What should you do if your family isn’t on board with creating a partnership lifestyle with your dog?
Many people assume that if the whole family isn’t on board, it is impossible to create a partnership lifestyle. While it can make it slightly more challenging for some, not everyone in the family has to follow “the rules” for you to develop a loving connection with your dog. Of course, it would help if everyone in the family followed your lead, but don’t worry if that’s not feasible. You can still build a brilliant partnership with your dog.
So, how can you implement the partnership principles that I teach even if your family is not on board?
In this post, I share some of my best tips and strategies to help dog moms who feel like their families just don’t get it. They don’t understand the partnership principles, or they simply don’t want to! Nonetheless, that shouldn’t stop you from creating this wonderful bond with your dog so keep reading to find out how to make the partnership lifestyle work when your family isn’t on board.
“Dogs can have different relationships with each family member”
Your family will start to mirror you
Even if you have the most stubborn family members in the history of time, they’re still humans. As social mammals, we learn a lot from other mammals. In this case, your family will learn from you whether they realize it or not.
Your family will see what you’re doing, and they’ll know that it is working. The progress may be slow at first, but it’s still progress. The more they see you and your dog bonding using the partnership principles, the more they will start to mirror you.
It’s not unusual for family members to be a little unsure of the unfamiliar. They may be used to a different way of training dogs, and they don’t see why it has to change. If you experience this situation with your family, don’t feel like you have to convince everyone. Just hold steady and keep practicing the partnership lifestyle principles.
When family members disagree with you at first, that’s fine. Don’t let it stop you from making real progress with your dog. And, don’t be surprised if you start seeing other family members mirror what you’ve been doing. You might notice that your partner has started walking the dog in the same way that you have been doing lately. Or, maybe the kids are playing hide and seek games with the dog on rainy days, and they’re improving their partnerships with the dog too.
Maintaining consistency is so important, especially if someone in the family is more resistant to change. Making them see that what you’re doing is working can be tricky, but it’s never impossible. It might take longer for some families to get on board, but you will get there with patience and resilience.
But until then, what should you do in the meantime when your family is dead set against you when it comes to your dog? Well, that leads me to my next point…
How to take responsibility without confrontation
If your family struggles to adapt to the changes in the way they react and interact with the dog, you may have to take more responsibility until they catch up with you. There are things you can do to make the transition to a partnership lifestyle better, easier, and smoother for both your family and your dog.
“You can take responsibility for certain things are likely to be confusing for the dog”
You may find that you have to take more responsibility for things than you expected. For example, let’s say you are working on walking your dog and making the walk a peaceful and enjoyable experience. You’ve been practicing the partnership principles and working on your dog’s triggers. Perhaps your dog doesn’t like other dogs, or they lunge at things that move, etc. Whatever it is, you’ve been working very hard to help your dog overcome their issues. However, since your family has no interest in working through those things with you, your dog ends up super stressed out and unhappy every time he comes home from a walk with a different family member.
If this sounds familiar, you may need to try and take responsibility without being confrontational about it. Let’s say that your partner walks your dog in the morning before leaving for work. However, whenever your partner walks with your dog, your dog lunges and barks and does all of the things you’ve been trying to stop. So, you might have to offer to take over those morning walks. You don’t have to start a massive debate about it or anything. Maybe mention how you need to get some exercise in the morning, and you enjoy walking the dog anyway. You could suggest something else for them to do, like getting the kids breakfast ready, etc.
Taking responsibility may be the best option for you when you’re trying to break your family out of the old cycle, the cycle that results in your dog’s behavior spiraling out of control. It might seem like a lot at first, but if you can be the one to help your dog overcome their triggers, your family will find it easier to help you further down the line. Most of the legwork will have been done, and they might even be open to learning how you managed to achieve such outstanding results with your dog.
Dogs behave differently with different people
As humans, we often make the mistake of assuming that other animals aren’t like us. Of course, that isn’t true. Dogs are intelligent beings, and like us, they foster relationships with people and other animals too. But what you might not know is that your dog can have unique relationships with different people.
You probably have a different type of relationship with other people in your life. For example, your relationship with your employer is very different than your relationship with your close friend. Well, your dog is the same, and they also can have different relationships with different family members.
Dogs are socially intelligent animals, which means they can discern the differences in their relationships and alter their behavior accordingly. So, just because your family is not practicing the partnership principles with the dog, it doesn’t mean that your dog will mysteriously forget everything they’ve learned with you. They will continue to adapt their relationship with you as it blossoms into a loving and heart connected partnership.
So, whether your family is on board with the partnership lifestyle or not, it should not impact your relationship with your dog. Keep focused on what you’re doing, and you and your dog will continue to build an incredible brilliant partnership together.
Watch the video below:
If you’d like to work with me and learn how to create a partnership lifestyle for you and your dog, you can request an invitation to join us in the Brilliant Partners Academy when the doors open for the next enrolment!
You can listen to everything I talked about in this blog post over on my podcast – Enlightened By Dogs. It’s episode 131, which you can listen to here.