Post # 1
Ok so a bit of a backstory. My Darling Husband and I got married about 6 months ago. We have never lived together, and he moved in with my family and I, so we can save for our own home. His dog came with him. He and his dog are extremely close and just the best of buddies. Darling Husband has had his dog, lets call him Fuzzypants, for about 10 years. Fuzzypants is a very sweet, very very very well-behaved dog. My Darling Husband did a phenomenal job training him, best behaved dog ever.
So Fuzzypants moves in. He is given his own “space” in my DH’s home office, has full run of the house. He is the only dog in the household. Prior to him moving in, I had started taking care of Fuzzypants when my Darling Husband was away on business trips. So he has had about a year of staying here occasionally to “get used” to us and the house, so when he moved everything wasn’t completely new new. The only thing completely new is that Fuzzypants is not allowed to sleep with my Darling Husband anymore, as I am allergic to dogs. Fuzzypants loves my mom, he likes my brother, he always has appeared to like/love me. Everything seemed great.
Except that over the past few months he has started ignoring my commands and just not obeying me AT ALL. It started almost 2 months after he moved in and has gotten worse and worse. I can’t get him to come, sit, stay, lie down, not beg, etc. He will flat out ignore me, turn around, leave or just continue doing whatever he was doing originally. He will listen to my Darling Husband with no fail, he will listen to my mom’s commands, he will even listen to my brother. Not me. I’ve discussed this most recently with Darling Husband but he is away on a work-related trip for another week. He and I are going to work on a plan together to help reassert myself as the other alpha in Fuzzypant’s mind (DH’s words not mine).
Anyone have any tips, tricks, or even books that would help me in this situation?? Has anyone gone through something similar?? How did you deal with it if you did?
Post # 3
@PeachSnapple: Take him for a walk on a regular basis. Walking establishes boundaries and reiterates the pack order, it is also enjoyable for the dog. When we had a foster dog that hated men (very fearful) Darling Husband used to be the one to take him for walks. Within a couple weeks they were like two peas in a pod. Also, if you are on a feeding schedule be the one that does the feeding. Food is a powerful tool.
Another key is furniture. Obviously he doesn’t see himself as the lowest on the totem pole so to speak. If the dog is allowed on furniture he is elevated in comparison to you. I would make sure that going forward when you are on the furniture he is on the ground.
Best of luck!
Post # 4
@PeachSnapple: …people who say dogs are incapable of complex emotions, such as jealousy…are liars.
You’ve got a jealous doggie lady, and if you think about it, 10 years of Dog + Master is a LONG TIME…and technically, you’re the interloper, so Fuzzypant’s angst is kind of justified.
There are few things as important to dogs as sleeping, they’re pack animals, and that trusting time of rest and recouperation are key to a happy herd of dogs…trust me…there were 4 running around the 99 house until this July.
When I met Mr. 99 he had the most wonderful dog I’d ever met, and had literally traveled the entire country with this animal for about 9 years…so when I came along, the dog was non-plussed to say the least.
The solution, make sure that anything awesome that happens in Fuzzypant’s life, happens because of you….that means you feed him, love on him, walk him, play with him and anything else he likes….pack mentality dictates that there be an Alpha, that’s your Darling Husband, you my dear must become the Beta….second in command, a loving and benevolent presence in the house with almost as much authority as your Darling Husband…but not quite.
The almost is tricky, but what works for us, with Mr. 99’s new dog…since the awesome old one passed away several years ago….I will let that dog get away with ignoring me every once in a while, because I’ll go get Mr. 99 to put him in his place…THAT way, he’s still Alpha, and I’m still Beta….make sense?
Post # 5
I’d start using only the commands that you can force him to follow and make sure you follow up with treats. For example, tell him to sit. If he doesn’t do it, tell him again, use a treat to try to force him. (you can search how to do this online, but you basically push the treat up in front of his nose, generally they try to get it and sit down. If that doesn’t work, press his butt down). If he starts to walk away from you, grab his collar so he can’t and make him sit. Once he does it, give him praise and a treat to let him know he did a good job.
It sounds mean, but you need to show him that you are in charge. If you have gotten used to him ignoring him and let him get away with it, he is the one who is in charge. He’s learned that he doesn’t need to listen to you because it doesn’t matter.
Do you guys have a crate? If he really won’t listen to what you tell him, stick him in the crate for 5 minutes or so and then let him out.
Post # 6
My mom has this problem with my (I guess she’s my dad’s now) rabbit. She listens to my dad great, obeys me very well on my occasional trips home, and doesn’t listen to a thing my mom says. For her it’s that my mom never follows through on commands. She’ll tell the bunny to go in and it will go as far as the dining room, but won’t actually go all the way back to it’s cage let alone in the cage. My mom doesn’t bother to follow her and make sure she goes back (it usally takes several commands and some pointed tapping to actually get her to go in because of the way rabbit’s minds work) 20 minutes later she’ll be frustrated that the rabbit didn’t do what she told it to. My mom is also inconsistent in her treatment of the rabbit which really doesn’t help.
Could it be possible that you are unconciously doing these things?
Post # 7
Thank you all so much for your very good and helpful advice! It is really appreciated and I’m going to try to put some of the ideas into motion with my DH’s support.
He is really the sweetest most well behaved dog, I just want to get back to our doggy-person relationship when he actually obeyed/listened to me!
Darling Husband also thinks that FuzzyPants will be better behaved once we move into our own house and he doesn’t have so many different people with conflicting commands/rules around him.
Anyway, thank you all again. 🙂
Post # 8
Fuzzypants needs to associate all things positive with you, so that you serve a purpose to him and he has to listen and obey you for a reason. Good luck!
Post # 8
It sounds like the dog has lost some respect for you. When you give a dog a command and he ignores it and walks away he s not respecting you as the pack leader. You the pack leader must get your respect back, its important for you and the dog. Be consistant. If your dog does not listen to you its important to make him listen. Go back to basics. Go back to leash training. If your dog does not listen pop the collar, do it every time until he listens. Go on walks with him. A walk for a dog is bonding time between dog and owner.
Post # 9
Nona99: not wanting to thread jack but what you said makes perfect sense. My husband is our dogs favorite but you can tell I’m the alpha. She looks to me before getting on furniture even if my Darling Husband calls hef on lol. But his word goes too. Your advice was great