? Can you always teach an old dog new tricks?
Post # 6
Did your fiance use treat training? You might want to start with rewards and simple commands for listening to you. I’m not exactly sure how to deal with this either but I know both of our dogs also ignore commands from other people as well (except if they have a treat and say it authoritatively). Once in awhile one will only start accepting a command from only one of us but the other one of us just has to be consistent and make them realize that we’re not going to be a pushover. So I guess be consistent and start with treats to help them get motivated to accept commands.
Post # 7
Maybe try bribery, with treats? At least for a while… that’s how we trained our dog.
Post # 8
I would suggest taking an obedience class withOUT your fiance. Work with the dog one on one and earn his respect. Also, don’t just interact with him when you NEED him to do something or he’s in a high energy state. Do small training sessions at home. Just you, the dog and some kibble. Nice and quiet. And like @2PeasinaPod said, the soft, asking voice isn’t going to get you far. Be clear, concise and don’t repeat the command.
ETA: Old dogs can TOTALLY learn new tricks and this dog is absolutely not too old to learn some more manners.
Post # 9
Could it also be that the dog views himself as above you in the pack’s pecking order? The dog clearly acknowledges your Fiance as the alpha, but maybe it thinks of itself as the beta, and you are somewhere beneath.
Here are a few articles I googled on how to establish your authority over the dog:
Post # 10
Ya, sorry hun, but that dog def. thinks your below him 🙂
You need to work with it. You need to be exercising him YOU need to be his leader… in all things at all times.
Post # 11
The age of a dog has nothing to do with how he responds to you. I have a 5.5 yr old ridgeback and a 3 yr old great dane. My dogs can still learn new tricks and new boundaries at their age.
I 3rd what 2PeasinaPod said. It’s all in how you come across to the dog. You need to work on being stern, and also having the confidence to know that you are the authority. Don’t give up – it does take some adjusting for you and the dog, especially if you haven’t had a lot of experience in handling dogs. Hang in there – you’ll get it 🙂
Post # 12
Start dog training with the pup for about 30 minutes a day if you can using good treats like chicken. TRUST me, after a couple of weeks of consistent training, that dog will be doing WHATEVER you want him to. 🙂
Post # 13
I feel like our dog listens to my husband more/better b/c of his deeper voice. And like a pp said, his voice is a lot sharper too.
Post # 14
I agree that obedience classes with YOU taking him would be a great idea. NILIF would also be an excellent idea (http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm). It sounds like you are not living together yet, but when you are at his house, you should be the one feeding him (and making him work for it; see NILIF link), etc.
Also, when giving a command, do you tell him “Sit” or do you tell him “Sit…sit…sit…sit…”? A command should be given ONCE and only once. If you tell him to sit and he doesn’t, make him sit, (don’t be aggressive about it, but calmly get him to sit). Repeating a command over and over teaches him that the command is”Sit sit sit sit sit”. The dog is in the way and won’t come when you call? Go get him. Your fiancée giving him the command after the dog has ignored you is teaching the dog that he doesn’t have to listen to you.
Again, obedience classes should be enrolled in ASAP. Even if the dog already knows the command, it will help him learn to listen to you, and it’s a fun, bonding activity for the two of you. Plus, if the dog is freaking out that bad just from your fiancée leaving him in the vehicle for a few minutes, it sounds like some training is in order anyway.
ETA: I have a high voice, too, (I hate it! But that’s another thread! lol!), but my dog listens to me because we’re bonded and he knows he can trust me. There is hope for you and your dog as well, it will just take work!
Post # 15
thanks everyone. looks like I can start off by carrying some treats in my pockets and trying my best to give commands with more authority.
@jayce: thanks for the articles!
I also think I’m going to look into some classes.
Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement ladies!