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LittlestFinch

Training tips for a non dog person?

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Hey all, I've posted about Mac before and what a joy he's been as a pup. We're going on 11 months now, he's still not neutered if that matters but will be soon! He's still really easy but, his worst behavior problems are with my boyfriend currently. He works all day and I work from home so when he gets home from work Mac just needs his attention non-stop for at least the first two hours my boyfriend is home. This includes a variety of annoying behaviors like following at his heels close enough to be tripped over around the house and pushing toys against his legs while he walks and sits at his desk.

Mac gets more than enough attention and exercise daily, we aim for two hours a day of one on one time in the back yard, typically fetch (my boyfriend is generally there for at least 30 mins of this). We've been doing less walks lately, but just because it's been quite damp so we're sticking to muddy fetch :) I do at least ten minutes of training (right now we're working on Stay while things are exciting, i.e. a ball being thrown etc). I also will constantly toss things to him/for him through out our day together when he's not napping/doing his own thing. 

So the issue is my boyfriend is experiencing these behaviors with him that I don't. This frustrates him because my boyfriend has never had a dog aside the one from his childhood that was "perfect". Mac isn't perfect and he's definitely still a puppy and my boyfriend has a hard time understanding that. So his way of coping with the annoying behavior is to snap/yell at the dog which helps literally nothing and makes me irate. When I ask him to crate him when Mac does these behaviors he refuses, on the grounds that crating is mean and dogs don't belong in boxes. Which I think is so ludicrous, especially because Mac naps and sleeps in his crate like a champ and knows where to go when I tell him to "get to his bed". I have no idea where he got this perception of crates being bad, but I'm hoping to find some other tips to help him cope with Mac's behavior since he won't use time out. Could it be worth it to bring in a behaviorist just for this? Or should I just not budge and make my boyfriend start crating the dog? Like I've talked to his dad about this hang up, did the perfect dog from his childhood use a crate? Yes, of course. His parents extremely well behaved boxer also uses her crate. So again. No clue where the crate hang ups come from. 

I mean honestly once Mac settles (normally because I have to intervene) the two get along like peas, they cuddle on the couch, he'll sleep next to boyfriend while he plays games, etc. 

 

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To change Mac's behavior you will need to change the boyfriend's behavior.  Not trying to be snarky, but this is often the case with any type of behavior problem.  You already know what needs to happen.  Maybe if he hears it from a behaviorist (marriage counselor, LOL), he will accept the message better.  And the behaviorist may have other techniques to try.

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What Michael Parkey said. For whatever reason, frequently people will listen to and accept from a professional in any given field the identical information that they've been rejecting from their partner. My only addition is try hiring a good dog trainer first and having the dog trainer work with Mac & the BF. If BF won't listen to a professional dog trainer, and having a dog is important to you both, then counseling for the humans might be the next step.

The plus side is that the chances that changes in BF's attitude and behavior have a greater chance of succeeding with an impartial professional. Humans are much more complicated than dogs.

Ruth & Gibbs

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My husband, who never asked to live with a young dog, and, would probably never do so without me his life, can be a little short with Winter on occasion. I step in, manage her as needed and if he gets very tired of her antics I put her in the crate, take her for a walk or make her up a food dispensing toy. I do all of this without really talking to my husband, just reading his body language and tone with her. He does love her very much, he'll just love her a lot more in a few years. Haha 

As we were working out this system I said to him that if I couldn't stop him yelling by discussing the behavior with him I'd prevent it by managing her. He doesn't love this arrangement but tolerates it and I'm finding he's getting much better at asking her to do things (like sit or get off the couch, cues she knows) before he becomes overly frustrated with her or I step in.

I did also train, positively, the cue 'stop' and she will basically jump back and freeze. I chose the word based on what he says naturally and the behavior I suspected he wanted when he said it. The reward has always being able to resume the game, or play a new game which also often happens naturally in their interaction. He does not know I did this, I assume I could have told him but I wasn't confident it would work and I didn't want him just trying it out willy-nilly. 

I am not sure this is the best advice for you, your dog, or the relationship but it seems to be working well enough for us and our situations and challenges seem very simmilar.

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