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Dear Roxanne,

Thank you for the clip where, at the last Dr. Mech describes how alpha packs are produced from unrelated animals - like most multidog households. While too much has been made of alpha and too little of its shifting complexities, my dogs have a clear, mostly firm pecking order.

Donald

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On 11/3/2018 at 2:21 PM, Donald McCaig said:

While too much has been made of alpha and too little of its shifting complexities, my dogs have a clear, mostly firm pecking order.

And too little in this debate has been made of the fact that dogs are not wolves behaviorally as well. Even in areas where populations of feral or pariah dogs thrive, they don't maintain strong pack dynamics and also tend to have considerably less aggression within their communities. The reasons for that are also complex and include having more interesting and enriching lives than most pet dogs, but the dynamics within their communities also don't contribute to the kind of friction that Alpha theory would suggest would occur.

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On ‎11‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 11:57 AM, Lenie said:

Did you work on the nervousness about cars by doing something or just walking? Lottie is a tad bit nervous but a couple times has lunged at a passing car and I'm not sure how to handle it. I want her to have a healthy fear of cars but I also don't want walking along a road to be a scary experience for her.

I wish I had thought puppy classes through like you did and not done the class! It's actually Lottie's second, but her first class she was the only dog who signed up (which is why I signed up for that class! :) ) so it was a very nice quiet class. Unfortunately, the trainer was a little young and inexperienced but we did learn a few things and Lottie had a safe area to get to know a new person. At the end of six weeks, Lottie still wouldn't let the trainer pet her though. 

Your puppy sounds wonderful! They are fun aren't they? Lottie keeps me busy and we've had lots of problems but I wouldn't trade her for anyone!

Hi, Apologies for taking so long to reply. Really all I did was walk him along roads with moderate traffic. When a car was approaching we would stop walking and watch the car pass. At first he would be nervous and jumpy. I worked on talking to him to keep calm with an occasional treat and eventually he grew to accept that traffic was no big deal. We did have a set back the first time it rained as the car tyres are a lot noisier in rain and it took a while for him to adjust.

I think the trick is to be patient and consistent in what you do to show the dog what to do. NOW!!! if only I could get this to work on his recall lol.

You have a great looking dog. Enjoy.

 

Brian

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On 11/1/2018 at 11:59 AM, Lenie said:

I guess I'm asking if I should trust the trainer who has far more experience than I do with dogs or if I should go with my gut. My gut says this class isn't good for Lottie because it's too much for her to handle right now--learning new commands while also being anxious about the new people, dogs, and environment. My gut also says that Lottie isn't an alpha personality and she's too sensitive to respond well to that style of training. 

 

 

I haven't read any of the responses, just your original post, so my reply is directly to you.

Experience or no, I would not trust a trainer who used this verbiage.

I agree with your gut on this one.

Granted, I just popped up out of nowhere and you don't know me from a can of paint, but that's neither here nor there.  I still agree with your gut.

Cheers!!

Oh, BTW, your Border Collie is gorgeous!!

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Hi,

     I'm late to this conversation but I also say go with your gut and leave this class.  I would try to find another one altogether and ask the instructor questions beforehand and attend a class without your girl to see if it is a good fit.  I've had four Border Collies.  Three fit in anywhere but my current male does not.  He does better in a small class with less chaos and noise and with a positive, upbeat atmosphere.  He also doesn't do well in an hour long class.  Shorter is always better for him.  They are all different!

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Thanks for the input everyone! Also, thank you GentleLake for posting that video. I tried to find the full length interview (it looked as though they cut out parts) but no luck. 

There are only a couple class sessions left and my fiancé wants to finish. I think I'm going to take over handling her though because last night the instructor convinced him that a prong collar would be best for Lottie. I don't have the experience to know if a prong collar might be good for some dogs on occasion, but it seems a little extreme to use on a six month old puppy who is anxious. I feel like we haven't worked with her enough on walking on leash and it's my fault she's bad about pulling. I'm going to really work on her leash manners for the next couple weeks. Towards the end of the class, Lottie was tired and panting hard and she lay down on the mat. My fiancé spoke her name and tried to get her to stand up and she didn't. The instructor said that she is "willfully disobeying" him. 

