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Men with dogs vs. Women with dogs: A dilemma

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  • Men with dogs vs. Women with dogs: A dilemma

    I have a 10-month old rather large mixed-breed puppy-going-on-dog. He's a great farm dog: doesn't stray off the property, respectful of the horses, very sweet. EXCEPT...My SO is teaching him very bad habits. He enjoys "boxing" with the dog, encouraging him to jump up on him, playing rough, you get the idea. The dog, of course, just eats it up, and can't understand why he's not allowed to "play" like this with my clients at the barn He never jumps on me, because I've reprimanded him and quickly nipped it in the bud months ago before he got big. But apparently everyone else is fair game.

    I don't want a dog that's locked up all the time when people are around...Any advice on how to get SO to understand? I've explained to him what I stated above, and he just doesn't get it. His take is I'm spoiling his fun as well as the dog's and says he'll naturally mellow out when he's older. This dog is already about 75 lbs and, IMO, way too big to be jumping on anyone, let alone clients. Funny thing is, my ex did the same thing with our previous dog, and he wasn't a barn dog, in part because of this behavior. Is this just a guy thing that they'll never understand (hence the title of this thread)? Both men are otherwise quite rational people.

    Help?!
    Please don't sabotash my conchess.

  • #2
    Men!

    My DH played with our cats this way. Even after getting bitten a couple of times. The best was when he was on a business call and thought it would be funny to grab the new, nervous cat by the tail. The cat sank his teeth right through his hand, but he had to pretend nothing had happened because he was on the phone. I was ROFL.

    He plays this way with "his" horse, too: he puts his hands by his head to make ears, and waves his head around and rolls his eyes and "pins" his ears while she does the same in return. It's hilarious. Drives me nuts, but hilarious.

    It's the testosterone. They really can't help themselves!

    And I find most animals/pets learn quickly to distinguish what's allowed with which people. Usually. (ETA: as you said - dog doesn't do it with you. You can discipline dog around other people until it gets the hang of the rules, maybe?)

    Sorry, no cure has ever been found in my neck of the woods.

    Comment


    • #3
      My dad does the SAME thing....drives my mother NUTS! We have an 11 month old puppy and it's teaching her bad habits for a otherwise sweet mellow dog. But he did do it with our last 2 dogs and they turned out fine once they got the idea that they could only play rough with daddy.

      Good luck. I really don't have any advise other than I understand what you're going through.
      Kristen

      Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
      http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Oh, THANK YOU for the supportive posts so far. I half expected posts to say my SO was being an idiot, but I am pretty certain he's just being a normal guy. Now I actually feel a little guilty for yelling at him before posting here...He's wonderful, really, except this one little thing...And now he's outside sulking while dog has a time out. Perhaps I should go out there and make up with him
        Please don't sabotash my conchess.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't count on it mellowing out completely. That's one of those habits that, once learned, can be quite difficult to undo. My big Rott/Mali was a jumper of the worst sort. I believe this is among the reasons she ended up at the SPCA. (The other being she's hyper as all get out, hence the nickname "turbo" mutt.)

          I don't know what to tell you about your SO. My brother and grandfather were the worst about trying to play-box with Harley. My brother figured it out without much external input that roughing her up was a bad, baaaaaaaad idea. His friend's Dobie had a paw in that lesson though... nipped him in the face during "fun" time. My grandfather just had to be watched if he was over because old and feeble as he was, he'd hold onto his walker with one hand and still try to slap her around the jaws with the other. I took to scolding her, and she learned to avoid him.

          So... getting back to the dog. You can attempt to teach the dog to avoid your SO at all costs. Or, what I have to do with Harley since - like your dog - she believes everyone else is fair game, mega distractions with +R. She used to literally launch her 98lb self through the air to get at people, and if she couldn't get to them, she'd whine and cry with frustration and desperation to get to them. BUT... she cares a wee bit more about food than people. If I have any form of jerky in my hand, she'll fixate completely on me and couldn't care less about other people. If I keep up for 10-15 minutes rewarding her for simple tasks like heeling or lying down quietly, by the time the jerky is gone, she's no longer interested in the people because the newness has worn off. Thanks to jerky, she's still an overly enthusiastic PITA about meeting guests on her turf, but it's more of a wiggly, body-blocking, stepping-on-toes, wanting-to-climb-them type problem than an all out dog launching.
          "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

          Comment


          • #6
            This might be way off, but is it possible to have a dog recognize a fun wrestling time command? Something the tells the dog that now is an appropriate time for such antics?

            My dog is not at all prone to jump on strangers, but she has a command to jump up and give me a dog-hug because I like getting one every once in a while. She never does it unless I ask her to. And she likes to play tug of war, but recognises "pull" means we're playing, and "drop" means I want her to give me whatever she's carrying.

