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He listens to me better than my girl. And by better I mean enough for me to ask questions.. I tell him to do something, and he does it. My girl has probably spent more time with him than I have due to her being unemployed when we first got him. He will listen to her half the time, but its not very productive.

However if out at a dog park, or walking around and he sees a threat, let it be a person (not everyone, just random people to me) or a large dog at the park, he will go and stand right next to my girl and either start growling or just ears perked up until the 'threat' goes away or she acts upon the threat in a positive manner.

He however does not do this with me. He will still growl and keep his eyes on the target, but doesnt sit or stand right up against me..

When we rough play, he doesnt bite or scratch. But he does show me whats up from now an then as i try to pin him down lol

So any thoughts or ideas? Is this normal? One thing i though of is when i pin him down to the floor im showing him who is boss, or pack leader in a sense?
 

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How old is he? Not really sure about your question, my only thought to why he is more protective of her would be that he sees her as being weaker than you so feels she needs more of his protection? Not a fact, just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He is 8 months.

Main question is why does it seem like hes more protective of her, but he will listen to me (and not her) as if im his brain controling his every move
 

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He is 8 months.
Main question is why does it seem like hes more protective of her, but he will listen to me (and not her) as if im his brain controling his every move
Hard to say without knowing more about how you and your girlfriend interact with him.

Is there a reason why you're pinning him to the floor?
 

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He is 8 months.

Main question is why does it seem like hes more protective of her, but he will listen to me (and not her) as if im his brain controling his every move
He's not protecting her, he's trying to protect himself. Nothing should be a potential threat to a baby. He's acting out of fear and most likely feels more comfortable with your girlfriend and that's why he's going to her in these type of situations.

So any thoughts or ideas? Is this normal? One thing i though of is when i pin him down to the floor im showing him who is boss, or pack leader in a sense?
Pinning your puppy down isn't going to make him respect you as pack leader. That's old school training. Your pup will respect you as pack leader through training and leadership. Not by shoving his head on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good to know.

And fyi, when I pin him down its while we are playing. He tries to pin me down. I try to pin him down. Not a training thing, just good ol playing around.
 

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Watch the rough play and pinning with such a young pup- you run the risk of deflating or inflating his confidence which can cause problems down the road.

My dogs listen to me better because I spend more time with them, feed them, walk them, and do all the training. If this scenario is close to yours thats why your pup listens better to you:)
 

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Good to know.

And fyi, when I pin him down its while we are playing. He tries to pin me down. I try to pin him down. Not a training thing, just good ol playing around.
Yeah i do the same thing. I always wrestle with lucy, but it's always a play thing. Nothing wrong with a little rough play.

I thought you were doing more of a alpha roll type pin. I'm not a big fan of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Watch the rough play and pinning with such a young pup- you run the risk of deflating or inflating his confidence which can cause problems down the road.

My dogs listen to me better because I spend more time with them, feed them, walk them, and do all the training. If this scenario is close to yours thats why your pup listens better to you:)
Okay. Ill keep the rough play down. He is already over 80lbs so its fun to toss eachother around :D

Girl feeds him at night and plays fetch with him. I feed him in morning and play with him. I think she actuallly spends more time with him as i work odd hours.. Shes a 9-5 girl
 

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Could it not be that because of your rough playing, in his mind you are already the pack leader and your girl is not. Hence when a threat is perceived, he tries to protect the weaker one (knowing very well that the pack leader can take care of himself). Just a thought....I'm not saying that' the case.
 

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Could it not be that because of your rough playing, in his mind you are already the pack leader and your girl is not. Hence when a threat is perceived, he tries to protect the weaker one (knowing very well that the pack leader can take care of himself). Just a thought....I'm not saying that' the case.
This was my first thought also.
 

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I've seen this before in adoptive homes where the man is quite masculine and the woman is quite feminine. The dog reacts to the male's "harder" energy with submission but doesn't submit as easily to the "softer" energy of the female. Every time I've recommended that the wife/girlfriend take the dog to obedience classes without the husband/boyfriend, and so far it's always worked.

Personally I don't buy the concept of "being alpha" but she does need to learn to be more assertive with him.
 
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