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Old 12-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Favorite People: Good or Bad?

My husband and I both train Sacha. But I'm the only one that she listens to most of the time (sometimes my husband gets lucky lol), and she's usually at my side 99% of the time.

I've been told I should squash the "favorite person" thing, because it is a sign of possessiveness.

But I thought every dog has it's favorite person?

Is this something I should stop? I think the more my husband trains her, the more she will listen to him, but I'm definitely the "go to" person.

Also, just kind of a fun thought, How DO dogs *dobies in particular* pick their people?
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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She should learn to obey commands reliably given by anyone, regardless of her preferences.

But yes, every dog I have known (not to say that this makes the statement scientifically accurate..) has tended to bond at least a little bit more to one particular person. This doesn't mean they can ignore other people.. it just might be their favourite person to sit with etc..
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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She should learn to obey commands reliably given by anyone, regardless of her preferences.

But yes, every dog I have known (not to say that this makes the statement scientifically accurate..) has tended to bond at least a little bit more to one particular person. This doesn't mean they can ignore other people.. it just might be their favourite person to sit with etc..
She does occasionally listen to him, but primarily me. We're both training her but she seems to more so respond and respect my commands over my husbands, which I found odd, because in my experience females usually attached more to the male owner, but it could've just been coincidence.....
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Elka definitely prefers me. She looks to me first when other people give her commands, or if "strangers" know her name (both are a little funny, but especially the name thing). She will listen to others, and she's behaved if I'm absent, but if I'm there and my fiance, say, says "go to bed" she looks at me first like "Really? Should I go upstairs to bed?" When I say "yes please", she goes.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah she acts that way too... we were in a store and he told her sit like a million times and she looked at me like do I have to? while starting to sit but standing up instead, it took one time of me saying sit and she did. I just don't know if her being closer to me and what not is a possessiveness issue.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just throwing this out there as a possibility, but in my experience dogs are more likely to listen to the person that is clearer in his/her delivery. Maybe your body language is different than his or you've been more consistent with your hand/body movement throughout training. I'd watch him give her a few commands and then you do them as well and compare delivery. Have him try doing it your way and see if he gets more of a response from her. Or she could just prefer you
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just throwing this out there as a possibility, but in my experience dogs are more likely to listen to the person that is clearer in his/her delivery. Maybe your body language is different than his or you've been more consistent with your hand/body movement throughout training. I'd watch him give her a few commands and then you do them as well and compare delivery. Have him try doing it your way and see if he gets more of a response from her. Or she could just prefer you
Yeah, He DOES try to train her the way our husky, Justice, was trained... she doesn't respond to treats the same way. she much more prefers the ohhhh good girl!!! praise rather than treats... he relies more on treat training rather than my method, which primarily is much more consistent, and involves a lot more body language related praise rather than just handing her a treat.... definitely a thought!
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a vast difference between a dog bonding more with one person and a dog being possessive.

If the dog is possessive of a person you need to see a trainer and nip that in the bud asap. If the dog has chosen one person to be their person well, I consider that quite normal.

For example, I have two dogs. My doberman is, without a doubt, my dog. He wants to know where I am at all times, this includes following me around if need be as well as always laying closest to me. He also listens best to me. That being said, he still listens to my boyfriend but the boyfriend needed to put extra training effort in to accomplish that. My other dog, my girl dog, listens to me best (I train, feed, take to cool places, and play with the dogs most) but my boyfriend is definitely her chosen person. They do all of this without being possessive about it.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There's a vast difference between a dog bonding more with one person and a dog being possessive.

If the dog is possessive of a person you need to see a trainer and nip that in the bud asap. If the dog has chosen one person to be their person well, I consider that quite normal.

For example, I have two dogs. My doberman is, without a doubt, my dog. He wants to know where I am at all times, this includes following me around if need be as well as always laying closest to me. He also listens best to me. That being said, he still listens to my boyfriend but the boyfriend needed to put extra training effort in to accomplish that. My other dog, my girl dog, listens to me best (I train, feed, take to cool places, and play with the dogs most) but my boyfriend is definitely her chosen person. They do all of this without being possessive about it.
Thank you! I guess the better question I should've had, is what a are the signs of possessiveness that I should watch out for?