I was so frustrated because while Lottie is making lots of progress at home, the classes don't reflect that and now the instructor has my fiancé convinced that Lottie is this rebellious dog trying to become the pack leader and needs a prong collar. Lottie doesn't respond well to him at home. He has a lower voice and is quick to get frustrated with her. If she is doing something not allowed (such as jumping up and trying to get something off the counter) he will say "Lottie, no. Off" and if she doesn't obey then he gives up and doesn't do anything else.

I'm venting a little here! I think I'm tired of trying to convince everyone that she's not a bad dog and she isn't trying to be the alpha. Everyone seems to think she's this terrible dog with behavioral problems when it's just typical puppy behavior. Like getting overexcited or having too much energy (we are still working on learning to "settle"!) or chewing something she isn't suppose to. And yes, pulling on the leash. But again, the lack of leash manners are my fault because I didn't start working on it until this class.

The instructor telling us to put Lottie in a prong collar really bothered me. No suggestions for other things to try first, no asking how she heels at home or anything, just handing us a prong collar and telling us to use it. They didn't even tell us how to properly use a prong collar either. I think if I was an instructor and I gave a dog owner a prong collar, I'd make sure to talk to them about it and make sure they knew how to use it properly. Not just send them off with it and assume they knew how to use it! I gave it back to them and said I'd think about it. 

Sorry for the long post! I'm just frustrated! 

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I can imagine your frustration! 

A good trainer and teacher should work with you and like you said, should start a conversation about the dog first and ask questions. Otherwise you can get very different conclusions.
If anyone would only judge my dog for how she acts around a ball for instance, they would come to a very different conclusion than when they saw her at home. 
She loses half her brain when I have a ball with me and looks crazy, forgets her surroundings (we are working on that, slowly...) whereas at home she is the perfect dog: relaxed, sleeps, knows how to fetch my slippers... :) 

I could see how someone might advise me to use a prong collar based on seeing my dog around tennisballs. I am pretty confident that would make my dog even more crazy and frustrated.
And man, at six months old my dog still had a lot to learn! 

I'm glad you gave them the prong collar back. Stick to your guns. One day all the training will "click" and Lottie will show them how wonderful she is and it was simply that she was young!

Although it can be a battle convincing others. My ex BF could be a bit unkind to Molly sometimes. He would expect unreasonable things. For instance, she knows "stay", but you can't expect her to stay in her basket while we leave the house for five minutes. We had never practiced that, only walking a long distance away and she could see us. 
He would think she was being disobedient, whereas she just did not know what he wanted from her. People can be so unfair to dogs. They can do such wonderful things if you put some time and effort in training them and showing them what you want. 

 

 

 

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I don’t blame you for venting. That trainer sounds awful! 

Please tell your fiancé that there are a ton of people on this forum who have six month old collies and older dogs who see this as nothing out of the ordinary. 

Dogs are not in our lives to do anything we say when we want it. That’s what’s hideous about bear baiting!

yes we have to have parameters and rules for everyone’s safety but there has to be complete respect for the animal to work within their capabilities. 

One of the fun challenges of working with a collie is that they are so smart they are thinking ahead all the time. So it’s not wilful disobedience - they’ve just thought through to the end game and analysed what’s required. I’m sure she would have stood up if he’d have said there was urgent herding to do but if she was tired she was probably taking a sensible moment to rest. 

There is no way I would take the dog back to that class. I’m sure you can do 100% better all by yourself. 

 

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4 hours ago, Lenie said:

I feel like we haven't worked with her enough on walking on leash and it's my fault she's bad about pulling. I'm going to really work on her leash manners for the next couple weeks.

I was so frustrated because while Lottie is making lots of progress at home, the classes don't reflect that

Does she have bad leash manners though or is it anxiety? I answered earlier in the thread about our boy and how he can walk very nicely on the leash round our home but would pull the minute we stepped out and how we've been working on that. We're now at the point where we go to lots of different places and practice leash walking. It still takes loads of treats but he's getting the hang of not trying to drag me, unless we find ourselves too near to a road or in a scary/loud place and then he'll start pulling. This is my cue to move back to safer territory.

