I love dogs too, but

Posted by Thonord
Nov 29, 2007
I have behavior problems with a lot of people who also love dogs.
They dont belive in the Alpha dog etc. I do and ofcorse the arguments go on for ever.

OK, whats my point? Well I have been wrong about dogs and training many time in the past. I didn't know I was wrong, but reading about newer methods in training, like Clicker Training, has convinced me that I need to adopt a more open mind. So what about ppl who dont belive that dogs are pack animals and prefer a hierarchial existens? Are they on to something?

I have ordered a book from one of their gurus and I will read it, but I have seen his web site and I don't expect much.
I know I will learn something, one always learns something by listening to other ppls ideas.

Posted by Annie
Nov 29, 2007
Hi Thonord,
It´s really great to be reminded of other ideas, and looking at new ideas with an open mind...thankyou. I have been to a dog school that had some good points but was a bit 'army' like for me. I was also by another that was a bit to 'dog-whispering' for my liking but also had some interesting points. I often go back and read my sitstayfetch book, and have also ordered some other idea books for another perspective. I read articles from USA and England ( quite different ideas) and I´m living in Germany so here are also great tipps.......all I´m saying is that I am picking and choosing, watching, thinking...and some things work, some don´t but I am always questioning what I´m doing with my dog and why. Education is always beneficial....I just need to know what fits best with me and my dog. I totally understand what you´re saying about getting in arguments, but at least I can say that my mish-mash style seems to be working great with my dog.
Thanks again for opening up new ideas for me...I need to read a bit more about clicker training......let me know any new gems that you might discover. It´s not an exact science I believe and new stuff is coming out so fast
Posted by Thonord
Nov 30, 2007
Hi Annie. Thanks for your answer. Lots of wisdom there!

I'll let you know how I feel about
dogs not being pack animals (why should they be different from cats)

and why dogs should prefer democracy to hierarchy (they can't vote, can they?)

and that dogs are belivers in equality among the family members and pets (try to tell that to the zeta dog)

after reading the book.

Note to my self: " Remember! Keep an open mind! Keep an open mind - Dummkopf"
Posted by Annie
Nov 30, 2007
nice German!
Yeah an open mind is important in all things.....and every dog is different......my dog really needs the Alpha techniques ( for example) but she really needs, (as she is a nervous submissive \ potential aggressive dog) to sit with us on the sofa, to use every room in the house, to cuddle on the bed sometimes...and this combination rewards us with a best friend who is really in the family, but not so tough that she can treat us badly. From when she was a young dog I always gave her problems with her food. Continually patting her, moving her food bowl around, taking it away, pulling on her tail etc and now we have a 1 year old baby, who should know better....but when I´m not watching he will do all these things to her....and she has no problem with this. She knows that as a respected member she will be fed enough, but as a part of a family she must also tolerate stuff......
My philosophy is to mix it up and keep learning
Posted by Thonord
Dec 2, 2007
I have read Barry Eatons book Dominance; Fact or fiction. And I am very dissapointed!

The only thing it has triggered is a thought about the domestic pack: "Perhaps the humans are not part of the pack"? Perhaps they are Super dogs and super cats and super horses, over and above, but not part of!
There must be a reason that they are so easily willing to obey us. Is it perhaps only because we are Food and Shelter Bringers, or is it maybe because they actually like us?

Posted by debbieG
Jan 12, 2008

I personally dont think there is a right or wrong method of training a dog as long as it is humane and it gets results.
I do believe in the alpha pack theory as i have implemented many techniques with my dog and they have worked a treat. At the end of the day a dog knows its a dog it doesnt see itself as a human and it just wants to be a dog.
Its us humans that have the problems - we think the dogs are humans in little fur coats!!!! so we try and humanise them. A dog to me needs a leader and as long as the leader gives the dog exercise, shelter, food, rules and boundaries and then some affection the dog will be happy.
Look at all the homeless people who have dogs. They walk at the side or behind them (not on a leash) for miles , they have shelter wherever their "leader" shelters and they get fed when their leader has found food and eaten! Those dogs dont run away or seem to have behaviour issues do they?
They love living in the "now" they dont care that their owner doesnt have a big house with acres of land and the fleet of cars that go with it they are happy that their leader is giving them everything they want.

