Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
sluj

trainers

Recommended Posts

This is likely to get long and ramble-y, so short version first: I'm having trouble picking a trainer (and possibly training method) to help deal with Allie's reactivity.

 

Long version:

We live in an urban area, so exercise requires walking along some loud and busy streets with a lot of pedestrian traffic (even to get to any quieter area). Allie has a (to my mind perfectly natural) hatred of skateboarders, and large assertive dogs. There's not much chance of avoiding either. I've been using a combination of redirections, food distractions, ad vocal corrections, and thought we were doing pretty well. She would bark and lunge under certain conditions: if startled, say by a persons sudden appearance from around a blind corner; on observing 'aberrant' behaviour (Melanie, Geonni, Ooky, anyone who's lived in the Bay Area will know what I mean); on any encounter following a standoff with her nemesis Biscuit. I could generally prevent an outburst if I saw the trigger before she did. Like I said, I though we were close to getting it under wraps. Then last week, she nipped a jogger. Allie, my boyfriend, and I were jogging (ok, they were jogging, I was mostly walking) around 10PM on the college track. We were alone, as usual, for the first 20 minutes or so. I was finishing one of the few laps I had actually run, and was pulling off to the side when it happened. She was behind me so I didn't see what happened, nor did I see the wound since I was holding Allie when my boyfriend went to take a look, and give the guy our contact information. He said she didn't break the skin, and when I called the jogger a day later, he said he hadn't needed any medical attention.

 

We were pretty disturbed by the incident, and the thought of what could happen to Allie (and innocent bystanders!) if it ever happened again. I've been seriously questioning my own ability to read and manage my dog, so I started looking into trainers. I located one, and based on what I'd seen of her handling her own dogs (8 or 9, plus fosters), and her stated training philosophy (mainly reward based, with verbal and physical corrections as required. Incidentally, she'd worked with Michael Ellis, who was just mentioned a few days ago in the books and videos section), so I booked a consultation. That was this afternoon.

 

I've only gone to group beginners obedience classes, so didn't know what to expect, or what questions to ask. I gave her the whole story, asked and answered a few questions, then she said she'd like to work with Allie. She said that Allie was used to having her own way, and needed more structure.

 

** anyone still reading is probably cross-eyed by now. I'll continue the story in a reply post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez, the suspense is killing me.

 

While I'm waiting, I'll just mention that if Greta Kaplan (aka nickelsmum) were still in the Bay Area, I'd recommend her, but since she's not, she might be a good person to ask for a local recommendation. You can find her pretty easily through the miracle of Google.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

long version, part II:

When the trainer (T) came in, Allie was calm, very intent on sniffing, but not ill-disposed towards her. When she called Allie over to her, Allie hesitated, and looked over for reassurance. I told her it's ok, go ahead, and she let T. pat her, but refused any treats, and when she got out the pinch collar, Allie scooted for the door. I put the collar on her, T. a took the leash and told Allie "down". I wasn't entirely sure Allie knew what was being asked, since when I down her, I use the words "lie down" with a hand signal. But T. pulled the leash and (as I rather suspected she would), Allie began to protest. T.a explained that if we didn't get at least one down, Allie would think she had won, and would become much harder to work with. So we muzzled her, and then the leash popping started. They were pretty mild tugs, but Allie started crying and flopping around like a landed fish. They persisted, and she started screaming and flailing as if we were going at her with 2x4's. It took somewhere from five to ten minutes (including several short breaks) to get a down. Immediate "good girl", release, short break, and then another five minutes to get a second down. Each successful down was away from me - as far as possible given the size of the garden - and only when I averted my eyes.

 

The remainder of the session was advice on structure and discipline. Much of it made sense: the outbursts are due to insecurity, that she'll be happier and calmer when she accepts that I am in charge, that she needs a lot of exposure to her triggers, and should wear a muzzle during the process. Other things I wasn't so sure about: no getting on the furniture, not building up the desensitization process gradually, tie-ups for part of the day. Stuff like waiting in the doors seemed mostly irrelevant, though we did some practice with that as well, which went much more smoothly than the down, probably because we have a "wait" command in place for crossing streets.

