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one person dog?

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

  1. BarbV

    BarbV Premium Member

    While everything that everyone has said is true...Shelties tend to focus on their alpha, I think its really important that we train our Shelties to respond to others as well.

    I trained my kids to be able to handle my Shelties. And my housekeeper and my partner. It's just not acceptable to me that I'm the only one who can handle my dog. If that were the case, I would never be able to go on vacation or leave the house!!!!

    Truly, as much as we love to have our dogs focussed on us personally, a well rounded dog should be able to (almost) bond equally. I personally think its wrong to accept anything less from your dog. :hide
  2. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2009

    I have to disagree with you. a well rounded dog does not have to bond equally to everyone. Tolerate yes, have manners yes, bond no.

    My dogs I would say are quite well rounded. Many on this forum have met them and I dare say no one would say they are ill manner, unhandleable or unsocial because they are not. I can take my dogs anywhere in public with hundreds to thousands of people and dogs. I can board them anywhere. I can have vet techs take them and other vets work on them and they will stand there and behave. They do not freak out, run or shake but they are not I love you , I love types.(well ok Justice is). But none of my dogs will listen to others like they do me. Birch especially is very whatever about other people. I find nothing wrong with that.

    There is a difference between being aloof and reserved and shy and fearful. Hiding behavior should never be encouraged, running away behaviors and avoidance should be worked with and desensitized against. Those are the behaviors that I would encourage the OP to work on with Riley. Positive association goes a long way. But just like I would never expect all people to love me, I would never expect it from a dog.
  3. Cyllian

    Cyllian Forums Regular

    Feb 7, 2012
    Nebraska USA
    I feel a lot of it is just them. All of us have quirks they too have quirks. While growing up we had german shephards the first one only the my parents and more mom then dad would be paid any mind. The next one he would pay attention to mom and dad and me. I was eldest child so perhaps it was pecking order sort of thing perhaps because I helped train him. If the other kids would pick on me he would help me out if I were picking on the others he would help me out. :biggrin2:
    Today mom seems to have little trouble at all getting her big beast to mind, (yes she still has a german shepherd.)

    My husband and I got our first dog since being married in 2004. As much as both of us interacted with him Tala was always my husbands little buddy.

    Jester will mind us both he is also ok with both of our moms and a few other individuals our son for example siblings less so. However he is does not really want any one he does not know trying to touch him this includes the Vet for example. He is also quite pretty anxious. Does he favor husband or myself? Perhaps me a little I am home more often. I know the reason he does not sit on me more is husband has recliner he can fit him and both dogs in the chair. Me with my liking for an office chair not so much room.

    Fox seems to be ok with most people he minds me better then my husband he is however only 7 months old and still has plenty of time to learn how to behave. Does Fox have a favorite? Normally it would be whoever is holding the food.

    There are some dogs that gravitate more towards one person however you can train them to behave with others as well.
  4. Fasb's Owner

    Fasb's Owner Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 21, 2013
    Morgantown, WV
    Odd. This thread contradicts a lot of what people told me about shelties before we took in ours.

    Speaking from experience, Fasb tends to like everyone. He's my dog, first and foremost, so he responds more to me than the rest of the family in certain situations (he doesn't bother them to go for a walk unless I'm not around), but he loves attention and isn't shy around people. He bonded with our whole family (me, my wife, three kids, and my widowed father who lives with us) astonishingly fast. A week, maybe? Keep in mind, we didn't take him until he was about seven years old, so we weren't his first owners. He's always been extremely good natured around everyone in the house. I really don't think he favors anyone over the rest of the household. He sleeps with my wife and I, but gets up in the middle of the night to go visit the rest of the household. He'll spend a few hours in one of the kids' bedrooms, then come back to our room before we get up in the am.

    Generally speaking, Fasb is pretty aggressive about trying to get strangers to pet him. Like I said, he tends to like everyone. Actually, when we encounter someone he doesn't respond well to, I tend to get suspicious. There's usually been some underlying reason.

    I'll defer to the opinions of those who have more experience than me with shelties, but his behavior doesn't sound like anything I've experienced with Fasb or heard about from other sheltie owners in the area.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  5. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2009
    Fasb sounds like Justice. Ok here is my butt pet me please. He is all yours until I go to leave and then he is "wait up mom I'm coming". Ember has learned to be this way over the years, it was not her natural way as a youngster. It took her 6yrs to get that way.
  6. melbell

    melbell Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 4, 2013
    Erie, Pennyslvania
    No problems, just a sheltie.
    Honey listens to both my fiance and me and she didn't meet him until she was 7. I think this is because I trained her a crap ton. That being said, it took him a while to learn how to teach her "shut up" but in the way I do it. My parents, who have been with Honey all her life until she was 8 still can't get her to come in the house when barking her head off at the neighbors. I can get her in from 3 rooms away just by telling her "Honey in, now" and off she comes running.

