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#1 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We adopted a yellow lab almost 2 weeks ago, her name is Summer. She is housetrained,and I taught her to sit, but have had no luck teaching her to come, stay, or heel. My other dog, Tanner, was trained by this guy who basically 'puts the dog in it's place', or showing the dog who's boss. He trains in one 3 hour session, and boasts he can break a dog of almost anything during this time. He certainly did a great job on Tanner, who was originally sent to the shelter for being too wild. The lady whom I adopted him from hired him, and now Tanner sits, comes, stays, and heels on command. He's a real pleasure to have around, and can come with us anywhere and be off-leash. So I emailed this dog trainer and he hadn't responded.

Today I saw an ad for another trainer, and set up an appt. She trains in one 1 hour private lesson, and has 3 other one hour once a week training sessions in a class. When I spoke to her, she said I should bring her favorite treats, as she uses treats to train.

Other trainer shows dog who is boss, she uses treats. Hmm... very different styles.

I know other dog trainer is good, because he trained my dog very well. Other trainer emailed me back saying he'd been out of town, but wants to set up a session. I already have a session set up with treat-giving dog trainer for tomorrow.

What should I do? We don't have a lot of money, treat giver wants $45 for the entire class, other trainer wants $85 for a 3 hour session but promises to break almost any dog of any misbehaviour. He says that dog is just following her doggy instincts, and that by communicating to her like a dog (whatever that means) he shows her that humans are boss, humans control everything, and she has to obey. Other trainer trains by bribery.

I need something that's gonna work, and I don't have the money to do it twice. So who should I choose? I still have time to cancel my appt for tomorrow, but I don't know what to do!!! Can anyone help me decide who I should choose?
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#2 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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I think you should speak to them about their training philosophy before paying for the class. Also, check out the Pet forum here and post there. I"m sure people like Shannon0218 and Polka can help you alot more becuase they have extensive experience with dog training as well as dogs from shelters. Good luck!

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#3 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by boricuaqueen327
I think you should speak to them about their training philosophy before paying for the class. Also, check out the Pet forum here and post there. I"m sure people like Shannon0218 and Polka can help you alot more becuase they have extensive experience with dog training as well as dogs from shelters. Good luck!
I already did that. Man trainer says that dogs should be taught that we are boss, they do not do anything unless we let them, and that we humans control everything. He says his training technique is more wolf like, aka we're the alphas and they do not do anything unless we let them.

Woman trainer uses treats to get the animals to want to do what we're requesting, and eventually weans the treats and uses positive reinforcement.

My question is: What works best? Delving into the mind of the dog and controlling it's behavoir, or bribing it wiht treats?

Man trainer basically said this: If you tell your dog to stay, and dog doesn't obey, you chain the dog to a very short leash in sight of you for a time. Do not look at the dog. Do not speak to the dog. The dog will feel hurt and upset and will try that much harder to obey you.

Woman trainer believes that if you can get the dog to do what you want the dog to do using treats, you can wean the treats and the dog will continue obeying because the dog wants to make you happy.

We can only afford one of these trainers. Which one should I use?
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#4 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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I don't have dogs, just children, but the "show it who's boss" technique just doesn't sit right with me.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#5 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesnt with me either, but he says that he's speaking in the dog language. If you ever see how wolves interact, they're not gentle at all. While it is not normal for humans to pick up their children and throw them onto the floor while growling, that is how the alpha wolves disclipline the lower members of the pack. I'm trying to figure out if that would remain the case for heavily domesticated dogs. And I know that this guy works. I'm trying to figure out which would work better, work longer, and help boost our relationship with each other. I cannot decide, even as an AP parent. I understand that dog relationships are very different from human relationships, and that makes the decision very difficult for me. I can't afford to choose the wrong one.
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#6 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla
I don't have dogs, just children, but the "show it who's boss" technique just doesn't sit right with me.
Word.

That term is a major turn off....
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#7 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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Dogs aren't kids, dogs need to know who is "in charge" or they will be in charge.


That said we trained with something in the middle, we use treats, not punishment, kind of: example training sit, dog on leash, I have treats


"Spot sit"
If Spot sits I get real excited "Good Spot sit, good sit" give treat.
If Spot doesn't sit, I say it again and help him sit, give the treat, say good sit, but don't get so excited.

Spot learns that he is going to sit by himself or I'm going to help, either way he's sitting. Dogs also respond super well to tons of praise. I think at times more than my kids. Yes they want to please, but I wouldn't want to try to "break" them KWIM?

