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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Choosing a trainer

So, I have a new issue with Oliver that I'm sure needs a good trainer/ behaviorist. He has started acting possessive/ jealous when people hug me. Basically he barks or growls at them. I want to nip this in the bud quickly. Plus the trainer can help me with other issues. I just paid a specialist 500 dollars for 3 private lessons (may add a group class after). The thing that's bugging me, is she said that her dogs have those off leash collars and that if I ever wanted to make sure Oliver would come off leash, I needed one. I said no. I don't agree with these remote collars and that's it. She agreed but insisted that he'd never be reliable off leash and the only way I should go without it is if I never intended to have him off leash. (of course the collar adds to the cost, but this is not why I don't want it, which is allegedly not a shock collar). Still, her dogs are herding dogs etc. I signed up and he is supposed to start next Friday, but I'm kind of wondering if I should look for someone else. I'm already wondering if our personalities will mesh (she seems a little rigid and not too concerned about my opinions and I definitely do not want to pay a lot of money to argue with her). I guess what I'm asking is, would you go with a trainer who advocated for these collars?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:21 PM
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No, they can call them what they want, they are shock collars.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
No, they can call them what they want, they are shock collars.
The more I think about it, the less I want to go through with it. I’m not leaving my little dog offleash anyway, or needing him to be at full attention at all moments. This place said they were “positive training” and she starts with this. Um my goal is to teach him limits because clearly he’s gotten the impression he owns me. I fully admit he’s the first dog we’ve had in a long time and my first little dog and we’ve spoiled him. Other than that I promise he’s a sweet dog who would respond terribly to punitive training. He really responds well to rewards which is what she says they do. But then shock collars... This is my anxiety before we even start.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:45 PM
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if you want to look for another trainer , email me privately , I can look for you.
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Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Melissa Woods View Post
So, I have a new issue with Oliver that I'm sure needs a good trainer/ behaviorist. He has started acting possessive/ jealous when people hug me. Basically he barks or growls at them. I want to nip this in the bud quickly. Plus the trainer can help me with other issues. I just paid a specialist 500 dollars for 3 private lessons (may add a group class after). The thing that's bugging me, is she said that her dogs have those off leash collars and that if I ever wanted to make sure Oliver would come off leash, I needed one. I said no. I don't agree with these remote collars and that's it. She agreed but insisted that he'd never be reliable off leash and the only way I should go without it is if I never intended to have him off leash. (of course the collar adds to the cost, but this is not why I don't want it, which is allegedly not a shock collar). Still, her dogs are herding dogs etc. I signed up and he is supposed to start next Friday, but I'm kind of wondering if I should look for someone else. I'm already wondering if our personalities will mesh (she seems a little rigid and not too concerned about my opinions and I definitely do not want to pay a lot of money to argue with her). I guess what I'm asking is, would you go with a trainer who advocated for these collars?
Oh wow I had the same experience with Mia. I went to a supposed great trainer and they told me unless I put a shock collar on her the training would be useless. Note that they do specialize in herding and hunting dogs. He also told me that Mia is so food oriented I should be able to get her to do anything...which made me wonder why he couldnít use the same approach. Anyway, we left and never went back to that trainer or any other. I trained her myself. Is she the best trained dog? No. But she is trained well enough for me. I donít plan on ever letting her off leash anyway unless she is in a fenced yard. I have seen other people go to trainers but were not willing to do the follow up necessary to reinforce what they learned. They just wound up wasting a lot of money and have dogs less well trained than mine.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mudpuppymama View Post
Oh wow I had the same experience with Mia. I went to a supposed great trainer and they told me unless I put a shock collar on her the training would be useless. Note that they do specialize in herding and hunting dogs. He also told me that Mia is so food oriented I should be able to get her to do anything...which made me wonder why he couldnít use the same approach. Anyway, we left and never went back to that trainer or any other. I trained her myself. Is she the best trained dog? No. But she is trained well enough for me. I donít plan on ever letting her off leash anyway unless she is in a fenced yard. I have seen other people go to trainers but were not willing to do the follow up necessary to reinforce what they learned. They just wound up wasting a lot of money and have dogs less well trained than mine.
Exactly. Herding and hunting dogs. It was really upsetting. I ended up losing 100 bucks to cancel it.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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if you want to look for another trainer , email me privately , I can look for you.
Hi Dave,

I’d love that, but I’m having trouble sending a private message?

