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Discussion Starter #1
I have an interesting and difficult situation. I live with two other adults and they routinely give George false commands, reward him for nothing and/or doing the wrong thing and even NOT doing what they say. One of the worst problems is not taking command with him and instead 'asking' rather than telling him. Then he doesn't listen and doesn't do it, and in turn begins not to listen to me. This is getting difficult for me b/c I have to reinforce/re-do training sometimes. It's getting harder for me to take control of him when they're around b/c he wants to go play with them rather than listen to me. Who wouldn't?

I've tried talking to them and showing them what I've trained him to do following what commands (the correct command for what they're trying to get him to do), and they 'forget' as soon as I'm done. For example: I've trained him to wait for me to go in the door from outside. He goes after I do. One person always tries to get him to go in before them, confuses him, then fusses at him. I've tried explaining it to them, but they just behave as though I'm being difficult.

He's my dog. I'm responsible for his behavior. So I've trained him to my commands. I feel like I've done what I can with the other people in the house, and anything more seems to only bring tension.

I guess my question is: How much should I really worry about all of this? I feel that if I let it go, he will become untrained, won't listen to anyone b/c of the inconsistency, and will turn into a nightmare.
 

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I think if you can't do anything with the humans you live with and they are going to undermine your training unintentionally or not, it is unfair to your dog to continue to try to be dogmatic with him concerning your training. He is receiving mixed signals--it is confusing to him--setting him up for failure--and how could it not be causing him unneeded anxiety? Choose the things that REALLY matter such as potty training (absolutely not in the house), no nipping people (he doesn't have to like everyone--we don't always, but he can't bite), and as for the rest, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things who goes through the door first?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think if you can't do anything with the humans you live with and they are going to undermine your training unintentionally or not, it is unfair to your dog to continue to try to be dogmatic with him concerning your training. He is receiving mixed signals--it is confusing to him--setting him up for failure--and how could it not be causing him unneeded anxiety? Choose the things that REALLY matter such as potty training (absolutely not in the house), no nipping people (he doesn't have to like everyone--we don't always, but he can't bite), and as for the rest, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things who goes through the door first?
That's what I'm trying to weigh. ;) It does matter that he listens and behaves. Listening isn't just for me, it's to keep him out of trouble and away from danger. In order for him to listen to me, he has to take my lead.
In a word, no, I don't think it's unfair. At least if it is, it's not worth giving up on his being obedient/safe/listening at least with me if no one else. So, maybe that's the answer?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's what I did: :D

I got everyone together and did a little showcase with explanations. I showed the family what he knows to do and what words/commands he knows and that those words/commands mean something to him.

I realized that I had never really taken the time to explain it to everyone except in the moment it's happening and that can come off badly causing friction/tension.
George did a great job showing everyone how smart he is! And cute. And funny. When he really wants a the treat in a session, he'll start doing all sorts of tricks to see which one will work. He's so smart that he does the newest/hardest ones on his own to get the treat.

Anyway, I explained and showed how if I say sit, he only gets the treat if he stays seated for the entire ride. No butt coming off of the floor to reach for the treat. He doesn't get the treat for performing unsolicited tricks :) Only requests get paid. And that enforcement is key, lest he become confused and eventually won't listen to anyone b/c no one really means it.

I think it went well. They seemed receptive and decided not to try to get him to do tricks b/c of all of the hand signals George knows and how easy it is to confuse those. So that's sort of a win/win. I also got to explain that if you don't want him doing something, just tell him "No". Not "down" for "stop jumping on me". That is just "no". -things like that that help us all work together.

I think things will be okay for now. Everyone really understood about un-training and re-training and mixed messages/signals. Everyone really does appreciate that he is so well behaved (except for his little attitude sometimes lol) and expressed that seeing the results in his behavior and obedience makes it more clear as to why it seems I'm hard on him.
 

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That's what I'm trying to weigh. ;) It does matter that he listens and behaves. Listening isn't just for me, it's to keep him out of trouble and away from danger. In order for him to listen to me, he has to take my lead.
In a word, no, I don't think it's unfair. At least if it is, it's not worth giving up on his being obedient/safe/listening at least with me if no one else. So, maybe that's the answer?
You are absolutely right that listening to you and obeying you for the sake of his safety is paramount, but if you have too many commands that others are undermining then it may be confusing him. What I guess I'm trying to say is if I were you I would pick what is of absolute importance and not worry about a lot of different commands for the sake of commands because of your living situation. You may have to think ahead about him not getting into situations that would compromise his safety being you don't have 100% control over his training environment.
 

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Here's what I did: :D

I got everyone together and did a little showcase with explanations. I showed the family what he knows to do and what words/commands he knows and that those words/commands mean something to him.

I realized that I had never really taken the time to explain it to everyone except in the moment it's happening and that can come off badly causing friction/tension.
George did a great job showing everyone how smart he is! And cute. And funny. When he really wants a the treat in a session, he'll start doing all sorts of tricks to see which one will work. He's so smart that he does the newest/hardest ones on his own to get the treat.

Anyway, I explained and showed how if I say sit, he only gets the treat if he stays seated for the entire ride. No butt coming off of the floor to reach for the treat. He doesn't get the treat for performing unsolicited tricks :) Only requests get paid. And that enforcement is key, lest he become confused and eventually won't listen to anyone b/c no one really means it.

I think it went well. They seemed receptive and decided not to try to get him to do tricks b/c of all of the hand signals George knows and how easy it is to confuse those. So that's sort of a win/win. I also got to explain that if you don't want him doing something, just tell him "No". Not "down" for "stop jumping on me". That is just "no". -things like that that help us all work together.