 

It looks like I broke the "three inch rule" again, so I'll try to wrap it up in the next segment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeez, the suspense is killing me.

 

Sorry Kim! And thanks for the recommendation. Last bit here and then I'm going to bed.

 

short version part II:

- I do need to be stricter than I have been. I *think* I've been seeing progress in the past week, but still would benefit from an outside view.

- On the other hand, I don't need Allie obeying a trainer. I need her obeying me. So I'd prefer more 'coaching' of my handling than handing her to a trainer during the session.

- I'm not a "positive-only" adherent, but I do strongly believe in using the least amount of force necessary to get the point across, and none at all whenever feasible.

- I'm writing mainly out of stress, but would also like suggestions on how to determine whether a trainer will be effective, and someone I can work with.

 

 

long version part III:

After a long talk with my boyfriend, we've decided we're not going to work further with this particular trainer. While I think she has a lot to offer, it won't do any good if I can't follow her directions. And I can't. I know I need to be more disciplined and assertive, but I can't do it to the extent that she requires. Not with Allie. I don't want to give up having her sleep next to me with her head pinning down my legs, or her sassing back when I tell her to be quiet. In between the first attempt at "down", and the muzzle going on, Allie had a brief moment to run to me, and press up against my leg for comfort. What I saw in her eyes wasn't defiance so much as alarm, and it was all I could do not to interfere. Sometimes we look at misbehaved dogs and think the owner is too stupid or too weak to do what must be done, and I kept telling myself not to be weak, not to disregard advice from someone so much more experienced. A lot of times, I'll look at Allie, and think, I let her walk all over me. She asks to play while I'm working and I hush her, maybe send her to her crate, but then a few minutes later, I think what life must be like for a dog. Shut up alone for a large part of the day, getting beyond the confines of the fence for what, maybe an hour most days? And even then having very little choice in where to go, how she can interact with. So then I give in for five minutes of ball, or at least stuff a kong.

 

It's hard to know where to strike the balance, of being tough enough to keep Allie and the people we meet safe, without becoming so hard as to take the joy out of our relationship. Before today, I was only questioning how I would know when I'd achieved the first; after I was wondering whether I had destroyed Allie's trust in me.

 

Sorry about the long posts, and getting so emotional towards the end. I think I'd better step away from this. Thanks for being here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad you've made the decision to look for another trainer - I can't imagine how confused Allie was by all that and the screaming/flailing behavior is just more information that that particular method is not a good choice. If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking for someone who who works with fearful dogs - a lot of what you describe sounds a bit like it could be fear based and treating that with force is not going to get you much of any where.

 

Greta would be a good resource it sounds like - the Bay Area has a *ton* of trainers so it would be awesome to have an experienced person to guide you to one that will be a good fit. The APDT has a nice article on choosing a trainer on their website that may be of help.

 

Remember too that if you are uncomfortable with something a trainer is doing with your dog you have every right to step in and stop them. If you know you won't be able to do something a specific way, tell them and ask for an alternative. Even though they are the expert, you do need to listen to your gut and be an advocate for your dog.

 

ETA: For now, you may want to consider acclimating Allie to a basket muzzle for walks so that you are able to walk without being supremely stressed about this new behavior. Given her past history with a muzzle, realize that this may take a while, but if you go slow and use basic classical conditioning (muzzle = great things like cheese and walks, etc.) you should be able to get her comfortable with it for your needs. This will also mean you have time to consider options carefully since she and others will be safe until you can meet with your chosen professional but she'll still be able to get exercise and such as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greta is a great resource. You can find her on the ClickerSolutions email list. You can also call the Marin Humane Society Behavior Dept (415 506 6280) ask for a referral to someone in your area. The SFSPCA trainers academy would probably also have some referrals.

 

I can ask my trainer here in Sonoma County if she's got a referral for you and Allie. I think Laurel does phone consults in cases like this, and she knows a LOT of the trainers in the Bay Area. I'm seeing her this morning, and will ask. Not that the phone consult would be to actually train you, just to get more info about what's going on and make a good recommendation for you.

 

Best of luck, I know this is a tough one. I have to walk that same kind of line with Shoshone.