            Not sure if that sort of thing would work in your situation, though.
            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
            -Edward Hoagland

            Comment


            • #7
              Shock collars, for both.

              I know it's in male nature to play with dogs like that BUT it's still a sign of disrespect to you, for not listening to your wishes on a valid point.

              That said if he has the overwhelming need to play with the dog like that then insist he use a command for it. Teach her that its only ok when the command is given.

              And use a shock collar for when she jumps on others. However make sure you use it correctly as a training aid and not a cure all.

              Jumping, rude dogs are my biggest pet peeve and my second is the people who get jumped on and says "oh its ok". If my dog jumps she instantly gets reprimanded and I expect others to get their hands off of her so that she is not encouraged to continue. Thats the hardest part of teaching them to not jump, the other people.
              Proud Mama of a BOY rider

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              • #8
                Dogs can be taught jumping is not OK...except with their special people.

                My Boxer was amazingly trained...she knew not to eve use her teeth when playing and wouldn't jump/wrestle with anyone but me and a neighbor...we'd wrestle and roughhouse with her. We we "legal"...nobody else was ever jumped on...licked, yes...jumped on, never.

                It's training. Perhaps he can train the dog to only play rough when he's been given permission. Worked for mine.

                I also rough house with my Siamese cat...she loves "the rough stuff" and is very sweet.
                "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                  My DH played with our cats this way. Even after getting bitten a couple of times. The best was when he was on a business call and thought it would be funny to grab the new, nervous cat by the tail. The cat sank his teeth right through his hand, but he had to pretend nothing had happened because he was on the phone. I was ROFL.
                  I think I would have peed myself!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eventchic33 View Post
                    Jumping, rude dogs are my biggest pet peeve and my second is the people who get jumped on and says "oh its ok". If my dog jumps she instantly gets reprimanded and I expect others to get their hands off of her so that she is not encouraged to continue. Thats the hardest part of teaching them to not jump, the other people.
                    Bingo!

                    This is why the habit is best not learned to begin with. Once they've learned that jumping is a productive way of receiving attention, they're not inclined to stop. I've had other dog people get just as excited as Turbomutt when she's jumping because, 'Oh, she's just happy! And we don't mind!" Others I think are just too polite or embarrassed to complain and/or they don't want to see the dog reprimanded, so they argue, "It's okay." You cannot make someone else ignore your dog or enforce your rules. And once the dog had another successful jump, you're back to the drawing board.

                    This is why I've never been able to completely eliminate the problem from Turbomutt. If I can get outside first, the problem doesn't occur. But people are some of the dumbest and most stubborn creatures on the planet, so even if you're telling someone, "Don't go outside yet! I need to get the dog first," they think they can handle it, ignore your request, and waltz out the door anyway. There is no method of correction that can produce success and kill the habit unless it's consistent, and consistency is often made impossible by other people. My own husband, as much as he hates jumpers and therefore passionately despises Turbomutt, is the worst offender when it comes to foiling my efforts to train it out of her. As easy as it is to grab a treat and distract her, I'm convinced he does it on purpose. And it's very FRUSTRATING!
                    Last edited by Aggie4Bar; Jul. 21, 2009, 10:51 AM.
                    "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Do you have a hardwood floor that your DH loves? I only say that because my parents got a dog about 2 years ago and they just moved to a new house that's got very nice hardwood floor...needless to say, the dogs nails digging into the floor when they were "playing" has made this behaviour stop in fear of ruining the floor! haha!

                      Now, have you tried the approach of saying something like, "how are you going to feel when the dog 'plays' with a child or client and they get hurt? someone could be scarred or they could put the dog down if someone is bitten and files a complaint. It could ruin our business and leave someone with a fear of dogs if not worse and our dog could be put down for just 'playing' as you call it!"

                      has the dog ever bitten HIM? Even just as an accident?

                      I hope it doesn't ever get to the point where it takes an accident to get it through to him...
                      BeesKnees
                      Hunters should be galloping - George Morris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My 80 lb dog does the same thing with the boys in my family, and it makes my mom so angry! I think it really is an [EGO] guy thing, because whenever my brother's friends come over they feed it too. I'll admit, I love to play with my dog, but when I say "SIT" he better do it or else he'll be tackled and forced to lay helplessly belly up until he calms down. The same goes for when he starts hopping around someone entering my yard, except I say "LEAVE IT" and he usually cowers away from said guest. I don't think that my dog respects men as much because of the way that my brother and father play with him. They're clueless about the type of body language and tones that are required to be respected by dogs. Like, no half *ssed commands, no bending over the dog when speaking to him, etc. Dogs are pack animals, and while they'll test who's the real boss, they'd rather be led than be the leader for the most part. It doesn't matter how many times you explain this to people, they either get this or they don't.

