Good husband! Use doggie tricks

By admin
01 April 2011

Treat your husband like a dog? No, that’s not necessary – but train him as you would train a dog and you’ll end up with a tidier, more attentive husband and a happier marriage, author Amy Sutherland says in a new book.

Recalling how their excitable eight-week-old puppy had been transformed in obedience classes she resolved to try the same techniques on her husband, Scott.

How well it worked is set out in the book, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage (to be published by Marshall Cavendish this month).

‘‘I was a nag. About the screwed-up tissues, the towels on the floor, taking too long in the bathroom – you name it, I was there nagging,’’ Amy writes.

‘‘I felt Scott’s behaviour had forced me to whinge and complain But animal trainers don’t nag and most of the time they don’t even correct bad behaviour – they have an approach called ‘gentling’ or ‘affection training’, which means rewarding the behaviour they like and disregarding what they don’t like.

‘‘Nagging and shouting don’t work. I’d done it for years and Scott was still messy, forgetful and always late. We humans assume pointing out what we don’t want makes clear what we want.’’

Her dog-inspired advice includes rewarding your partner for the things he does right – just as an animal trainer would – which reinforces good behaviour. And make a point of thanking him when he does something you like, ‘‘whether it’s cleaning the car, putting out the bin or changing a lightbulb’’.

Best of all, Amy says, it works.

* For a more detailed guide on how to doggy-train your husband see the 8 April issue of YOU.

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