But i also think that along with the pack theory you need reward based training too. Whether it is clicker training or food reward training.
There are lots of methods out there and i believe that picking out the bits you agree with and disregarding the rest should be the way to go. As long as you get results and its humane.
My god i have written an essay!!!!!!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 14, 2008
Hi DebbieG.

I read your essay and I totally agree with you. We should try all kinds of methods in order to find the one that fits you and your dog the best.

I personally don't agree with the pack rules and Alpha techniques. I have had 4 dogs that lived and 2 of them still live with us peacefully and harmlessly. They are allowed on the couch and bed, they always eat before us, they go out the door first, we play tug with them and let them win sometimes, etc. We do everything the Alpha Techniques say don't but my dogs are very obedient and very nice to kids and babies.

They know they are different from us humans and they know they should obey even to kids and should not hurt them. They don't need to be told repeatedly they are the bottom of the pack (I don't think dogs don't understand why we are implementing those pack rules anyway). They have choices to do differently but they choose the way they are trained to, not because they are forced to. This is a big difference. Dogs can choose to a certain behaviors among all kinds of behaviors. That is the biggest advantage of training using rewards. For example, when I take my dogs for walk, I let them go out the door first but I don't let my dogs get out the car until I tell them to do so because of their safety. When I open the car door, they can jump out the car if they want to but they don't because they choose not to. Do they understand it is unsafe to jump out? I don't think so. But they know it is better to listen to my mom (me) because she told us not to.

We, humans, don't need to be the Alpha, or pack leader. If you and your dog can build a relationship based on trust and confidence, they listen to you, they never be aggressive to you. At the end of the day, they know they are well fed, well loved, well treated here so why do they need to make us an enemies? It is us humans who should think again why we treat our best friends as the worst enemies?:confused:
Posted by debbieG
Jan 15, 2008
Hi Maxhollynoah

Then you are very lucky to have dogs that behave well

My dog is allowed on the Sofa so its not that i follow all the rules!
I have implemented a few of the Alpha pack theory rules because we had tried most other methods and failed, the two main ones being when entering the house after being out and when we ate.

I must admit too that this is the first dog i have had that has been hard to train! But he is also my first boxer.

[COLOR="Red"]"They don't need to be told repeatedly they are the bottom of the pack (I don't think dogs don't understand why we are implementing those pack rules anyway)."[/COLOR]
I totally disagree with this quote. Kaiser isnt TOLD repeatedly he is the bottom of the pack as this is maybe what a lot of people think alpha theory is but my translation of it is very different. There is and always will be rules and boundaries. These have to be set whether we are talking dogs or children. My son has rules and boundaries or else he would be running wild and getting into trouble because these are set and in place he respects me and he knows that if he did wrong that would be disrespecting me.
Maybe dogs dont understand why we are implementing these rules but if it works then does it really matter? they probably dont understand why we sit and watch the TV etc etc but it doesnt bother them. We also have to understand that peoples rules and boundaries are going to be different too, some people think its ok for their dog to be on the sofa and bed and their children have shoes on while laying on a sofa, others think it is an absolute no no area for a dog and the children shouldnt wear shoes. Again each person has to set the rules according to what they are willing to accept and not accept. This doesnt make their way wrong or right as both ways are not inhumane.

[COLOR="red"]"They have choices to do differently but they choose the way they are trained to, not because they are forced to"[/COLOR]
I think this quote is a little strong. I would never force my dog to do anything. A lot of the alpha rules arent about force its just altering the way we act with the dogs. Anybody that has to use force shouldnt be using the method they have chosen. Kaiser was a very dominant dog because we had let him become that way (reating him like a baby). So with a few changes using the pack theory techniques we have changed him and he is very happy and content now - apart from strangers and children! This is something i will have to work on A LOT!

If your dogs are well behaved without using any of these methods then thats great. Certainly my other dogs never needed it but this one did. Like i say each dog is different and each dog will take better to one form of training than another.
Kaiser wouldnt give clicker training a second look in. He just wasnt and still isnt interested in it at all, BUT i do believe in that training method as i have seen it work on other dogs.