    Ruutu on the other hand is a different beast. He has been with my fiance and me since he was 8 weeks (going on 10 months) He will play with my fiance (tug, fetch) and potty with him. My fiance also takes him on the majority of our walks because I usually have Honey since she reacts less with me than him. He refuses to sit, down or anything for fiance no matter how hard he works on it. He'll sit if it involves getting his leash on only.

    Ruutu also plays with me (fetch, tug, wrestle) and comes to me to be petted. I train him in Agility and puppy class. Ruutu listens to every command I give him and follows me everywhere.
  7. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    I agree with everyone. Nothing wrong, just a sheltie being a sheltie. My situation is very similar to yours. I got Bailey while I still lived at home shortly after graduating college. She was my dog. I did all the training, feeding, exercising, etc. My parents and sibling would of course interact with her, feed her when I needed them to and let her out to potty when I wasn't home. However, she slept and trained with only me so of course we bonded and she is clearly my dog. I have since moved out and when she sees my family, she'll give a tail wag and kiss if they act really excited, but other than that she isn't that interested in them.

    Although, she isn't excited for people besides me, she will still listen to anyone if they told her to sit, especially if they have treats. I would try and get your family to work with her on commands. Riley doesn't have to adore your family like he does with you, but I would personally want him to at least respond to simple commands and feel comfortable around them when you're home.
  8. Mignarda

    Mignarda Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 17, 2013
    Dover, Delaware
    At 14 months Dickens is still quite aloof. He doesn't like being approached by strangers, and he particularly doesn't like having his head touched. It takes about half an hour for him to warm up to a house guest to the point where he can be petted. And he doesn't like small children at all! I've been taking him out to PetSmart and down to the park on a regular basis, and he's getting a little better, but it's always touch and go when people ask me if they can pet him. If they stretch their hands out and let him approach he's usually okay, but it's funny to see him crane his neck and daintily sniff the hand, then jump back at the slightest motion toward him. It's also frustrating for the person involved, since everybody loves a beautiful Sheltie and wants to touch him.

    I think I can get him over this, but on the other hand, I really don't want him being too cozy with strange people.
  9. Jess041

    Jess041 Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2012
    Houston, Texas
    Missy is still young (2 in January) and she's still in her little puppy "I love everyone!" stage. The only time she can be a little aloof with people is when other dogs are involved and she's more interested in interacting with the dog than the person they're with. I've done all the training with her, but she'll listen to other people IF they have food. If food isn't involved, it's a toss up. We did figure out that she'll work with familiar people in flyball. Even though she hasn't spent a ton of time with my parents, she loves them and gets excited when she sees them, especially my dad.

    I know I like to compare her to my previous sheltie, just because it's so interesting to see the similarities and the differences between the two of them. Sheltie Angel, Jasmine, probably fit the breed description to a T. She was reserved toward strangers and visitors. When someone would walk in the house, she would sniff them let them pet her. She didn't hide at all, but she wasn't overly friendly (like Missy tends to get all wiggly and excited). If they kept petting her, they were now her friend and she would sit by their side and soak up all the attention. I honestly don't remember what she was like when she was Missy's age, so it's possible that she was similar. She was supposed to be a "family dog" but later it became obvious that she was my dog. She loved everyone but she had her favorites that she liked to follow around.
  10. MissyGallant

    MissyGallant Premium Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Sheridan, Indiana
    We have everything at our house. Casey listens to Nick. He was Nick's dog when we got together. He still listens to Nick better, but once I come in the door, Casey is my Velcro puppy.

    Bonnie was my mom's dog until she was 13. But I was ALWAYS her chosen person. I'd go visit, and Bonnie was all over me until I left again. I never fed her or trained her.

    We make my stepson do most of the feeding, but he has to catch a dog to get it.

    Clara is Independent. She listens to Nick the most. She wants pets from me when I come home, but then she is Nick's dog.

    Brodie was MY dog- exclusively. He tolerated the existence of others, but I was his world from the day he was 3 days old.

    Annabelle and Tara love everyone in our house. Tara was afraid of men when we got her back from the people who originally bought her. But we've worked through that and now she'll go to anyone and listen to anyone. Annabelle is a bit more like Clara, independent. The difference is Annabelle is just a free thinker, and Clara is Independent with a capital "I".

    It just totally depends on the dog.

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