German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I can't believe that I'm writing about this, as I usually don't like to expose certain personal issues, but here it goes... :(

So our dog is male and currently almost 2 years old. He was neutered 2 weeks ago.

He has always been a difficult dog to educate, and while I somehow managed to educate him to become an easier dog, thing is, my husband is not assertive nor consistent, and even make things worse by encouraging bad habits.

Since we adopted him (when he was 3 months old), I've been putting huge efforts to learn how to tackle each dog issue that appeared. I came to learn a lot about more modern methods of training and so on. I've taught him to interact calmer, to play with his own toys and so on, so that he became a much easier dog to live with as we grow up.

But despite all my efforts, there are things that just doesn't get better. It's not that I need him to be a perfect dog, but I'm tired of having a dog that might not listen or demand attention even when we need him to behave. We have to constantly supervise and verbally block him so that he wouldn't destroy anything in the house. We also have to often deal with demands of attention which includes barking and running around, and not stopping even if we tell him to. There are times in which we just can't give attention, nor allow such kind of uncontrollable behavior.

But my husband doesn't seem to understand it. He thinks that dogs are not perfect anyways, but he doesn't understand the difference between accepting dogs as dogs and simply not being able to stop him when we need to. I don't mind my dog misbehaving, but I do mind it if I ask him to stop and he doesn't. I've explained to my husband many times that we can't afford to deal with that when we have kids, but he just can't understand it. :(

I'm really at my wits end, and I've made an ultimatum that if in 6 months he can't do anything to educate our dog, The dog has to be rehomed. I've told him that I'm too tired as I have been trying to deal with our dog's issue all by myself for the past almost 2 years, so now it's up to him. Now only 3.5 months are left, and yet he still didn't do anything. He was putting all his hopes on the neutering before, even when I've told him not to, to which I was right (dog is still the same, only peeing and sniffing behavior changed).

Thing is, despite our dog being a more difficult dog, the main issue is also that my husband is not having the right posture and attitude towards his education.

I'm sorry for venting this all here, thought I'm feeling really upset right now... It's like, I love our dog and I hate the idea that we can never see him nor control his fate again (not knowing where he might end up, since we can't control what the next owner would do, even if we can try to find him a good one); and then it upsets me how my husband is not doing much for the sake of our dog (given the ultimatum was thrown)...


I just don't know what can I do... Any advices? :( I've tried to train my husband, it's much harder than our dog...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
I've been with my husband almost 25 years, I do all the feeding, cleaning, training and exercising. My huband gives them love. It sounds like your dealing with a high energy dog maybe having difficulty in public areas. Im not one for rehoming an animal unless there is absolutely no other choice. If your husband isn't on board with the training I don't see any reason why you can't be. I don't know what kind of trainers you have where you are but a lot of issues can be helped with sufficient exercise, restrict freedom with crate training, teach boundrys. At almost 3 years old your dog is maturing, that's when it usually gets better.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
who wanted the dog in the first place? If you were both on board, you both should be contributing.

But I can see one may not want to follow thru with an animal after getting it, happens all the time:(

With that, if you want to keep this dog, it might just have to be up to YOU to enforce the obedience, rules, take the dog to a training class.

If you don't feel your up to the task, find him a home who will appreciate him and continue the training he needs.

I do like the rehome the husband :) but that isn't always feasable:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. :)

The problem is, without consistency, plus a consistency of wrong things would ruin any education I'm trying to implement. :( Specially with this dog. I've had no problems with a few dogs in the past, but this one requires a more demanding education/consistency, so that it's important that my husband could learn how to deal with him as well, or we can't really succeed.

But he's like a rock... I've been trying to train him to train our dog over and over again, and he is never truly getting it nor changing certain things. The thing that he managed to change is to not engage the dog in some wrestling play, which used to make our dog very bitey (he used to wonder why our dog would be much more gentle with me, who actually teach him that licking and petting him back are what I liked).

He's contributing by being the one to walk him daily. Thought I really need him to improve himself as an owner. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
I've been with my husband almost 25 years, I do all the feeding, cleaning, training and exercising. My huband gives them love. It sounds like your dealing with a high energy dog maybe having difficulty in public areas. Im not one for rehoming an animal unless there is absolutely no other choice. If your husband isn't on board with the training I don't see any reason why you can't be. I don't know what kind of trainers you have where you are but a lot of issues can be helped with sufficient exercise, restrict freedom with crate training, teach boundrys. At almost 3 years old your dog is maturing, that's when it usually gets better.
This is our family too! This is our second dog together and my husband has never walked either.

As far as the destruction, is your dog getting enough exercise? If you ever watch Cesar Milan, whether you agree with him or not, you'll notice he always exercises with them, roller blading,etc.