 

Ruth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After a long talk with my boyfriend, we've decided we're not going to work further with this particular trainer. While I think she has a lot to offer, it won't do any good if I can't follow her directions. And I can't. I know I need to be more disciplined and assertive, but I can't do it to the extent that she requires. Not with Allie. I don't want to give up having her sleep next to me with her head pinning down my legs, or her sassing back when I tell her to be quiet.

 

You know your dog better than anyone, and you know what's right for her. I think you've made a very good decision.

 

I also suggest asking Greta for a recommendation.

 

There are many legitimate and effective alternatives to the approach of this trainer. Effective approaches that can teach you how to provide Allie with clear structure in a way that will allow you to live with her and handle her in the way that you see fit.

 

As far as finding a trainer, I recommend saying exactly this to those that you are considering . . .

 

I do strongly believe in using the least amount of force necessary to get the point across, and none at all whenever feasible.

 

If the trainer dances around that with talk of being "assertive", etc., then you know you are talking to someone much like the trainer that you have chosen not to work with.

 

Another thing that you could do is ask for references from satisfied clients. You could speak to one or two of them about the methodology and approach of the trainer.

 

Finally, you could ask the trainer to demonstrate his or her technique and approach with his or her own dog before handing over your own dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

my experience is limited to obedience and watching various stock dog lessons but has shown that if you're not comfortable with a trainer, than the dog won't be. If you like the trainer, than the dog will.

Robin and I have been taking lessons at the closest AKC club for nearly a year and suffering under a woman whom I can only describe as my 8th grade gym teacher, who made my life miserable because she couldn't make my life miserable in the 7th grade - I'd broken my arm falling off a horse and couldn't take gym that year - so she made up for me missing "boot camp". At any rate, we moved over to rally and found a wonderful, happy instructor who truly loves working with people and dogs and we've been so happy these past few weeks. I watched her take Robin around the course last night and he moved so beautifully with her.

 

I've also been watching various stock dog trainers give lessons, watching their style with the dogs and their trainers. I'm not a person who believes you have to shout at a dog to get them to pay attention to you and so have picked the quietest trainer I've met -- who is also a top trialer so it seems the method works. We'll see in a few weeks.

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it could be very true that Allie is used to having her own way and that could be adding to your problems, I have a huge problem with a trainer who takes a new dog and says right away that they need to start correcting it. I'm not reward based only either, but another person does not correct my dog like that. Besides, down is an incredibly submissive position for a dog to assume.

 

There are sometimes where I'll wait the dog out to make sire they haven't won. For example Kenzi struggled terribly the first couple of times I cut her nails. I just held on to her until she calmed down and proceeded. Last time I went to cut her nails, she just stood there happily and let me cut them. But downing in a new strange place with a new person is setting her up for failure.

 

If you feel guilty that she's not getting enough time with you, schedule more time - even if it's just that you plan on taking a 5 minute break every hour to work with your dog. Look for may way for her to earn your attention. Work on focus, focus, focus around your home and come up a with a few simple games that are highly rewarding so you can refocus her outside (like touch your hand). Make sure you are calm and confident when you are out and about with her - she will feed off any apprehension.

 

Sending you a PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I'm going to keep this tame because I have a lot, and I mean a lot, to say about someone who uses a pinch collar on a dog who sounds like they have fear based issues. Sorry. I'm not cool with that. I am really glad that you've decided to stop using this trainer. Of course, I'm not there and I haven't seen your dog, but it really does make me think she's got some fear issues. Maybe you do let her get away with too much too, but you don't have to force her into submission to teach her. I have a reactive dog and I have taken her from being a bite risk to a dog that I can take to an off leash park and have strange foster dogs in my home with little trouble, by using positive only methods. No corrections at all, seldom even verbal. I do use verbal corrections with her now because in some situations, she's just a jerk and she knows better, but that's as far as I take it with her. She has some serious fear issues and the last thing I needed to do was reduce her trust in me in any way.

 

Check out this yahoo group, it's a GREAT resource;

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Pos-4-ReactiveDogs/

 

If you want to learn more about reading your dog and being on top of her signals, you should check out some of Turid Rugaas' books if you haven't already.

