Dog & Wife...
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  1. #1
    mjcapp is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultDog & Wife...

    Hi,

    We have a wonderful seven-month old yellow lab, and he's been ours since he was about two months old. I have done all of his training and he is very good for me--be it not pulling on the leash, sitting, lying down, staying, fetching, or just going to the bathroom in a timely manner and not dilly dallying.

    My wife is an extremely busy professional who did not have as much time for him when we got him. Now, he is older and bigger (about 70 lbs already!) and he constantly has his way with her when I am not here. If he can even hear me he is an angel, but the second I am gone he runs this place.

    Really, I get that this is pretty normal... as he can only ever have one master. But he likes to roughhouse play more than anything. While he doesn't ever bite her, he gnaws on her hands and arms if she is trying to get him to do something he doesn't want to. He scratches her up pretty good. She's not at her wit's end with him--yet--and he is a sweet, pleasant dog almost all of the time. It's just when she tries to impose her will on him, he basically doesn't respect it at all.

    I'm looking for any and all help and suggestions to make their relationship better. I can't be here all of the time, and he's still growing.

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  3. #2
    jzgrlduff's Avatar
    jzgrlduff is offline Senior Member
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    Really, I get that this is pretty normal... as he can only ever have one master.
    Absolutely NOT true! We have 3 dogs and all three treat us both as their masters. We shared in their training and commands, and made sure we were consistant with eachother.

    He is being alpha dog over your wife, and that is not right and shouldn't be tolerated. That being said, I don't know how you would fix it at this point. Maybe she needs to take an obedience class with him. Just her, not you?



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  4. #3
    Di
    Di is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzgrlduff View Post
    Absolutely NOT true! We have 3 dogs and all three treat us both as their masters. We shared in their training and commands, and made sure we were consistant with eachother.

    He is being alpha dog over your wife, and that is not right and shouldn't be tolerated. That being said, I don't know how you would fix it at this point. Maybe she needs to take an obedience class with him. Just her, not you?
    I agree, Sammi knows the rules and commands no matter who says them! I also remember 7-9 months being quite the trial time with Sammi and she had to go back to " puppy boot camp" quite freq. Your wife has to start acting and being in charge, just as you are. An Obedience class for the 2 of them seems like a good idea- Good luck!

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  6. #4
    mjcapp is offline Junior Member
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    I appreciate your response, but you have to understand that (as I tell her) she is at least half of the problem in terms of (but not limited to): going against training the dog & I have done together, letting him do things she knows I don't, not taking time when he was younger to train him (despite my pleas to take advantage of his impressionable young age), etc etc. She hasn't taken the time to earn his respect.

    I guess I was just wanting to make sure, based on our circumstances, that his behavior is normal.

  7. #5
    Di
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    Yep, if she doesn't do the work, he won't listen to her! Thats pretty normal- to bad for both of them. I think it would be easier in the long run if she could or would take the time now! I would hate to see it get to the point where she would no longer want him, "because he doesn't mind" Hope it all works out! Good luck with this, sounds like you will have your hands full!

  8. #6
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    My wife is an extremely busy professional who did not have as much time for him when we got him. Now, he is older and bigger (about 70 lbs already!) and he constantly has his way with her when I am not here.....
    She's not at her wit's end with him.... It's just when she tries to impose her will on him, he basically doesn't respect it at all....I'm looking for any and all help and suggestions to make their relationship better. I can't be here all of the time, and he's still growing.
    While I think your wife & Lab going to training sesssions would definitely help, for a busy professional the time and schedule demands may not be practical or feasible.

    She might try the NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) method of training and feeding. You can Google this and get various protocols and descriptions.

    I used it with Puff when she was a pup and got very good results.

    In brief, in my version, the dog is fed its usual meals by hand a few kibbles at a time. In order to get another bite of food, the dog obeys a command -- sit, stay, come, lie down, etc.

    She can be flexible in this -- not all meals in a row have to be fed this way or be fed by your wife. She could do it randomly as her schedule permits. It takes only 15-20 minutes a meal. My hunch is that after about 3-5 meals, she'll notice a significant change. After doing this for about 10-15 meals over a 20 day span, there'll be even more change. Whenever your Lab's behavior slips a little -- as is normal and to be expected -- it's easy to restore by a few more NiLiF sessions.

    Really, I get that this is pretty normal... as he can only ever have one master
    Disagree




    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    jzgrlduff is offline Senior Member
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    Yep, if she doesn't do the work, he won't listen to her! Thats pretty normal- to bad for both of them. I think it would be easier in the long run if she could or would take the time now! I would hate to see it get to the point where she would no longer want him, "because he doesn't mind" Hope it all works out! Good luck with this, sounds like you will have your hands full!
    I agree with Di. May I ask why she doesn't want anything to do with it? Did she not want him?

    On a side note, what's his name and what color is he?



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    Califon, NJ
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    "Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"

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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    He may be, more than anything, trying to get her attention! Negative attention is better than none, afterall. Most dogs WANT structure. Somehow you need to convey that to her. Anne

  11. #9
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    What you are describing is a situation in which one of the humans in the household has chosen not to be a leader with the dog. He is too old to be mouthy, IMO - but if he is not getting consistent responses from both of you he is going to act up in this and other ways.

    May I again suggest obedience - which will train her as much as the dog. Having a well trained dog is one of life's true pleasures - and having an undisciplined teenaged Lab can be a nightmare - which is why they get rehomed at this age.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  12. #10
    mjcapp is offline Junior Member
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    He is mouthy with all new visitors, though. When my friends come over it's just how he plays. I don't know what to do, really, because he doesn't do this with me at all... and he is never trying to hurt anyone. I've tried standing over him and saying NO and he stops but as soon as I am not around he knows he can get away with it again. I don't know... it's just his favorite way to play. The only reason he doesn't do this with me because he learned from an early age not to get rough with me. It's funny though, because he does not get mouthy at all with other dogs at the dog park. He just runs around with them, and we are just kind of like, I guess he thinks people are below dogs!

    He is yellow and his name is Gus. He sits, lies down, fetches and stays and does everything I could want him to, and he's been doing it for months. It never took long with him. He's really, really smart. Maybe too smart.

    As far as the method of giving him his meals slowly as a reward, I don't think that would work with him. He's the first lab I've ever seen where when we put out the food he doesn't just inhale it all without coming up for air. Most of the time he couldn't care less that it's out for him. He grazes on it for about 45 minutes or so, and will leave it entirely alone if both of us are doing something a couple of rooms away. He never likes to be left out of anything.

    Despite how I am probably making him sound, he is a bigtime sweetheart. Which is why I really just want to get past this problem so that there aren't any more (for now at least!)

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