I understand your dilemma as when you have kids, for a while you physically will not be able to put all your energy into the dog. I don't want to scare you, but I had so many unexpected complications with my pregnancy, including 2 months of strict bedrest. Maybe if you explain this kind of scenario your husband will understand why you need his help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,239 Posts
Maybe your husband would benefit from taking a class with the dog. I know that at least for me, I will learn something much better coming from someone OTHER than my significant other. Also, the trainer may not be as frustrated because they don't live with them when the training is over for the day! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As for the energy level, he is moderate and it seems that 2 walks per day is enough for him, thought in some times he would be more energetic (it seems that rice can cause that, sometimes I give him plain rice leftovers and then he would become more energetic).
But even when after walk, he might misbehave as well. For example, he can be calm, but still suddenly run around home when we verbally block him to reach and destroy something. I've tried time out, and it can calm him down after, but he still would not seem to get the idea, or the chase is just thrilling to him anyways. :/ (and then my husband would take a long time to start getting him to time out, he would yell at our dog a few times before implementing the time out when I'd do it after waring him once -> another issue of consistency)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Maybe your husband would benefit from taking a class with the dog. I know that at least for me, I will learn something much better coming from someone OTHER than my significant other. Also, the trainer may not be as frustrated because they don't live with them when the training is over for the day! :)
I want him to start going to some seminaries, since I've heard of some good things (owner guides). Thought they are not common in my country and not very advertised.

We have been into an old school dominance trainer before and quit, and then we went to talk to a positive trainer, but for now we don't have any trainer in list that seems to satisfy our requirements. The positive trainer seemed knowledgeable, thought he is the kind that would prefer to ignore bad behavior instead, and that isn't practical nor works well with our dog, and then I don't really believe that taking away negative remarks to show the dog what is not right would be productive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
Are you talking about off leash walks where the dog is running to his hearts content. Or a walk on leash at human pace. My girl Lakota is 3-1/2 she stills gets the "zoomies" around the yard, she goes out for about a 2 mile jog with me and the bike and still want to run for the ball a few times when I come home from work. But when we come in at night she settles down for the most part.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
If he's behaving badly and getting on your nerves, plus getting destructive... then I'd say he's NOT getting enough exercise. My dogs need MILES of OFF leash exercise a few times a week. So 2 walks a day on a leash would give me a potentially destroyed home too.

My mental picture of exercise is this:


I'd also have to say there are some things men are good at (generally) and some things they are not. And GENERALLY speaking they don't tend to address the day to day stuff that dog raising and training involves. It's just the way it is and to expect them to change is NOT realisitic.

So you need to make up your mind now to either do a brain shift and take charge FOR YOUR DOG, or give up entirely by calling the breeder and returning the dog. Because your husband isn't going to change no matter how many ultimatums you give him, and do expect different isn't realistic. Really.

I've been to dog training classes for years and guess what. The vast majority of people that have taken the time, effort and LOVE to take their dogs are WOMEN!!! There is no comparison to the numbers. Almost all or all will be women with their dogs in the class.

Your dog sounds like a normal BORED energetic pup. The way to deal with that is management in the home (crate training helps for when you aren't home), real exercise, and DOG CLASSES. The classes will help with the mental engagement and give you the leadership role in the relationship. The exercise will have your puppy in the right mental framework to want to pay attention and learn. And you will learn to love your puppy so much more when you see how smart he really is.

Have you been able to clickertrain yet?

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/150660-intro-clicker-training-perfect-puppies.html

Your husband is what he is and instead of suddenly expecting him to change I'd keep the following quote in mind:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
The positive trainer seemed knowledgeable, thought he is the kind that would prefer to ignore bad behavior instead, and that isn't practical nor works well with our dog, and then I don't really believe that taking away negative remarks to show the dog what is not right would be productive.
Using traditional 'correction' based training shows fast differences in our dogs but tends to ruin our relationship with them or may end up with behavioral issues.

The thing about POSITIVE based training is it is NOT fast and the humans need to really listen and learn to teach this new training method. It takes months (years?) for our dogs to develop bad behaviors and it also takes alot of time and effort for them to learn to speak human and live in our human world with our silly human ways (what? Not eat the sofa??? that's CRAZY talk :) ).

Additionally, positive training is NOT permissive and not all bad behavior is ignored. Learning, really learning, positive based training is something that takes time for US to learn too.

Just take the bull by the horns, do what we females do best, and take this task on. Your dog is WORTH IT!

