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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, fellow GSD owners. English is not my main language and I'm a bit upset at the moment so sorry if some words are weird or spelled wrong.

I need advice badly from someone. I'll start off by telling you my story. I'm a female in my early 20s. I bought my dog when he was 8 weeks old and he's turning 2 years in September. We've had so many great moments. He really is my best friend. In his earlier days he grew up with me, my ex boyfriend and his dog out in the countryside. However, we broke up and I had to move back home to my dad recently.

Moving back home to my dads has been working fine. It's different to live in an apartment in the city ofcourse, but we make sure our dog gets his daily workouts. Even the cat has started to accept him into the home :D However there is one thing killing my relationship with my dad...

When I lived with my ex we respected each others decisions on how to "raise"/train our dogs. We were both very strict because we want well behaved dogs. I'm not talking not being allowed in the bed or couch or anything, but we wouldn't give them food from our plates for example, because we didn't want them to start begging for food from people by the table. We would give them an occasional bone every now and then but mostly used treats for training, tricks and such. It was great that we could help each other out with the dogs and respected each others decisions, it's a relief.

One thing that we also didn't let our dogs do, was bring things from outside to inside the house. They (or mainly mine, my ex's dog was a chihuahua :D) would bring in sticks or pinecones to play with them inside as well. This obviously lead to our house getting very messy. I taught my dog to drop his stick, or whatever he found outside, right by the door in the garden and then we would go inside.

However, my dad is now letting my dog bring huge sticks into the apartment from the park. I have asked my dad to not let him do that because I worked my ass off trying to teach my dog not to. I asked my dad nicely, I asked him angrily, I asked him in tears, but he wont listen. Perhaps to some people this is a small issue, but it's only a small part of it. My dad lets my dog do whatever he likes. Obviously to a certain degree, but it's killing me that he wont listen to me about how to treat the dog. He will give my dog anything he eats himself, he gives the dog treats several times a week for no reason (not as a reward for training, just "to be nice to the dog"). I even asked him to AT LEAST say "sit" or "lay down" or anything before he gives the treats but he wont even do that. I've asked my dad to push the dog down and say "NO" if he jumps at him when he comes home from work, but he wont do it because he thinks it's "funny when the dog stands up to hug him". Funny for my dad, but when it happens to my female friend wearing an expensive summer dress and it rips; not so funny. Or what if he would jump on an old lady? Even if it's just from excitement. I can't train the behavior away if it's accepted 50% of the time.

My dog is acting very differently around my dad. Whenever my dad cuddles the cat a bit, he will scream (you all probably know what kind of noises a GSD can make - rusty bike mode) out of jealousy. When he wants to go out, he'll bark at my dad consistently (not the "happiness" kind of barks, but the frustrated "I SAY WE GO OUT NOW!!!!" barks). The thing that made me the most scared is hearing that my dog had been barking very aggressively at two young boys the other day when they were out for a walk. This never happened with me since he was a very little puppy. My dog is quiet and calm around me all the time, even when we're about to go out. He just doesn't "try things" with me because he knows it leads nowhere.

Bah, this post is such a mess, I'm just so frustrated and upset. My dad thinks I want to raise my dog the way I do because I feel the need to "dominate" over someone because I have low self-esteem (he'll get pretty mean and angry at me if I tell him he's doing something wrong with the dog). I don't know how to tell him he needs to listen to me for our dogs well being. My dad is, in general, having a very hard time admitting he ever does anything wrong.

Please help :( Moving out is currently not an option as I don't have a job (had to move away from my old one) so I really need advice on how to make my dad understand the importance of this. I love my dad and my dog and just wish we could be alright. It kills me that my dog, who would listen to me in a heart beat, is starting to become badly behaved.

:crying:
 

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I am so sorry for all that is happening, you worked so hard and now you are watching it lead down a potentially unpleasant road. It sounds as though your dad is stubborn and in his ways, no offense. I would try to find a part time job so that while you may not be able to afford a move you will be able to afford tools (like a muzzle if it gets that bad) and professional training (If it gets that bad).

If your dad does not want to admit fault, then for the sticks indoors thing, just tell him that you do not want him to have sticks in the house because the sticks can bring in ticks, bugs, mites, dirt, and you would like to keep things clean. If he will argue with you about it happening in reference to the dog, maybe he will see that from a cleanliness stand-point it is just not something that should continue.

With my GSD he loves to chew on sticks with a passion, however he knows that they cannot come on the porch and certainly not in the house. I wish I could give more advice, your situation is so challenging because the issue is with another person who simply will not listen.
 

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As for the jumping up on people, can you tell your dad directly that if he encourages the behavior your friends will get jumped on and they could get scratched or knocked over and that it is not fair for your friends for him encourage it. Give him a scenario and maybe he will realize it is not just HIM it is going to effect other people in your life as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
"I would try to find a part time job so that while you may not be able to afford a move you will be able to afford tools (like a muzzle if it gets that bad) and professional training (If it gets that bad)."

"you would like to keep things clean."

"your situation is so challenging because the issue is with another person who simply will not listen."
I do have some money so that I could afford that if needed. And about the clean apartment part, thing is my dog usually just drops them and doesn't care about them (nowadays) when he brings them in. But it's the principle of him being all of a sudden allowed to bring them inside. And yeah the situation is challenging because it always just leads to a fight when I try to talk about it with him, so it feels like I never even get to let my point come across. Thank you for your advice. I made this thread to see if there was any way I could try make my dad understand in a better way. I will show him this thread too, hopefully with more replies :(

Edit: Added this:

As for the jumping up on people, can you tell your dad directly that if he encourages the behavior your friends will get jumped on and they could get scratched or knocked over and that it is not fair for your friends for him encourage it. Give him a scenario and maybe he will realize it is not just HIM it is going to effect other people in your life as well.
I have tried this, but he doesn't understand that you can't tell a dog some things are okay with some people, but with others not. He doesn't seem to want to understand it needs to be unaccepted EVERY time with EVERYONE. He usually goes from standing, to his knees when my dog does this, but it's not really stopping my dog from jumping other people. I'm not going to ask people to get down on their knees for my dog not to jump on them.
 

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I know that the sticks are not a huge cleanliness issue (though they can be depending on where they are from) but I was hoping you could use that as a new way to frame the issue to better help your dad to not encourage behavior you do not want.

If telling him directly you do not want him to simply because you do not want him to, he will and has not seen that as a reason to stop.

I have found when dealing with people who see dogs differently than I do, if you cannot be direct, be indirect but get some form of the result you need. It does not always work but it is something. If your dad will not respect your principle of the thing, then you need a different approach, you see? At least that is my opinion.

I had a family member who once argued with me that marijuana was safe for dogs. You can bet that made me angry. I even showed him facts from a vet and still he did not back down on it, so I had to let it go. But I would never want him around any of my animals. You win some you lose some. Those who WANT to understand will try, those who don't, won't. And that's what is so hard, especially if you love the person.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those who WANT to understand will try, those who don't, won't. And that's what is so hard, especially if you love the person.
Yeah, this is what makes me so sad. He turns it into a personal thing where he thinks I want to be super-dominant-alpha-hitler against my dog which isn't the case at all. He's so good with the dog in other matters, he loves him to death and taking the dog out is really the best part of his day. I can tell. It would break my heart to move for that reason as well; I would take the best thing he has away from him. He loves playing with him and it makes me so happy to see them together. I think he might be scared the dog will love him less if he's being a bit more strict with him, but that's not how it works. I was feeling very bad about the break-up and having to move back home, so it was a relief that my dad would take care of the dog the days I could barely get out of bed. But these things are important too :( Thanks so much for your replies, btw, it means so much to me that someone would take time to help us.
 