I posted a similar thread months ago and said exactly the same thing about the classes not reflecting home progress. I wanted to show the world how fantastic and clever he was, instead I cringed in the corner trying to calm him down and get him to do something right. Anything. Our classes were all about positive reinforcement and very anti aversive training which was lucky for us, instead of being offered a prong collar we were offered higher value treats. They didn't really help, any that were swallowed were regurgitated whole after the class. We did finish the classes but didn't enjoy them, they seemed to get worse not better. Since then I've been training in as many different places as we can, but gently and slowly. Starting with just going somewhere new to look and watch and feed treats and progressing to following commands and focussing on me in busier places. We started in an empty field we found, progressed to an area where other people walk their dogs and have now just upped it to the quiet end of a supermarket car park. He's still nowhere near ready to return to a class environment.

4 hours ago, Lenie said:

I think I'm tired of trying to convince everyone that she's not a bad dog and she isn't trying to be the alpha. Everyone seems to think she's this terrible dog with behavioral problems when it's just typical puppy behavior. Like getting overexcited or having too much energy (we are still working on learning to "settle"!) or chewing something she isn't suppose to. And yes, pulling on the leash.

Yes! Me too! People leave us alone, we know what we're doing and our puppies aren't bad. They're just youngsters who haven't learnt to control themselves and behave like adults yet, but it will come with time, patience and training.

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Hi,

     I would not put a prong on her.  I  had a trainer suggest that to me for my young female BC, years ago.  I did switch training collars and found one that worked better.  My current male BC I did use a prong on for years, but  he is a different dog with an entirely different temperament.  Perhaps try a head collar (Gentle Leader, Halti, etc.) I now use that on my puppies until I feel they understand the concept of walking on a leash without pulling, then I move on. 

     Honestly, find a different trainer with a different outlook so your girl doesn't think all classes are horrible.  Perhaps a pet agility class or nosework or something you can both enjoy.  My dogs as puppies have all done what your girl is doing.  You are right, she is a puppy, puppies aren't bad, they are just puppies.

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You are absolutely right to stay away from prong collars. That trainer is clueless (and I am not saying the other things I think about that person) and should never be allowed to train dogs or influence other people on how they work with their dogs.

Your husband needs to understand that you are working with a youngster and she will get tired and overwhelmed. She was probably tired, possibly anxious and/or overwhelmed and that is why she lay down in class. For the so-called teacher to say that was "willful disobedience" and indicate that it calls for more violent means of treating the dog, only shows how stupid and uninformed that person is. Dogs rarely do "willful disobedience". If the dog doesn't obey there is a reason for it: tired, anxious, overwhelmed, distracted, doesn't understand the cue given, frightened, or something else. It is up to the person doing the training to take a step back if something like that happens and figure out what is going on with the dog and address that effectively, not just get mad or frustrated or be harder on the dog. 

You also say that your husband doesn't follow up when Lottie doesn't do what he asks. Inconsistency and lack of follow-through are guaranteed to create a dog who doesn't listen to the cues given to her. If he says "off" and she does nothing and he does nothing else, the word "off" has no meaning to the dog. He may as well be saying "excellent", or "umbrella". If you want the dog to learn what a word means you need to show the dog what it means, in a kind and respectful manner while still being firm and 100% consistent. It sounds to me as if your husband is contributing unwittingly to her lack of obedience, and then getting frustrated with her. This is a recipe for an anxious and troubled dog, and you don't want that.

Stick to your guns with regard to the prong collar. I would heavily advise not going back to that class at all, and having a long talk with your husband about how the dog needs to be trained. People here can advise you on training books to read and websites to visit that you and your husband can read that will help to show him how he is straying from the path that is most helpful to you and the dog. One I would recommend is "Bones Would Fall From The Sky" ( Bones Would Fall From The Sky ) It is not a training book in that it doesn't give techniques. Rather, it is about the relationship between you and your dog, and is an excellent book; my favorite book on the subject. Maybe if he read it his attitude would change. I hope it does, for your sake and Lottie's.

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On 11/17/2018 at 9:22 AM, D'Elle said:

You are absolutely right to stay away from prong collars. That trainer is clueless (and I am not saying the other things I think about that person) and should never be allowed to train dogs or influence other people on how they work with their dogs.

Your husband needs to understand that you are working with a youngster and she will get tired and overwhelmed. She was probably tired, possibly anxious and/or overwhelmed and that is why she lay down in class. For the so-called teacher to say that was "willful disobedience" and indicate that it calls for more violent means of treating the dog, only shows how stupid and uninformed that person is. Dogs rarely do "willful disobedience". If the dog doesn't obey there is a reason for it: tired, anxious, overwhelmed, distracted, doesn't understand the cue given, frightened, or something else. It is up to the person doing the training to take a step back if something like that happens and figure out what is going on with the dog and address that effectively, not just get mad or frustrated or be harder on the dog. 