Victoria Stilwell Positively| Philosophy

Common Dog Training Mistakes - Whole Dog Journal Article

Mistake #1: “Positive = permissive”
You may hear non-positive trainers insist that there has to be a negative consequence for a dog’s inappropriate behavior or he’ll never learn what’s not allowed. It might surprise you to hear that positive trainers don’t disagree. We just differ on the nature of the consequence. A well-implemented positive training program combines good management, to prevent the dog from having the opportunity to be reinforced for undesirable behavior, and negative punishment, in which the dog’s inappropriate behavior makes a good thing go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
MaggieRoseLee, I think that you are right about insanity lol. *sigh*

Maybe it's really about exercising a bit more (thought he is not that energetic), thought I don't think that we can really provide off-leash exercises. Where we live, we don't even have dog parks. :(

Honestly I'm too drained mentally/emotionally that I can't deal with it alone... I've never thought that it would be an issue before having a dog, as I always believed that all I need is to be firm and consistent. But he is too demanding and I don't think that me and my husband can really manage it in the long run, at least not without my husband's help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Using traditional 'correction' based training shows fast differences in our dogs but tends to ruin our relationship with them or may end up with behavioral issues.

The thing about POSITIVE based training is it is NOT fast and the humans need to really listen and learn to teach this new training method. It takes months (years?) for our dogs to develop bad behaviors and it also takes alot of time and effort for them to learn to speak human and live in our human world with our silly human ways (what? Not eat the sofa??? that's CRAZY talk :) ).

Additionally, positive training is NOT permissive and not all bad behavior is ignored. Learning, really learning, positive based training is something that takes time for US to learn too.

Just take the bull by the horns, do what we females do best, and take this task on. Your dog is WORTH IT!

Victoria Stilwell Positively| Philosophy

Common Dog Training Mistakes - Whole Dog Journal Article
I've been using correction with reinforcement at the same time, but actually the most troublesome behaviors in the past were indeed improved by reinforcement rather than corrections. For example, I'va taught him to chew on his toys instead of us or house stuffs; and then taught him how I liked to interact with him, so he is much more gentle during interactions and just loves to be scratched (he would act like a cat at times lol). It's much more efficient when we show him what we want, as it redirects his needs to appropriate behaviors. Thought in the few times when I need him to stop certain behaviors, I still couldn't deal with it well.

I've watched VS before, too bad the episodes are hard to find online. But I've started using time out after seeing her using it efficiently.
I also agree that while we can ignore some behaviors so that it would extinguish, we also need "punishment" in some other cases (like time out). PR is not being permissive, but rather reinforce most of the times while showing consequences for undesired behaviors in a non physical/confronting manner.

Thought I'm a bit tired of trying to figure out how to be the right leader for my dog by my own... Since having our dog, it revolutionized all that I knew about training, and I've dealt with so much confusion and even despair at times, it's just so tiring by my own... :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
Thought I'm a bit tired of trying to figure out how to be the right leader for my dog by my own... Since having our dog, it revolutionized all that I knew about training, and I've dealt with so much confusion and even despair at times, it's just so tiring by my own... :(
Instead of thinking all the burden is yours, and you are all alone, I'd just take your husband out of the equation entirely (like many women have to do :) ) that way you won't blame him or continue to be overwhelmed and frustrated by expecting any different.

And you are NOT alone at all. There are MANY dog people in the world who would be more than willing to try to help you. Sign up and attend dog classes. If one instructor doesn't seem to click, then join another club/classes/instructor. If obedience doesn't seem to be your thing, then look for agility, rally, herding, flyball..... something else you BOTH enjoy with and instructor and classmates that are fun.

I LOVE agility. But not just cause of the dog stuff but because of the PEOPLE. I have a huge support system to immediately go to for help/hints/suggestions. These are people I only met because I have a dog, went to classes, and now even dog shows cause it's so much fun.

Watch/listen to this video of my 'new puppy' at a dog show (past the part of Bretta getting her MACH). All the people and friends and social stuff at the trial are part of the fun!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,270 Posts
Thanks for the replies. :)

The problem is, without consistency, plus a consistency of wrong things would ruin any education I'm trying to implement. :(

He's contributing by being the one to walk him daily. Thought I really need him to improve himself as an owner. :(
It's not going to happen and ultimatums won't help. You accept it as it or you decide not to have dogs. Been married 27 years my husband has always grumbled at me because I'm not as consistent with the dogs as he is. I'm not going to change. I don't need or want a perfect dog. I laugh when wiggles crawls into my lap. I can't help it she is a sweetie. I know its the wrong message and I don't freaking care. I like having her crawled into my lap cuddling. So ragging at me isn't going to change things. Deal with it and move on. Thankfully my husband gets that. Or we wouldn't still be together. He does things that make me crazy too. :) BTW what makes you think he will let you get rid of the dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Instead of thinking all the burden is yours, and you are all alone, I'd just take your husband out of the equation entirely (like many women have to do :) ) that way you won't blame him or continue to be overwhelmed and frustrated by expecting any different.