 

When I was searching for a facility and trainer that could help me with Daisy, I went and sat in on so many classes. I wanted to watch each and every trainer to make sure I knew what I was getting my self into and that the trainers would be able to positively help my dog and I. Some one who understood reactive dogs and fear. If the trainer won't let you sit in on a class, I would second guess using them. (Granted, if they offer a reactive dog class, they might not let you sit in on that particular class, the dogs are reactive after all, but they should let you sit in on a basic obedience class or something.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in NO way shape or form agreeing with what the trainer in question did, taking a dog that the trainer had no relationship with and forcing them into a submissive position by force while having the horrified owners watch. However, I will say that the perspective of some from the outside can be a powerful tool in waking up the owner, the trainer looks at things from an un-emotional point of view. One of the major problems in terms of dog/owner relationships and fostering "out of control dogs" or dogs with behavior issues eventually is that owners get to "emotional" about there dogs. They rely on the dogs to fullfill some emotional need and arte under the premess that tthey are being "mean" to the dog by providing it with some discipline, you see alot of parallels with parents raising outta control kids.

 

However, I don't think from what was described that the dog's behaviors are rooted in fear. Possibly an insecure/dominance issue, biting a jogger, reacting to "movement"/other dogs, etc. It sounds like this dog is suffering from "spoiled dog syndrome" not getting the structue and leadership it needs. These behaviors have been escalating for awhile and the fact is that the dog has been allowed to get away with it little by little. Now that things have intesified the owners want to step in and fix the problem. Now that a bite has actually occured an intervention is needed when actually the behaviors have been bubbling over for quite some time.

 

It sounds like the dog pretty much had a full blown "temper-tantrum" when shockingly given a pretty stern handling(although it sounds like way over-kill and not done in the right context). I have seen it many times before. Then because the owners are already to sucked in and get emotional, they "feel sorry" for the dog. Which is part of the problem in the first place, the dog runs the show.

 

Like I said, I DON'T agree with how this particular trainer went about this, but I DO agree that the dog and owner need a wake up call. This behavior is not going to go away and get better unless some major changes are made. And the owner needs to be OK with the dog NOT LIKING it! She LIKES it I am sure JUST the way things are! Of course you shouldn't be severly disturbed by what a trainer tells you to do with your dogs but you are going to HAVE to get outta your comfort zone a little. Not try to find a trainer that will tell you what you want to hear.

 

OK, much like the show Super Nanny. When the big bad Nanny takes the outta control kids and puts some structure and disipline in there....of course they hate it!!! And the parents hate it to at first, until they start to see some results.

 

I ALSO have an EXTREMELY aggressive/reactive dog. she is a rescue and came to me that way, couldn't even be taken on a walk AT ALL! and had a bite history! It's all about providing structure and discipline for the dog, developing a trustful relationship, exercising and management management management through training! Timing, understanding threshholds, triggers. I use a prong collar on her, she is taught "focused attention" and gets a correction when she doesn't comply. The key for her is catching her BEFORE she reaches that threshold. If she is allowed to focus on another dog, or person for more than a few seconds she is impossible to re-direct with voice/food/toy she is in an extremely aroused state and If I correct her physicly at this point I will more than likely get bit. It's a huge balancing act but is like a different dog than the one I got originally who was about to be put down....and did I mention the previous owners tried "positive only" methods...you can see where that got them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
on observing 'aberrant' behaviour (Melanie, Geonni, Ooky, anyone who's lived in the Bay Area will know what I mean);

 

Hmm, I'm guessing this is like the time I was walking down the street in Oakland and a homeless woman ran across the street to beat Odin with a closed umbrella. Odin was on-leash and I got a few whacks too as he cowered against my leg. I yelled "Hey, WTH?!?" but it didn't matter. If anyone has seen any of the Simpsons where there is the old crazy cat lady, who comes around corners and stuff yelling gibberish and throwing cats at people, well, it was like that. But with an umbrella. Later I found out she had done it to several dogs in the neighborhood over the past few days, and one guy with a mastiff cross was jokingly (sort of) considering just letting his dog at her next time, and told her as much. That worked, and she went on to beat at dogs and owners walking down other streets, I guess.

