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how to get consistency in dog training with partner?

(13 Posts)
SalamanderingAbroad Tue 14-Jan-20 10:33:39

I've signed up for puppy training and I'm assuming just one of us goes?

How do you keep consistency with training - the books talk about keeping eyes on me etc - so if two of you are walking does one take the main rule of training?

I know my DH is a big softy and won't be brilliant at training....

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Tue 14-Jan-20 10:51:30

It's not about not being a big softy, whatever that means, but about you both being on the same page and both being consistent in training.

If one person in the household doesn't keep up training then the dog will get confused, won't understand what's required of it and the whole thing will fall apart; that's not fair to the dog and is not being a big softy it's being lazy.

There's nothing remotely unkind or anti 'big softy' about training a dog properly. Reward based training is kind and gentle and if any trainer suggests other means of training or uses methods other than reward based, then you should find another trainer.

There is absolutely no need ever to raise one's voice to a dog, except in an excited 'let's play this game' high pitch way, nor should you do anything that could be considered aversive.

When I took my dog to training classes there were plenty of couples there and parents with children of an age old enough to help with training. Again if the trainer objects to this I'd have doubt about the trainer.

Kazzyhoward Tue 14-Jan-20 10:54:01

We were only saying about this the other day. One of our neighbours have a dog. It's impeccably behaved when the husband takes it out for a walk - it walks to heel, no pulling the lead etc. But when the wife takes it out, it's all over the place, pulling, jumping around, etc. It definitely knows the difference between it's two owners and takes the Mickey when it's the wife!

FleaTrainerExtraordinaire Tue 14-Jan-20 10:59:06

All the specifics skills of dogs mean they are in a great position to learn that 'rules' only apply to one person but not everyone.

As kazzy demonstrated, they are well capable of doing as trained with one owner but not doing the same thing with another who doesn't apply the same training.

So, your DH will reap what he sows grin

However, it might help for both of you to approach traning as a fun game. It doesn't have to be strict or boring (and shouldn't be). Almost anything can be turned into a game and the dog will enjoy it all the more.

e.g. recall can be done by both of you walking apart and calling the dog to you and for treats, play, celebrations when he gets to you. Then the other person calling him back like a ping pong.

e.g. learning to sit should be no different to learning to high five or spin around - train with all the carefree enjoyment as you would those other skills and it becomes less of a chore, more of a game

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Tue 14-Jan-20 11:37:51

Is there any reason why your DH can't go to classes? It's very common for a whole family to turn up.

SalamanderingAbroad Tue 14-Jan-20 13:30:55

It hadn't occurred to me that we could all turn up!

OP’s posts: |
Girlintheframe Tue 14-Jan-20 19:00:06

My DH took pup to training classes and still does. I then do training with him about 5 days a week. I just get my DH to show me everything they've done and I reinforce it. Plus we do a lot of training just through day to day life, recall, bed, off etc
We did try and go together a couple of time but Ddog was completely distracted by it so now DH goes alone.

percheron67 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:11:50

Pigsdofly: It is never a good idea to use a shrill, excited voice to a dog. They don't like it. Always, use a quiet but clear and firm voice so that your dog knows what to expect. Don't agree either that all training is treats rewarded. Puppies and children - sometimes you have to make sure they are listening to you and understand when they are doing something wrong. How else are they going to learn proper behaviour!

iWantToBreakBrie Tue 14-Jan-20 19:48:23

SilentTights Tue 14-Jan-20 19:53:26

Patricia McConnell has a really interesting chapter in The Other End Of The Leash where she talks about a study she did on how people from all around the world talk to all sort of animals, including dogs.

Universally they use short, high pitched, excited noises when they want to encourage activity such as going faster or coming back to them.

They use low, clam, slow noises when they want to encourage slowing or calming down activity.

As I recall she couldn't find a single exmaple that went against that trend. Makes me wonder why...

Booboostwo Tue 14-Jan-20 21:02:51

percheron67 complete bollocks. A high pitched voice is the best thing for recall. I have called countless dogs with a high pitched voice (I am naturally gifted) including several loose dogs on the road, some running away from their owners. Horses, on the other hand, do get flighty if you use a high pitched voice.

pigsDOfly Wed 15-Jan-20 14:52:56

percheron67 I wasn't suggesting using a 'shrill' voice. I was suggesting a high pitched excited voice in order to get the puppy's attention.

This is not something I made up, it's advice I was given by the trainer I used when my dog was a puppy and something I've read in several training books and is generally accepted as a good way of getting a puppy's attention.

My dog is now eight years old and still loves an excited voice.

'Where's your ball' said in an excited, lets play way, will get her searching for her ball.

Dogs and puppies can listen to you until you're blue in the face, but as far as I know my dog doesn't speak or understand English in a general way, unlike children, especially when she was a tiny puppy, so treats were they only things that let her know that she was doing the things I wanted her to do. That's how she learned 'proper' behaviour.

It's impossible to explain to a puppy or a dog that what they're doing is not 'proper' behaviour.

I knew someone who decided that they would train their dog without any rewarding - doesn't have to be treats, it can be a toy. The dog, a collie, so an intelligent dog, had no way of knowing that when it performed a behaviour it was doing exactly what was required of it, and as a consequence it's training took forever.

Dog's have no concept of bad or good behaviour, which is why reward based training is so effective. They learn very quickly, when they do something and get a reward for it, that it's a good thing to do. Telling them off or shouting at them will teach them nothing except to be fearful of the loud voice.

BiteyShark Wed 15-Jan-20 16:48:07

I agree a high pitched excited voice works to motivate my dog to play. If I did a lower calm one he just looks at me and wanders off sad.

OP definitely go as a couple to the training. It pays to be on the same page but equally my dog reacts differently to DH than to me and a great trainer observed that and modified our individual behaviour to still get the same results.

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