Oh yes, try the pet forum

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#8 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MPJJJ
It doesnt with me either, but he says that he's speaking in the dog language. If you ever see how wolves interact, they're not gentle at all. While it is not normal for humans to pick up their children and throw them onto the floor while growling, that is how the alpha wolves disclipline the lower members of the pack. I'm trying to figure out if that would remain the case for heavily domesticated dogs. And I know that this guy works. I'm trying to figure out which would work better, work longer, and help boost our relationship with each other. I cannot decide, even as an AP parent. I understand that dog relationships are very different from human relationships, and that makes the decision very difficult for me. I can't afford to choose the wrong one.
I just wanted to add that this guy doesn't advocate throwing your dog on the floor, and I'd never do it even if he did, I was just explaining the difference in wolf relations verses human relations. He doesn't even say you should hit your dog, though a lot of trainers do. He uses time-outs and harsh tones of voice to show displeasure at the dog behaviours. Which seems fine if that's how dogs communicate with each other, KWIM? But by my parenting standards, it seems far too harsh. But then again, I'm the mother of a human, not the dog, so what do I know?
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#9 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 06:12 PM
 
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I have two Akitas (very large, very strongwilled, very dominant). The "show who is boss" technique does not need to be violent. It is mimicing natural dog behavior. A lot of it involves doing little things everyday, like walking through the door before the dog does, not allowing the dog to sit on furniture sleep in your bed, never looking away first if the dog is staring at you, deciding when to allow the dog to eat....

This does not sit well with a lot of people, because they feel like they should be able to be on equal terms with their dog. In fact, dog packs are more complicated than that. Each dog is "equal" and respected, but there is an alpha male and an alpha female that control the jobs and the home life.

In some breeds, like Akitas, German Shepherds and other large, strong willed dogs, not using this approach could lead to a dangerous situation. I recommend that you do more reading on the subject of dog packs and training and not necessarily trust the trainer to know what is best. Feel free to pm me for more info.

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#10 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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I would go with the trainer you used before IMO
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#11 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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You DO need to becom the Alpha in your home tho & there are many different methods to this. This is a sort-of- show who-is boss but in a not so good terminology

Comparing the training of dogs to the raising of kids is SO not accurate.

some dogs need HARD (prong collars, etc) correction others do well with soft correction - ask whatever trainer you use to start with the softer side.
Some dogs are very food motivated & therefor easy to train by this method. I could wave a hunk of steak in front of mine but they care less as they are high-energy hi-drive, long lines of working dogs, very smart K9s & they need different techniques.

Every dog is different.

Dogs have a pack mentality & remember that. they dicipline each other differently.

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#12 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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I would go with the man. First off, $45.00 for 4 1 hr private lessons--you get what you pay for. How long has she trained for. What has she done with her own dogs. What are her qualifications. How long did she apprentice with a qualified trainer for. Unfortunately in the dog training world a lot of people just hang up their shingle after they trained their own dog.
By the sounds of things there are some mild dominence issues going on here and those need to be dealt with ASAP.
Training a dog with food motivation is possible and often provides a better finished product--if you are trialing the dog. For instance, when I teach a dog to "Fus" his german trial command to heel. I use food only for the first 6 mos, I also wait for probably about 5 weeks until we even take a step. As a result, I've received 12 perfect scores for obedience in trial--that said--I would NEVER walk to the park like that--it would drive me nuts to have my dog wrapped around my leg bouncing up and down and never loosing eye contact.

The primary problem with treat training in family pets is that without the actual negative consequence to back up your training here is a very common outcome. Fido is trained to respond to treats--he'll do it all, provided there is nothing better to do or that the treat is good enough. One night, Fido has just had dinner, he's full--now is not a time where food is going to be a huge motivator--door gets left open, Fido runs out and starts chasing a squirrel--owner yells "Come" but Fido knows no negative for not obeying other than not getting the treat--right now, the squirrel is more fun. Fido gets hit by a car.

While I like to use food to happy things up after the fact, or every once in a while as a bonus, I do not like to have a dog working only for food--I want my dog to work for me. The reality is that most of our family dogs know where the next meal is coming from and as a result, your basic housepet is not likely to be motivated strongly enough by food to be effective. KWIM?

An example--I'm speeding, cop pulls me over and says "now, now Shannon, that was wrong and I'd like you to not speed again." I however have a lead foot and that was not strong motivation for me to stop. Next time I get pulled over I get a ticket for $1000, you better believe I start setting my cruise control.
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#13 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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I agree with the rest and say go with the man. I just finished reading "The Dog Listener" and it really puts into perspective how important it is to your dog that you are the "Alpha". Without that, your dog thinks HE is the alpha and that he needs to do everything for you, and that causes undesirable behaviors. Good luck to you and Summer.