Thats my thought on the alpha method anyway!!! i dont see it as forceful i just see rules and boundaries being set. A lot of people think its cruel or degrading to the dog but i really really cant see it that way at all, apart from some points i.e people that put their dogs on their backs in a submissve role i think that is going a little too far BUT maybe i dont fully understand the reason for it.

I think training a dog to dance to music is totally absurd whereas others think its great. I dont believe in using ANY animals for amusement but thats my opinion!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 16, 2008
Hi debbieG,

Thank you for your comment. I am very interested in dog training and dog behavior correction methods so I will appreciate comments from a lot of people.

As I said at the beginning of my last message "We should try all kinds of methods in order to find the one that fits you and your dog the best", there is no almighty method or magic wand because, as you said, each dog is different and each owner has different rules, boundaries and expectations.

Yes, my dogs are very nice dogs, not perfect but close to perfect to me, maybe because my expectations are not as too high, compared to some owners. I see and treat my dogs as dogs, not as wolves, nor human kids (I never raised wolves but I have raised 3 kids so I know how it is).

What I treasure the best with my dogs is our relationship. That is why I personally don't agree with the Alpha techniques. I think I have established a very good relationship with my dogs, using positive reinforcement training. My dogs are rescued border collie mixes so I have no idea what kind of socialization they had when they were puppies. In fact, Holly had a separation anxiety and was scared of men and sticks. Noah is very good with people but gets afraid of big dogs and shows some fear aggression. We are working on it.

Considering their not so happy puppyhood and possible distrust to people, they have grown to be very happy and gentle dogs. They listen to me since they trust me. They now let anybody take their food away, look into their mouth, touch their paws, etc. because they have developed trust to people.

I never used the Alpha techniques but I read the book and found it not my cup of tea. I want my dogs to be on the couch with me, I want to cuddle up with them, I want to enjoy my meals without worrying they must be hungry, I would hate to move my dogs that are sleeping/lying down in my way, I would rather walk around them, I want to greet my dogs after being gone to work for 9-10 hrs (my husband works from home so they are not alone during the day), etc. This is my own preference and my belief. If dogs are given appropriate socialization and if they have self-confidence through positive trainings, you will be able to avoid most of the problems. Aggression to its own owner is not a dog's fault. The owner failed to establish a trust-based relationship with the dog.

My dogs always look at me with excitement in their eyes, asking "what's next, Mama?" They still need, and keep needing trainings in some areas but it is fun to train them and see how they are improving.

debbieG, you said "the two main ones being when entering the house after being out and when we ate". I don't understand what you mean by 1) when entering the house after being out but I know what you mean by 2) when we ate.

Let me make a suggestion on 2). Train him "on your bed" command using treats. This is a very handy command. Bring out a mat or blanket and put it on the floor. Bring your dog onto it and have him sit and down, and reward. Repeat this and introduce a command "on your bed". Make it longer and longer. Have him "on your bed" while you eat something in front of him. When you finish eating, tell him "all done" and give him a treat.

When he masters this, he would be eventually able to stay on his bed until you finish your meal and tell him "all done". My dogs can wait for good one hour when we have company. However, as I said, we always feed them first.

I hope this will work for Kaiser. It will take time (maybe a few weeks) but be patient, because you will have the benefit for years!!
Posted by Annie
Jan 16, 2008
Hi there all!
just logging on to throw my 2 cents in the pot....
My dog Joey is or was quite a nervous dog and seemed to be a bit too aggressive for my liking....I had a new baby when Joey was 3 months old, and I was a bit concerned. I had always treated her as a dog and made a special effort to treat her as a toddler may treat her.During her meals I would sometimes pull her tail a little, lift up her feet while she was eating, move her food bowl around etc etc and seeing as I started when she was young, she has absolutely no problem now when the toddler 'escapes' and bothers her. I try to respect her space, but I am not always quick enough and the baby is now learning that she shouldn´t bother Joey when she eats.

