• Davis Tran

    August 24, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Hey Dave,

    There can be many reason why your dog won’t obey other people/family member.

    2 reason that quickly comes to mind is:

    1) lack of relationship and/or leadership

    2)It’s a “technical” training issue and can be troubleshooted.



    The first reason is simply that your wife/other family member do not have a relationship(or rather correct relationship) with your dog. Being in the same house does not automatically equals relationship, let alone leadership. Your dog needs a reason to obey. Does she feed the dog? exercise the dog? play with the dog? train the dog? And if so, is she in charge of these activities (is she the initiator)?

    You can look at the leadership page to help put your wife into a “leader” position, in your dog’s eyes.


    A great way to “hit 2 birds with one stone” is to have your wife use your dog’s daily food to train him. This way she becomes relevant in his life by becoming his source of food, but at the same time, he will learn to work for her and take direction from her.





    The second reason may be that this can be a “technical issue”.

    Either the dog simply does not understand the command, OR he is not motivated enough to comply.

    Do your dog truly understand the command you are asking of him? Can he perform those commands from you using ONLY verbal command? Or is he relying on your subtle body language? A lot of people give off subtle body cue to the dog (raising your head or hand a bit when you say “sit” for example) without realizing it. If he is relying on your body language, then it would make sense that he wouldn’t understand your wife since she won’t be giving off the same body language as you.

    Even if he understand the verbal command, sometimes when a dog has only been trained by one person, they are only used to that person’s voice. They respond only to a very “specific” sound (your voice in this case), since they haven’t had a chance to generalize it with different tones, accent, and voices.

    Remember, our dogs are a different species, they don’t speak english, spanish, chinese, etc. To them, it is all just different sounds. “Sit”, “SIIIITTTTT”, and “SIT!!!” is 3 different commands to them, until they generalize the sound.


    Motivation (lack of) can also be a reason, not all dogs obey commands simply to “please” their owners. There needs to be motivation for the dog to obey obedience commands. Reward is a great motivation (phase 1 training). The avoidance of correction is also a great motivation (phase 2-3). Used together, we give our dogs more reasons to obey.


    This is another reason I recommend having your wife use your dog’s food to do obedience with him. Start with her simply doing phase 1 OB (very important!!). Then phase 2-3, so he knows that not only will she reward him for compliance, he also learns he MUST obey her.


    Video instruction can be found here:



    Hope this helps!