Thanks,
Melissa
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 07:12 PM
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They are absolutely shock collars, and you absolutely have a completely reliable off-leash dog without one.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 07:34 PM
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Exactly. Herding and hunting dogs. It was really upsetting. I ended up losing 100 bucks to cancel it.
I have friends with retrievers who never use shock collars and I have LOTS of friends who herd and never use shock collars.

And anyone who won't put in the work to make sure their dog is reliable off-leash without using aversives just doesn't care enough. It has nothing to do with NEEDING to use aversives. You can hear the same nonsense about teaching dumbbell work for obedience. "You will never have a reliable retrieve if your dog hasn't learned there are "consequences" for dropping the dumbbell. So they teach the dumbbell using "ear pinches" and all kinds of other horrible tactics. My dogs have NEVER been taught ANYTHING for obedience except using praise, cookies and the clicker. Kodi has never ONCE dropped his dumbbell in competition, and although Panda hasn't yet reached the level of competition where dumbbell work is required, her dumbbell work in practice is already completely solid.

I took both of my dogs outside to work the other day because it was really mild. (for a change!) We were doing an exercise where I stand in one place, set them up beside me in sitting position (heel position) then I point to one of three cones about 25 feet away, and about 20 feet apart from each other, and tell them to "fly". Their job is to run out to the cone I point to, run around it, and return to me and sit in front of me. Kodi is old hat at this, but this is a fairly new exercise for Panda, and honestly, I wasn't COMPLETELY sure what to expect. We hadn't worked outside in a while, and even though it was mild, it was windy, and she was WILD!!! I did a little (off-leash) heeling with her first, to make sure I had her attention, then set her up. I sent her to "fly". She was SO funny! She took off like a rocket, and you could TELL that part of her wanted to keep running. Her tail was STRAIGHT in the air! Then she'd get to the cone, her head would flick back at me, she'd start to wag, round the cone and come flying back with a big grin on her face. OF COURSE, I rewarded her with TONS of yummy meatballs for being such a good girl!!!

But my point is, that it is building that kind of relationship, over a period of years, that gets you reliable off-leash behavior using reward-based training. You can bet that those collar-trained dogs don't do any better without their collars either. Dogs learn VERY quickly whether they have "the collar" on or not.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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I have friends with retrievers who never use shock collars and I have LOTS of friends who herd and never use shock collars.

And anyone who won't put in the work to make sure their dog is reliable off-leash without using aversives just doesn't care enough. It has nothing to do with NEEDING to use aversives. You can hear the same nonsense about teaching dumbbell work for obedience. "You will never have a reliable retrieve if your dog hasn't learned there are "consequences" for dropping the dumbbell. So they teach the dumbbell using "ear pinches" and all kinds of other horrible tactics. My dogs have NEVER been taught ANYTHING for obedience except using praise, cookies and the clicker. Kodi has never ONCE dropped his dumbbell in competition, and although Panda hasn't yet reached the level of competition where dumbbell work is required, her dumbbell work in practice is already completely solid.

I took both of my dogs outside to work the other day because it was really mild. (for a change!) We were doing an exercise where I stand in one place, set them up beside me in sitting position (heel position) then I point to one of three cones about 25 feet away, and about 20 feet apart from each other, and tell them to "fly". Their job is to run out to the cone I point to, run around it, and return to me and sit in front of me. Kodi is old hat at this, but this is a fairly new exercise for Panda, and honestly, I wasn't COMPLETELY sure what to expect. We hadn't worked outside in a while, and even though it was mild, it was windy, and she was WILD!!! I did a little (off-leash) heeling with her first, to make sure I had her attention, then set her up. I sent her to "fly". She was SO funny! She took off like a rocket, and you could TELL that part of her wanted to keep running. Her tail was STRAIGHT in the air! Then she'd get to the cone, her head would flick back at me, she'd start to wag, round the cone and come flying back with a big grin on her face. OF COURSE, I rewarded her with TONS of yummy meatballs for being such a good girl!!!

But my point is, that it is building that kind of relationship, over a period of years, that gets you reliable off-leash behavior using reward-based training. You can bet that those collar-trained dogs don't do any better without their collars either. Dogs learn VERY quickly whether they have "the collar" on or not.
I agree. And I don't care about anything but basic stop growling at people for hugging me right now. Because I'm concerned this could escalate. I also do not want to fight with this lady, because I have a strong personality and I can just tell it won't work out. I'm frustrated with the entire situation.
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