I have a 11 month old Great Pyrenees mix. Generally an all around great dog. She has had 2 sessions of training. She listens to my husband but with me, only when she feels like it. When she steals a sock she ignores me or she runs for it or “dead drops”. She is almost 80 lb. and I can’t move her. She rolls on her back & tries to mouth me. I get frustrated and I need to know how to follow through, PLEASE HELP! Our trainer just blames it on the Pyrenees stubbornness! Which is no help.
I don’t believe dogs are stubborn. They either just don’t get what it is you’re trying to teach or they don’t think you’re qualified to be the teacher. Your dog grasps “Drop the sock!” well enough to respond to your spouse and she can for you as well.
In the early stages of training to a certain extent some dogs base who they’re going to listen to on who they think can “catch the squirrels the best.”, as well as whoever best projects “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you!” Usually men more naturally fake a dog into believing both of these things. However women better understand the importance of rewarding good behaviour. On their own, neither is enough. It takes a bit of both to produce meaningful and lasting results.
Since men aren’t faster or more agile than a dog and sometimes not stronger we know that mostly whatever respect we get is based on the dog’s perception rather than the reality. In dog training that only takes you so far. This is where most women leave men in their dust. As any man knows women can read men’s minds. Over the last 20+ years I’ve learned women can also read dog’s minds. I’ve seen women suddenly bellow at a dog, “No!” and after he peels himself from the ceiling have her husband say, “What the …?. The dog wasn’t doing anything.” and the wife reply, “Trust me, he was thinking about it.”.
Given the right tools to even out the physical part of the playing field a woman can take that natural ability to read a dog’s intent and start shaping the attitude and then obedience. Start with a quality leash, lunge line, and collar. A crate would be a nice bonus. For the next 10 days leave her leash on indoors and supervise her like she’s a toddler. You don’t have to hold the leash. Just use it to make it easier to keep her in range and to stop her if she gets into mischief and makes a run for it. Same thing whenever she’s outside, but use a 30′ lunge line instead of a leash. She won’t be less free, she’ll just be less free to make mistakes or ignore you when she does. If you’re busy don’t hesitate to put her in her crate with a bone or something else to do.
After 10 days of that she’s going to wonder what you’ve been putting in your coffee and be far more inclined to take you seriously. She won’t just hear you. She’ll listen to you and it won’t be long before she will not only drop the sock for you but might even fold it neatly and put it back in the hamper. Go to my website and look at the “Women and Dogs” video where you’ll learn a little more about how to tap into your your natural ability. (www.askthedogguy.com/dogstoolvideos/)