You also say that your husband doesn't follow up when Lottie doesn't do what he asks. Inconsistency and lack of follow-through are guaranteed to create a dog who doesn't listen to the cues given to her. If he says "off" and she does nothing and he does nothing else, the word "off" has no meaning to the dog. He may as well be saying "excellent", or "umbrella". If you want the dog to learn what a word means you need to show the dog what it means, in a kind and respectful manner while still being firm and 100% consistent. It sounds to me as if your husband is contributing unwittingly to her lack of obedience, and then getting frustrated with her. This is a recipe for an anxious and troubled dog, and you don't want that.

Stick to your guns with regard to the prong collar. I would heavily advise not going back to that class at all, and having a long talk with your husband about how the dog needs to be trained. People here can advise you on training books to read and websites to visit that you and your husband can read that will help to show him how he is straying from the path that is most helpful to you and the dog. One I would recommend is "Bones Would Fall From The Sky" ( Bones Would Fall From The Sky ) It is not a training book in that it doesn't give techniques. Rather, it is about the relationship between you and your dog, and is an excellent book; my favorite book on the subject. Maybe if he read it his attitude would change. I hope it does, for your sake and Lottie's.

Thanks so much for posting this. It clarifies things and I'm definitely going to discuss how to train Lottie with my fiancé. He isn't very experienced with dogs and I need to get him to read some books.

I haven't read Bones Would Fall From The Sky. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been reading some other books---Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor, The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller, Clicking With Your Dog by Peggy Tillman, The Puppy Primer and The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, and several others. 

My degree is in Psychology with a concentration on animal behavior so you'd think I'd be more assured about training Lottie. :rolleyes: I think I was until I actually got her! ;)

I'm not going to go back to the class and I think we will all be a lot happier! My fiancé has been leaving most of the decisions up to me and if I have him read some of the books with me I'm sure he will agree with them and probably start being more consistent!

Thanks again everyone. You've all been a big help!

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Bones Would Rain from the Sky should be required reading for all dog owners!

There are a couple newer ones that are helpful for when a dog doens't seem to be responding to training well. One is When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion, which deals, among other things, with finding what motivates your dog best.

A couple other good ones, depending on which best describes your dog (and possibly both do, though they seem to be opposites) are Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control by Laura VanArendonk Baugh and The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears by Patricia McConnell.

Wishing you the best!

 

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Books have been ordered and I'm looking forward to reading them! 

I've discussed the training with my fiancé and he's willing to try it my way. I think before when I made comments after the class and criticized the way they were teaching that he thought I was basing my comments on my own personal opinion and not the training books that I've read.

GentleLake, thank you for the additional book recommendations. I'm especially interested in the one by Baugh. Lottie often gets so wild that she doesn't appear to even hear us or slow down enough to do anything other than just be crazy. Biting, jumping, playing rough, running around, taking bites out of furniture, chasing the cat, etc. I put her in "time out" in the crate for a few minutes so she can calm down, but lately it feels as though she is going in and out of the crate constantly which makes me feel bad. I've been experimenting with longer naps during the day because sometimes it seems as though she is tired and fighting it. If she isn't in her crate, she doesn't stop. She is always moving and doing something. I've tried to wait her out and see if she will lie down and go to sleep on her own, but she won't. I have to put her in the crate before she will actually stop and go to sleep.

So I'm hopeful that the book will help! Also maturity will help I'm sure. She will be seven months on the 23rd and I'm hoping that as she gets older she will learn to relax. She barely stops long enough to let me pet her now. And when she eats, she grabs a mouthful and walks around while eating it. The other day she was doing that and got excited and inhaled, a piece got stuck in her throat, and she choked. Scared me half to death! I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich on her. 

Anyway, we are learning lots. I wouldn't trade Lottie for the world. I worked at a border collie kennel for years and with my own rescue border collie I just fell in love with the breed. I dreamed of the day I'd have a pup of my own and Lottie is everything I hoped she would be and more. We just have to survive her puppyhood! ;) 

As always, everyone's help is much appreciated! 

