Question by Rick James: My Dog does not seem to like me?
My Girlfriend and I started fostering dogs for our dog shelter. We previously didn’t own a dog. One dog we got never did find a home so we decided to keep it for ourselves as it was slightly older (Calm) and well mannered.

My girlfriend and I seem to have different idea’s when it comes to interacting with a dog. I did a fair bit of research online on how to deal with dogs, from an animal behaviorist point of view. The “Animal Behaviorist” view is basically similar to Caesar Milan’s view (Dog whisperer).

I have tried my best to maintain dominance in the correct way, not treat the dog like a human which is exactly what my girlfriend does. She talks to him, sleeps with him, cuddles him, a lot of the things I read not to do. I honestly believe she actually thinks the dog is fluent in english.

I differ on a lot of things. She will cuddle the dog, while I do enjoy petting the dog, I will only pet the dog If I choose to, not when the dog tries to nudge my hand or demands attention. Another thing is I never let the dog sleep with me. Not because I don’t want to, but because I read (from an animal behaviorist point of view), that dogs in packs will never sleep with the pack leader.

Obviously there is a lot more differences then the few I mentioned, but mentioned them to give you an idea of our two stances on behaving.

Anyways, long story short. I Feel like I do actually have the pack leader role. The dog is much more respectable of me then my girlfriend, listens to me much better, doesn’t demand attention from me and so on. However, the dog follows my girlfriend around like a shadow. The dog seems to prefer her company much more then mine. He will stay near me when she is out of the house, but not quite like the shadow that he is to my girlfriend (Not that I want it to go to that extent). Basically it seems like the dog doesn’t really care for me nearly as much as he does my girlfriend, when everything I’ve read says that Dogs much prefer a pack leader then a weak follower.

I know the ideal situation would be for both of us to be on the same page when it comes to behaving around the dog.. but I’ve tried to get her to try this way and she won’t do it.

In the “Dog Behaviorist” point of view, If my girlfriend and I aren’t behaving exactly the same, shouldn’t the dog just see us as two different members of the pack? My view I guess, is that if my girlfriend will not do what it takes to be the Leader, then at least I will. Yet it does not seem to be doing the relationship between the Dog and I any favors.
Just to clarify. The research that I did was NOT from Caesar Milan. I just noticed how similar some of the idea’s were to the couple times I’ve seen the show. I am not learning from him.

You assume so much by claiming i’m trying to create a servant out of my girlfriend. All this from the statement that she does not agree with me on this one subject.

Please, I am open to feedback about my dog, but do not think for one minute that you could possibly judge my relationship with my girlfriend from the details from this question.

Best answer:

Answer by johndoe
in most cases, if you start training a puppy, then it should grow up the way you want. however, like the adage, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. that dog has been coddled past the point of no return. didn’t you say it was old anyways? just let the dog get as much love and attention it wants before it dies.

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