Preferring one member of the household? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-28-2014, 03:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Preferring one member of the household?

So my husband has said since day one that Tego likes me better,and I always laugh him off. And he refers to him a "my dog" because he doesn't let me go anywhere by myself, and if hubby and I walk in separate directions, 9 times out of 10 he follows me. Here's my concern, I want him to obey my husband as well as he responds to me. However, I spend significantly more time with him, just playing, small training sessions at home and I'm also the one who feeds him. On occasion my husband will feed him but I typically do just because he gets extra things, it's not as simple as feeding out two other dogs.

When I was a kid we had a shepherd and he loved everyone in the house but obviously preferred my mom. Is it typical of them to gravitate towards one person in the house? And should I just have hubby do more "training" with him? My concern is that when I'm around and my husband goes to let the dogs out, sometimes Tego won't go with him. He just stands there or comes to me and sits down by me. And other little things like that...for example, we were out at the barn the other day and my husband was about 75ft away from me and Tego was in between us(maybe slightly closer to me) and my husband started to walk away and called Tego to go with him and he just looked at him. Didn't move. And then walked to me.

Should I be concerned that he seems to be a one person dog or should I leave it be?
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I heard they, as puppies, bond mainly with the person who takes them home. My pup semi-listens to my boyfriend and always listens to me. When we picked him up, I was the only who held him in the car and I spent the most time with him, I'm the one who has been training him. My boyfriend always wonders why the pup barely listens to his commands and is always jumping, mouthing, and tugging at his pant leg. I just tell him he's the litter mate and I'm the boss. Hahah. I do want the pup to listen to my boyfriend, but I think my boyfriend is too lenient and my pup associates him with super fun play time and nothing more. I'd also like to know the question to your answer!
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have had Titan, all his life. 4 years. He is my dog.. I am his human. When my boyfriend and I moved in together, it was interesting to see the dynamic. He followed me everywhere and went to me first when got home. Titan however loves to play with my BF more. He will always return the ball to him even if I threw it first. BUT he doesn't listen to my BF like he listens to me. I too was concerned, because he is now "ours" so I want him to listen to both of us.

I talked with our trainer about it and she said that I shouldn't worry about it. At all. If anything I shoudl reinforce what the BF says. If he says "go to bed" and he doesn't listen, I should reinforce the BF and make him go to bed. But also that the BF doesn't make it his intention to work with Titan, and that's part of the reason he doesn't listen to him. She explained that her husband is the same way, and that her husband is the toy and the friend while she is the enforcer and the caretaker. She explained that her husband will never be a dog trainer ever and doesn't care to work with the dogs. So she does and doesn't expect anything less than playtime and help when she needs it.

It really put my mind at ease a bit knowing that someone who has some of the best trained dogs titled up the you know what, has that "issue."

I have tried to get the BF to work with Titan, but he won't. I dropped it and know that if i need help. He will help, but otherwise.. it's me
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think this is classic GSD trait - they tend to gravitate towards one person.

I am that person for Rusty but he does awesome with my husband and girls. He does listen to them.

For whatever reason he thinks I'm the best person EVER
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old wives tale. They will obey whoever enforces the rules, and gives consequences both positive and negative. They will also bond to whomever provides play and takes the time to build a relationship with the dog.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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All of my dogs except Buddy (GSD) and now Wiggles (Lab mix) has had a favorite person. They love all of us but there was always one special person. Buddy loves those of us in his family (hubby, myself and daughters) but could care less about outsiders. Wiggles just loves everyone. Dog/Human she doesn't care everyone is a friend.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, this is normal. It's also different for each dog. I have two GSDs, one is more family oriented, the other (my 19 month old) is attached to my hip. I leave for 30 seconds and come back, he practically does flips. When I'm there, nobody else matters. Doesn't get excited for anybody else.
One person should do the training, but your husband can feed and walk your pup. This will create a bond.
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