Getting the family involved

  • In the past, I've been solely responsible for OB training. The wife and kids do what I say and take control of the dogs as needed but I think there is an easier way. KMODT says that only one person should handle the dog durning training but it seems to me that once you've achieved reliable OB but before you have done the testing he describes, it would be advisable to get the wife and kids to work the dog. After the family has caught up with a specific step, the handler can move on to testing and the next step. Thoughts?

  • I don't like the idea of the entire family working the dog at all. I want my dog to ignore everyone friendly and everyone friendly to ignore my dog.

    I had a female friend trying to coochy coo my dog, I kicked her ass out.

  • Those are two sides of the coin. On one hand I don't think is a good idea to force the dog onto 3 handlers while he is still training. KMODT takes a toll on the dog both physically and mentally so it should be kept as simple as possible.

    On the other hand, close family should be able to interact with the dog and at least be able to give "cease or proceed" commands like the NO or the OK. this could be left for the later stages of the training or if possible for after the training is done.

    If your fear is that the dog won't respond to them or will respond with aggression after you've started protection training, good socialization and hierarchization (those doesn't need real OB) will ensure a good response from the dog. Let the wife and kids play with the pooch when he is not trainning, let them feed the dog, let them spend time with the dog always maintaining the hierarchy.

  • Ahh, ok. That makes sense, Sergio. That's the way we do it now and its always worked out just fine. We usually get the OB down to the point where I'm happy and the dog is reliable. Then my wife and kids jump in to remind the dog that he has to have good leash manners with them too. I just hoped that we could do it all at one time.

    Peter, I agree with you as well but this is family. Not friends. The people I'm referring to, live with me.

  • One handler for the duration of the obedience training program. It's impossible to know when to progress to the next step if handlers are switched. In the best case the work will overlap and take longer. In the worst case one of the handlers will begin the correction phase too early, which is unfair to the dog. Finish the training, then the other people in the family that are expected to handle the dog can make sure he responds to them also. This way they can move straight into the proofing phase.

  • Good advice Dan, it's amazing how well dogs can be trained just by doing some basic steps. It is also too easy to overestimate how trainable they are.

    Dogs do like routines, fairness, clarity and systematic progression.