                        I would practice controling your dog while he's playing, and hopefully that will carry into his everyday routine. It's okay to have a little fun, but teaching your dog to have an off and on switch is really helpful! The second the dog becomes too rough or too hyper, it's over.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wayside View Post
                          This might be way off, but is it possible to have a dog recognize a fun wrestling time command? Something the tells the dog that now is an appropriate time for such antics?

                          My dog is not at all prone to jump on strangers, but she has a command to jump up and give me a dog-hug because I like getting one every once in a while. She never does it unless I ask her to. And she likes to play tug of war, but recognises "pull" means we're playing, and "drop" means I want her to give me whatever she's carrying.

                          Not sure if that sort of thing would work in your situation, though.
                          I was going to suggest the same thing. A cue your SO can use to mean "alright, play time!" and "okay, that's enough, playtime's over". And you can apply the cue around strangers when necessary until the dog is older and understands.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Haalter View Post
                            Oh, THANK YOU for the supportive posts so far. I half expected posts to say my SO was being an idiot, but I am pretty certain he's just being a normal guy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know you were talking about the dog, but this really made me laugh.

                              Originally posted by Aggie4Bar View Post
                              Don't count on it mellowing out completely. That's one of those habits that, once learned, can be quite difficult to undo...

                              My grandfather just had to be watched if he was over because old and feeble as he was, he'd hold onto his walker with one hand and still try to slap her around the jaws with the other.
                              Love it. Oh, lordy, just gotta love men!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My husband began to get a clue when he saw my barn owner's dog pack bowl over one of the elderly clients. They didn't do it maliciously; they were just happy to see her and showed it by flattening her. Hubby is very protective towards the elderly, so he was appalled. At that point he understood why the barn owner was always so ticked when people would let the dogs jump up on them. He continues to play fetch and tug of war with the barn dogs, but he's much better about disciplinining them when the jump up. Of course, it doesn't hurt that one of the puppies nailed him in the crotch a few times either!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Shock collars, for both.
                                  ROFLMAO!

                                  Hubby did the same thing when our pups were about the same weight. He cracked a rib doing something else, the dogs got to 100 lbs and the "problem" cured itself: No-ONe wants 2 100 lb boxer/rottweiller crosses jumping up on them with a cracked rib. And now they don't.
                                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I feel your pain.

                                    I have a 90lb lab.

                                    From the time he was about 6 mos to 1 1/2, he lived with my then fiance and 4 other guys while I was working overseas. When I got him back, he was so amped up and wanted to rough house that I couldn't even spank him as a punishment because he thought that was a cue to play HARDER!

                                    It took me quite awhile to get him to stop that behavior. Even still, he loves men and if they give him ANY indication that they want to play rough, he's game.


                                    One of the HARDEST things for me to break was that upraised arms meant to jump up with paws on the person's chest. That is the normal FEAR response of many people. Not good.

                                    I think you have to do a couple of things if hubby is going to continue:

                                    1) teach a "settle down/game over" cue.
                                    2) teach everyone else to put up a knee if the dog even thinks about jumping.
                                    3) work on a "leave it" cue.
                                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Can the SO be encouraged to find different games to play with the dog? How bout a good, rousing game of tug? My brother has a lovely young, female staffordshire terrier who can be a handful (not encouraged, just her persona...or would that be "dogsona?"). She's playful, gleeful, and will "love you to death" in a heartbeat. However, if you can get her involved in a good game of tug, either with a human or another dog, she often gets the plays out of her syste and is ready to be cheerful, bright, and happy but without all the wild and wooliness.

                                      Yes. Guys are different with the dogs. My boss has encouraged my very good dog to jump on him since day one. Along the way I've been able to teach her that jumping up is only appropriate on "her" people...the boss, me, my brother (who she adores!). For the most part, she rarely jumps up, and even rarer still, jumps up on anyone she doesn't consider one of her people (like our clients who always make a fuss over her. She has clients she likes and that like her, but don't make a big stink over her like some of the others do. The ones that adore her, she too adores ), and I don't think she has, in a very long time, jumped on anyone she just met. Could also be, though, that she is a rather aloof dog anyway...why would she lower herself to the likes of a common human??
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                                        I was going to suggest the same thing. A cue your SO can use to mean "alright, play time!" and "okay, that's enough, playtime's over". And you can apply the cue around strangers when necessary until the dog is older and understands.
                                        I third this suggestion. My rescue had a habit of jumping up when he arrived - I don't actually mind it as it can be handy for me when my back is bad and it lets me pet him without bending over, but obviously I only want him to do it when I'm ready for it, on request.

                                        So I taught him 'up' means 'you can jump up on me now' and for the most part he's stopped jumping without invitation. (He occasionally gets so wound up meeting new people that he forgets, but we're working on that.)

                                        If he just starts saying the specific cue before initiating play, and then the 'end' cue when finishing it, the dog should start making associations pretty quickly so long as your SO is consistent about ALWAYS giving the cues.

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