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Old 11-24-2015, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Dealing with Mixed Signals

How do I train my dog to listen to other people, even when they are sending her mixed signals? My family refuses to listen to me and properly interact with my pup (ex. they will complain about her jumping when they are holding food and tell her down, but then immediately share half the food with her when they sit down) I know this is very confusing for her, and I was wondering if there is anything I can do with her that would encourage her to behave better around my family, despite them sending her mixed signals. Any suggestions/advice for dealing with stubborn family members would be appreciated! She listens and behaves very well when given straight forward instruction.
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like another case of people being the problem

Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm kind of joking, but mostly not. These types of inconsistent signals can definitely confuse a dog. Try to convince them to see things from the dog's perspective. If someone tells you not to do something, then a few minutes later asks you to do the thing they just told you not to do, wouldn't they be confused as well?

Consistency is KEY in training. The same behavior should result in the same result EVERY TIME. It's not a case of rewarding when it's convenient for him/her. Rules exist for a reason and most dogs thrive on them. If need be, set the rules with your family and enforce them no matter what EVERY TIME. If the humans aren't consistent, how can anyone expect the dogs to be?

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
 

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Being semi-serious... get a rolled up newspaper and consistently whack family members on the head when they don't listen to you about how they interact with your dog.

If it was me, I'd think about training a variation of 'leave it'. I'd have treats my dog REALLY loves, and teach her she gets better food for ignoring food in family members' hands.

Don't know if it would work, but maybe also tell family she's not allowed table food, unless it's put in her food bowl? My dogs are never fed from the table, any scraps are mixed with their next meal in their bowls. If your family ignores that, I'd keep her next to me (either by verbal command or on leash). If the family protests, tell them the dog is easier to train than they are.
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree sounds more like training the humans than your dog. Find a place in every room and when you see them not doing what you have asked them to do with your dog, ask your dog to go to their bed and explain to the person doing it wrong why they are.

My folks come up from Florida to visit me. My dad for some reason thinks I am his baby still and not sure if he thinks he knows more than me or I could not know what I am talking about. It has caused huge tension when he visits. This year I finally got through and he realizes I do know what I am talking about sometimes lol. Don't give up. Try not to get frustrated but take over. If you see someone doing something wrong with your dog correct them until they get it. Don't give up on the humans! lol if they get offended, that's on them. Your dog understanding what is being asked of them is more important than offending someone who refuses to listen.
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