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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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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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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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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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We both train the dog and she loves us both the same. Although I feed her.
 

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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.

SuperG
 

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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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Sounds like to the dog he is dominant.
 

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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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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.
This sounds like my dad, when I was younger we had ACD's and being an extremely intelligent and stubborn breed, the combination of him playing these weird 'mind games' with them was terrible. My parents separated a few years ago, and one of the red heeler girls (who remains with my mum) is riddled with anxiety and strange behaviours I'm sure because of it.

In regards to OP, I've actually found as the one who trains/feeds/spends the most time at home with Rollo that he listens to me the most. It takes my partner being very stern with him for him to respond (he's a bit stubborn himself), whereas for me, he'll generally listen 98% of the time as I think he's more accustomed to my training style of action-reward. I've found in more high-energy situations like going to classes and being surrounded by other dogs, he calms quicker with my partner though as I think his tenacity/strength puts him at ease.
 

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There are so many factors to consider, I think: One's tone of voice, body language/demeanor, comfort level with dogs, expectations/attitude (not putting up with nonsense). As well as being calm, firm, fair, and consistent, and being able to read/interpret dog behavior.

I've been taking classes with my dogs for the last several years, and I spend a lot of time watching people interact with their dogs. It's kind of interesting. There are a lot of inexperienced owners and badly behaved dogs. (I am glad they are there, it's good place for them to be). A lot of times the dog will misbehave (bark, growl, lunge at another dog), and the owner won't do a thing, no leash correction, no command or redirection...nothing to help the dog make a better choice). If they had been paying attention, or knew how to read their dog, they might have realized that their dog was about to react, and could have prevented anything from happening in the first place.

I think dogs respect people with dog sense. Some people just naturally have it. Thankfully, it can also be learned, I think.

My dogs obey me better than they do my husband, though they respect us both.
 

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I think sometimes its the consistency of the person that they like. The person may not do much with the dog, but the dog knows the expectations of that person and they never change.


I think also, that just like people, different things make different dogs bond more with one person over another. For some it may be the person who feeds them, the one that plays with them, the one that trains them. Basically, the one that meets the need they need the most.


And there are some people that are just naturals with them. You've heard people say 'so and so is just always so good with dogs', or 'all dogs seem to like so and so'. Do the read a dog better? Are they more open to the dog? Show confidence the dog responds to or respects? Could be some of these or all of these. And other things.
 

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Dog's gravitate toward people with the right body language. Just because you spend 10-20 hours a week training the dog, doesn't mean you are projecting yourself as the confident leader the dog is looking to follow.

I think that the person who seems indifferent to the dog, often projects to the dog a being that is naturally a leader. The one who is rushing over to see the puppy and getting down on the ground and trying to pet and play with the puppy is the one the puppy is not so sure about. The pup gravitates toward the natural leader.
 

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In my family (my husband and myself) the dogs and cats have always gravitated towards me. Likewise, strange dogs are always calm around me and like the attention. They "know" I am a dog person and that I love all of them.

As far as respect - I never had any problem getting the dogs to do what I have asked. My husband is the more stern one and yes....they listen to him but if it came down to whose side the dogs and cats are going to be by - that is always me. My husband gets up really early in the mornings. He feeds them so I can sleep and then comes back in the bedroom and there used to be 2 dogs and 2 cats in bed with me. Slowly due to old age - we are down to one 18 year old cat now. My GSD arrives mid february. I am curious as to which person this GSD is going to follow more.
 

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Dog's gravitate toward people with the right body language. Just because you spend 10-20 hours a week training the dog, doesn't mean you are projecting yourself as the confident leader the dog is looking to follow.

I think that the person who seems indifferent to the dog, often projects to the dog a being that is naturally a leader. The one who is rushing over to see the puppy and getting down on the ground and trying to pet and play with the puppy is the one the puppy is not so sure about. The pup gravitates toward the natural leader.
I like your opinion.....especially your point regarding indifference. Spending lots of time with one's dog certainly has an upside but there is the potential downside .....it can expose the human's weaknesses....such as inconsistency in emotions, temper, sensible patience, adherence to expectations, reward, corrections etc......I have no doubts that over the years...my shortcomings in the dog/human relationship have been more the hurdle than the dog itself........IMO....dogs don't "lie" and they see right through any facade presented by the human.

SuperG
 

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Personality. Take what Sue said. I would add that dogs will gravitate to the personality they like. It's not all about leadership but still who the dog likes. No different than humans.

I'm very high strung. I move quickly and easily frustrated. My husband is very laid back, calm with the total "ohhhhmmmm" factor. Some of our dogs naturally go to him, some naturally go to me.
 

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I'm very high strung. I move quickly and easily frustrated. My husband is very laid back, calm with the total "ohhhhmmmm" factor. Some of our dogs naturally go to him, some naturally go to me.

I'm like your husband. My dogs like to play with everyone else, but when it's time to settle, you'll find them by me. If I even whisper Russell's name, he practically breaks his neck getting to me, lol. I guess if I think about it, I'm always fair and consistent with the dogs, and they respond to that, whether it's shepherds or sighthounds.
 

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I'm the one that does all the training and care so Max is closest to me and so is our new pup Luna. When we first brought home Max as a pup he did gravitate more to my husband as all the animal do at first. All our dogs do love all the members of the family though and each have their own special relationship.
 

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I'm like your husband. My dogs like to play with everyone else, but when it's time to settle, you'll find them by me. If I even whisper Russell's name, he practically breaks his neck getting to me, lol. I guess if I think about it, I'm always fair and consistent with the dogs, and they respond to that, whether it's shepherds or sighthounds.

The super calm dogs and the ones with bad nerves gravitate towards my husband. Now, his idea of being a leader is moving the remote control so the dogs have a place to sit. Our Boxer has terrible nerves. If I move to quickly around her, she loses her brain and will literally run into things trying to get away. She never does that with Scott. Quick movement, loud noises....brain falls out. I think some dogs gravitate to the personality that is most comfortable and calming for them.

Just like me with people, High strung, drama filled, people create anxiety in me. Literally can feel it creeping up my back. The ones that can sit in silence and can carry on a conversation without drama are the ones I choose to be with.

They find the people that they are comfortable being around. Maybe it's as simple as they also are either Introverts or Extroverts.
 
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