She was also always asked to behave in a way that complimented our family. Not begging, even at parties, to get out of the way of my feet as I´m walking etc and she was never allowed on the bed as the baby was there.But, being a bit of an insecure dog, she is welcome to join us on the sofa to watch TV, she can 'drive-the-car' from the front seat when I´m shopping and she may choose where she sleeps.
After reading the Alpha Techniques, I realised that I was following already many of the techniques. I was too busy getting the families dinner on the table and she could wait etc.I was able to choose out a few more, like she can now move out of my way when she is sleeping...why not? I`m often carrying babies and things and she does tend to lie right across the door. If she doesn´t want to be disturbed...well, she can sleep at the wall?
What I`m trying to say is that I am quite tough on her, but it so much a part of our relationship that is is normal. I do not have to 'think' about treating her 'badly' ( as some people think) but she sould be behaving in a way that means I can take her with me everywhere. We go in Libraries, shops, festivals, BBQ`s and I am very haapy with her behaviour, and just the same as with my toddler, I am often asking her not to wander away, to stay with me, to not touch things etc. I don´t believe she needs to be trained in every new situation, but I have set up a style that she needs to follow my lead in how to behave and have good manners in new situations.
She is now one and a half, and I am pleased to see that her natural aggression ( possibly from fear) has dropped right away, her fear of new situations has improved, her tolerance for babies and kids is going great. OK, so she´s getting older, and calmer, but we have standards in our house ( Totally agreeing with DebbieG and it isn´t even in my thoughts that I am the pack leader....I am the house leader, I know how to buy the food, how to work the doors, where to find the frisbee so why shouldn´t she watch me and follow my lead? I´m very entertaining for her and I believe her best friend. Some of my other best friends aren´t allowed on my bed either
I am still jealous with people whos dogs don´t bark, scratch the door, chew the baby Jesus in the crib scene etc and they seem to have no need for these techniques....but after talking to them, they have their own problems and tolerance levels and my beautiful Joey just seemed to need a bit more boarders to feel secure.
OH...and she doesn´t know how to dance or scateboard or play dead...her job is to hang out with us and enjoy the fine sunshine....
It´s a dogs life....but it´s my house and rules.
I´m enjoying the discussions that are happening here. It´s great to hear problems and ideas tossed around.
waiting for more...
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 17, 2008
Hi Annie,

Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have established a good trusty relationship with Joey and she accepted the new addition (baby) to the family very nicely. I don't understand the people who get rid of their dogs because they got a baby. You should be able to manage the change in your family if you have handled the dog properly and if you introduce the new addition in a proper manner. It is also true with adding another dog to your family.

Anyway, I am so pleased to hear that you and your family are enjoying Joey as a part of your family.

I have read your posting about scolding your toddler in front of your dog. I don't see any problem doing that, just from my own experience of raising dogs and children at the same time. My kids were 14, 8 and 6 years old when we got Max and Roxy (they are both gone now). Since we had and still have our dogs anywhere they want to be inside, they often happened to be at the scene where our kids were being scolded by us. Our dogs reaction is either feeling bad/afraid since they thought they did something wrong that made us angry, or feeling sympathetic to the kid being scolded. In fact, our kids and our dogs were good buddies so our dogs always tried to comfort our kids when they were down by licking their tears, etc. It never raised the dogs position in the family. We never placed them at the bottom of the family to start with. They knew they were different from the human family members. They are smarter than we think. They know who feed them and take them to walk and play with them. Don't worry about scolding your toddler in front of Joey. This is my 2 cents for the day.

Posted by Annie
Jan 17, 2008
hi there!
thanks for your kind words.....
I have also tried at the begining to use different words for scolding the baby and for the dog. Now she is quite relaxed when I scold the baby as she knows that it ain´t her that´s in trouble. It seems to work well. I hate it too when people want to get rid of the dog when the baby comes. Often I hear that the dog is behaving well, but there is too much mess and possible diseases in the house....so the dog goes...very sad. I am really careful about worming etc...but really....mud boots or muddy paws...it´s all the same to me Also I think people put too much emphasis on that the dog should very quickly love and adore the new baby. My older son didn´t even really like the baby till the baby was one, so why should the dog? It´s great if the dog 'licks tears' ( very sweet) but I am also happy when they are just relaxed around each other. I also never trust the dog, or actually the baby being a bully and the dog protecting herself, so they are never totally alone...but hey....a one and half year old baby gets into so much trouble, he´s never alone anyway!
I must say that it is so much better since they turned 1.
I do understand Todd´s answer concerning older kids...and an older kid can also be asked not to behave in a certain way towards the dogs.
I just think all this Alpha techniques are great to use as ideas and can be used more or less on each dog. Some dogs don´t need much guidance. Other dogs need a lot. My neighbour has a lovely dog...hardly needed any training, but I think as an owner he was lucky and would be really shocked how much work another dog \ breed needs...he should be careful to not take too much credit for his 'sucess'. Only we, as the owner really knows how far our dog has come and how much potential there is. I have so many 'work-in-progress' areas with my dog but I also know what she was like this time last year....theres my 50cents
Have you got some photos up MaxHollyNoah?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 17, 2008

I would love to put some photos up but I don't know how.
Will you tell me how? You can send me a private message, or you can post it here.

