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Why Does My Dog Listen to My Husband But Not Me?

Every dog owner cherishes the moments when their canine companion listens and obeys commands, showcasing the bond between human and pet. However, it can be perplexing and even frustrating when a dog seems to favor one family member’s commands over another. A common scenario that many pet owners grapple with is: “Why does my dog listen to my husband but not me?” To shed some light on this mystery, let’s dive deep into the behavioral and psychological aspects of our furry friends.

Understanding Canine Perception and Dynamics

  1. Leadership and Dominance: Dogs, descending from wolves, have an innate pack mentality. In their pack, a hierarchy exists where certain members assert dominance over others. The same dynamics can apply to a household. If your husband displays more assertive or dominant behaviors — be it his tone of voice, body language, or actions — your dog may perceive him as the ‘alpha’ and is more inclined to obey.
  2. Consistency is Key: Dogs thrive on consistency. If your husband is more consistent with commands, rewards, and consequences, the dog might view him as a more reliable guide. Conversely, if you sometimes let the dog get away with naughty behavior or are not as consistent with command training, the dog might take liberties with you.
  3. Bonding Time: The amount and quality of time spent with your dog also play a role. If your husband spends more time training, playing, or engaging in bonding activities, the dog may be more attuned to his commands.

Addressing the Root Causes

  1. Assertiveness Without Aggression: While it’s essential to be assertive with your commands, it doesn’t mean being aggressive. Dogs can sense emotional states. If you’re frustrated, they’re likely to pick up on that energy, making them less responsive. Instead, focus on a firm yet calm demeanor.
  2. Consistent Training Together: Spend quality time training your dog together with your husband. This dual-training method allows the dog to understand that both of you are to be listened to and respected. Regular training sessions, where both of you give commands alternatively, can be beneficial.
  3. Reward System: Dogs love rewards! Positive reinforcement, be it through treats, praises, or petting, can go a long way in ensuring your dog listens to you. Be immediate and consistent with your rewards to help them draw a direct correlation between the desired behavior and the treat.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If you’re finding it challenging to bridge the gap between you and your pet, consider getting a professional dog trainer’s assistance. They can provide insights tailored to your dog’s personality and behavior.

The Role of Personal Relationships

Interestingly, the dynamics between you and your husband can also influence your dog’s behavior. Dogs are incredibly intuitive. If there are underlying tensions or imbalances in your relationship, the dog might pick up on these nuances and react accordingly. Therefore, maintaining a healthy, balanced relationship can indirectly contribute to a better rapport with your pet.


When our furry friend seems to favor one family member’s commands over another, it can stir up a mix of emotions, from confusion to jealousy. However, it’s crucial to understand that dogs don’t operate out of spite or preference in the same way humans do. Their behaviors are shaped by consistent training, perceptions of dominance, bonding time, and even the subtle dynamics of human relationships.

To foster a more obedient and responsive relationship with your dog, focus on assertive yet calm command delivery, consistent training routines, and positive reinforcement. If challenges persist, don’t hesitate to seek the insights of a professional dog trainer.

Remember, with patience, understanding, and a little bit of effort, you can build a bond with your dog that’s just as strong, if not stronger, than any other member of your household.



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