(Closed) Awkward situation with new dog… Advice?

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
7208 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Meglin:  I totally understand your concern. He certainly shouldn’t be hitting to the dog to correct behavior. However, I don’t know that major training is necessarily something that HAS TO be done. My sister’s boyfriend has the most well behaved pitbull I’ve ever met and he just loved the crap out of her… no other training needed! LOL That’s pretty much how we trained all our dogs, too. If the family treats him as part of the “pack” he’ll be fine. I think putting out the literature and maybe telling the parents that you have some experience training pitbulls and would be happy to answer any questions is enough. By no means should you get in there and start training someone else’s dog. If anything, the dog will become bonded to you and react really poorly when the actual owner tries to discipline. 

Post # 4
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I say this kindly because actually, everything you have suggested is sensible. However, you are coming across like a dear, but controlling. friend of mine who also goes over the top at times with her opinions on matters that concern me. The result being that I regularly ignore the reams of printed advice I am bombarded with every time I raise an issue she thinks she ought to be involved in! 

I can see why your SO’s brother wants to do the training and why he wants to be the one who bonds with the dog initially. Now his ideas about dealing with dog behaviour are far from good – hitting a dog is never acceptable – and sure, his parents probably could do with some training tips. But you can’t force them onto them and neither should you assume it is your responsibility to try and train the puppy. You need to work with your SO’s brother and his parents and this might well be best achieved by stepping backwards a little and waiting for them to ask for help. If you foist your views on them then they could well stop listening altogether and that won’t be good for the dog.

Post # 5
1342 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Meglin:  Since it’s a family dog and his parent’s house, I see no problem in talking to his parents. 

ETA I don’t think it’s controlling when the alternative is watching a puppy being hit.  

Post # 6
227 posts
Helper bee

@Meglin:  if I were you, I would start training the dog yourself when you have free time, and also try to get everyone on board with the techniques as well. You’re right about it being VERY important to start training a dog young, before they get too big and wild. If you’re at least able to teach him the difference between “good boy” for good behavior and a firm “no” for bad behavior, I think he’d be better off, so your SO’s brother might not have to use other, rougher methods to keep him under control. He’ll be a safer, more stable dog with consistency and being treated humanely. 

Post # 7
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Meglin:  It is a sticky situation maybe offer to take the brother out and about with the dog… you dont necessarily need classes to train a dog. I would suggest just exposing the puppy to all sorts of people – BUT – not at a dog park or pet store until the puppy has their shots. Take himt to pet friendly businesses, or stand on a busy street corner, go for a walk in dog friendly areas. Aks your friends with pets to come over with their pets. 


Post # 8
8694 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If I had to live with the dog I’d be training it if no one else did. If the brother WANTS to train the dog, by all means let him. But if he’s doing nothing then yes, I would step in. If you’re close with his parents I would definitely bring it up. As you said, the socialization window is small, and with the stereotypes surrounding pits you definitely want him as socialized as possible.

My brother and his Fiance have a puppy and it drives me absolutely nuts that they do practically nothing with him. She’s let her dad do almost all his basic manner training, but he’s totally old school and hits the dog, rubs his nose in poop, etc. It’s awful and I can’t stand it.

Post # 10
3078 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Can I ask how old your SO’s brother is?

Post # 11
2220 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

He’ll probably change his mind after the dog starts eating all of his shoes!

But in this situation, I would talk to the parents. Maybe they can set some rules like, if he wants keep the dog in THEIR house, he needs to train it. That seems reasonable and necessary – puppies can cause a lot of damage!

And, as much as it sucks, I think it’s especially important for pit bulls and similar breeds to be very well trained because of the stereotypes. My dog was bit by a pit bull this past summer that was not trained and totally out of the owner’s control. It was awful, but knowing a lot of other pit bulls, I did not assume that the dog was aggressive because he was a pit bull; I assumed he was aggressive because the owners were not doing their job. Other people would automatically jumpt to the conclusion that because it’s a pit bull, that’s the reason it’s aggressive. Your FI’s brother needs to be a responsible dog owner, regardless of breed, but especially in the case of a pit bull.

Post # 14
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I really get it – it’s hard to sit back and watch a future train wreck. And this is what I think this scenario is, a train wreck. You have a 19 year old kid who has no experience whatsoever with any dog at all, let alone a puppy, (not to mention a puppy with a bad breed reptuation), who says his main method of training will be punching his dog or possibly throwing him down the stairs. Also he says he only wants the dog for hiking and biking? So, he’ll be exposing his potentially poorly trained pit bull to other people and dogs out in public? It makes me sick to think about. This is why I carry pepper spray on walks.

Personally, I wouldn’t even ask permission. I would train the dog myself, quietly, possibly without kiddo knowing. That is to prevent a potentially dangerous situation, or yet another pit bull in a shelter because of bad habits.

Post # 15
4921 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would talk to the parents, and is he ever laid a hand on that dog I would be taking it back to the shelter. 

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