She doesn't growl at other people or anything, she's just strong headed I guess, for lack of a better term, when it comes to him. She sleeps, lays, and sits next to me all the time. I go to shower she sits in the bathroom lol She isn't like that with my husband.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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She does occasionally listen to him, but primarily me. We're both training her but she seems to more so respond and respect my commands over my husbands, which I found odd, because in my experience females usually attached more to the male owner, but it could've just been coincidence.....
^^^^ Just a coincidence IMO.
Dobes look up to and respect the person that consistently makes them listen.
The one who trains them more, not necessarily the one that feeds them the most often.
Afterall, they know someone is going to feed them anywhy and change their water.
The one who plays tug-of-war often, the one who holds a bone or toy, the FUN person that does the doggy games more frequently.
The family member that builds the best bond with their voice, body language and wants their canine expectations to be achieved, in house manners & overall training.

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Yeah, He DOES try to train her the way our husky, Justice, was trained... she doesn't respond to treats the same way. she much more prefers the ohhhh good girl!!! praise rather than treats... he relies more on treat training rather than my method, which primarily is much more consistent, and involves a lot more body language related praise rather than just handing her a treat.... definitely a thought!
^^^^ I think your answer is in this post...two different methods and two clearly different results...for your specific dobe.
I use treats only for potty training, any general commands or formal OB work is strictly happy time praise from me.
Giving a dog a cookie to sit on command may be easier (to start with), but I am left with the thought:
- "did I get the good sit because of the food bait or because it honestly wants to listen to me"
I want the latter, so I don't treat train (much), I don't have to wean the treats off and spend more time proofing commands.
For me, what I get from my dog just seems to work here.

My last dober girl (Amy) was a true daddy's girl and equally loved my wife.
She never took her eys off me or strayed far, and always waited till Dad went to bed before she would go.
Now we have baby Kelly, and she goes to bed when Mom goes, for now...but Mom hold her on her lap before hand.
The dynamics may change, once she is bigger and I start her private OB training...time will tell.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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thank you! I didn't realize they knew that either way someone was going to feed them, I thought that was something they learned over time.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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^^^^ They would know if someone didn't feed them for a day or two or if a dog ran out of water / but since responsible pet owners, don't let their feeding needs go unfulfilled, I think eating at a regular time (like 3 square meals, per day) can be taken for granted, by the dobe rather quickly.
Food is often wolfed down in a few quick minutes (3x/day freq.)...interaction wise, the other 16 hours/day activity (in dogs world), will matter more.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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For Emily, it's just me. But the more I see her interact with my grandkids, it is very interesting to watch. They play "dog show" with her. "this is the stand for exam exercise. Stand your dog and leave when ready." And Em will do this for them all day long. They also practice "find it" with her and althought it's not birch, it's a ball or a toy or whatever. And they all giggle, Em too. She loves playing with them. So I just think it's a matter of working with whomever and how much time is involved. I just love watching.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A dog being possessive will 'guard' that particular person or item. So, you will notice a stiff body, lowered head, shifting eyes, a low growl, curling of the lip, even barking and snapping at anyone going near their possession.

The beginning stages could seem harmless or even funny to some people. The dog may rush to you, get in between you and the other person, or even herd the person away from you.

It just sounds like you give straight forward commands, your body language is easy to read, and your method of training is what the dobe prefers, so naturally, they will gravitate to you.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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A dog being possessive will 'guard' that particular person or item. So, you will notice a stiff body, lowered head, shifting eyes, a low growl, curling of the lip, even barking and snapping at anyone going near their possession.

The beginning stages could seem harmless or even funny to some people. The dog may rush to you, get in between you and the other person, or even herd the person away from you.

It just sounds like you give straight forward commands, your body language is easy to read, and your method of training is what the dobe prefers, so naturally, they will gravitate to you.
Yeah I'm thinking so... Also by the sounds of it, our husky was a little possessive when Sacha first came, Justice was definitely growling/snipping at Sacha when we were loving on her (Justice) but we nipped that real quick...

