Let's try to figure out why dogs respect certain member of the family and not others. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Let's try to figure out why dogs respect certain member of the family and not others.

I was reading a few threads on this forum and others as well in preparation for the new pup. I noticed a theme emerging that goes along these lines.
"I do about 90% of the training for my dog, but he respects my husband and not me"
"My dog only listens mostly to my wife/husband but I do most of the training"
"All it takes is one look from my _____ and the dog stops whatever he's doing"
This got me thinking, why in some cases is it that the person doing the least amount of training with the dog gains the most respect?
I have a few theories and maybe someone can add in.
It could be that the dog respects the calmer, less bossy member of the family.
The person doing the training is usually the one giving the most praise/belly rubs, maybe the dog sees this as a sign of weakness?
The dog might be trying to win the affection of the person he sees the least?

Now this of coarse isn't the case all the time, but I was trying to figure out some nuances that we might not even realize are happening, that are contributing in the dog being more obedient/respectful with certain members of the family. When I was a kid I had a GSD that didn't listen to most members of the family, we would yell at him and reprimand him and he would still go about his ways. My grandfather never even paid attention to the dog and for some reason the dog would respect him the most.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 03:23 PM
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Attitude.....


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 04:16 PM
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Or the other person is the fun one who plays with the dog and doesn't make demands. It may not be that the dog likes the other person better, it could just be a desire to play.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 04:27 PM
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Maybe the dog sees who is the one in charge of the family and there is where the respect comes from. Ideally everything in a marriage is a group collaboration. However, It seems that in every relationship there is someone who has the final say or is the final decision maker. Not that this person doesn't compromise and give in to the other person. But ultimately the dog may see one as leader and one as higher up than dog but not the highest. or maybe the dog just naturally has more respect for one over the other.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:02 PM
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in many cases, the person who doesn't do the training and daily care gets attention and respect simply because they aren't there all the time. They are more fun and novel and "ah Mom (or Dad!) is here every day. She pays attention to me all the time."
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:15 PM
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We both train the dog and she loves us both the same. Although I feed her.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:25 PM
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I've been there 24/7 from day one...do all the training....do all the playing.......most everything....but I don't feed the dog except on rare occasions..... I have no doubt my dog "respects" me far more than anyone else. Also...my dog doesn't solicit me for "attention"......except upon my return briefly.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 07:21 PM
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All my dogs seem to adore my husband. Who is a tease and a bully most often. Look closer. What looks like adoration is in fact attempts to appease and sometimes blatant submission.
Further he feeds them junk and actively encourages stupidity.
For example he puts animal shows on tv knowing full well Shadow will react. He encourages it then yells at her for jumping at the tv. He pins her down. Teases her then gets angry at her for fighting back.
There is a reason he doesn't live here.
They have no respect for him they simply want him to stay calm. Fear is not respect. And in far to many relationships one person wants the dog and one doesn't. Dogs are not stupid.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 07:48 PM
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Sounds like to the dog he is dominant.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 08:23 PM
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I am my current GSD's person. I do the training. Most of the other care but my husband does feed and walk her too. But, I am the one. I am the disciplinarian. My husband is a pushover. She's my dog and I am her person. She loves all of the family members. She has a special relationship with my nine year old. I think it is because he is natural with dogs and he has focus with obedience. He loves her and they have a special relationship.

I've had three other dogs and I've been number one to them all. I am the person who has always had a majority of the pet care. None of my dogs have preferred anyone besides me. Must be my bubbly personality. 😝
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