I wanted to add one thing about scolding kids and dogs reaction. You see, my kids were already in school when we got Max and Roxy so our scolding was more like giving a lecture to them, instead of saying "No". It goes on and on sometimes so the doggies had to listen to that too if they wanted to be near us, human family members.

You are absolutely correct about not trusting dogs too much. They are dogs with sharp teeth and a strong jaw after all. They choose not to use those towards us people most of the time but they can absolutely capable to use those. All of us humans, both adults and kids, should keep that in mind and should not treat dogs in improper manners.

Looking forward to learning how to put photos up.
Posted by debbieG
Jan 18, 2008

We have both issues under control now. Kaiser is a dog that isnt interested in treats that much - especially when out! I started by doing what you said but it felt like we werent getting anywhere thats when i turned to the alpha training for eating. He gets his bowl and his food prepared while we prepare ours and he just lays and waits for his now. After we have eaten he gets his. This took only a few days for him to get the idea. We were trying him on his bed with treats for weeks and to no avail.
But i do agree with the way you have suggested totally. It just seems that the other worked better for us.

You say you didnt understand the 1st one where we were entering the house after being out. What i meant with this is, when he was a pup i used to come home at lunch time and because i "felt guilty" of leaving him for three hours i used to make so much of a fuss that he used to get all excited. This lead him (i believe) into him thinking it was ok to jump up at people when greeting them!. So when we enter the house we no longer make a fuss and we wait until he is in a calm mood and then call him over. Again this took only a few days ignoring him for 10 mins but now its only 1 minute he is calm then we call him and say hello. Same with leaving i used tell him "im just going to the shop i will be back soon" and he seemed to be anxiuos that i was leaving. Now, he goes to his bed and i just say be a good boy and leave and he isnt too bothered.
I also had to train the husband and our son as they were all doing different things so i would say this was sending him mixed messages and making him rather confused!!!!!

I also have found a good brisk walk first thing in a morning before i go to work of half an hour has been very beneficial to him.

He was castrated on 07.01.08 so have been waiting for him to get better so that i can now get to work on the problems with strangers and recall at the field when there are other dogs! oh to have a dog that comes to you when called - that is my ultimate goal in fact its becoming a bit of a dream lol!
So any help on this would be appreciated - i must read through the sitstayfetch book too now. Its just finding the time but i am determined to get there. I would love to get him a little pal but i want to make sure he is trained first. Although he is very good when i take my friends dog out with us. She comes back when called and he usually follows. AND he isnt usually too bothered about going and playing with other dogs when its him and his pal.

The wonderful world of Dogs eh? Its fascinating and i find it very interesting and love discussing methods and theories etc etc.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 19, 2008
Hi DebbieG.

I am glad to hear that those issues with Kaiser are now under control. Yes, I also believe any dogs can learn what they can do and what they can't (boundaries and rules of each family) if you are consistent and patient.

My dog, Holly, also barks with joy when I come home. It doesn't bother me much so I didn't correct it. Being away for 9 hrs is a long time for her and she misses me so much although my husband is working from home and we have another dog. However, just a few days ago, I decided to turn around as I come inside the door and wait Holly to be quiet. She already learned it how it works. She gets my attention AND a little treat so she likes this way better

I repeatedly wrote that I don't use Alpha techniques but if they work for somebody to control his dog, that is fine. Our ultimate goal is to become capable of controlling our dogs so that they can fit better in our family and society and there will be less dogs to be abandoned and eventually killed.