 

As for your issue with Allie, I'm so sorry! I think you did the exact right thing deciding not to go back. You gave her a chance, and it doesn't matter how great she is if you will have difficulty following her methods (which I would too). That trainer may not be horrible but I don't really understand why she couldn't go with you asking Allie first to get her warmed up and also to learn your cues.

 

In situations where my dog has been truly reactive and possibly fearful towards people, such as with skateboarders or with my boss, a reward-based, desensitization approach did work where corrections did not. We have played the Look at that game with skateboarders, and I crammed treats down him around my boss for a while while my boss stopped talking o him or looking at him, and worked up gradually to having my boss interact again by giving him treats too. That's not to say structure and discipline aren't good things, and I use corrections daily, but I'm for whatever works and those approaches worked for us for those issues.

 

I'm not much help here, but I did really like some of the CPDTs affiliated with the Oakland SPCA - they are positive-only (or whatever the term for that is) and some do individual lessons. Best of luck,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and did I mention the previous owners tried "positive only" methods...you can see where that got them.

 

Imagine where it would have gotten them if they'd done it properly, and with correct timing and/or a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind non-punishment based training!

 

I'd third or 4th or whatever Greta. In fact, just contact http://www.companionanimalsolutions.com/bios.php. who she works with. I believe they are expanding into the Bay Area, and they're all very good at what they do.

 

ETA - I've PMd you a list of trainers recommended by Greta for your area.

 

RDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It sounds like this dog is suffering from "spoiled dog syndrome" not getting the structue and leadership it needs. These behaviors have been escalating for awhile and the fact is that the dog has been allowed to get away with it little by little.

 

I'm really curious about something, and I was wondering if you would humor me to answer a question.

 

Do you think that dogs, by nature, are creatures whose main intent in life is to get away with as much as possible? Like they always know exactly what we want, but they are trying, with all of their being, to do the opposite as much as they can?

 

Do you think that most, if not all, behavior problems stem from an intense passion, on the part of the dog, to get away with things?

 

I know this might sound like sarcasm, but honestly, that's what I read into a lot of what you write, and I'm wondering if that's actually the frame of reference from which you approach dog training.

 

I'm just looking to understand your point of view better since I do hold a very different perspective.

 

ETA: Sorry to the OP for the hijack. However, you might find it relevant. I find that a big part of choosing a trainer is getting a clear picture of how that trainer approaches dogs and their behavior in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am in NO way shape or form agreeing with what the trainer in question did, taking a dog that the trainer had no relationship with and forcing them into a submissive position by force while having the horrified owners watch. However, I will say that the perspective of some from the outside can be a powerful tool in waking up the owner, the trainer looks at things from an un-emotional point of view. One of the major problems in terms of dog/owner relationships and fostering "out of control dogs" or dogs with behavior issues eventually is that owners get to "emotional" about there dogs. They rely on the dogs to fullfill some emotional need and arte under the premess that tthey are being "mean" to the dog by providing it with some discipline, you see alot of parallels with parents raising outta control kids.

 

However, I don't think from what was described that the dog's behaviors are rooted in fear. Possibly an insecure/dominance issue, biting a jogger, reacting to "movement"/other dogs, etc. It sounds like this dog is suffering from "spoiled dog syndrome" not getting the structue and leadership it needs. These behaviors have been escalating for awhile and the fact is that the dog has been allowed to get away with it little by little. Now that things have intesified the owners want to step in and fix the problem. Now that a bite has actually occured an intervention is needed when actually the behaviors have been bubbling over for quite some time.

 

But wouldn't insecurity be similar to fear? There may be need for a wake up call, but I think the OP has already had it. Taking your dog to a trainer that puts a prong on it and forces it to lie down is not the answer.

 

OK, much like the show Super Nanny. When the big bad Nanny takes the outta control kids and puts some structure and disipline in there....of course they hate it!!! And the parents hate it to at first, until they start to see some results.

 

Somehow Super Nanny manages to implement effective discipline in a non-physical way. She is firm, consistent, patient. And it works. And you can do the same with a dog for the most part.

