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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-29-2014 11:47 PM
Mikelia I expect my dogs to behave on leash with anyone. Leash means respect imo. Just as my dogs are not to jump up on people or steal food out of hands. I use german commands for precise obedience and general English commands for around the house behaviours. 'Go lay down' where they meander around the living room for 20 seconds before deciding to down vs. 'platz' where I expect them to drop where they are immediately.
My boyfriend loves the dogs and has decently high expectations from them but has no interest in obedience work or the precision I put into the work I do with my dogs. They respect him, but do push him farther (especially my youngest male). Some things I have tried to drill into him are:
If you want them to listen when you need them to - say a command once and if they don't do it follow through and make them do it.
Never, ever, ever tell them to stay and leave them alone and forget about them. This one I don't care if it is an English or german command, I never want my dogs to be given the opportunity to break a stay.
And to only reward calm, sane behaviour
He has a good relationship with all four dogs. They do not listen to him as well as they listen to me but he adores them and they adore him. And he doesn't want to be walked over by 300lbs of dog so realizes there needs to be some respect from both sides. And when he has the cookies out and is asking for behaviours, I don't care about the 'down.... down..... down....' haha.
03-29-2014 09:05 PM
David Taggart The trouble here that we, humans, rely on verbal language and its meaning, we miss the point that all of us pronounce words differently with different intonations, and our dogs recognise the same commands as different commands depends on the person who says them. Your gf voice must be an absolute copy of yours for your dog to understand. Our dogs ability to understand our human tongue is absolutely amazing, and it is true that they can easily learn foreign words for the same commands, yet, they understand body language much faster and better. Support verbal commands with gestures first, and use gestures only in order to command later. Utilize Dog Hand Signals In Your Training :
It would be also easier for your gf.
03-29-2014 07:31 PM
SuperG Debbie,

Great commands given to the dog by my wife unless she fully understands the process.

Oh, I start my dog off very formal out the front door...heeling..then do all the brush up work and the basics...once we have covered this and she shows her ability, I most always give her an "okay" and allow her full use of the lead...she gets this as a reward of sorts. Yes, an entire walk of formal heeling at this stage would be no fun for either of us.

03-29-2014 07:10 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
What spawned my original question was....I watch my wife walk the dog on leash and the dog does "okay"...nothing I would tolerate but more than fine for my wife....I guess?? No pulling or anything but simply in the wrong position for a proper heel and this position seems to reek of ...the dog is in charge.
This is a perfect example of formal vs informal commands. You can have a "heel" command with very clear criteria, and she can have a loose leash walk command (I use "let's go), with much more relaxed criteria. The problem would come if she's using the heel command to mean whatever criteria she expects for a LLW, and you're using the same command for the much stricter criteria of a formal heel. Both involve the dog walking next to the human, either on or off leash, but possibly with completely different expectations. As long as there are two different cues being used there's no problem.

To me, it doesn't really have anything to do with the dog being in charge, it's me establishing whatever criteria I choose, and then applying those criteria consistently so the dog understands what's expected of it. My walks are anywhere from 3+ to 8 or more miles, so it's completely unrealistic to expect the dog to remain in perfect heel position that entire time, and I actually rarely even use the heel command. But that doesn't mean the dog can do anything it wants, I have criteria for a LLW that I always enforce, and I will occasionally release the dog to "go sniff" after requiring a sit and watch first. If your wife's criteria is simply that the dog remains within a few feet of her left side without pulling or lagging, that's perfectly okay, just make sure she's not using the heel command.
03-29-2014 06:59 PM
SuperG Appreciate the responses and I was hoping for some "magic" answer but what is obvious, is exactly that. I do however like the idea of commands in different languages so as not to temper the dog's proper response, behavior and consistency by others mucking things up. Yes, training the human seems to be the these dogs are too smart not to figure out who is hoping versus expecting.

