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Hello all, I am looking for some help. My wife and I have 2 labs and a chihuaha. The oldest lab is a 2 year old female named Harley and she has been with me since she was a pup and listens to me very well, actually all the dogs listen to me very well. If Harley could speak she would say that she is second in the dominance chain of command which is a HUGE problem. When I am around all is well, as soon as I leave the room Harley really acts up and will not listen to my wife and I need some advice or tricks or anything on how to stop this so if anyone out there has run into this type of issue before please let me know how to correct it.
 

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Way back in October when I started training my group we hit that wall. It got to the point where they would leave the room to go look for me when she gave them a command. This will sound weird and feel even worse, but it works wonders for the pack understanding without spending time with each dog/wife combination. Basically, you act the part of lead dog, and she gives you commands that you immediately obey. The entire group needs to be nearby to witness this change in command order. So a bit of excited, up beat conversation between you and the wife should get them curious to come and see. Don't call them over, they need to bring themselves to this crazy scenario. Also, don't let them engage. Their task is to just watch this go down. Keep them about 3-10 feet away but watching. No need to spend tons of time on repetition and specifics, just sit like a dog (on the floor) when she tells you sit and so on. Have her point to a spot a few feet away and go there and sit. Stuff like that for maybe five to ten minutes once or twice a day. Then everyone goes their own way. My five picked this up almost instantly the first day. Now they listen to her without my presense. Other little things around the house help solidify her placement as well. Having her make them sit before entry/exit, food, affection from humans...
 

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Oh boy, now I can only imagine what commands my wife would give me haha. We will give it a shot and see how it goes, thank you so much
 

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I would have said let your wife give all the commands from now on, also when you are present. This untill they follow her as well when you are not present. Let her feed the dogs for this time and so forth. But harrises sugestion sounds very interesting to say the least. I'd go for that to see what happens!
 

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I'd actually recommend that your wife and Harley attend an obedience class or two together- or, if you think that'd be boring, possibly a beginner agility class (that won't work unless Harley will pay attention to your wife at lesat to some extent). In addition, you might want to think about putting her on NILIF (there's a sticky at the top of this board) and having your wife be the Giver Of All Good Stuff for a month or two.
 

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No need to spend tons of time on repetition and specifics, just sit like a dog (on the floor) when she tells you sit and so on. Have her point to a spot a few feet away and go there and sit.
LOL! I just had a visual of me telling my husband..."Sit! Staayyyy! DO DISHES!!"

Hmmmm... maybe it's worth a try!!! :rolleyes:
 

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Harisse's method is one I've never heard or thought of, but I'm definitely interested in it!!

We had that issue a bit at our home and our solution was just to have my wife spend more time training/walking Toby. Instead of having me do everything for him (walk, feed, train, etc.) we had my wife begin to help and Toby really responded well. In fact, we even had my 2 year old son begin feeding and walking him (with some help of course) and I think Toby has settled nicely into fourth on the food chain in our home.
 

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It's based on about 800 pages I've read so far on social learning and model/rival theory (still a coulpe thousand to go). Back when I was having trouble with the dogs reverting back to leash reactiveness, I got duly frustrated with not finding any help for my whole pack as one. I decided that there has to be a way to train them all at once with similar results to operant and classical conditioning one dog at a time. It doesn't replace those tactics, it's built upon them. The research has not been complete due to the similar results compared with OC. So there is a lack of interest in going any further. (Hey, it's not drastically different, why bother?) Most of the research in this learning type has been done with highly social animals (primates, birds, dolphins, toddlers, yet very little with dogs). However in Australia, New Zealand, and many universities in Europe there have been more varied studies involving dogs. One major complication the scientists are having is that dogs seem to only respond with reliability when the owner or other household dogs are present and involved in the experiment. Which in my mind makes this something that NEEDS to be explored for the benefit of multi-dog houses if nothing else.

This thread popped up just as I'm starting to be able to put this stuff into words. I used the exact same thing to teach them a group "down" from the wife. Mainly for kitchen comfort reasons. I have effectively lowered myself to number one dog for the training with the wife. The structure of the pack is maintained so I still have authority, yet to them the wife is now pushing me around. I get rewarded, corrected and proofed all at once in front of them before trying it on any member of the group.

So far I have only taught three things in this manner to my group: auto-sit for poop pickup, group down for the wife, and a go upstairs command to clear the doorway. I assure you all as I get more time under my belt, I will arrange all of my notes and experiments that I've done myself. I'm not going to wait around for someone else to finally decide when some school is going to get the grant money for this kind of research, and I hate the complexity of keeping notes on one dog at a time for each step during training. As it stands, researchers can't find large enough numbers of multi-dog participants to get accurate data for the "show me credentials" types.
 

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harrise
I'm sorry as an Neanderthal type male. There will be no commands tossed at me. Squaw women obey.:D

My woman will have to fend for herself with my beast.
 
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