Rowan has gotten to the point that she doesn't listen to me when it comes to certain things.
(One example is)
Eg. Kids are sitting on the couch with their legs wrapped around them.. Rowan is trying to jump up and is clawing and trying to nip them. They are telling her to stop which she ignores. I tell her "No" in a firm voice and she just goes right back to it.
Yet my husband barks, " go lay down' and she does exactly what she is told. I want her to listen to me as she is supposed to be MY dog. :-[
it's easier for a dog to do something than not do something. What happens if YOU tell her to go lay down, rather than just "no"?
When I say "no" I sometimes say 'down' with it..... :-\ but it doesn't seem to 'click' with her.
When you shout No, she probably thinks you are joining in the fun.* *You say your kids are telling her to stop and she ignores it...remember she is a puppy and does not understand english or a lot of strange things human.* If she knew what Stop meant, she would stop.
On top of that, I bet she is allowed to play with the kids sometimes but not all of the time.* How is she to know when it is appropriate and when it is not?* What seems simple to you is not to your puppy.
If you want your dog to listen to you, you need to be somebody worth listening to.* If she is bothering the kids, instead of nagging her, calmly take her by the collar, and redirect her attention on something else.* This means bring her with you, teach her to lie on her bed, put her outside until she calms down, etc.* I don't know how old she is, but please do not expect a lot of impulse control from a young puppy.* It is unfair to ask her to lie on her bed if the kids are active.* If that is the case, take her from the room so she can calm down.* If the kids are just sitting quietly on the couch, then it would be fair to teach her to lie on her mat.
Our dogs deal with competing motivations all the time...they are always in a flux, deciding which behaviours they want to engage in.* If you don't want her bothering the kids, then the best plan of attack is to make being with you or being on her bed tremendously rewarding.* Make a very big deal out of her and feed her up a lot for being on her bed or being with you.* Then, when you need her to come away from the children, she will do so more willingly because historically she has been rewarded for doing so.
Dogs go through life looking for fun and rewarding stuff, and if the fun and rewarding stuff is only centred around the children, you will have a heck of a time prying her away from them.
If we are heavy handed with our labradors, we can easily send them spinning out of control.* This breed is very affable and corrections will very often increase their play behaviour as they offer it to calm us down.* This is what makes us think that labradors can take a lot of corrections. Most people do not recognize the stress they show and the calming signals they offer when we punish them. So, in order to avoid teh tongue lashing, they ask us to play in an effort to calm us down. We then get angrier because we think they are not listening, they start spinning around even more in a greater effort to calm us down, we get even angrier, etc., etc.* You will teach your dog so much more if you gently take them by the collar, praise and reward them for calm behaviour, and heavily reward them for making the right decisions.
The more you reward your dog for doing the right thing, the more he will choose to stay with you in an effort to earn the rewards.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
When I was training Maddy initially for competetive obedience, we had to get over the hurdle that what I said was what I meant, and she had to do it. It was very frustrating to have her ignore me, commands I KNEW she knew, and then to watch her with my trainer, going through the motions like an expert dog. The reason being she had no history with the trainer of avoiding or ingnoring commands. She knew she didn't HAVE to listen to me.
I know you are dealing with a young puppy, but obviously some of it is the same. Especially if Rowan listens to your hubby (obviously the head of the pack).... Interestingly, I train the dogs for competetion yet in the house, the dogs will normally listen to my husband better. I usually have to back up my commands by getting the dog or making them sit....
You may want to consider obedience classes to help you gain some control....
one can certainly enforce commands by touching the dog and moving the muscles and body or use the leash and collar to direct or restrict the dog's movements, and most definitely in matters of safety and leash laws, the dog should be restrained and made to obey commands, but to expect absolute obedience from the dog is unreasonable, in my opinion.
dogs are thinking, learning creatures, with brains capable of processing information and making choices.* unlike robots, dogs exercise free will.* almost everything they do, they do freely of their own accord.* when a dog is given a command, the DOG decides whether or not to obey.* it's up to US to try and influence their behavior by using our own highly developed and creative brains.
we can certainly teach them new skills and practice known commands, and in training, we use motivators like rewards or punishments to drive particular behaviors, but ultimately, is it up to dog to decide if and how to act or not.
safety precautions aside, my dogs never HAVE to do anything.* they are always free to make their own choices.* to think otherwise only leads to feelings of frustration and false expectations.* of course i train them.* i work and make an effort to try and mold their behavior towards behaviors that please me and the household.* however, training is not about gaining power over my dogs.* my goals in training are not merely to obtain compliance and obedience.* for me, a large part of training is about building the relationship i have with my dogs.* if there is no bond or connection between me and my dogs, then how could i ever expect their cooperation.
yes, there are always competing motivators, and despite being trained, sometimes, my dogs do not listen to me, but that's not the point. their aptitude for obedience is not why i share my life with dogs.* the joy and delight i find in sharing my life with dogs is in their willing cooperation in our interactions.*
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford