Can't get my dh on board with positive training - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Can't get my dh on board with positive training

(For background, see my earlier thread on 11 week old puppy with aggression/resource guarding)

So, I think we are making improvements, Apollo (now almost 13 weeks) can "drop it" and "leave it" fairly consistently. He can have the most desirable thing ever and if I say to drop it and head to the fridge, he leaves the item behind and sits behind me waiting for a bite of meat. My 18yo son can do the same thing, only he usually brings a treat over and trades w/ no issues. (Silly dog hardly needs to be fed anymore, he gets so many treats).

However, at least once a day, my husband will find himself alone with the dog (usually in the morning when we are all scrambling to get out the door). This is prime time for the hallway gate to be left open and he will get down into a bedroom and find a sock or kleenex or whatever. And every day, my husband gets bit (not badly, but enough that he is really angry at Apollo). He said today "I tried to trade him, like the trainer said." I asked what he tried to trade with and he said a rope bone (which is still brand new bc Apollo hates it) and his antler (which Apollo chews on all the time). I told him he needed a higher value trade. He said, "I am not rewarding him for getting a kleenex." He eventually just pried the kleenex out of this mouth and yelled at the puppy.

He wants Apollo to obey w/o need for a treat. He thinks the positive training is stupid and thinks we need to show him who's boss. (He also thinks that dog training has gone the way of the newer, non-punitive parenting techniques that are now popular and that this is the downfall of society as we know it (unfortunately, we know a lot of spoiled kids who are not doing well for lack of good parenting). So I guess he's trying to fix it all by defying positive puppy training.

Should we all keep doing the positive stuff? I can't tell if it's working or if we are just avoiding power struggles. I still don't let 10yo do anything with Apollo except drop treats to him when he's behaving b/c I don't trust him not to growl and snap.

Is DH ruining all of our efforts? I guess I need to work on better puppy proofing to try and minimize things happening while dh is around, but other than that I'm not sure what to try. Any advice/encouragement welcome!

ETA: He is not aggressive about his food at all, just things he finds that he isn't supposed to have and an occasional bone
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 01:44 PM
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You have to be aligned or the puppy will be confused. I would question why your DH isn't listening? Does he want the puppy?


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:21 PM
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We are in the same boat. My husband loves Rambo, but he thinks I go overboard with the positive training. The bright side, he is seeing the difference in the way Rambo responds and behaves with me, than how Rambo behaves with him. He is always asking for help now.
When I had in-home training sessions, the trainer explained to him how important positive reinforcement is. The husband is finally seeing that.

At my first puppy class, another trainer brought up this very issue. She's been in this field for 30 years and her husband is the same way towards her dogs. The pups learn quickly who the boss is. The results speak for themselves!

Your husband will come around. Mine has. Am I a bad person for feeling a little bit of glee( keeping it to myself) each time he has asked for help? He's getting much better. Yours will too.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:36 PM
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We had some similar issues with Bailey when he was a puppy. I did not want Bailey jumping up on me and I worked very hard to use positive reinforcement to train him to sit politely, wait and then he received a treat. DH is quite a bit taller than I am and outweighs me by 70 plus pounds so I guess he didn't have a problem with Bailey jumping on him even though I told him repeatedly that he needed to stop allowing it (I even thought about trying to train DH at that point using bits of steak and other high value treats. Lol). Bailey eventually ceased to jump on me but continued to jump on DH which was apparently fine until one day last summer when Bailey, now an adult dog, saw DH standing on our dock. Bailey ran at him and jumped up on DH knocking him, fully clothed, into the lake. I truly wish I had a video of it! Shortly after that DH sheepishly came to me wanting to know, "So how do I do that positive training thing of yours so the dog won't knock me in the lake again?" Jen is right, you both need to work on it together because if you don't the dog will be confused...and sometimes those who fail to use the positive reinforcement? Well, in my case let's just say it was a case of you reap what you sow....

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennretz View Post
You have to be aligned or the puppy will be confused. I would question why your DH isn't listening? Does he want the puppy?
The answer to that is...not really. He thinks the kids need him and likes dogs in general, but no, he really doesn't want a puppy.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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That being said, we are not rehoming him. Dh will adjust once Apollo and 10yo are friends and the land shark behavior dies down And the witching hour "let's run around the house at 70mph" tendency.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:03 PM
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My dad was the same way with Chloe. My mom would say do this. He hardly ever listened. I guess it's a husband thing. But now at two He actually does it the right way now and she usually drops it. Just keep up with it and my guess your DH will eventually catch on.

<a href=http://s115.photobucket.com/user/CPC1972/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_24.jpg.html target=_blank><a href=http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n290/CPC1972/Mobile%20Uploads/image_24.jpg target=_blank>http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...s/image_24.jpg</a></a>Rest in peace sweet Jake.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:24 PM
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My DH was not completely onboard when I got Duke, but he was outnumbered 3 to 1. Those first few months were a little challenging. I did use corrections on Duke when he was a puppy, but never spanking. Duke was challenging for the first few months but he's been pretty amazing since. He still creates mischief, but it's so different now :-) When I adopted Charlie I switched to positive only reinforcement for both dogs and the success with it has been amazing. Every one in the house knew they would have to deal with me if any physical corrections were applied. I have seen such a difference when a dog understands the behavior you want and wants to do it because they have a positive association with it versus giving the behavior you asked for to avoid a negative consequence. The trust is so much better in positive reinforcement scenario :-) And some of it comes down to management (i.e., training your spouse LOL). My husband kept leaving his stuff down and it would get chewed up. At first I apologized and replaced the item. Then I thought, why isn't he "my DH" learning not to leave stuff down. I stopped apologizing and started asking why it was left where the dog could get to it. I did not offer to replace it. My husband is now trained to keep his stuff up if it's important to him...

As long as you stay calm and focused, it will get there. Your husband will begin to recognize the steps you are gaining. Hang in there and don't give up on the positive reinforcement. You can get so much further with your dog when he is engaged and trusts you. :-) And husbands are trainable too!


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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:35 PM
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Same here. Husband is the roll around the floor and wrestle and play bite kinda guy. I want a reasonably trained dog this time. The upside for us is husband isn't home most of the time so it's me and my oldest kid doing most of the actual training. (Ok, mostly me). And from experience with the last dogs, kids and now the current dogs, they tend to be fairly smart and learn fast that what flies with one person doesn't so much with the rest of the world. As long as the rest of you stay consistent you should be ok. Penny stopped being a complete monster around 5 months and we even now have periods of good dog at 10 mo. Someday we'll all have good dogs.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:36 PM
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We do TRADE a lot with Seamus. I use Orijen duck treats (freeze dried pieces of duck) or tiny (just 1/16 of an inch speck) of string cheese. The string cheese was our trainer's idea. She said she has never had a dog refuse it!

No matter what Seamus has that he shouldn't - TRADE for a yummy treat works every time. I don't see it as rewarding the dog for having something he shouldn't. I see it as insurance in case he gets something really dangerous and I need to get it out of his mouth ASAP.

Good luck!



Seamus - Golden Retriever 4/22/2015 -
Sonny - Corgi/Golden Retriever mix 5/2/2009 -
Daisy Mae - Corgi/Yellow Labrador Retriever 6/5/1998-12/17/2014
Ralph - Beagle/Basset Hound Mix Came to us as an adult August 1994 - 5/17/2003
Cheyenne - Alaskan Malamute/Golden Retriever cross 10/25/1993 - 2/4/2008
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