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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you read Merle's Door? The author, Ted, I think, said that his dog, Merle, saw his and Ted's relationship as nobody being the alpha. They were peers. Coworkers, if you will. In that book, which is a true story, Ted's bond with Merle was amazing, and Merle was an amazingly behaved dog (who I'm pretty sure was at least 1/4 lab).

I want that with me and my 6 1/2-year-old lab Gunner.

Since Gunner wasn't trained like that, I don't know how to get that with us, but Ted never trained Merle to do that. Ted just almost ran over Merle when he was a stray in Wyoming, started taking care of him, and they just kinda had that bond.

So if anybody knows how to show your dog that he's an equal to you (that's how I feel with Gunner, he just sees me as dominant), but not let him be the alpha, could you please tell me?
 

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Treat him as an equal, no don't let him train you. Teach him that he's your buddy, do that by treating him as your best friend.

At 61 and having labs all my life, my current one Kodie and I have that exact relationship....best friends, brothers. He is the most behaved dog I've had (out of 7), and has had the least field training of all..... I have worked with some very good trainers over the years, the one thing they all have in common is they always establish themselves as the Alpha right from the start. I knew one trainer that would take the dog into a building the size of a phone booth and scare the hell out of the dog until it cowered, the dog sure listened after that, out of fear I'm sure, it turned me off right away, never let it happen again.

Too many people want their dogs to respond like robots, train a robot you'll get a robot, treat as a friend you'll get a friend. You can field train with an equal attitude, the dog won't be afraid of you, but he will listen to you.

I have treated Kodie like a friend instead of a hunting dog. He's still a great hunting dog, it's in their genes. Obedience training is still important, but instead of demanding I just went with encouragement and praise, it takes a little more time but the dog's attitude towards me is more confidence.

At 6 1/2 your dog is plenty young to become your equal and your best friend, if you want that. I'm sure you treat your dog well, shift your attitude towards him. Treat him like your buddy, not your dog. Talk to him, reason with him, they listen. Play with him, not retrieving but wrestle with him, yes wrestle, play tug of war (omg the trainers are laughing now) yep he loves playing tug of war and I let him win. (no he's never done that with a bird, he drops them at my feet)

Take him everywhere you can. I take my dog everywhere I go, grocery store , hardware store, he just likes to go along it doesn't matter where he just wants to go. Just be careful of hot cars in the summer.

Relax and start treating him like your treasured friend and he'll start acting like your friend. Don't scold him, don't yell at him, just have fun with him, (trainers are really laughing now) I believe he'll have more respect for you and treat you as you treat him.
 

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Treat him as an equal, no don't let him train you. Teach him that he's your buddy, do that by treating him as your best friend.

At 61 and having labs all my life, my current one Kodie and I have that exact relationship....best friends, brothers. He is the most behaved dog I've had (out of 7), and has had the least field training of all..... I have worked with some very good trainers over the years, the one thing they all have in common is they always establish themselves as the Alpha right from the start. I knew one trainer that would take the dog into a building the size of a phone booth and scare the hell out of the dog until it cowered, the dog sure listened after that, out of fear I'm sure, it turned me off right away, never let it happen again.

Too many people want their dogs to respond like robots, train a robot you'll get a robot, treat as a friend you'll get a friend. You can field train with an equal attitude, the dog won't be afraid of you, but he will listen to you.

I have treated Kodie like a friend instead of a hunting dog. He's still a great hunting dog, it's in their genes. Obedience training is still important, but instead of demanding I just went with encouragement and praise, it takes a little more time but the dog's attitude towards me is more confidence.

At 6 1/2 your dog is plenty young to become your equal and your best friend, if you want that. I'm sure you treat your dog well, shift your attitude towards him. Treat him like your buddy, not your dog. Talk to him, reason with him, they listen. Play with him, not retrieving but wrestle with him, yes wrestle, play tug of war (omg the trainers are laughing now) yep he loves playing tug of war and I let him win. (no he's never done that with a bird, he drops them at my feet)

Take him everywhere you can. I take my dog everywhere I go, grocery store , hardware store, he just likes to go along it doesn't matter where he just wants to go. Just be careful of hot cars in the summer.

Relax and start treating him like your treasured friend and he'll start acting like your friend. Don't scold him, don't yell at him, just have fun with him, (trainers are really laughing now) I believe he'll have more respect for you and treat you as you treat him.
Wow, thanks! I always thought I treated him more like a buddy than a dog, but now that I think about it, I kinda do treat him like a dog.

I'll try those out, I think they'll work. Thanks!

My mom and dad live apart, but I'm with my dad tonight and the weekend. I'll get right to work after school.
 
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