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Yeah, this is what makes me so sad. He turns it into a personal thing where he thinks I want to be super-dominant-alpha-hitler against my dog which isn't the case at all. He's so good with the dog in other matters, he loves him to death and taking the dog out is really the best part of his day. I can tell. It would break my heart to move for that reason as well; I would take the best thing he has away from him. He loves playing with him and it makes me so happy to see them together. I think he might be scared the dog will love him less if he's being a bit more strict with him, but that's not how it works. I was feeling very bad about the break-up and having to move back home, so it was a relief that my dad would take care of the dog the days I could barely get out of bed. But these things are important too :( Thanks so much for your replies, btw, it means so much to me that someone would take time to help us.
I'm glad he enjoys the dog and the dog enjoys him. If only you could show him that he would not be loved any less by the dog.

I am deeply sorry for your break-up. It's a lot like losing a loved one, you grieve. Good thing about dogs is, they get you up when you don't want to. They will love you even if you sit there crying your eyes out, crying your heart out and you never feel stupid. I am still grieving the loss of my dad, every now and again I'll feel the loss freshly in my heart, but being with Joey or surrounded by my cats helps a lot. Life goes on, and they show it. They help you to move when you don't feel you can.

I hope you can get more replies, I hope more people's advice will be more useful to you.
 

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I doubt you can change your Dad. All you can change is your reaction to your Dad's behavior. On the bright side, your Dad will not ruin your dog. If you do not allow your dog to jump on you or your friends, your dog will not. Keep him on a leash, when friends come over, so you have control. Correct him, if he tries to jump. Your dog will continue to jump on your Dad, because he allows and encourages it. Your dog is smart and knows the difference. Your dog will not bring in sticks, when he is with you, because you do not allow it. Honestly, the very best thing you can do is to move as soon as possible. In the meantime, control your dog, on leash. Allow him to drag it, if need be. Try to limit the time he spends alone with your Dad. I'm sorry you are in this difficult situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Try to limit the time he spends alone with your Dad.
That just sounds so harsh. I appreciate every input here, but I guess I was hoping for advice on how I could make my point come across differently :(

Your dog is smart and knows the difference.
Thing is, he will jump strangers the first time he meets them (if they come through the front door or we enter someones house from the front door, not outside). Me, not much if he isn't super excited to see me (let's say I've been gone a few days or so). I just don't want the jumping to be "standard" part of seeing someone new, even if he just does it out of happiness.
 

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the worry about sticks and cleanliness is more a concern of your father since you are in his home .

you are a guest in the home , not a co-owner , not on the lease -- a guest . You are lucky a
big dog is welcomed .

sounds like your father has been by himself? The dog allows him to be emotional , happy .

so how to change father's behaviour.
Place an attractive wicker basket outside your front door.
When you go out for a walk you place a toy like this http://www.instructables.com/id/Dog-Toys-for-Heavy-Chewers/

If the dog carries a stick back to the home before you enter , you exchange the chew rope
or a big kong toy for the stick (which gets disposed)

happy exchange , and father can do it !

the jumping up ? tell your dog that it is stressful to the dog to have two sets of rules.

what if he has guests over and they object to being mauled by a friendly dog - tell him it
isn't good for the dog's back or hips -- he might change for the benefit of the dog - the rule
is four on the floor .

father can get down to his level , sitting in a chair having dog's head in his lap?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
you are a guest in the home , not a co-owner , not on the lease -- a guest . You are lucky a
big dog is welcomed .
Trust me, this is something that I am well aware of and I would've sorted my situation differently if he wasn't okay with us being here once I had to move. Now it's more that the both of us really want to get along and have a healthy, well behaved dog at the same time. I am not bothered by the sticks messing up any cleanliness, it's just pointless to let him bring them in since he doesn't care about them once they are inside the apartment. It's the principle; I taught him that this behavior is wrong. Might as well grab the stick out of his mouth outside the building and throw it in a bush or something. But my dad finds it amusing when he brings it in? Or something.
 

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I think , since your dad loves your dog and you both love each other, you might want to approach you dad starting off with what you appreciate about what he has done is taking him out for walks when you weren't feeling well.

Let him know Shepherds love to work and when he asks your dog to do something, the dog is happier. Let your dad know that asking for a behavior before treating is actually strengthing the bond that he and your boy are developing.

