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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18950
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I have two mini schnauzers. The dominant one decides

Customer Question

I have two mini schnauzers. The dominant one decides everything for the two. They are 2.5 years old. I was traveling Monday - Friday for years. When I came home the dogs followed me. And they sat with my husband during the week and watched tv with him.
I just changed my travel and I am now home every night. They ack as if my husband is invisible. They don't even come when he calls.
I need them to sit with him more, and respond to him
how can i bring this about
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Have they had any obedience training?

If so, who did the training with them?

When you were home on the weekends did they sit with you then as well?

What have you tried to far?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
we did a six week puppy training at 3 months old
they learned to sit, not stay
we have done no further training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

Given that your husband was home with them the majority of time while you were gone, it is likely that he was the disciplinarian when they did things they shouldn't have. He likely was the one that enforced most of the rules as well. When the dogs were alone with him, he was the only one able to give them attention and being the one in charge of their life basically, they would feel like they needed to fawn over him.

Men also naturally have a lower tone of voice. Dogs see lower tones as reprimands or commands. Often dogs will see the man as the boss naturally. In this case, he was likely the disciplinarian and has a lower tone voice.

However, now that you are home, they have someone that will show them attention and they likely see you less of a boss and more of an equal. They might also view you as a visitor. As such, they would feel more comfortable just hanging around you. You also are more likely to show them attention more than he does at this point since he was around them all the time.

Conversely, if he wasn't much of a disciplinarian, they may not see him as the boss at all and thus sat with him because he was the only one there. Now that you are here and still relatively new, they are focused on you. As time goes by, they will probably spend an equal amount of time with both of you. You may find that one becomes your dog an the other one bonds more with your husband.

What I would suggest at this point is that each of you obedience trains the dogs. If the dogs are opposite sexes, then let him train the female and you the male. Training will help reinforce the bonds with each of you. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

This should help your husbands relationship with the dogs and you have the benefit of having 2 very well behaved dogs that listen all the time.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/