“Nobody else in the family is asking the same from the dog as I do. Is this going to wreck all my efforts?”
It’s a bit of an “old wives tale” that everyone has to treat the dog in the same way.
I’m guessing there’s good reasons some folk give that advice, but I think those reasons are outdated, being based on the old-style, punishment-orientated training. So let’s amend it: it isn’t fair for one/some of the family to punish a dog’s behaviour while the rest allow it.
He will definitely behave differently for different family members. And that is no bad thing. But what isn’t a good thing is for the family to be in dispute about the dog’s care and education. I have a lovely fix:
To make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the dog’s training/management/care.
To get the younger folk to “buy in” to decisions.
To share ideas, and I think the kids frequently have great ideas.
Although we know it’s the adults who facilitate and take final responsibility, a meeting where everyone has their say will help make it feel less like particular family members are “laying down the law”. And I’m guessing the less the meeting feels like that, the better the outcomes will be.
And the grown-ups will probably need to prepare most of the agenda and ensure the process is maintained over time. But a younger person may enjoy preparing the poster that gets stuck on the fridge, giving out the stickers for successful completion of tasks, posting photos of how clever the dog was today on social media.
How do we make sure dog doesn’t escape and get onto the road?
How old should a child be before he takes the dog for walks on his own?
Who takes puppy to the toilet and when?
Who lets puppy out of crate and when does that happen?
Training and Socialisation
Great to have stuff in place, but if it isn’t a living programme, it’s really easy lose momentum. We may need a quick daily review in the early stages, once a week, once a month later on.
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