You can even point out how happy your boy looks at your dad when they work together as a team.

Teach your dog a new trick and ask your dad to help you with it.

I am talking from experience. Dh has a hard time enforcing rules but loves our boy to pieces. When Ever I taught Sonny a new trick, dh would get some treats and work with our boy on it.

This approach didn't fix everything but it helped a lot.

I think since your dad feels strongly about certain things, find the positives in that and work with it. Leave treats available that your dad can give him.

I'm sure you can work this out, it just might take a little creative thinking on your end.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm sure you can work this out, it just might take a little creative thinking on your end.
Thank you very much for your reply. It really warms my heart. It just feels so discouraging to try do anything together with someone who refuses to listen to you about the smallest things. I told him I talked to some people on a forum about this, and he is just doubtful you guys would know better than him. Thing is you could take him to a professional dog trainer and if the professional told him anything that isn't the same as what he thinks, he would just doubt that person and ignore the advice as well. I'll try to find a different approach somehow without coming across naggy even though I really tried with the sweetest voice I have at times.
 

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Since your dad won't listen to you, would he listen to someone else, like a trainer? Is it possible to work with either a private trainer or in a small class with someone who talks about behavior? Maybe even let your dad handle the dog in an obedience class so he can see the difference when your dog is handled properly. I would worry more if you had a young puppy, but at age two you have already taught your dog a lot of good behaviors. Also, work on your dog behaving with you when you are around and he will behave better with you.

I'm guessing you didn't teach him not to jump completely because by age two, if you had, he would not jump on guests even if your dad allows the dog to jump on him. I don't invite my puppy to greet people in dresses because he's still not 100% on not jumping. I will leash him and keep him back. My older dog is fine because she won't jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
"Since your dad won't listen to you, would he listen to someone else, like a trainer?"

"I'm guessing you didn't teach him not to jump completely because by age two, if you had, he would not jump on guests even if your dad allows the dog to jump on him."
For the first part, I did take classes with my dog and told him some of the things my trainer would tell me after each class but my dad just seemed to disagree and think my trainer was too rough on the dog. The second quote; I have been here with my dog when he was younger as well, for longer periods of time living here when me and my ex had fights, so it's not only something that happened now recently. My dad has been involved in my dogs life since he was a puppy, just not on an every-day all-week basis. He did so many good things with the dog as well so it just hurts me that issues this small just can't be corrected because he has his mindset/his ways on something that is so easy to fix. It's simple; no sticks in, no jumping on anyone, and just simple general things.
 

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But your dad wasn't in the class handling the dog. It sounds like your dad wants you to listen to him and you aren't. If you can turn that around so it's your dad's idea, things might work better. That's why I suggested having your dad take the dog to class.
 

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I was/am in a very similar position. When our boy was young (he'll be 5 next month) I did all the training stuff and tried very hard to make sure he was trained as my trainer taught. Dh kind of just ignored all of it. He just wanted to do things his way.

At first I would get mad and argue. When they were out back together, I would try to "coach" him. But honestly, to him it was more like nagging and it was taking all the fun he had with our boy out of it. He wasn't happy, I wasn't happy. And I'm sure my attitude wasn't good for our boy either.

So I stopped and looked at the big picture. Decided on which rules had no wiggle room and the rest well , Sonny & dh have their own relationship and it is fun watching the two play together. Lol

As for the sticks, there was a thread a while back where the dog got one pierced in his throat. It is a real danger and where your dad loves your boy, I doubt he would ever put him intentionally in harms way.
 

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I suppose it's out of the question to crate the dog when you aren't there and put a lock on it so your Dad can't mess with Fido. Even I'll admit it seems harsh but it might get through to your Dad-Your Dog, Your handling rules. If you don't handle the dog properly, you don't do it at all.


Jelpy
 

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I do want to add this: It took awhile but dh has come around and I give him a lot of credit. The treat issue, he makes absolute certain it is something Sonny can have.

The commands, he does now do them. Not the way I would but he does them. And best of all he recently started coming to some trading classes. I needed him. I think that made a difference.
 
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