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-   -   Help...inconsistent training methods between spouses. (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/433121-help-inconsistent-training-methods-between-spouses.html)

horsdancr2000 04-03-2014 12:39 PM

Help...inconsistent training methods between spouses.
 
Hi all!

My husband and I recently adopted a 18 month old male GSD from the pound. The only thing we knew about him is that he was kept in the yard tied up. He escaped several times and ended up at the pound. His owners never claimed him the least time. I implemented the 2 week shutdown to get him acclimated. We have had him about 2 months. He is kennel trained, potty trained and is currently working on basic commands/NILIF. He had a great temperment, attitude, and is generally a happy dog. We occasionally get "sassed" by him if we tell him to leave the room when we are eating. I have been doing everything for this dog: walking, daily exercising, feeding, grooming, etc. I am very consistent. The dog initially would listen to me very well. Then in an effort to be more involved he began feeding the dog in the AM and"working" with him very sporadically 1 or 2 times a week. The dog began listening to him better than me. This is quite frustrating as my view is if he is going to work with the dog it should be daily on a schedule not hit or miss. He also rough houses/plays with the dog more enthusiastically than I do. Boris loves it. My husband will also initiate play by grabbing for his snout. This is a little unnerving as I don't want to encourage biting. My hubby had also started using the word "out" to get the dog to drop the tug rope when we have historically been using "out" to leave a room and "drop it" to cue the dog to release an item. My questions are:

Who should or how should we go about training?

Does the dog see me as boring?

Should I be concerned about my hubby imitating play biting?

Will my hubby confuse the dog by suddenly changing the meanings if commands?

Thanks again!!

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Peter. 04-03-2014 01:01 PM

I think it's best for the Dog if you and your husband are on the same page when it comes to training… but I think that's just common sense.

I'm sure others will chime in with much more useful information.

Gretchen 04-03-2014 01:05 PM

Everyone should use the same commands.

As for the play, that is what guys like to do. We have 3 members in our family and our dog plays and interacts differently to each of us. Yes my husband is rougher with our dog, but she enjoys this. My daughter is more playful like a littermate and does more fun things, and I am the consistent one like you. I think its fine that you both have different roles, but the commands and hand signals should be the same.

You may want to experiment in using different tones in your voice, a male voice is often more commanding. Be confident with yourself and your commands, it may take a little time. See if you can find some obedience training classes where the instructor is open to both of you training on the field. Someone objective like a trainer can point out things that may be hindering the dog's responsiveness to you.

LaRen616 04-03-2014 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317273)
Who should or how should we go about training?

You both should be training the dog and you need to have a talk with your husband about being consistant and using the same methods you are using so that you don't confuse the dog.

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317273)
Does the dog see me as boring?

Do you play with the dog or do you just train him? If your husband is doing the majority of playing with him then he might find your husband to be slightly more fun.

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317273)
Should I be concerned about my hubby imitating play biting?

It depends, does your dog know the word "no" or do you have a word that stops him from biting? I constantly wrestle with my Dalmatian puppy, we get quite rough and he will mouth me when we wrestle but once I tell him "no" the game is over. He has never mouthed anyone or attempted to bite anyone when we are not wrestling. My ex also wrestled with my GSD when he was younger and he never mouthed anyone or bit anyone, in fact he wouldn't even play bite me, he will only bite my ex. As long as your dog understands that he can play like that with your husband but he cannot play like that with others than it should be fine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317273)
Will my hubby confuse the dog by suddenly changing the meanings if commands?

That is a big possibility, I would tell your husband that it is important that you two get on the same page training wise and use the same methods.

horsdancr2000 04-03-2014 01:19 PM

Thanks for the input. I agree that we should be on the same page. He just started implementing these commands and I feel as if I was blind sided. When I asked him about it ( the "out" command) he told me that boris was smart enough to know that when "out" is said indoors it would mean leave leave room and "out" said outside would mean drop whatever is in your mouth. I just shook my head and walked away. Another example is when we were at pets mart for basic obedience. The trainer instructed everyone to use the "watch me" command. I have never used that nor has my hubby; I have used "look at me" based on advice from a guy who trains police dogs for a living that my hubby met with! I have honestly never observed my hubby using that command at all and I know we have been in the same room when I say look at me. He knows what command to use but at petsmart he had Boris sit and said " watch me"...... of course the dog didn't have a clue what was being asked and I was fuming cause my hubby does stuff like this all the time. This is a special dog and I don't want my hubby to confuse him.