And you are NOT alone at all. There are MANY dog people in the world who would be more than willing to try to help you. Sign up and attend dog classes. If one instructor doesn't seem to click, then join another club/classes/instructor. If obedience doesn't seem to be your thing, then look for agility, rally, herding, flyball..... something else you BOTH enjoy with and instructor and classmates that are fun.

I LOVE agility. But not just cause of the dog stuff but because of the PEOPLE. I have a huge support system to immediately go to for help/hints/suggestions. These are people I only met because I have a dog, went to classes, and now even dog shows cause it's so much fun.

Watch/listen to this video of my 'new puppy' at a dog show (past the part of Bretta getting her MACH). All the people and friends and social stuff at the trial are part of the fun!

Bretta v Wildhaus MACH w/some Glory B thrown in! - YouTube
Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it. :)

Thing is, I was dealing it all by myself before, without putting my husband into the equation. I've thought that I could do it by myself and since my husband is too soft and permissive, I never expected him to help at all (I'm also better at reading dogs instinctively). But then without consistency from his part too, plus reinforcing certain bad behaviors, made things really difficult. :(
I've always been independent, but this is an issue that I really can't deal with it anymore as I'm too drained and can't figure it by myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
It's not going to happen and ultimatums won't help. You accept it as it or you decide not to have dogs. Been married 27 years my husband has always grumbled at me because I'm not as consistent with the dogs as he is. I'm not going to change. I don't need or want a perfect dog. I laugh when wiggles crawls into my lap. I can't help it she is a sweetie. I know its the wrong message and I don't freaking care. I like having her crawled into my lap cuddling. So ragging at me isn't going to change things. Deal with it and move on. Thankfully my husband gets that. Or we wouldn't still be together. He does things that make me crazy too. :) BTW what makes you think he will let you get rid of the dog?
As I mentioned before, I don't need a perfect dog either, just a dog that would stop misbehaving when we need him to. I don't want to have a baby on my hands and then suddenly baby cries, and dog starts barking and running mad inside the house, while I tell him to stop to no avail. Or having him bump me to the floor while I'm pregnant, coz he wouldn't stop or behave inside the house. I don't think that needing this is the same as being consistent or lack of it when dogs lays on your lap or your sofa or bed... And "deal with it" is not even considered, I'm not willing to take such risks. Our dog even jumps and scratches us when excited, so if a dog cannot stop when we ask him to, then not able to stop him from running around me and jump on me while I have a baby on my arms can be dangerous.

And this is where my ultimatum comes in - since I can't educate our dog (and I'm already so tired of trying for a long time), if he also can't, then we are not the right owners and I won't risk our future kids' safety.
So if our dog is not minimally controllable, it's either the dog or kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
As someone who also has a ambivalent husband I can relate. My suggestion would not to be asking him to do it, however setting up sessions with a trainer and asking him to go with you. Then slowly withdraw yourself from the training. Make an excuse why you cannot go and ask him to take over once, rejoin him but let him handle the dog, or tell him you dont feel comfortable or that you think he is better at it. You will probably find he enjoys the training as a man typically needs to feel in control, once he gets the liberation of having control over the dog he will quickly WANT to do it... Sometimes you have to get creative :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
Been there too. My DH isn't as much into training as I am. I stuck with it, put up with some shenanigans at home but I do a lot of training and they mind me when I need them too. It does make it harder but what I did was give up on my DH and use German commands and just LOL at him when he tries his 'methods'. That's one good thing about the guys, they're stubborn so you can shift gears and they'll not pick up on it. ;)

Are you really that burned out? I mean deep down your heart is just not in it? Or do you need a break? (like maybe send the dog out for board and train so he can get additional training while you get a bit of a break).

It would be very sad if you rehomed the dog and then later regretted it, so I suggest you give yourself a break from the dog and make sure rehoming is really what you think is best.

Best to you....I hope it works out...

in edit just read your post about the problems and plans for future kids....that does put a different scale on the question. Perhaps it is best to rehome your dog, the stress would not be good for you.


Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it. :)

Thing is, I was dealing it all by myself before, without putting my husband into the equation. I've thought that I could do it by myself and since my husband is too soft and permissive, I never expected him to help at all (I'm also better at reading dogs instinctively). But then without consistency from his part too, plus reinforcing certain bad behaviors, made things really difficult. :(
I've always been independent, but this is an issue that I really can't deal with it anymore as I'm too drained and can't figure it by myself.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top