Training and Obedience > Who should train? My husband or myself? (9 replies)
Who should train? My husband or myself?
by LucyCandA on 04 July 2012 - 12:46
|We are getting a 2 1/2 yr old malinois for our family due to the fact that my husband is military and will go on several deployments for the military leaving me and our little one at home for the duration. The girl we are getting is very happy and social. She was raised with children and seems to be a great fit for us. We ran into a woman who raises the breed and she highly suggested I train the dog because she will listen to me better, being that I will be with her most when my husband leaves, while he is at work during the day, etc. My husband plans to be the primary trainer. I feel comfortable training the dog and following his lead but I am wondering if there is any truth to what the lady said. What has been your experience with this? We really need the dog to listen to both of us. Will she be more likely to listen to my husband being that he is the alpha male or to me because she is home with me and therefore more attached to me? Or does it even matter?|
by Vixen on 04 July 2012 - 13:50
|Hi Lucy, Good that you are thinking about the whole aspect of interaction and relationships within your family, which obviously will include your dog. It is however, not as simple as perhaps the idea of wearing a 'badge' that explains to the dog who you are. LOL. |
There are two sides to this - Firstly, the Formal Training, working closely with the dog builds understanding, skills, and recognition of the working relationship - (similar to having a regular dancing partner). Secondly, general good manners and expectations that are required of your dog, in her everyday living together within her family unit.
You said your husband wishes to be the Formal working Trainer, which is fine, giving time, commitment and consistent attention to the various aspects required.
Secondly, is the Informal side, respect, manners, and appropriate attention to the entire family. So for instance, if you tell her to lay down in a certain area, while you are doing something indoors, then that is what she is expected to do, and for the period of time that you require! You must be confident and decisive in your relationship with her. It would not be good if you weakly called to your husband to ensure she responds appropriately, because she is ignoring you. You will be allowing yourself to be weak in her eyes, and giving her the opportunity to play one against the other!
Dogs KNOW, and cannot be fooled. So a 'badge' is never required, they can sense leadership qualities, and whether they can fool or manipulate you. You are not in the family purely to make up the numbers LOL - you have seniority too!
The fact that you have asked this question, and expressed willingness to do what is needed, shows you are already using the 'Officer's Mess'!! LOL.
by Sheesh on 04 July 2012 - 15:19
|I tend to agree with the breeder who told you that you should do the formal training. It is of course possible for your husband to be the primary trainer, given he has the time. It sounds like he has the desire. IMO though, if he will be deployed the vast majority of the time, and the primary purpose for getting the dog is because of this, then it makes sense that you would be the primary trainer and handler. Do you WANT to train the dog yourself?|
by Sunsilver on 04 July 2012 - 19:48
|Train yourself. Husbands are impossible to train!|
by LucyCandA on 05 July 2012 - 12:18
|Thanks for the info! To answer the other poster, I am absolutely willing to be her trainer. :) I stay home with the baby so I probably can dedicate more time to it. We're excited! We go to pick her up in a few hours!|
by Peter Cho on 05 July 2012 - 17:22
|Dog responds to whoever is more consistent and respects more, not how much time u spend with it. My dogs spend more time with my wife. And "listen" half a$$ at best. They love her, trust me. When I say a command, it is not negotiable. And I only command things he absolutely knows. He also knows a reward is coming.....intermittently ...... Honestly, you are getting a mal. It's like a human. You don't need to be a trainer. It will try to out think you. Just be consistent. Now, competition or protection work, that is another issue.....|
by magdalenasins on 06 July 2012 - 21:47
|Consistent training is important. If he trains better with more experience he should do it and you should back him up, if you want to learn you should do it and he should help and correct you.|
by alboe2009 on 08 July 2012 - 02:11
|Everyone in my eyes in dead on......But for you and I could have misinterpreted; Husband is not Alpha Male just solely because he is the male. Consistency, bonding, understanding; both by human and by K9 will determine who he/she will listen to. Good luck|
by Prager on 10 July 2012 - 14:01
|It seems that this dog is not for sport but for family protection. Thus if you are or actually will be the handler you should train the dog. That is no brainer,...that is if you know what you are doing. However there is no reason why the dog should not be worked by your husband too. You should use similar or same methods but dogs are not stupid and will adjust to different methods. No reason to get into fight over that with your spouse.|
Think of the alternative.
Training is not only for the dog, but for the handler and for the team of the dog - handler. Thus there are 3 trainings going on.
Big part of the training is establishing of the leadership position over the dog. You can have a superbly trained dog, but if he does not respect you as a leader and if you are not team, then you will have a major headache .
Thus if the husband would be the only one who will train the dog then you will not be establishing leadership position over the dog.
Training can be teaching new stuff or it could be just learning to handle already trained dog. If your husband is excellent trainer and you are not then let your husband train the dog but in any case you must train to become proficient handler.
by Ramage on 10 July 2012 - 20:11
|Speaking as a wife who's husband leaves on deployment half the time ... train the dog yourself or do a 50/50 share on training. Do not allow your husband to be the sole trainer or you will have problems. JMHO|