My wishful thought was; if the dog has an environment of humans requiring 100% capitulation and obedience, it should make the process much easier. Our dog certainly is fine with my wife and all but not to the same degree that the dog obeys me. I recently started working with heeling off leash and the dog is doing great.....of course the distractions are minimal at this stage. What spawned my original question was....I watch my wife walk the dog on leash and the dog does "okay"...nothing I would tolerate but more than fine for my wife....I guess?? No pulling or anything but simply in the wrong position for a proper heel and this position seems to reek of ...the dog is in charge. All this made me think it might be making my new project of solid off lead heeling a bit more involved than it need be. Perhaps, I can utilize my wife as a distraction in the training process going forward....or I could find the proper method to have her share my passion in training our dog.....I know the term has been used to the nth degree lately...and all very amusing....but maybe I simply need to alpha roll my wife....

03-29-2014 03:54 PM
sechattin I suspect training the human as well. Though I actually had to go the opposite direction. I currently have to live with two unbelievably stupid roommates that it seems are always trying to get my dog to "respect their command". But their commands are repititious and usually paired with some sort of physical thing like trying to push my dog to the ground while screaming down at him. Of course he's confused because he recognizes the commands, but not the way they're being used, so I taught him a nonverbal leave it cue. When a roommate screams at him to sit or down, he looks at me for guidance, so I just give the little wrist flick and he'll give the person the "My mom says you're stupid" look and walk away.
03-29-2014 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
It has started rather heated fights with me and my gf. It is also why I have a set of French commands for sport behavior she never uses. Regular casual obedience is in English. If it comes from her he may or may not listen. If it's from me he knows he better. Pure enforced sport commands in French.
That's what I used to do, except with german and english. English was a request. German was a command.

My husband would spout off gibberish Def Leppard commands and the dogs blew him off half the time. I'm a young widow, neither of our sons is old enough to remember Dad's nonsense with the dogs.

Yet they still do the same stupid things their father did, genetic or gender, who cares. My daughter pays attention when I train the dogs. She took Venus through a couple classes as a puppy - until Viv got too strong for her (she was 8) but she still works with her at home. It cracks me up when there's snarky remarks about women with clickers and high pitched voices. My daughter's training voice sounds like Minnie Mouse. Yet the dogs love it.

Venus is better about trying to figure out just what my boys want her to do. Otto, forget it, no ball, no food, not listening dudes.
03-29-2014 03:24 PM
Baillif It has started rather heated fights with me and my gf. It is also why I have a set of French commands for sport behavior she never uses. Regular casual obedience is in English. If it comes from her he may or may not listen. If it's from me he knows he better. Pure enforced sport commands in French.

I don't worry too much about bleed over. They figure out who they have to listen to and who they can blow off and as long as you're consistent on what you do the dog knows the deal.
03-29-2014 02:32 PM
Blanketback My dog and DH are bad influences on each other! DH will give my dog opportunities that I know better than to offer - and his expectations are soooo much lower too, that it's a terrible combination. It's a given that any OB will fluctuate because of this. I had to put my foot down over a few issues, where I didn't want our hard work flushed down the toilet, lol.
03-29-2014 02:28 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
If you were around to provide the consequences good or bad to the dog when another person gave the commands then yeah. Otherwise the dog is going to figure out who enforces stuff and who doesn't and when you aren't around won't hesitate to blow off your SI. You have to train the human.
I do all the training too, but that doesn't mean the dogs aren't expected to also obey my husband. Even though he's not actually training them, I do expect him to reinforce whatever rules I have, but that doesn't always happen, lol. But as long as he's not undoing any of my hard work, I can live with it. I do find myself frequently prompting him around the house - he'll tell them "down" and then not notice that they've gotten up and wandered off, so I'll point it out to him and he yells at them to come back and lay down again. *sigh* If *I* give them a command I pay attention to make sure that they don't break before I've released them.

Dogs definitely figure out what they can get away with from what people, and I don't want him poisoning any of my commands by using them under circumstances where I wouldn't use them (I have formal and informal commands, with different criteria), and the dogs are unlikely to comply.
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