Here is why a dog is listening better to one person versus another!
Don’t we all experience that the dog responds to different people differently?
“Listening” or lets call it “responding” to a signal is based a history of reinforcement and therefore the relationship between individuals. Humans are no different than dogs.
History of reinforcement simply means: What has happened in the past between an individual and his surroundings.
It does not matter whether it is an experience between an animal and human, or human to human, or animal to animal, or experiences between a living creature and an object.
An animal chews an electrical wire- it gets an electric shock, history of reinforcement is created!
If we look at responses of kids for example:
The kids have different responses to their father, mother, grandma or the neighbor or to a complete stranger.
All those responses are determined by what experiences of reinforcement have happened in the past between the individuals.
The father who always has demands and never positively reinforced for behaviors will have either weak – or no responses. The kids already run the other way when they see him coming home.
The mother gets more and better responses because she reinforces behaviors positively.
The grandma always comes to visit over the weekend -babysitting while the parents are gone, brings candy and let the kids watch all the TV shows they want……
As one might think, that the kids will take advantage of the grandma and will display unruly behaviors, we have to consider the relationship that she has established.
It is of the great kind that the kids don’t want to put at risk. They have their hopes up to get rewarded by looking at the past history of reinforcement with grandma.
The Dad on the other end of the spectrum always has demands. Those demands are in a form of orders. You do – or else!
The history of reinforcement has been very thinly based on “positive”. Results is that the kids are trying to get out of the situation as soon as they feel a demand might be coming that is NOT worth while doing for lack of reward.