Posted by Burnham
Jul 2, 2008
I have purchased your E-book and am getting through it. We have an immediate issue with our 6 mos old Black Lab who is doing pretty good regarding alpha status between myself and him. I am his primary source of training and attention. However, he is quite rambunctious with my wife. When we sit down to eat - often at the coffee table, he will bark and carry on at her. She tries to ignore him, but the situation often escalates to her trying to swat him, which in turn gets him even more fire up. When it's just him and her (and our 9 mos old son) at home, he will jump up on her and run around the house or yard, often jumping into flower beds, on furniture... He does respond to ignoring him and looking away with crossed arms when he jumps up on me, but not my wife. I suspect that there is an alpha/pecking order issue here. He tends to ignore her most of the time and myself only some of the time.
Can you suggest any other training / correction methods to help us on this issue?

Posted by stephanie-Craddock
Jul 3, 2008
Hi Burnham,
I reckon both yourself and your wife need to start implementing alpha techniques with your dog, how is he on obedience?You mention that when you and your wife are eating he his barking and ' carrying on' does he sit, stay? if so get him to sit, stay while you both eat, then feed him, you need your wife to implement this when your not there!
If you haven't taught him sit, stay then start immediatly , but maybe put the dog in his crate while you eat,
Good luck
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jul 3, 2008
Hi Burnham,

I think Stephanie is correct. You and your wife have to be consistent, as well as any human beings who your puppy is around with (your 9 mos old son might be difficult though).

Dogs and kids are genius when it comes to find out who has looser boundaries so your puppy has figured out that he could get away with certain behaviors from your wife. My husband is less strict about "on your bed" command when we eat so our dogs try to lie down under the table with a hope someone drops some food, instead of being on their beds and stay lie down. I always have to correct their behaviors and make sure they are on their beds so that we can enjoy our meals even when we have company.

Another thing you can do is, based on your comment that your puppy recognizes that you are the Alpha (I personally don't like the word, I would rather say "the leader") and listens to you, you can help your wife establishing her position (facilitating her).

In other words, when you see your puppy jumping on her or doing something unacceptable to her and/or to your son, YOU can reprimand your puppy as the Alpha that YOU expect a different behavior from him to your wife. This will become very helpful especially when you add another family member or bring another dog/cat/animal to your family. From the very beginning, you teach your puppy how you expect him to behave toward new addtions.

I believe dogs will understand what is precious to you once you establish a trustworthy relationship with them. I bet you are already doing this but, for example, when your toddler is around your puppy and the puppy tries to jump on him, you would stop your puppy and reprimand, right? You can do the same with your wife. Of course your wife should be consitent with you.

Good luck