Originally Posted by elizawill
when i got my dog, i trained her without ever needing to spank her. she is 6 years old now and wonderfully behaved. she always has responded to the tone of my voice when i give a command, and i trained her with lots of praise. before i became a SAHM i was a social worker and i worked with the alzheimer's population. my dog's job where i worked was to serve as pet therapy. she roamed freely visiting residents, and never misbehaved while unsupervised. obviously all breeds are very different, so perhaps my dog's behavior has more to do with demeanor than training. i dunno. but i do know she is part of my family, and although she is not equal to my kids....i do go out of my way to treat her with love, respect, and kindness. and i don't think that's weird at all.
Some dogs are just lovely dogs, especially with the right owner.
We have two dogs who are like night and day. Both are labs. One very intelligent one, smart enough to try and manipulate us. Her, we can use pretty much only voice commands. Initially we only wanted to use positive reinforcement in training her, but she hated the gentle leader and would rip it off. And we weren't allowed to take the happy happy obedience classes without it, so we went a more traditional route that balance both negative and positive feedback.
Then we have a big lug without an original thought in his head. We spent seven months trying to teach him down. Seven
months. We even made him bacon as a reward! Our other dog took an hour to learn the basics.
I think he was a year before he understood the phrase 'let's go outside' and it was two years before he realized he could nudge a door open (and this was with us actively coaching him). We spent this past summer teaching him to swim. Yes, we had to teach a lab
how to swim.
He is just s-l-o-w, sort of like a blunt object but with fur. Sometimes he needs physical cues because he is just so
not getting it. We are not being abusive or disrespectful, nor are we actually seeking to cause pain, we are trying to communicate with him and he needs this kind of input from us in order to understand what we expect. Plus, he is 100lbs of exuberance with no restraint behind it and I am 8 months pregnant. Sometimes he is a danger to me--in fact he's going to the vet tomorrow and I don't dare go by myself.
Anyway, I could go on, but the point is every dog is different.
Oh and once the baby comes, our big lug is going to be in his den unless there are two adults present to manage him. He's not malicious, he's very sweet, but dangerously so. Based on how long his learning curve has been in the past, we figure we'll take it slow on the baby rules.