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How DO you train your relatives???

November 17th, 2006, 03:14 AM
Hi All!!

I'm new-ish to this site. I havn't posted yet, but felt now was a good a time to get the feet wet as any time! I joined the site when I was looking for a puppy, anticipating that I would have tonnes of questions, but so far she is an angel... who needs ritalin (she's a lab! boy does she have energy!). Her name is Nikki and she is seven months old (I attached a picture). I also have two cats, Nova (6 years old) and Dawg (7 years old, but they are sisters, about four months apart). I got Nikki from a breeder, who also happens to be my step cousin (or step aunt... I'm not good with figuring it all out...) and my two kitties are the result of a stray that took a liking to our house, while she was preggers... and then got out (ONCE!!!!) while she was still looking after the first litter and got preggers again!!! We learned first hand how quickly a cat can ovulate again... She was spayed ASAP after the second litter...

My main question is, how do you train your relatives? My brother is my main issue right now. He lives in the same house as me, but does not remember to keep things puppy proofed. For example, the bag of chips lying on the sofa, or plastic cups on the edge of the counter RIGHT where Nikki can see them so she jumps up and grabs them. If they are not there, she does not jump up on the counter, but my brother keeps leaving cups, or cutlery (her favorite is the knife covered with peanut butter just within reach! :D ). She has been consistently trained to keep off the counter, but he has not been consistently trained to at least keep the dishes out of site... Talking to him has not helped :rolleyes: He wants "to not change his routine just because i have a dog". I think he say's this just because he's forgetful LOL.

Anyhoo, thanks for letting me vent at the very least!! you have a great site here!!! Lots of information (food, training, behaviour) that has come in very handy (and has made me realize my pets arn't as abnormal as I thought!)

Link to pictures here:

(I couldn't figure out how to make my pictures smaller so I could post them...Hopefully this link works!)

November 17th, 2006, 05:18 AM
Welcome to the board! I couldn't pull up the picture of your puppy (something about bucket maintenance...) but she looks like a cutie in your avatar. For future reference, you might want to post a question like this in "General" or "On Topic". If you do a search on this site (tech section I think) you will find instructions on how to use programs like Irfan or Photofiltre (both free downloads) to shrink your pix. I'm still not terribly great at it but it can be done!

Aren't brothers a pill ?!? Two suggestions, one for your puppy and one for your brother. The "Leave It" command is probably the most valuable one you can teach from a safety perspective for your puppy as it will help you to curb her desire to snarfle everything inside and outside that's both delectable and disgusting. It takes alot of work, time and patience to teach but in the end is well worth the trouble. One of my grrrrls is an absolutely food-frenzied hoover and this is something we struggle with even now so I share your pain.

As for your brother, are you sure we're not related ??? He sounds just like my brother behaved about 25 years ago when my last doggy was a little puppy and I spent the summer visiting him and my father! I took to keeping a box handy and everytime I found one of his "Oh, I forgot" or his "Yeah, I'll clean it up later" it went into the box which when full was dumped onto his bed, sticky knives and all (I tried just putting the box there but the box made it as far as the floor and we soon ran out of cutlery :o ). It took about a month to train him but eventually things started to make it to the dishwasher and garbage can or back where they belonged. Not perfectly and not all the time but most of the time. Contrary to popular belief the male of species can be trained successfully.:D

November 17th, 2006, 09:05 AM
I don't have that problem with my brother, or anyone else that comes around my animals.

The problem I do have though, is with the in-laws. They have tried to feed Hunter just about everything. If I say its not good for him, they pretty much ignore, or listen for a week and then go back to it. But if I am doing something and one of the mom-in-laws friends say its bad, then heaven forbid, I am wrong, and they are right (of course:rolleyes: )

When we were trying to figure out if Hunter had a food allergy by an elimination diet that included no treats that he could be allergic to, it was absolutely horrible. I know the dad-in-law snuck around and gave him stuff, and everyone just laughs about it, but grrr:frustrated: , how am I supposed to know what he is allergic to, if nothing is being cut out!!!

So yeah, I know how you feel with the problem with relatives, but I am absolutely helpless with it. The man understands though, and he tries to help, so atleast I can grumble to him about it.

November 17th, 2006, 09:29 AM
slightly :offtopic: here...but my relatives all stopped visiting when we moved up to 6 dogs. :D No more problems.

Moral of the story? "Crowd them out!" :thumbs up :sorry: for the hi-jack...but maybe if you got another half dozen puppies? :evil:

November 17th, 2006, 09:38 AM
That's funny Hazel, and I think it might work...hmmm;)

November 18th, 2006, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the replies guys!!

We have been working with the "leave it" command. she's doing well (for a seven month year old lab with attention deficit disorder...) you usually have to say it four or five times, but she does catch on eventually (or give up, I'm not sure which). She is very VERY good on walks when i tell her to leave something alone, but in the house she is still persistent. We are also working on "give", "trade" and "drop it" because she will still sometimes get something. She usually seems to enjoy the chase after stealing something more than the actual object she steals, so we are also making sure to teach her this isn't a game. We don't chase her down (unless she has something dangerous like bones).

My brother is pretty good with her, he is helping with some of the training, mostly with teaching her tricks (catching treats in midair from across the room, but this also helps with "stay", frisbee, that sort of thing). He just got very used to not having a dog around (we were raised with dogs, so we grew up with these rules) but we havn't had a dog for five years... enough time to forget his training! My other relatives are pretty good... my brother does give her a lot of treats, but at least they are treats I bought her.

and I would LOVE more doggies!!! but I think nikki has to be a little older and better trained before I get the next one. Otherwise I will go loopy! Plus, I live in a townhouse, with the parents. I don't think they would be so keen on more little feet...but if i get a puppy that looks like nikki... maybe they won't notice!

November 18th, 2006, 04:04 PM
The idea of "more dogs" will work! There are those in the family who won't have us around for weekends now we have two dogs. Their loss!