They go back and forth on toys like that though... I tried giving them each their own and it was like giving two 5 yr olds a toy, of course they want the one the other has regardless of what it is.... >.<

Sacha definitely doesnt growl or bark or anything at anyone, she just is attached to me at the hip. She definitely is (my husband thinks anyways) much more protective of me as well, it seems, more than the rest of the family. She's protective of the family but me especially... Am I explaining that right? lol
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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oh and I tried the treat training at first, but she was looking at me like "yeah whatever theres gotta be more than that for what I did" lol so I tried a few different other methods of praise (sometimes along with the treats sometimes not) when we first had her, and that was the one she responded to almost immediately... So I stuck with it. Still having some trouble focusing to train, but I think that is just her age.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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With my dogs, they listen to me better but to be fair I do more training and have more experience. Flirt loves to cuddle with hubby and he will spend an hour or so at night petting her before bed. Me...not so much 5 minutes and I'm ready to go to bed. So she LOVES when he comes to bed.

When any of them are sick, they come to me though and cuddle.

Can you elaborate on protective of you? If they are 12-15 weeks, I would expect to see little to no protectiveness at all. Others may disagree but if I saw signs of protectiveness, I would be slightly concerned if this is TRUE protectiveness at this age. If it was resource guarding, that's pretty easy to work with but should not be ignored.

I'd also make sure they are ok being independent/alone from people and dogs. I wouldn't keep them together all the time. Not sure what you set up is.

I use treats and toys for training. I clicker train. I find I get quicker results with more eager working dogs myself.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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With my dogs, they listen to me better but to be fair I do more training and have more experience. Flirt loves to cuddle with hubby and he will spend an hour or so at night petting her before bed. Me...not so much 5 minutes and I'm ready to go to bed. So she LOVES when he comes to bed.

When any of them are sick, they come to me though and cuddle.

Can you elaborate on protective of you? If they are 12-15 weeks, I would expect to see little to no protectiveness at all. Others may disagree but if I saw signs of protectiveness, I would be slightly concerned if this is TRUE protectiveness at this age. If it was resource guarding, that's pretty easy to work with but should not be ignored.

I'd also make sure they are ok being independent/alone from people and dogs. I wouldn't keep them together all the time. Not sure what you set up is.

I use treats and toys for training. I clicker train. I find I get quicker results with more eager working dogs myself.
protective like if someone comes into the room at night in the dark and she doesn't see them, she will stand over me and/or my husband and bark until one of us or both of us get up and see who/what the deal is, and she will calm down after and lay back down... it's usually the kids or the cat, but once we pet Sacha and what not, she'll lay back down like nothing ever happened. She doesnt lunge or snarl or anything she barks and (if we're laying down) position herself over us. It might be coincidence but its happened quite a few times, and we began to think it wasnt.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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At this age, I would think it's slightly fear based and somewhat normal but I would be socializing her and getting her out to meet as many people as possible.

I would also set it up at home so the person who comes in has cookies and you have cookies. Get her to figure out there isn't an ax murderer so to speak and it's ok

If you aren't crate training, you might want to think about crate training her also. It's quite useful for travelling, and especially medical emergencies if they have to stay overnight or the day at the vet's office.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The only reason we havent started crate training is because we learned with our first pup that she will mess if it's too early. Justice would mess in it, so we stopped, but we waited about 2-3 weeks and now she does fine. I wasnt sure what it was...

Today, she was on my lap in the car (I always take both pups with me to pick up dad) and a guy (my husband is in the military) walked by in cammies and she growled at them inside the car until they were across the street in the other parking lot. But my husband walked up (in cammes) and her nub was wiggling. This growling happen ed on two different occasions. She would watch them growling a very low kind of serious growl until they were out of eye sight. They came with in like 2 feet of the car, weren't like doing anything, just walking by my car.... any thoughts? Shes not aggressive to people I introduce her to, she goes to the pet stores with us about 3-4 times a week, lots of people pet her and what not and interact with her, no problems there and spends time at the doggie parks around, and friends come over often, no issues. So IDK. She doesn't have any issues with my husband or kids or friends coming near me at all.

Last edited by usmclove; 12-18-2012 at 09:08 PM..
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