I think things will be okay for now. Everyone really understood about un-training and re-training and mixed messages/signals. Everyone really does appreciate that he is so well behaved (except for his little attitude sometimes lol) and expressed that seeing the results in his behavior and obedience makes it more clear as to why it seems I'm hard on him.
Ah! We were posting at the same time! So glad George showed what he can do to your family. :) That was a great idea you had to help them understand your reasoning behind his training. Hopefully they won't forget, and you and George can move forward with his training from this point speedily with no set backs. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I see what you mean! I think you're right about picking the important things. So far, my version of that is that I only do serious training, like roll over (haha!) and such when it's just us. I went over our potty time routine and that was well received. That one was more important to me b/c a) they like to take him out sometimes too, and b) remaining 99% potty trained is important.
 

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That sounds great! Now that they have a correct understanding of why you're training hopefully they won't undermine it, but I agree, only have your family actively participate in the potty training one since they take him out as well and that one is imperative he gets it right! lol If you see they are doing well you may be able to add a training technique to the family, and as George masters one with you, then add another that just the two of you are working on. Sounds like George is so smart you should have smooth sailing! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks! He is quite a smarty pants.

The hardest part is getting someone to back off and stop spoiling him so much. I really need George to listen to me above any distraction (things like: come here, no, etc.) and that's really hard to do when someone else consistently undermines me by constantly praising him and laying on the attention. This one is difficult. I'm really beginning to resent this one b/c they do it behind my back. I did talk to them about to over abundance of praise - I explained that he doesn't get treats for simple functional commands like "sit". That's when he gets a "good boy". He shouldn't be getting a "good boy" from anyone for just sitting there looking around or every time you walk by him.

Maybe there's a people forum out there to learn how to train difficult and undermining people.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will be sure to post it when I find it. I'll request that it be stickied to this section too :)

I have an ally and we've discussed what we call "Penny training" the other human. If you're familiar with The Big Bang Theory, that's where we get it from. This particular human has to be conditioned in that way.
 

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I'm on my way to the gym, but I have to respond to this post!!

I am in the same situation as you, except with me it's my hubby!! He has spoiled Angel so much! But we must persevere!! He will come around! I have trained Angel not to go through the door first, he has to wait for his food, he can't come into my lap unless I invite him! He's not allowed to on furniture unless invited! He, too, will go through all his tricks if he sees me with a treat!

Angel is three years old. Here's what will happen with you and George; eventually he will listen to you, but only you! And like you, that's not what I want - I want him to listen to everyone!

I do have a suggestion for you that could help! But, gotta go!! I will post later!:)
 

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Hubby is under the impression that Angel just needs to look cute!:foxes15:

Anyway, I have started going to drop in training classes at a training center. It's kind of great because there is no commitment and its cheaper than a six week course. The only draw back is that the class is geared to whatever the majority in attendance know. One thing I know and has been re-enforced i what they call "the name game!" I confess that I don't do it as much as I should. Put the dog on a leash, have plenty of treats, and a clicker (preferrably). Call the dog's name. As SOON as he looks at you, click, treat! Keep doing this, do it as often as possible. He gets nothing unless he looks at you. The ultimate objective is that you become the center of his world!!

If we are in a confined familiar area such as home or work, and I call him, he comes immediately! At the class, if we are against the wall, and I call him, he looks at me. Last Saturday, I moved out toward the center of the room and called him and he was too worried about what the other dogs were doing. To his credit, he was the only "small" dog in with shepherds and the like! I like going there because it gives me the distractions I need to work at getting his attention.

Trying not to turn this into a novel. . .but, at home, we have a small kitchen. I have designated a "safe spot" for him so he won't get hurt and he won't hurt me!:rolleyes: While I am in the kitchen alone, he is great! He stays in his spot. When hubby comes in to the kitchen, he will stray away from it! He will see me looking at him and run back to his spot! It's cute but its dangerous! Unfortunately hubby doesn't pay attention to what is going on around him. He will take his pills, vitamins and supplements and not notice that Angel is under his feet! It could be very harmful if he drops one and Angel gets it!

There are numerous times I feel like giving up . . .but I actually believe its not fair to Angel! Now, I will admit, that if Angel was a sweet cuddly chi, training would be much harder for me, but he isn't! He is not very friendly. Although he did really good yesterday when my boys came by with their families! No one got bit!:)

Don't give up! It's much harder when you have no cooperation, but I think eventually it will sink in. Just like with kids! The whole time they are growing up you try to correct them and they seem like they just aren't listening!! Then, one day when they have their own, it all begins to "click!":D
 

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Angel is right- eventually he will not listen to anyone else.

That's how my boy is. He is a working dog so in some ways that is a good thing- he can't be doing every command that members of the public throw at him (could you imagine if he did his potty cue at the store? Yikes). I do wish he was more receptive to doing things for others though. He usually requires my cue to do something because I am the only person who he respects as a leader.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes indeed! Y'all are bot right, I think!

Moon, George doesn't listen to anyone else. He doesn't respect them! And, like you said, that can be a good thing. I don't want him interrupted by someone else's commands when I'm around. Too confusing for him.

Angel, oh my! What a battle you have on your hands! Yes, it is very hard to get people on the same page. I completely understand! It's for the dog's safety, your safety, the visitors' safety, and, I think, for the overall happiness of the dog. George strives to know what to do and what's expected of him; that right there tells me he's happier when he knows what to do and how to behave.

Chi's (and small breeds) can turn into real butt-holes if not tended to. Angel sounds like George too- not a sweet and cuddly dog. If he's not kept in check, he can be a total jerk. Now that he's getting a little older, and he's learning the ways of the family, he's getting better.

Maybe explain to hubs that a disciplined dog is WAY cuter than one that doesn't listen and has no manners? That helped my family understand why all of this is so important.
 
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