 

I ALSO have an EXTREMELY aggressive/reactive dog. she is a rescue and came to me that way, couldn't even be taken on a walk AT ALL! and had a bite history! It's all about providing structure and discipline for the dog, developing a trustful relationship, exercising and management management management through training! Timing, understanding threshholds, triggers. I use a prong collar on her, she is taught "focused attention" and gets a correction when she doesn't comply. The key for her is catching her BEFORE she reaches that threshold. If she is allowed to focus on another dog, or person for more than a few seconds she is impossible to re-direct with voice/food/toy she is in an extremely aroused state and If I correct her physicly at this point I will more than likely get bit. It's a huge balancing act but is like a different dog than the one I got originally who was about to be put down....and did I mention the previous owners tried "positive only" methods...you can see where that got them.

 

Why would you let your dog get over threshold? What about keeping it just under threshold and training your dog as to what you expect in the face of the trigger? and reward it for good behavior?

 

I've got a reactive dog. Did a great Cujo impersonation in the face of other dogs. What finally really helped was I taught him how to relax and focus, then gradually asked him to do so closer and closer to his triggers. Now he is happy to walk past other barking dogs and look to me for what to do next instead of reacting. I taught him that I could take care of what was going on and that he could relax and look at me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't be able to address each post as I'd like to, at least not until the next load of laundry goes in, but I wanted to send a general thank you! to everyone for suggestions, support, and trainer names, and a extra danke schoen to those of you networking on my behalf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, a few more general comments. First of all, I'm inclined to agree with shyshepherdess that going after the jogger was most likely an attempt to control his motion. However, I think she also has some fear issues that manifest in barking outbursts, and I think her reaction to the trainer was in (her mind) self-defense. I think this because I have read a few books and watched some videos on dog body language, and because I can prevent at least 95% of those incidents by simply interposing my body between her and the "threat", or going around. (Eek on the crazy umbrella lady! we haven't been physically attacked *knock wood*, but we've have people jumping in front of us, waving their arms and yelling. If it gives any frame of reference, we live a block off of Telegraph Ave.)

 

Writing this out, and reading the responses, I'm thinking that the best thing might be to find someone who will quietly observe our routines, and then give specific advice. I don't know if anyone works that way, but it will be one of my vetting questions. It's hard for an outsider to know exactly what is going on without seeing it firsthand. They can't know whether I am prone to exaggeration or understatement, and even at my most objective, I have internal biases and ignorances that affect what I see and describe. Further, I need training as much, if not more than she does. I'm going to be the one handling her, so what really matters is how she behaves for me.

 

Some of you may be getting the impression that she's virtually Cujo, and she's not. She's a normal dog whose actions are perfectly reasonable, even if not socially acceptable. A number of you have met her - if you remember at all, did she strike you as at all out of the ordinary behaviorally?

 

I really wish I had the luxury of working this out in a controlled environment, but the reality is that I live in a largish town, one known widely for its counter-culture ways, and a college town to boot. The nip occurred past 10 PM, and I can't really count on people not being active late at night. Heck, if I go much later, I have to contend foraging homeless folk. My "yard" is approximately 250 sq. ft; not at all adequate for physical exercise. We *have* to go out into the world, and learn to manage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Writing this out, and reading the responses, I'm thinking that the best thing might be to find someone who will quietly observe our routines, and then give specific advice. I don't know if anyone works that way, but it will be one of my vetting questions.

 

Yes, there are trainers who will do that. And that's an excellent question to ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

Ms Sluj wrote:, I'm thinking that the best thing might be to find someone who will quietly observe our routines, and then give specific advice. I don't know if anyone works that way, but it will be one of my vetting questions. It's hard for an outsider to know exactly what is going on without seeing it firsthand. They can't know whether I am prone to exaggeration or understatement, and even at my most objective, I have internal biases and ignorances that affect what I see and describe. Further, I need training as much, if not more than she does. I'm going to be the one handling her, so what really matters is how she behaves for me.

 

 

This is so entirely sensible, I'll venture a prediction: Her dog will quit those behaviors which distress her pack leader.

 

Donald McCaig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, RB I seriously debated even giving you a response to your questions, the fact that you have derived that from my posted just goes to show how far off from base you really are when it comes to understanding my methods or style of handling/training my dogs and others....