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#14 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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MPJJ--here's my 2 cents' worth. I can't tell from your message if either trainer is focusing more on working with you or the dog, but my eyes were really opened by the trainer I used in Chicago-- in the first class, she announced, "I am not going to train your dog. I am going to teach you how to train your dog." It was an important distinction I hadn't thought of before. She watched each of us interact with our dogs and really personalized her instructions taking into account our dogs' personalities. For example, she told me my dog was motivated by companionship and play and never to train him with food, but there were other people where she told them they would need to use treats. She also watched my dog interact with me and educated me on certain things in his body language--like, "he's trying to understand you right now, don't correct him." She could get my dog to do ANYTHING and definitely had an alpha approach in her body language and demeanor, but also saw each dog as an individual. I think it is really a matter of working with a trainer who personalizes the training technique and is really educating you-- one size does not fit all. I guess I didn't answer your exact question so I'm sorry but I thought I'd offer this perspective for what it's worth.
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#15 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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If you had good luck with the first dog with his training, I'd probably go with him again. Sure, we can say we don't like terms, but I have learned with my own dogs when I didn't establish Alpha order in my house....it wasn't my house and they completely took over and made me not only miserable, but in turn I was miserable with them. Of course I did not do this in a mean manner..but sure, I've used the term of establishing alpha order and having to break them of some of their dog behaviours that made our lives hell.

The thing is, you don't know this woman's success rate. I'm all for treats and them teaching you how to train your own dog but it's too much of a question mark if you have limited dollars. If you had tons of dollars to spend, sure try her first then try him...so just giving you my opinion based on that. Try not to be too put off by terminology..sometimes men can say things in a way that gets to us. My father is one..he means well but some of the way he says stuff...grrrr. It tells me a lot that this shelter uses him. They are usually very choosy on who they have help them since they have abused dogs.


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#16 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 10:32 PM
 
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Keep in mind too, for most of us dog trainers--our expertise lies in communicating with the dogs, for some of us, it takes a while to attain finess in communicating with the people.
A good friend of mine Paul Cipperone, he brought French Ring Sport to Canada, there is no man I trust more in terms of protection or tracking training, but he's a trainer's trainer because while he's the best there is--his skills at communicating with the every day pet owner are seriously lacking. I can take the joking when my dog sucks at bite work, I can take the digs of "should we bring a couch out for him?" and such, but I've seen him leave the average dog owner in tears. It has nothing to do with his skills as a dog trainer--just as a human communicator
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#17 of 18 Old 09-09-2005, 11:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frand
MPJJ--here's my 2 cents' worth. I can't tell from your message if either trainer is focusing more on working with you or the dog, but my eyes were really opened by the trainer I used in Chicago-- in the first class, she announced, "I am not going to train your dog. I am going to teach you how to train your dog." It was an important distinction I hadn't thought of before. She watched each of us interact with our dogs and really personalized her instructions taking into account our dogs' personalities. For example, she told me my dog was motivated by companionship and play and never to train him with food, but there were other people where she told them they would need to use treats. She also watched my dog interact with me and educated me on certain things in his body language--like, "he's trying to understand you right now, don't correct him." She could get my dog to do ANYTHING and definitely had an alpha approach in her body language and demeanor, but also saw each dog as an individual. I think it is really a matter of working with a trainer who personalizes the training technique and is really educating you-- one size does not fit all. I guess I didn't answer your exact question so I'm sorry but I thought I'd offer this perspective for what it's worth.
That sounds awesome! All we have availble in our town is Petsmart training classes...

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#18 of 18 Old 09-12-2005, 08:36 PM
 
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She was awesome. Her name was Cis Frankel. I know she has a book out called Urban Dog. It's funny tho- as the earlier posted referred to another trainer, she could have been talking about Cis-- she could be horribly offensive to the owners ("If I were your dog I wouldn't listen to you either") I walked out of class at least three times and she'd chase me down the alley and talk me back in. And the classes could turn into marathan walking sessions. But man the results were wonderful and my dogs have had a much higher quality of life for what I learned from her. I told Cis she needed a sign at her door that said, "Park your ego here." It may be that some people who are really good with animals --really insightful -- have that skill at the expense of their people skills. That was what was so fascinating about the story of Seabiscuit-- the man who saw his potential and nursed him to champion status was notorious for barely speaking to humans.
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