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So I had to move and was unable to take my 2+ year old female rott with me. My aunt had wanted her for a long time so it was basically a no brainer...family member and my furbaby that I would still be able to see...all would be well so I thought..... I have had to go to my aunts a few times over the past 2 weeks...every time I see my dog she is crying for me to take her...now here is my question...I really do not know the correct way to handle this situation..When I try to pet her or comfort her my aunt starts yelling at her to get back into her crate and doesn't want me to offer any type of comfort to her. I was trying to explain to her that I think she will always think I belong to her and will always want me to take her. How do I correctly handle this or better yet how to handle my aunt and what she should or should not do.
 

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The problem definitely is with your aunt's treatment of the dog - not your dog. Yes, your dog is always going to want to be with you! However, your aunt's reaction is completely out of line.

If you're able to, I'd show her some Youtube videos on the benefits of positive reinforcement dog training, have her watch some of the Dog Whisperer, and speak with a local dog obedience trainer.

It's going to be tough. She's probably set in her ways since positive reinforcement dog training is relatively new. Train her to be patient with the dog. Show her the results that are achievable.
 

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The problem definitely is with your aunt's
If you're able to, I'd show her some Youtube videos on the benefits of positive reinforcement dog training, have her watch some of the Dog Whisperer, and speak with a local dog obedience trainer.
Positive reinforcement training and Ceasar Milan's techniques are completely at odds with each other. He suggests using fairly extreme physical corrections for every small mistake on the dog's part and constantly sets dogs up to fail because his methodology relies on

DO NOT implement or suggest she implement the techniques shown on 'Dog Whisperer'. They do not work and the theory that they are based in has been disproved, but more than that they can be dangerous. They may result in re-directed aggression, and they may give a relatively normal dog more problems by amplifying anxiety or aggression (there was one Alaskan Malamute named 'Shadow' he showed on his show and I remember finding a discussion online from the people who had been involved in placing shadow in that home- he had minimal issues until his new owner started using force-based methods, which he reacted very poorly too, and once he was eventually deemed too dangerous by the owners he was returned to the shelter and rehabbed using positive reinforcement/counter conditioning). I too once loved the show and raised one of my dogs using it principles as well as trainer her using it- I would love to have a discussion about it over PM if you'd like as to how dominance actually works in dogs, the basis of the theory he believes, and why and how it has been disproven, though this thread is probably not the place.

TO THE OP: It sounds like maybe your aunt is a little self-conscious of the fact that what is essentially "her" dog is still so heavily bonded to you. My suggestion is also to try to get her involved in training her- it will be the best way for your aunt to bond with this new dog, especially if you did a lot of training for fun with her.

This is a long-term rehoming situation, correct? She is now effectively your aunt's dog? If so, I think it is important to start trying to transfer to bond to you aunt, even if it kind of sucks for you. Neither the dog or your aunt are going to be happy if the dog still thinks of you as its person/owner/handler and is still primarily bonded with you.

I would sit down with your aunt and be forthcoming about it. Phrase it a little bit as your own issues vs her doing something wrong if you can or feel comfortable with it. Like you are having trouble adjusting or whatever.

Explain to your aunt why the dog is so bonded to you- Rotties being dogs that are meant to bond very closely to owners/handlers, you worked for many years on this bond, they're very smart dogs that thrive on adequate mental stimulation, etc. Explain that it is going to take time for this dog to fully bond with her, especially if she sees you often.

Explain that her yelling, banishing to a crate, etc don't teach the dog anything that may do more harm than good. Maybe suggest she enroll in a fun training class, like agility, or raly obedience beginner, or something. Anything that the dog will start associated her with so that she becomes just as fun and exciting as you. I really do think that in this case, your aunt engaging in training is going to solidify a bond and help both her and the dog.

If you aunt either exercises a lot or perhaps wishes she exercised more, maybe she could look into canicross running (IME much easier to start running after not running for a long time when a dog is pulling you vs when you're running on your own or with a dog next to you, I just started doing it with my Boston and a Rottie would be great at it), or bike or scooter jorring with the dog.

Maybe say that if she does these things, you will be willing to keep your distance for a little while from the dog while they bond? Alternatively, you can try continuing to go over there and ignoring her Yes it will suck to not see/interacts with the dog you had all those years, but I think it is important in situations like this for the owner to do everything they can to keep their distance while the dog bonds with their new owners and the new owner becomes comfortable with the dog. There's nothing worse than having a dog and taking care of it all day and feeling like after all that there's someone that the dog would rather be with over you.
 

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DO NOT implement or suggest she implement the techniques shown on 'Dog Whisperer'. They do not work and the theory that they are based in has been disproved, but more than that they can be dangerous. They may result in re-directed aggression, and they may give a relatively normal dog more problems by amplifying anxiety or aggression (there was one Alaskan Malamute named 'Shadow' he showed on his show and I remember finding a discussion online from the people who had been involved in placing shadow in that home- he had minimal issues until his new owner started using force-based methods, which he reacted very poorly too, and once he was eventually deemed too dangerous by the owners he was returned to the shelter and rehabbed using positive reinforcement/counter conditioning). I too once loved the show and raised one of my dogs using it principles as well as trainer her using it- I would love to have a discussion about it over PM if you'd like as to how dominance actually works in dogs, the basis of the theory he believes, and why and how it has been disproven, though this thread is probably not the place.
Perhaps you would like to start another thread on the topic of dominance, it seems we have had several new posters referencing dominance behaviors in their dogs recently.
 
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