Yesterday evening, my husband was excited because Haley was listening to him. Her allergies have been acting up lately and sometimes it is more of a pain (to her) to listen to us than to just lay there looking at us like we’re stupid. She’s been on medication for the past three or four days and it has worked wonders for her health and possibly her selective hearing.
But I digress.
So my husband was happy (as I’ve said before). After I got home from work last night, my husband and I ate, and then we played Minecraft. Haley wanted out of the playpen and addressed her barks to me. I ignored her. My husband told her to be quiet. I made some remark about what she wanted and my husband told me to not speak because when I speak, Haley completely disregarded whatever he said. Haley barked. My husband told her to be quiet. Haley looked at me, “Mom, do I have to?” I ignored her and told my husband to do the same as that was the best way of getting her to quiet down. Eventually she laid back down and went to sleep.
I don’t know why my husband gets upset when Haley doesn’t listen to him. I know that sounds cruel, but in my (and her) defense she’s known me since she was eight weeks old. As for my husband–the intruder–Haley has only known him for a couple years and she viewed him as an intruder in her house, in her life, and made sure he knew it. Basically, for three years Haley has only had to answer to my mother and me. So she goes from only having to listen to my mother and myself (both of whom she’s known since puppyhood) to having to listen to an intruder. If that were me, I’d probably look toward the authority figure and say, “Do I have to listen to this guy?”
I think the biggest problem between them is my husband just doesn’t get dogs. Yes, another cruel statement. Or perhaps I should say, just doesn’t get the way Mother and I raised Haley (and our other dogs)
All of our dogs are doted on, but they’re raised with certain rules. If the dogs follow the rules, they get more freedom. If they don’t follow the rules, they get less freedom. Older, more well-behaved dogs, get more freedom than puppies who don’t know the rules. Older dogs are allowed to help reinforce the rules; puppies are encouraged to learn and imitate the older dogs.
Dogs are required to sit before getting anything; sitting up pretty is permissible and gets a praise (yes, I do encourage stupid pet tricks). Dogs are allowed to jump on the furniture, but are not allowed to jump on high beds for health reasons (due to their long backs, Shih Tzu can hurt themselves). If we want the dog on the bed, we pick the dog up. Dogs are allowed to “ask” us if we’ll put them on the bed, but that doesn’t guarantee that it will be granted. Dogs are expected to go to bed when told to do so. Begging can result in a reward, but it can also result in being ignored. Lately, the dogs will beg for a short while and if they don’t get any food will go play or sleep.
I don’t believe in the dominance theory, but I can’t say I am fully on the Positive Dog Training bandwagon. I raise my dogs like I was raised (and how wolves actually raise their cubs): parents are authority and thereby reserve the right to reward and punish depending on the circumstances.
All of that being said, my husband doesn’t always follow how the dogs were raised. He refuses to put the dogs on the bed; rather he insists that they jump on the bed themselves because putting them on the bed “spoils” them. It annoys him when they beg, even if they’re sitting/laying quietly at his feet, so he confines them.
Ultimately, our biggest problem is my husband has different expectations and rules when it comes to the dogs and they make no sense to the dogs (mainly Haley) so they look to me to see if I will enforce it.
Then again, it could be something much more basic than that. My husband usually addresses the dogs in a louder tone of voice than me, especially when he’s displeased with them. I only raise my voice if the dogs are really in trouble, or if they’re in danger. With my dogs I try to keep my interactions as upbeat as possible so that the dogs will want to listen to me. Sometimes I even get on the floor and act like a dog, or I dance around the house like a fool. My dogs love it…my husband thinks I’m weird.
Yeah…that was an incredibly long post. I hope it made sense. Do any of you have dogs that only listen to you (or to your significant other?). Let me know what you’ve done to remedy it…or even if you want to remedy it.
Until next time yes, yes you have to do what the intruder…oops your father said.