Dog Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. First time poster, here. :)

I moved in with my dad a few months ago. He has a shih poo (who was my sister's dog), who's about 5-6 years old.

The problem is that my dad treats the dog like his significant other, and expects others to do so.

-the couch is her kitchen table. My dad eats on the couch, and the dog's dish is placed on the couch next to him, because "she has to be at the same level as people", my dad says.

-she's a beggar. After wolfing down her food, she turns to my dad, who caves in about 12 times at every meal, even though he says "no" (not firmly, mind you. It's a very gentle "no"). He says "no", and immediately gives her his food.

-if my dad doesn't give her his food right away, she will climb up on him and try to take food from his hand or plate.

-she's a jumper. I don't like having guests over, because the dog will jump all over their arms, shoulders, and heads as soon as they sit.

-she's yappy. As soon as she senses someone at the door, she starts barking like crazy.

-she terrorizes other dogs. We live in an apartment building, and there are a lot of other dog owners around. If she sees another dog, she goes berserk. Much bigger dogs are scared of her. There have been times when people with their dogs refuse to enter the elevator if my dad's dog is in it, because their dogs are trembling. They just say they'll wait for another elevator.

-if I'm in the car with my dad and the dog, I become the dog's booster seat. She "can't" sit in the back or on the floor. Her favourite spot is actually the car's gears...

I really sort of reached my limit last night when my dad was eating, and the dog started trying to take food from his plate. I saw this, and firmly told the dog "NO". Not loudly, but firmly. My dad immediately puts his arm around the dog, and ploughs into me about "yelling" at her, and that her behaviour is perfectly fine.

I KNOW it isn't my place to discipline the dog because she isn't mine, but the dog clearly thinks that she's the boss of the house, and it's embarrassing. As I said, I don't like having people over because of the dog's behaviour.

I think that we need to reach some sort of a compromise. I'm 25, so I'm less a daughter and more like a roommate. I do my own thing, but I'm considerate and earn my keep. It is his apartment and his dog, but I don't think it's fair that the dog isn't allowed to have any boundaries or rules.

Any advice on how to deal with this? Thanks a million!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,032 Posts
Ok, so overall, I'd say you're SOL, and you're just going to have to ignore the dog as best you can and not interact with it. It's your dad's dog, and unless he's going to train it, or YOU want to spend your time training it (which I'll go into below), nothing is going to change. So, the answer is to ignore the dog and set your boundaries with your dad. You are not the dog's booster seat, and will not interact with the dog. If your dad wants the dog to eat off his plate, fine, but your plate is off-limits, etc.

Ok, training. Positive punishment (i.e. corrections, like scolding the dog) don't work very well. Basically the way corrections work is if you do it three times and the dog is still exhibiting the behavior, you're now nagging the dog, and scolding is pointless (maybe it makes you feel better, but on the dog's side it's really just making the dog scared of you, if anything). If you really want the dog's behavior to change, you need to set up a program and manage the behavior you don't want the dog to do, and reward the behavior you want the dog to do. Considering your dad doesn't sound like he wants anything to change, this doesn't seem like it's going to happen, but I'll post a few things below.

-the couch is her kitchen table. My dad eats on the couch, and the dog's dish is placed on the couch next to him, because "she has to be at the same level as people", my dad says.

-she's a beggar. After wolfing down her food, she turns to my dad, who caves in about 12 times at every meal, even though he says "no" (not firmly, mind you. It's a very gentle "no"). He says "no", and immediately gives her his food.

-if my dad doesn't give her his food right away, she will climb up on him and try to take food from his hand or plate.
If your dad really wants her on the couch, but just wants her not to bother him, something like "leave it" would work well for this. You could work on this on your own separate from dinner time, and then when the dog gets in your dad's food, you can just nicely say "Fluffy, leave it." (or whatever her name is).

If you want to train the dog to lay by your feet while you are eating, you could train that as well, but it sounds like dad has the final say on where she eats and is reinforcing her for getting in his business. TBH, unless he stops reinforcing her for doing that, no training is going to help, and if it's not bothering you, I would just ignore it (who cares if dad wants to share a plate with the dog? Apparently he gets a kick out of it).



-she's a jumper. I don't like having guests over, because the dog will jump all over their arms, shoulders, and heads as soon as they sit.
Keep her on-leash when friends are over, or put her in a back room. Does your dad mind if you handle her while your friends are over? If not, I would work with her when your friends are over since it sounds like dad won't, and train her in your spare time.


-she's yappy. As soon as she senses someone at the door, she starts barking like crazy.
This takes a lot of time and patience to work through. If you aren't going to be there for an extended period of time, I might just ignore it for now. My dog is yappy, and after a year of working on the behavior casually, I'd say she's about 50% improved, but still yappy.



-she terrorizes other dogs. We live in an apartment building, and there are a lot of other dog owners around. If she sees another dog, she goes berserk. Much bigger dogs are scared of her. There have been times when people with their dogs refuse to enter the elevator if my dad's dog is in it, because their dogs are trembling. They just say they'll wait for another elevator.
This is called reactivity and takes a long time to counter condition. Here is our sticky on the subject: http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/reactivity-leash-aggression-barrier-frustration-12538/

-if I'm in the car with my dad and the dog, I become the dog's booster seat. She "can't" sit in the back or on the floor. Her favourite spot is actually the car's gears...
This is probably going to have to be a conversation with dad. Tell him your boundaries (you don't want the dog on your lap), and ask him how you can resolve it. If it means you sit in the back seat, and you'd rather do that than have her on your lap, that might be the solution. Or drive separately from him. ;)

So, basically, is there anything you can do? Sit down with dad and have a conversation. If you really want to change the dog's behavior and YOU are willing to work on it (or you can ask if dad wants to help) ask him if you can start working on training the dog. It really depends how much effort you want to put into someone else's dog, and how much they will let you. If the answer is none or they won't let you, ignore the dog and set your boundaries with dad.

Personally, if it was me since this sounds like a temporary living arrangement, I'd probably just set my boundaries and ignore the dog as best I could.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,638 Posts
Well it does suck and sounds like a nightmare but unless you are paying an agreed-upon rent amount I think you gotta live and let live. If you move out you definitely have every right to ban the dog from your house, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Not much you can do its your Dad's apartment and his dog. If you can't compromise than you either have to live with it or move. If anyone moved into my house it would be my rules with my animals, who are allowed on the couch the chair the bed wherever. They greet everyone at the door then lay down, if you ignore them at the door they will bother you till you say hello. They don't beg and are otherwise well behaved. If that bothered anyone I would say "so long" to them and keep my pets. Sorry but my dogs are my life and they keep me sane. Can't say that for most people. Good luck with your situation. I hope it works out for all of you.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top