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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In anticipation for getting my new Doberman pup I've been researching all of the training styles, methods, and procedures that I am SUPER EXCITED to do with my little man. I have a nice fenced in yard and a good amount of room indoors which will all be advantageous to home training, and I also plan to do classes weekly. So my dedication to training will not be fading, and it is one main reason I chose a Doberman.

But.... My roommate has a rescued mix breed that he does not train, and hasn't trained (with the exception of some manners and a basic command or two). His dog is an unbelievably sweet dog, works well with others, and minds my roommate, but has some bad habits that I don't want to instill in my Dobe. It is not my place to insist he take training as seriously or invest in his dog like I will with mine. It is also completely unreasonable to ask him to get rid of his dog (just stating this to limit responses of this type).

With this all said, I guess my question is... Just how much will this affect my little guy and our training? Is it going to be manageable with the extra effort i'm willing to put in... or will he see Carlton (roommates dog) and just disregard my training. Any advice, tips, comfort, or experience you could provide would be greatly Appreciated!

Dylan
 

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While puppies who live with trained, well mannered adult dogs learn behaviors (both good and bad) from them, nevertheless it's entirely possible to train a puppy who lives with a basically untrained do without having it affect your puppy.

My suggestion would be when you are training your puppy that you do so with the other dog out of sight (which for puppies tends to mean out of mind.)

Dogs really don't think the way humans do (particularly kids--"Well, he doesn't have to do that so I won't do it either...".) By doing the training with your dog away from the other dog you should be able to have the kind of training instilled that you want.

Who knows--the other dog may learn something from your puppy. In the meantime he'll probably be a good doggy type playmate for your boy.
 

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What habits specifically are you worried about?
 

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The only real problems I see would be differences between your roommate and you when it comes to handling YOUR dog.

I'm not sure I can give you any examples because it is just a feeling of mine that there could be some trouble there---

In my case, I have worked hard with my dogs so that they do not automatically try to jump out of the car when a door is opened, but instead sit and wait until they are released. Even if we are out in the wilderness on an untraveled four-wheel-drive road, I insist that they wait.

DH, on the other hand, while reasonable about commands like this in the city and suburbs, will just open the door and let them go at empty trailheads and the like--he shrugs at me and says things like, "they're SO excited!" as if that excuses everything.

FUME.......

If dogs are expected to behave a certain way EVERY time they are in a particular situation, it is so much easier--both for you AND for them, I am convinced. Inconsistency means they are always pushing the limits.

You may have to work extra hard to counteract an inconsistent roommate, but I think it can be done. You may not want him to even try to work with your dog if he isn't going to use your methods. I would pick just a few absolutely non-negotiable behaviors which must be stopped--maybe rushing at the door, or jumping up--things which are really important safety issues--and try extra hard to get the roomie to stick with your ideas consistently. With bribes, if necessary!
 

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I have both good and bad experience with this situation. My roommate's gf who has a little pit rescue pup comes over and is around Zeus a lot... When he was around 3-6 months old, they lived together, but because they are both males, he no longer lives with us, only visits. During the time, the dog had very little training (other than from me), and was typical puppy stage with chewing, biting, jumping, etc. However, when the owner was away, and it was just me, Zeus, and the puppy, he really really calmed down. Zeus in a sense had a positive effect on him, and practically made his behavior perfect. (Of course now that they don't live together, he is still as crazy as can be).

I also housesat/petsat for a rott/GSD mix. He was as sweet as could be but had bad habits about taking food off the counter, eating everything, breaking dishes, etc. After a week of living together, I took Zeus home, and the first time I left the house for an hour, he ate 8 boxes full of fiber one bars, protein bars, fiber plus bars, nutria-grain, etc. He also grabbed his bag of treats off the counter and tore that up as well. When I got him, there was a puddle of diarrhea all over the kitchen, oven, counter (yes it got on the counter), fridge, and all over the wood trim. Took over 2 hours to fully clean. Thankfully he was ok, and the vet attributes it to his size. For 4 years, Zeus has never eaten anything that was not handed to him or put in his bowl. He wasn't a chewer, didn't like toys much etc. But that dog he lived with for a week basically told him 'its ok to grab food off the counter, eat $40 worth of dog food and your human's sandwich!' :D

Anyways, this is my experience with 'untrained' dogs and their effects on Zeus. Good luck! I honestly would use the opportunity to instill some basic obedience in the new dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all of the replies. I guess I'm just worried about what Asmit and Dobebug hinted towards, that his dog will sorta tell my new pup that he can do what he pleases. I don't know why I didn't think about using his dog Carlton to practice my training, it should be fun and beneficial to everyone. I'm also hoping that once I get going, it'll kind of spark my roommates interest and he'll start to participate (which I imagine he will).

As for specific bad habits, Jumping on people, running off freely, barking, occasional chewing, and being pretty independent. However, I can see myself getting all of these under control with only a few commands and prevention methods. Thanks for the tips!
 
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