Will Her Mother-in-Law’s “Too-Easy Dog Obedience Training Rules” Undo Her Dog’s Training?

Tanx writes to me about her Mother-in-Law’s slack dog obedience training rules in the house :  My family and I want to add our thanks– to all the other thanks you constantly receive. You have produced a dog obedience training book that is SOOO easy to read, understand, follow, and with great analogies. I have read the book front to back.

She Used One Of My Dog Obedience Training Tips…
The ‘Ol “Tennis Ball On A Rope” Game

My concern will pertain to page 141, “Psychological Mistreatment Through Isolation.” Here it goes…. On the weekdays, I will get up in the morning anywhere between 0530 to 0600 (sometimes earlier, between 0500 to 0530). I will let my (now 6 months old) Jack Russell Terrier out of the crate, go out for his morning business, play, give him a lot of petting and rubbing and run him through some dog obedience training routines. I use the ball on a rope as you suggested. I thought this would create dog aggression problems, until I read the book.

Feeding time, I will do the down-stay command, for 30 sec or so, then ask him to go in to the crate, and another stay command, for about 30 sec. Then I feed him inside his crate. After this, it’s back outside for his other business. Then play some more with the ball on a rope, some fetching, and more fun training. I practice the stay command like you said, where I will temp him. He is getting better with my release command of “OK”. [Editor’s note: Don’t use “OK” for a release command.

Use something that isn’t so easily confused with our everyday vernacular… such as, “Take A Break” or “Free!”] He will not move until I say “OK”. I want to make sure I get in as much detail as possible. At 0700 I have to crate him. Until I get home at 1700. When he is out at about 1700, it’s feeding time and then some training again as above, and a lot of touching (petting and rubbing). I know that’s 10 hours in the crate, however, when he’s out, my family and I play like crazy with him for about 2-3 hrs, by 2100 he’s looking up at the couch and my wife, waiting for the “up” command so he can rest with her. I know, I know, I read about not going to their level. When this happens I go to the chair, away from them. Then he will sleep through the whole night in his crate. I have the option to have him to go to my in-laws for the day. They own two dogs, a Golden Lab (2 years), and a Jack Russell (7 months). Both are NOT well trained.

The Lab barks at everything. The Jack Russell constantly nips at my dog’s hind legs, snarls, and bites and never stops. My mother in-law does not correct either dog. My biggest concern is that my dog will pick all the bad habits, because I am not there to correct him. My dog did not bark until he stayed with them for about a week or so. Also, 9 times out of 10 he will throw up in his crate, to and from my in-laws. So I decided to stick to my schedule, to crate him at home. The weekends however, he is out and playing with us. Here is my question (and dilemma)…

dog obedience training
dog obedience training

Should I take him to my in-laws with two untrained dogs? Where she may let him out for about 30 minutes or so a day for washroom breaks, and a little play time (if constant nipping, snarling & biting is considered play, this hasn’t stopped for the past month). Then back into the crate or I should I leave him at home in the crate until I get home, and do some bonding, quality playing, along with training and avoid the throwing up?

I know you will have a short answer. I just wanted to make sure you were made aware of the circumstances, to better judge me. I’ve followed EVERYTHING you say to do (ok, except the couch bit– that is my wife’s little bonding moment with him.) Again many, many thanks from the Martinez family, from Canada eh. For those people questioning if they should buy the book…. There is no need to question… Just buy the book…!!!! I live in the east coast and spent the best darn $90 Canadian for these books and tapes… It’s more than worth it… Thank you for your patience… and God bless you, your family and team.
— Tanx.


Can Dog Obedience Training Be “Undone” By Someone Else?

Dear Tanx:

Thanks for the kind words.

I may be off the mark here, but I think that the question you’re really asking is, “Will my mother-in-law’s ‘too-easy’ house rules undo my dog’s obedience training?” And the answer is: No, you have nothing to worry about. However, your dog may start doing things that he NEVER DOES at home. But it’s just like a child who goes to Grandma’s house and gets away with all kinds of rotten behavior… because she can!

But upon returning home, she’s smart enough to know that YOUR house rules apply. But often times, upon coming home, the dog will try to test you to figure out if the lax rules at Grandma’s house are now the same at home. And as long as you’re consistent with your rules and motivational with your corrections, it should only take correcting the dog for any unwanted behavior ONCE and the dog will immediately remember that the dog obedience training “house rules” in your house are to be respected.