I agree with you about training husbands. My husband is also too easy for my dogs. When I eat with him, Holly and Noah are on their beds and don't beg for food. However, when he eats lunch by himself, I think he lets Holly puts her head on his lap with a hope that some bread crumbs will be dropped. I need to train my husband more than my dogs

Anyway, I am going to try to attach a photo of my doggies and my grandson today. I don't know if it will work or not. Will see.
Posted by Annie
Jan 19, 2008
Hi there!
I see you worked out the photo thingie
You just need to re-size them right down to fit in with the restrictions and then it works...it´s a shame they have to be so tiny and the reader can´t enlarge to view properly....which Doggie is this in the photo?
Why has my dog started chewing things again? My husband has just left for work, away from home and he had been around the house a lot lately...and the dog has started to get seperation anxiety again. We have now lost the 3 camels, 2 Holy Kings...and yesterday the baby Jesus AND CRIB got destroyed!!!! I can see that she´s nervous, but I really can´t 'duck-out' for 15minutes in winter with a young baby to get her used to it.
We have no laundry, no rooms, but live in an open plan house full of baby toys and family stuff. How can I give her more of a secure feeling? She seems to be always behaving as though she´s in trouble....Should I lie on the floor with her? should I let her on the bed? Any ideas would be helpful. Remember, that she was great at this she just seems to have taken a backwards step....
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 20, 2008
Hi Annie.

Yes, I managed to put up a photo. If you click on the link, I think the photo gets enlarged and you can see both of my dogs (Holly on the chair behind my grandson, and Noah on the floor).

Regarding Joey's behavior, I really think she is under challenged and under exercised now that your husband is not around. I understand your housing situation, it is hard to give Joey a separate and secure place of her own.

OK, my suggestions - I assume your baby take a nap for one hour or two, right? During that time, I know you have other chores you need to do, but lets think about things you can do to burn Joey's mental and physical energies out.

If the weather allows (I don't know how it is in Germany but here in Oregon it rains every single day) play fetch in your back yard for good 30 mins. If the weather is no good, it will be a challenge cause you said you only have on open space and that means the baby sleeps in the same space so you can't make much noise. But still we can do some play with Joey.

The game I do with Holly and Noah inside the house is quite a fun for both me and the doggies: I have my dogs wait in the living room. I have a bunch of stuffed toys and I take a basket full of toys to another room and scatter them all over. I come back to the doggies and say "Go get your toys". They bring a toy back to me and I give them a treat. We repeat this until all the toys are back in the basket. Dogs get some exercise by going back and forth the two rooms (and I usually put a big box on the hallway so that they have to jump it over each way) and they are happy and eager to play this game because I give them a tiny bit of treat every time they bring a toy to me.

I like reward based training because it is fun and motivating. It will take a little time for Joey to learn this game but "practice makes perfect". Work on it a little by little. Because a simple game like this consists of quite a few behaviors: First, Wait - then Go Look for a toy Jump the obstacle - Pick it up in her mouth - Come back to me with the toy - Jump the box again - Hand me the toy or Put it in a basket. They need to learn the sequence of those actions. They learned it for fun and a bit of treat!!

Start with "pick up the toy" with Joey. Have her sit in front of you, lay a toy in front of her. Say "Leave it". Give her a treat if she leaves it. Then tell her to "Pick up" (or OK) and give her a treat if she picks it up. You can also practice "Take it" and "Drop it" alternately. This kind of training (I think it's more like a game) doesn't need much space and not make much noise so it won't disturb your baby's nap but it does exercise Joey's brain and body.

As for you lie on the floor or let her on the bed, it is totally up to you. (Again, I am not a Alpha techniques believer). At least she needs a lot of attention now that your husband is gone.

Good luck and let us know Joey's progress
Posted by Blue
Mar 26, 2008
I agree with you about training husbands. My husband is also too easy for my dogs. When I eat with him, Holly and Noah are on their beds and don't beg for food. However, when he eats lunch by himself, I think he lets Holly puts her head on his lap with a hope that some bread crumbs will be dropped. I need to train my husband more than my dogs

That made me laugh out loud - I have the same problem, my husband is very inconsistent with training, so our poor Blue gets confused sometimes. The hardest one is 'heel' as my husband gets confused as far as when to say the word - or even to just say it - sometimes he just starts walking and Blue plows on a head and he's wondering why she isn't heeling!

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 27, 2008

Good to hear from you!

