Pretty much title. What do I do with a family that can't and won't listen to what I tell them regarding dog training? I try to tell them that they have to be consistent about what they do when my dog jumps on them, or does other behaviours I/we don't want them to do. My mom and dad hate it when the dog jumps, and my elder brother (as the only one), purposefully plays and scratches him when he jumps him to greet him. I'm almost at my wits end, I'm basically about to explode everytime my dad yells "No!" to the dog, WHILE FRIGGIN' SCRATHING AND PLAYING WITH THE DOG. Of course when I try to politely tell him that what he's doing is the wrong approach, he gets very defensive, and expects me to not know anything about dogs, even though I'm the one feeding, training and walking the dog, while also studying about dogs and dogtraining daily. Sorry for ranting, but it gets really frustrating to try to train a dog, when no one in the whole house cooperates, let alone the visitors..
TL;DR Family members not cooperating, actually reinforcing bad behaviour, despite me repeating to them that what they're doing is wrong. What do I do?
I wish I had something to suggest, but I can only commiserate. My parents have been complaining about how their dog jumps on their bed and they have to yell at her to get down. Then later they want to show me the dog's new game–they sit on either side of the bed and toss a toy back and forth, and she jumps up (while on the bed) to get at it. Adorable? Absolutely. Is it helping with the problem? Absolutely not >.<
I am a positive reinforcement trainer and all I have to say about this is that you need to take control of every interaction your dog has. If he jumps, be right there pulling him off of them. Be there with high reward treats so you can be feeding him on the floor while they are interacting. My family purposefully attempts to mess with my training because they are pieces of shit. As a professional, they do understand I know far more than they ever could, which is helpful, but I am still there redirecting during every interaction. It's all you can do.
I agree. I had to move back home with my family and it was really frustrating when my dog would learn something new and they would refuse to reinforce it. She quickly started ignoring anything anyone said to her because she was getting confused by all the different commands. Once I started correcting her behavior and their behavior as soon as she did something, she stopped ignoring me. My family also realized how much easier it is to have a dog who actually listens to what you want her to do and now they all try to keep up with her training.
I know when my brother and mother gets home in the evening, so I might just try with the treats when they come home. (He likes sausages!) If I see him jumping up on other people while I'm there, what should I do? Just physically pull him off? What then? Should he get a short timeout? It seems like he's calm when I hold him to give him a short timeout, but when I release him again, he just runs to the person just to jump up on them again. The only thing I can do is try to keep him off until he's calm, but he's a pretty hyper dog, so there's not much I can do without cooperation from the people involved. Oh, and my father also thinks that he knows friggin human language, so he just yells at him, constantly yelling his name too. It's like he's trying to undo exactly what I'm trying to train him. He won't respond to his name 100% of the time anymore either, since my parents just yell at him. How long will it take to get rid of the jumping completely, when everyone is reinforcing bad behaviour? I'm training him daily to NOT jump.
Do you have any suggestions for a household with three dogs, but you only own one of them? I really want to move out of the house my bf and I share with his parents, but it will be difficult because my dog is a pit/boxer mix and mostly looks pit. She's really sweet, but she still needs to learn some manners when she meets new people and we want to train her to pass the dog good citizen test so we can show that to potential landlords. To that end, I am strongly considering taking her to Petco training classes. I am really worried how the two other dogs who live here's behavior will affect her training though. Especially a lab mix who is her friend and playmate and also doesn't have the best manners. I would really appreciate any insight or advice you could offer.
Also, sorry to respond to a comment you made two months' ago, but this thread is pretty much addressing my problem so I didn't want to post another.
Would they listen to a professional trainer? Maybe you could hire an in-home trainer to work on stopping the jumping behavior. Make sure everyone including your brother is there!
Get together some really good resources – books, videos, internet articles – and show them. If they won't believe you, maybe they'll believe professional behaviorists and trainers who fix these kinds of problems for a living and then write about it.
You may also try altering your approach. A lot of people get weirdly defensive about dogs – don't ask me why. Telling someone how to train their dog is like trying to tell someone how to raise their kid. Except this is your dog, so you should be able to call the shots, right? But perhaps the rest of your family sees the dog as the family dog, despite you being the main caretaker. Whatever the case, getting a better idea of their perspective will help you in this. Then you can figure out how to better address it, whether it be sitting the family down for a serious-business discussion, or turning the whole thing into a game while acting somewhat ignorant (for example, "hey guys, I heard about this thing we should try, idk if it will work, but it could be fun!" and then teach them how to Be A Tree when the dog jumps). If they don't believe that you know what you're talking about, who cares. All that matters is that you get them to do what will work.