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Lenie and jami74,

It sounds to me as if you have good concerns, and are addressing them well.

One thing I haven't seen addressed -- possibly because it sounds like a criticism although it absolutely isn't -- is the fact that both of you have been frustrated because you want your dog to look good (naturally!) but s/he isn't looking good in front of people.  People are thinking your dog is bad, when you know that s/he is not.

This is a universal feeling among relatively new dog owners -- so natural that it would be strange if you did NOT feel it.  But don't overlook the fact that these are sensitive dogs, and they are well aware that you are unhappy and frustrated, and a normal reaction to that is for the dog to feel an increased sense that things are "not right," which in turn contributes to some degree of desperation and uncontrolled behavior.

I feel silly saying, "Don't feel that way.  Don't worry about what others are thinking," because that's probably advice that hardly anyone could follow.  You feel what you feel.  But just think about the parallel between your not being able to ignore your concern about others disapproving of your dog, and your dog's not being able to ignore your your frustration with him/her (as well as the other strange things surrounding him/her).  

So what I would just say is try your best to eliminate that factor.  Try your best to forget that others are watching you and may be judging you.  Try to make it be an interaction between you and your dog where you're trying to help him/her understand what behavior you're asking for, without regard to whether s/he knows it at home, or s/he's just anxious, or s/he's not alpha, or whatever.  Try to make yourself the best you can be for your dog.

This may not be advice you need right now, since both of you are not going to be attending classes at present (and I'd say that's good).  But maybe it's something to keep in mind for the future.   

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12 minutes ago, Eileen Stein said:

But don't overlook the fact that these are sensitive dogs, and they are well aware that you are unhappy and frustrated, and a normal reaction to that is for the dog to feel an increased sense that things are "not right," which in turn contributes to some degree of desperation and uncontrolled behavior.

This is very true.

Looks like I'm telling stories about past dogs today, but this reminds me very much of my second working border collie. For the most part I trained her on my own with various clinics along the way so it wasn't that I was hoping to show her skills off. But so often I'd be trying to teach her something on the sheep and she'd have been working fine until I threw something new into the mix. Then everything quickly fell apart. I'd get frustrated and she'd get frustrated and it would escalate until she'd stop working. So we'd go home and go back out into the training field the next day and she performed exactly what it was I'd been unsuccessfully trying the day before like she'd been doing it all her life! I had to learn not to get frustrated while she was learning and give her the space to process whatever it was on her own. So we'd work on a new skill for a few minutes and I'd learned to stop as soon as she was beginning to get frustrated and end the session on a positive note with something she was accomplished at doing, then stop and go home. Without fail the next day, or 2 at the most, she could do whatever it was perfectly.

So, yeah, that reciprocal frustration can be very damaging to some dogs' learning. Just like people they have different learning styles and the best teachers/trainers know how to accommodate for that. But it can take a degree of self mindfulness to recognize what we're doing to contribute to things falling apart.

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4 hours ago, Eileen Stein said:

I feel silly saying, "Don't feel that way.  Don't worry about what others are thinking," because that's probably advice that hardly anyone could follow. 

Thank-you for saying it though <3

These boards have made me feel more confident to put ourselves first. It is so reassuring to see people having, or have previously had, similar experiences. Especially when all the other breeds of puppy seem to be behaving just nicely.

 

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25 minutes ago, jami74 said:

Thank-you for saying it though <3

These boards have made me feel more confident to put ourselves first. It is so reassuring to see people having, or have previously had, similar experiences. Especially when all the other breeds of puppy seem to be behaving just nicely.

 

Elaine's advice is excellent. I am so glad that we are being helpful to you. It makes all of us happier when we can offer advice and support to someone who is actually benefiting from it. All too often, people ask for advice and then simply argue with our responses, and that's not especially satisfying.  

Lenie, don't feel silly because all of your education and training doesn't make you the perfect trainer for this particular dog. For one thing, every dog is different and the most important thing is to find out who this dog is and how best to communicate with her. And secondly, you know that things are much more challenging when you are up close to them than they are when you are studying them! What I love is that you love this dog and are dedicated to her and to working it all out in time. That will serve you well.

 

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On 11/19/2018 at 11:28 PM, D'Elle said:

I am so glad that we are being helpful to you. It makes all of us happier when we can offer advice and support to someone who is actually benefiting from it. All too often, people ask for advice and then simply argue with our responses, and that's not especially satisfying.  