I can tell Blue is now much more confident and behaving very well. She has come a long way. Congratulations!

I told you one of my dogs, Holly, look a lot like Blue so I am posting her picture today (far left is Holly, Noah in the middle, and Lico, our foster dog).

Walking is another area that I am not so happy with the way my husband handles. He walks Holly and Noah together and they compete in pulling!

If I walk them separately, Holly is a very good loose leash walker. Noah still pulls but within my control. If they are together and come across another dog Noah gets all freaked out and Holly starts barking and I can not handle them. Therefore, I am walking the two dogs separately, or Holly and a foster dog together, and Noah by himself.

Since my husband walk them always together, Noah's walking training goes anywhere! In fact, I don't think he is even trying to correct Noah's pulling problem. Well, I am hoping someday, both of my boys (husband and Noah) will learn....
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 27, 2008
Hi Blue,

Good to hear from you!

I can tell Blue is now much more confident and behaving very well. She has come a long way. Congratulations!

I told you one of my dogs, Holly, look a lot like Blue so I am posting her picture today (far left is Holly, Noah in the middle, and Lico, our foster dog).

Walking is another area that I am not so happy with the way my husband handles. He walks Holly and Noah together and they compete in pulling!

If I walk them separately, Holly is a very good loose leash walker. Noah still pulls but within my control. If they are together and come across another dog Noah gets all freaked out and Holly starts barking and I can not handle them. Therefore, I am walking the two dogs separately, or Holly and a foster dog together, and Noah by himself.

Since my husband walk them always together, Noah's walking training doen't go anywhere! In fact, I don't think he is even trying to correct Noah's pulling problem. Well, I am hoping someday, both of my boys (husband and Noah) will learn....
Posted by Blue
Mar 27, 2008
I really do think the biggest challenge in dog training is coordinating the entire family - and visiting friends. So everyone is sending the right signals and the dog doesn't get confused.

My husband isn't as active as I am - in reading and educating himself in dog behaviour/training, so he questions everything I'm doing - to the point of my great frustration! I try to have him read some of the information I've been reading (all kinds from alpha to just positive reinforcement methodology) and he falls asleep reading the books (can anyone say huge siiiiigh!).

As far as visiting friends, I ask them politely not to allow Blue to jump up. Two seconds later there's Blue up on them, giving them big sloppy kisses and the visitor giving all the pets and cuddles Blue could ever want - and me looking all the while like a tyrant trying to tell Blue to "off" and "sit"!! After having Blue successfully in a sit-stay before they come in... woe. Or I'll find some of my closest friends alone in the living room (while I left to go get snacks or go to the bathroom) with the dog halfway into their lap on the couch - front legs up on the visitor, one rear leg already up and the second poised to follow - a sheepish look on the human as well as the dogs face when they get caught in the act! Blue is too big for a lap dog!

Hmm... talk about the signifcant other wailing here, but it seems to me that there needs to be a book made for men where it's 'exciting' and 'macho' enough to keep their interest for longer than five minutes! Most men can 'control' a dog without making it 'heel' - I know my husband is double my weight and Blue's pulling barely moves him. So he just didn't consider it a problem to let her pull. Until he heard me out (in practical hysterics because my arm felt out of it's socket after a particularly daunting walk not long after we got Blue) saying that unless he was one hundred percent behind me in her training, we would never have children because he wasn't one bit interested in simply training the darned dog! (how could he ever be expected to help with children!? ).

Well...he is slowly learning now.

From what I remember you've already had children MaxHollyNoah so that probably won't work for you... but perhaps there's something else you could influence your hubby with ...


Posted by Annie
Mar 28, 2008
You guys make me laugh
A book for men would be great.
My husband goes out with the dog, refusing a leash ( it´s pretty safe here) and whenever he gets back I am told stories of deer and cars and fights....I can work on her for months getting her not to chase things in the forest, and then he´ll walk in all suprised ( and slightly proud) of his excellent 'hunting' dog!!!!
We have the same problem between us and the kids as well. Papa is all treats and rule breaking...mama the Ogre!
Better yet, instead of a book, could it be a short, musical MP3 version....I think he may listen to THAT! I can see his eyes glaze over when I mention a training 'idea' I´ve heard of......
Thanks for the laughs
Annie and her band of merry followers