Saturday, October 24, 2009


For those of you who are raising and have younger siblings (like ages 7, 8,9,10) how do you deal with them and the dog? My little brother has been obsessed with Janda and it drives me up the wall. He wants her to love him more than she loves me. Not going to happen, but he'll do things like go over to her when she's FINALLY happy and chewing a toy and pick the toy out of her mouth and start playing with her with it. That means I have to stop whatever I'm doing and come over and watch her--which gets really old really fast. I tried to explain to him that she just will always love me more because I feed her, work with her all day, etc but he continues to drive me nuts by doing the little things like whistling when he walks past her so that she jumps up and follows him. Argh.

Here are some pictures from yesterday....Janda was a trooper and ended up "working" for around 6 hours. Granted most of that was in class and studying at Starbucks, that's still a long time :)

Shopping at Macy's

My friends love being do my dogs

Purty Gurl

Oh and my little brother DOES love her, even though he pesters her non-stop....


Madison and Butler said...

It's hard with younger siblings! I have a 10 year old brother who LOVES my puppies. I havn't discovered the "perfect way" to deal with siblings and puppies. But what I have found is a good idea! Is when the pup is in his AREA, it could be a bed, crate, or tie down area, my brother isn't allowed to touch/talk to/bother the pup. I've found this helps to lessen the puppy "drama"!! :)

Maddie, Gabrina (IFT), and Betsy (PIT) said...

I hope you get some good answers to this one! I have the exact same problem. And every time I bring home a new puppy from a trade he goes crazy and whats to love on him/her the whole time. It drives me crazy!

Lacey said...

My sister was eleven when I started working with GDB dogs and was 16 when I got my first puppy of my "own." And she did everything you just described and more. I don't think little siblings that are non raising ever grow out of it. She's 23 now and she still irritates me and the dogs whenever I have one. Good luck with that.

Mandy and Terence said...

this is a tough one. Have you talked with your leader at all about this? Chances are your leader will have some experience and some good ideas for dealing with your brother specifically. Anyway, here are my thoughts...I'm the baby of my family but I have had to deal with similar situations with my older brother and mom (who both used to think that YELLING at a puppy is the best way to stop it from doing something even though it only hypes up labs even more!), college roommates and lots of friends who have reacted pretty much the same way. There's two ways I can think to go about it - you can either restrict the puppy completely so that the annoying person has no access to the pup in order to cause problems OR you can put their interest in the pup to good use. Either way you need to be firm in your convictions and blame Guide Dogs for the rules you impose. As you know well, our pups are not raised as pets and you need to be your pup's biggest advocate. Get your parents to back you if you can.

What's worked with my friends/family is Educating and Empowering them. Make sure he understands the ground rules and the End Goal of puppy raising, why it is inappropriate for a guide dog to jump up, why puppies need "independent play time" as well.

Have you taken him to meetings with you yet? he's old enough to understand the responsibilities of puppy raising and see the positive impact he can make in the puppy's behavior when his behavior is appropriate. Being around other raisers all with the same goal can help him feel like he's part of the team too, and will change his overall relationship with Janda.

Get him interested in doing the right thing and then use this to empower and involve him. Play time comes with responsibilities like feeding the pup and (gasp!) picking up after her too. Have him help you out with this stuff on a regular basis. It will make him feel important and instead of making it a competition for Janda's affections, Janda will respond to him more positively and he will feel loved too. :)

Can you involve him in training sessions? Have him give her commands while you be the distraction. Talk with you leader to help facilitate this, and start small, just like we do with our pups.

It will take some work and you will have to play teacher but it will hopefully make for a more harmonious atmosphere all around.

Hope this at least gives you some ideas. I know how frustrating this can be. I hope it gets better!