If you've ever read Don't Shoot the Dog!, you'll know that training is kind of about manipulation – and remember, when you're training a dog, you're training its people too. 😉
I am having the same trouble with my girlfriend. We have even go to professional trainers and then she does the exact opposite of what they said or she just doesn't do anything.
Find supporting statements in your books regarding these incidents, and then in a calm environment, show them to the person that's doing it. Don't get in an argument, just highlight the section, let them read it, and then let it go. Sounds like they have confrontation issues and you're reinforcing bad behaviour by arguing with them.
Just turn your back on them and deny them attention until they change their behaviour. You should have high-value treats handy to reward them when they do the correct thing, like not encouraging the dog to jump up.
Seriously it sucks. I left home for good over the disputes. Simply put I told everyone to totally ignore him so that I can be there to work on good behaviors (scared/reactive dog) and they should check with me first before interacting with my dog. They don't listen. Someone would come in through the door and the dog would break to check it out and get excited (past training threshold) yet EACH AND EVERY TIME they would stick their hand out, move toward, and make eye contact with this dog- just showing him that things that pop in and excite you, are there to excite you more and reward your excitement. Then when the dog bites them (softly as communication as he does not like pets when he's excited) or jumps up on them, they look at me and ask how to make him stop. which I reply "YOU DID IT, YOU ASKED HIM TO DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE! So don't touch him and he won't over excite and do it".
Everyone touches the dog and gets a reaction and still never learns that THEY caused the reaction.
long story short I left on christmas eve and am never returning home.
Have you thought about printing out your research and leaving it lying about the house? Your sources may get read and give your family some 'ah-ha' moments. I wish you the best of luck with any approach you use!
This is a really great idea, but the problem is that we're a turkish family living in Denmark. My parents don't know english whatsoever lol. I might find som danish articles and put them neatly organized on the table though. Thanks for the advice!
It's so much easier to train dogs than family members, isn't it? The maddening part is that people often listen to strangers more than someone they know. So maybe you can use this. Do you know any other dog trainers, maybe an adult who is outgoing? Get said trainer over to your house on some pretense besides jumping dogs and tell him/her beforehand your problem and how you want the trainer to just set a good example of paws on the ground. A verbal example, like "hi, dog! Oh, you're jumping, so I'm ignoring you! Oh boy paws on the ground, oh what a good dog!" Pet pet pet. In other words, have that person demonstrate what you want your family to do without actually telling your family anything. Maybe you don't need a trainer even. Teach your friends the technique. Your dog will be able to discriminate and will eventually be polite for you and your friends. Then there will be one magic day that your dog will hesitate before jumping on one of your family and you will be there and you will click your dog, then run into the kitchen and give him bacon or salami and then you will be able to train your dog no matter what's going on, because Salami Rules All.
Not really anyone I know, but if after a long time, the problem persists, I might just save some money to hire something like a dog trainer to come to the house and see what the problem is, so that my parents/brother finally realizes what they've been doing. If I were just to train my dog to not jump using click and treat/positive reinforcement methods 5 minutes a day, would it be possible for me to fix the problem eventually, without having to do anything else? I'm honestly willing to give training a shot, since he loves working for treats, and he especially loves just running around and getting treats for not jumping on me when I try to excite him. I use training methods from kikopup's YouTube channel by the way, really good videos!
Re home your family members.
You posted this so long ago that the problem is probably resolved but I thought this was worth saying. In my experience family issues with a dog are less about the dog than they are about past history between family members. You can be trying to fix the dog problem but all the people issues keep getting in the way. My advice is to don't even try explaining the problem to family, you will only upset yourself and put the others on the defensive. Train your dog to do the behaviour you want on cue when you are not in the middle of family. For example, it sounds like you want your dog to sit to be greeted or at the very least to not jump up. So use a cue like 'sit nicely' and then teach your dog to sit every time you say that, even while you are leaning over it and rub it vigorously or patting it a lot. When the dog can hold this with just you around, practice with friends. Don't try it in the family setting until your dog is rock solid. Even after this there might be times when things go all to hell. Make sure you just let it go and try again next time. You getting tense will be loud and clear to the dog and will just confuse things for him/her. Sometimes it's important to throw the rules out the window. My dogs ALWAYS greet people politely, they know good manners, but I have one friend that goes overboard with noise and patting and she likes the dogs to do the same and jump all over her, so I let them. and they know that with this one person they can go crazy. Sorry this was so long and I hope things are improving.