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Blanketback 04-03-2014 01:22 PM

Your dog will eventually figure it out, but it's unfortunate that you're not both using the same words for the same commands - since you've only had him for a few months, it's going to make things harder for him. But best of luck with your DH...it sure didn't work here, lol. Off/Down, Quiet/Enough, on and on. It was frustrating! The rough play is fine, IME. I play rough with my dogs but they never mistake that private play with general good times with others.

martemchik 04-03-2014 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317457)
Thanks for the input. I agree that we should be on the same page. He just started implementing these commands and I feel as if I was blind sided. When I asked him about it ( the "out" command) he told me that boris was smart enough to know that when "out" is said indoors it would mean leave leave room and "out" said outside would mean drop whatever is in your mouth. I just shook my head and walked away. Another example is when we were at pets mart for basic obedience. The trainer instructed everyone to use the "watch me" command. I have never used that nor has my hubby; I have used "look at me" based on advice from a guy who trains police dogs for a living that my hubby met with! I have honestly never observed my hubby using that command at all and I know we have been in the same room when I say look at me. He knows what command to use but at petsmart he had Boris sit and said " watch me"...... of course the dog didn't have a clue what was being asked and I was fuming cause my hubby does stuff like this all the time. This is a special dog and I don't want my hubby to confuse him.

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Most people will tell you that you shouldn't use any kind of a command for the dog to look at you. This is all combined with a "foos" or a "heel." When you tell your dog to heel, it should not just stay in position, but also look up at you. If you want eye contact, the name should suffice.

The command you use doesn't matter. At the end of the day, "look at me" is WAY too long of a command so the "police dog trainer" gave you questionable advice anyways.

You need to figure out what your goals are with this dog. Most of us here use the same commands because we're in sport and its just tradition to use certain commands. But if you want to change them up, its up to you.

I prefer an "out" for the toy thing because when other people are going to interact with your dog, they're more than likely going to say "out" to get a toy out of their mouth (just more natural). These are the types of things you need to think about when choosing commands...

It's like teaching your dog to "come" by using a different command than a "here" or a "come." What's the point? If you dog ever gets out, and other people are helping you try to find him, they're more than likely going to be yelling "come!" But if you taught your dog a different word just because that's what you wanted, the dog will have no idea what that word means.

Gretchen 04-03-2014 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsdancr2000 (Post 5317457)
Thanks for the input. I agree that we should be on the same page. He just started implementing these commands and I feel as if I was blind sided. When I asked him about it ( the "out" command) he told me that boris was smart enough to know that when "out" is said indoors it would mean leave leave room and "out" said outside would mean drop whatever is in your mouth. I just shook my head and walked away. Another example is when we were at pets mart for basic obedience. The trainer instructed everyone to use the "watch me" command. I have never used that nor has my hubby; I have used "look at me" based on advice from a guy who trains police dogs for a living that my hubby met with! I have honestly never observed my hubby using that command at all and I know we have been in the same room when I say look at me. He knows what command to use but at petsmart he had Boris sit and said " watch me"...... of course the dog didn't have a clue what was being asked and I was fuming cause my hubby does stuff like this all the time. This is a special dog and I don't want my hubby to confuse him.

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This sounds frustrating. I wonder if your husband would respond better to training classes that were more active,, outdoors, some training that involved agility? Our previous trainer was an ex-police K9 officer, masculine but not macho. Maybe you need a trainer that will be firmer and command more of your husband, someone he will respect?

mego 04-03-2014 01:33 PM

the words thing can be fixed. I think the dog gets the idea that out from a toy means a different thing when you point and say "get out". Even if you add get they can probably tell. Aus vs out if you want.
Also dogs can understand two different command words for one action so as long as you spend time with each word 'look at me' and 'watch me', you'll eventually get the same result. My dog knows "fuss" (I can't make that german letter on this comp) and "with me" for heel. One's casual, one I want her focusing.

""and"working" with him very sporadically 1 or 2 times a week""
I personally agree that training should be more sporadic and random vs on a set schedule. if you train every day at 1 o clock it's a boring routine. If your dog never knows when to expect training it becomes more fun.

as far as roughhousing and play biting, I play with my dog rough. She loves to lay on her back and kick and nip at me and she doesn't try that game with other people. If your dog overgeneralizes you just teach a gentle command. When mine gets too rough I just say "HEY" in a sharp voice and end the game for a minute or two and she calms down. Sometimes if I can tell she's playful I'll just walk up and shove her lightly and it's game on lol. As long as you teach rules and when it stops.

horsdancr2000 04-03-2014 01:36 PM

Thanks again all. I really appreciate the input. It is very frustrating. My hubby gets all but hurt/angry because I point it out. I'm not sure how to bring it up without him getting mad at me. What's a good book that spells out the proper commands? Maybe if he reads it the light bulb will turn on.

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