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one person dog?

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Rileys mom, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Rileys mom

    Rileys mom Forums Enthusiast

    May 6, 2013
    I graduated from college 1 1/2 years ago. Last fall I decided to get a puppy, and after much searching I got Riley last April. I am currently living at home.

    As Riley is my dog I do everything with him. When I am home Riley will rarely respond (come, sit, etc) to anyone else and will instead run to me and hide behind or between my legs. When I am not home he is good for my mom, okay about 50% of the time for my sister and wont't listen to dad. Although Riley seems to be excited to see dad in the mornings and runs and jumps on him. Riley has never physically been punished and rarely yelled at. If he gets in trouble I use a stern voice and put him in his time out spot.

    Am I doing something wrong that Riley isn't more friendly/responsive with my dad and sister? Or is it their fault for not making more of an effort to be with him? I do take him places as often as I can to socialize him. Or could he just be more of a 1 person dog?
  2. JLSOhio51

    JLSOhio51 Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 16, 2013
    Rileys Mom:

    If you don't mind input from someone who openly admits to not knowing anything about proper dog training techniques, I have some impressions to offer. Mind you, I have had only one Sheltie, and sadly, he passed on many years ago. All that said, I don't believe that your pup's actions signal that you necessarily did anything wrong, perhaps only that there are more things that each of you could do to get the results that you desire.

    I got my Sheltie on the very day that his breeder would release him to me. :yes: I'll bet that he was just 8 wks. and 2 min. old when I loaded him into my truck to bring him home for the very first time. I started trying to train him a few commands on that very first day. We went everywhere together that I could take a dog. (Back in those days, there were no dog parks in our area - there were no pet stores that allowed you to roam the aisle with your pup - no local restaurants allowed pets inside or out). He was nearly perfect responding to me, following my commands and being MY little buddy (even around crowds of people), except when my wife walked through the room.

    My wife never trained him, never took him for walks (she would walk with us, but never one on one). She really wouldn't even touch him until he was with us for several months. Yet, he would do whatever few commands she gave him (sit - wait - go to bed) immediately. For some reason, he instantly fell in love with her. Sometimes I think that our pets are just like us. We want what we want, we love who we love. Their motivation isn't always about who does what. Just decide what you want from him and each of you work with him to that end, but don't be surprised that you don't always get exactly what you want.
  3. Katagaria

    Katagaria Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2012
    I don't think you're doing anything wrong at all, I think some dogs just gravitate towards certain people for whatever reason. I know with Cosmo it doesn't matter if the whole family is around, I always seem to be his "safe place" when something worries him or if people are being loud, he often sits behind/with me, or goes under my desk to rest.
  4. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Nothing wrong. Likely if they put some effort in he would mind better for them also (I bet you trained him and they did not). Of course nothing wrong if they don't either.

    Of course even if they train him some there will still be an order. For Sca it is ME, much further down Mom, then Dad, then my brother mixed with the world (he is a social butterfly)

    With Spitfire it is Spitfire, me, then a short list of those that should do his bidding, then a long list that are not allowed to touch him :rolleyes2:

    Give Riley a pet from us.
  5. Justme

    Justme Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 6, 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    My boy was my boy, and I liked it that way. As soon as mom ran out of cookies, he came running to me.
  6. Rileys mom

    Rileys mom Forums Enthusiast

    May 6, 2013
    I am glad to know I am not doing anything wrong with Riley.

    It is pretty funny everyone gets an excited greeting in the morning, and then he could care less about everyone else except me. I will have to start encouraging everyone to interact with Riley more.

    I do like that he is my boy!
  7. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 4, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    Although there are some dogs that are one person dogs, and although many dogs have a single primary person, a lot of it, is the amount of interaction they have with other people and the type of interaction.

    It took about three weeks to a month and a half after we got Honey before she would really go to my husband. I eventually started mandating that he play for fifteen to twenty minutes a day with her, because without the two of them bonding, I was worried he'd never be able to put up with the annoyances and extra work that comes of having dog.

    Than they bonded and he was firmly in her list as a playmate but she wouldn't listen to him at all, so I had to send them out on training sessions. If you have specific hand signals for your commands make sure that your dad, mom and sister all know and use them, and that will help a lot, although he will probably continue to always be your boy, with you trumping everyone else.
  8. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2009
    Birch is my dog. He really doesn't care for other people except me. He is not afraid of them he just doesn't need to be talked to or petted by them.

    He has been this way since he was 3 weeks old. Even at that age, he was more drawn to me then even his breeder. His breeder is a very good friend of mine and I actually whelped Birch. You can say we were meant to be.

    He actually is becoming more outgoing with people as he ages. I really reward him for any attention he gives other people and I have had tons of people give him treats over the years. He is seeing the point of other people being around. My friends can hold his leash and I can leave him but he calmly waits for me to come back.

    Ember actually hated everyone as a pup. No one could touch not even me. fast forward 8 yrs and Ember loves everyone because they all worship her the way they should and she can con treats out of them. Just make a positive association with other people and the dogs will learn to be more outgoing. You however will likely always be number 1.:smile2:
  9. Bella's Mom

    Bella's Mom Forums Regular

    Sep 30, 2012
    My Bella is the same way. Only eats when I am home and rarely goes to other family members especially if I am home
  10. Sheltie4

    Sheltie4 Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2013
    Kansas City
    In my humble opinion, Shelties seem to be one person dogs, until properly socialized with others.

    If you think about it, they were originally bred to work with one person, their shepherd.

    I think Shelties also tend to have a gender preference, for whatever reason. I am a single female living alone, and have had fosters who would gravitate towards men, although I was the one feeding and playing with them. (I tried not to show hurt feelings :() Conversely, I have had dogs that preferred women.

    I agree with everyone else - keep working with him and introducing him to other people. My Tres was deathly afraid of men when I adopted him 5 years ago - his former owner was a man, but he may have mistreated or teased Tres? He is now my most outgoing Sheltie.

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