As a sidenote - you can be assured that a lot of people from all around the world are reading the information and advice who (like me) are mostly silent but still benefiting greatly. So thank you all who dedicate the time and energy to share your knowledge for your efforts to help the others out! Even if it seems lost on the person actually asking the question it is still surely helpful to others.

Again for emphasis, a big thank you!

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I too would like to say thank you for all the great advice I have found on these boards. I don't always contribute and tend to look at posts from people like Jami74 and Lenie as they have dogs of a very similar age to mine and I will take answers to their posts and apply to my own situation. For instance we are having trouble with my boy pulling on the lead when my wife walks him and I have passed on the advice to slowly turn in the opposite direction ( not working yet but hopefully in time) He seems to have different behaviours for different members of the family. Smart cookie I think.

Anyway thanks again for all the help.

 

Brian

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On 11/19/2018 at 10:57 AM, Eileen Stein said:

One thing I haven't seen addressed -- possibly because it sounds like a criticism although it absolutely isn't -- is the fact that both of you have been frustrated because you want your dog to look good (naturally!) but s/he isn't looking good in front of people.  People are thinking your dog is bad, when you know that s/he is not.

So what I would just say is try your best to eliminate that factor.  Try your best to forget that others are watching you and may be judging you.  Try to make it be an interaction between you and your dog where you're trying to help him/her understand what behavior you're asking for, without regard to whether s/he knows it at home, or s/he's just anxious, or s/he's not alpha, or whatever.  Try to make yourself the best you can be for your dog.

I definitely needed to be reminded of this! Lottie reads me so well and since I read your post I've been noticing that even more. She's very quick to notice what mood I'm in and I have to be careful to keep our interactions positive. For the last week, I've been trying extra hard to make things fun and positive and we've had a lovely week. I didn't realize it until I quit the class, but all my training with Lottie was trying so hard to make enough progress that the trainer and others in the class wouldn't criticize her. I was stressed about it and I'm sure that stressed Lottie out as well. 

It sounds silly to say because it seems obvious now that quitting the class was best! I guess I felt that I had to complete the class for some reason and while I knew it wasn't how I wanted to train Lottie and knew that it wasn't good for her, I didn't quite trust myself because everyone around me was telling me that I was wrong. (Until I posted here asking for advice!)

As soon as I decided to quit the class, I got excited about working with Lottie again! Now we aren't stressed about following the class and we can work on what we need to work on without either of us getting frustrated. Lottie and I do great with each other. We've got a great bond and since I work from home, we are pretty much always together and I love it. We only have trouble when we add in someone else! ;) I do feel embarrassed when that happens because of course I want people to think as highly of Lottie as I do!

These boards have been so helpful to me! I've spent hours reading old posts and I'm so appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts! Not only have I received excellent advice; it is comforting to know that others are experiencing the same things or have gone through similar issues with their dogs. I've also got a great list of books to read! 

Bones Would Rain from the Sky arrived last night and I'm excited to start reading it and get back into training Lottie the way she needs to be trained and having fun along the way. Lottie is such an amazing dog. My posts may occasionally make her sound a little crazy, but she is truly amazing and I know we have many many years of joy ahead of us. I confess there have been moments when I thought I had gotten in over my head with her, but I do think Lottie and I will figure things out together. 

Thanks!

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On 11/19/2018 at 4:28 PM, D'Elle said:

Lenie, don't feel silly because all of your education and training doesn't make you the perfect trainer for this particular dog. For one thing, every dog is different and the most important thing is to find out who this dog is and how best to communicate with her. And secondly, you know that things are much more challenging when you are up close to them than they are when you are studying them! What I love is that you love this dog and are dedicated to her and to working it all out in time. That will serve you well.

 

Yes,  it's so easy to study! It's much harder to apply what you've learned. Here I thought I'd have an advantage with my degrees and having worked in kennels! :rolleyes: 

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7 hours ago, Lenie said:

...all my training with Lottie was trying so hard to make enough progress that the trainer and others in the class wouldn't criticize her.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these folks don't really understand how sensitive border collies (and other breeds and individuals of any kind) can be aren't as competent trainers as they'd have you believe they are. If they were they'd have understood different types of dogs and alternative strategies for working with them. :rolleyes:

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