 

Of COURSE I don't believe dogs are constantly trying to manipulate or get away with things! I think dogs are opportunist and WILL however gladly run the show if allowed, this is largely dependent on the dogs personality and most importantly it's match with it's owner. I am saying this going on YEARS of experience helping owners with behavior problems with there pets as well as training my own to a highly competitive level. I find that most of the time the dog/owner is a relatively good match, they can handle the dogs energy level or needs and MOST of the time the dog has a reasonable enough personality that it's not going to develop some real behavior issues because of the LACK of an owners knowledge or ability to provide what the dog needs to be a stable pack memeber.

 

There is an epidemic of dogs in shelters, rescue groups because of this reason and I see more and more owners who are afraid to discipline there dogs because they don't want to "hurt there feelings", they want to be there dogs "best friend", they don't want to "correct" there dog IF NECESSARY. They don't want to do what it takes to apply proper leadership to there dogs....

 

Someone I know just adopted a 3 year old border collie, scheduled to be "put down" because she was nipping the heels of the kids and was "agressive". After being put in a proper home with the correct amount of leadership and a knowledgable owner who knew how to meet her needs she hasn't had a single issue.

 

FYI this is in no way shape or form meant to be directed toward the OP..again going on my years of experience training dogs, helping owners, fostering dogs, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh, RB I seriously debated even giving you a response to your questions, the fact that you have derived that from my posted just goes to show how far off from base you really are when it comes to understanding my methods or style of handling/training my dogs and others....

 

Great! If I'm so far off base, isn't it good to have the opportunity to make your true position more clear? I'm surprised that you don't welcome the opportunity to clarify your position. I know I appreciate that opportunity when people don't quite understand what I mean by something. :rolleyes:

 

Of COURSE I don't believe dogs are constantly trying to manipulate or get away with things! I think dogs are opportunist and WILL however gladly run the show if allowed, this is largely dependent on the dogs personality and most importantly it's match with it's owner.

 

Interesting. To me, those two things sound pretty close to the same. "Trying to get away with things" and "running the show" both indicate that the dog is willfully trying to usurp power in some way.

 

Anyway, thank you for the clarification. I got the answer that I was looking for and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I take it through your vast knowledge and experience you do not agree??? ....shocking....

 

No, I don't. :rolleyes: To be honest, if I did agree with that, I wouldn't own one, much less four. It would be way to much of a hassle and headache to constantly make sure the dogs weren't "running the show". That's not to say they are never opportunists, just that I don't live my life in a constant struggle against the dogs rising up to "take over", nor to I suggest that my clients approach things that way.

 

When I work with people who have dogs similar to the OP's dog, we work off of quite a different premise. Somehow, even without the underlying idea that you express, we are able to help those dogs learn to behave appropriately when the dog's owner really invests what is needed in the dog's training. Options, once again. :D

 

I'm not going to quibble with you over whose experience and knowledge is better. That actually strikes me as rather pointless and I'm not really interested in doing that. And to me it's the dogs that matter, and they are really the only ones I care to discuss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I don't want to waist another breath on this but the fact that you are insinuating that I spend ALL my time keeping my multi-dog household from constant takeover, when I was trying to emphasize the importance of leadership and structure, is rediculous! My dogs and I have a deep bond and awesome relationship fyi. And if you bothered to fully read the majority of my training posts I strongly emphasize the importance of positive motivation(treats, praise, building a relationship with your dog) BACKED up by compulsion or a consequence if needed....yes a correction. Pretty basic concept.

 

From my experience, ANY kind of training with your dog is great and can correct and prevent many behavior problems. Whether it be "positive only" or not, dependent on the personality and problem of the dog ANY kind of structure or training from the owner will help! And if it works for you and your dog, GREAT! The main reason I emphasize the structure/disipline is because 90% of people and there pets relationships and pack structure is improved by just establishing some boundaries/expectations...

 

I have just found in my experience(our training facility being flooded with people who trained at "positive only" places), that the method cannot easily be applied to ALL dogs and owners, especially when things start to take a more destructive turn...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...