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I think fights after bringing a new dog home are really common. It's stressful!! And we put so much pressure on ourselves (and our partners, and our dogs) to somehow get it all right, from the start.

At the same time, I have zero interest in micromanaging my partner. He's a grown-up, and a pretty capable one at that. Not a very capable dog trainer, it must be said. He will tend to reinforce behaviors that I find annoying, and will lightly poison cues by using them in high-stress or "test" situations without an adequate history of reinforcement. I have to bite my tongue sometimes, or ask him to change certain habits. I also chose a dog who is a much better fit for me than for him...she's a lot of dog, and although that makes her a fun challenge for me, she's more of a frustrating struggle for him, and I try to remember that.

At the same time, my training goals are just that: mine. My goals, my responsibility. There's no international gold standard for dog behavior, there's just whatever makes the people who live with the dog happy (and whatever helps the dog live a safe, happy, fulfilled life). My partner doesn't necessarily care if the dog sits every time he asks, or comes every time he calls. He does care that she tries to bite his face when he sits down to put on his running shoes, but I've pointed out that that's easily fixable. If at some point he wants to actually do the work to fix it, I'll be happy to help (or not, if he'd prefer). In the meantime, our dog does sit when I ask her, come when I call her, and hardly ever bites me at all anymore. I have to do some extra work sometimes, to fix things he's accidentally taught her, but that's okay with me. He does extra work sometimes too, like when I am tired and simply don't feel like standing outside in the cold to watch our dog poop, and he buttons on his jacket and does what is necessary.

My partner is responsible, and doesn't take silly risks with our dog's safety. He makes mistakes, just like I do, and some of his are total head-scratchers (so are some of mine, come to that, and I appreciate when he doesn't rub my nose in them!). I have a few specific goals for our dog, and one of them is that she has trusting, affectionate, healthy relationships with us. I don't see any way that my partner can have that kind of relationship with the dog if I'm always standing over him, nit-picking everything he does. I think that would make a person not want to try at all (just like punishment with dogs). When he does stuff I like, I tell him. When he does stuff I have a true problem with, I tell him, and he stops (or we talk about it, anyway). The rest, I let go.

I don't know...that's probably not particularly helpful. I can be a control freak too, and have had to learn how to relax about a few things. Mostly, I'd just rather have all of us be good friends than any of us be perfect, and try to keep that in mind when he tells her to "sit!" and gives her the cookie for lying down. :eyeroll:
 
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