Ugh - friend going to bad trainer

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 8:43 am

I found out this morning that one of my friends at the shelter I volunteer with is going to the one trainer I would NEVER recommend anybody go to. He was all about pack leader crap and had me abusing Inara with the prong. She'd hit the ground when she saw him. I offered to help my friend with whatever issue her pit bull is having, and sent her Patricia McConnell's newest blog post about dominance theory. I hope it works. :-(
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby fenella » April 2nd, 2010, 9:07 am

Again, are you sure Murphy and Inara aren't really the same dog? His first trainer was the same way (which is where I think his fear of men started). :x

I posted my bad trainer experience on my blog http://thepositivedogsite.com/blog/index.php/2010/03/17/welcome

I read the McConnell post you mentioned, and hope it helps!
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Postby maberi » April 2nd, 2010, 9:11 am

Not to get on my Cesar rant again but I can't tell you how many people I talk to during the week who start spouting things off about being the leader of your pack, etc..., etc.....

Last week at an adoption event I took Manny to I was talking with a woman who worked at the store. She was telling me how she owned G. Shepherds for years and wasn't afraid of big dogs. She then went on to say how she would growl and bite her dogs on their nose so they knew she was the leader of the pack. I kind of just stared at her like I was talking to an alien.

It is amazing to me that people actually buy into this crap and ignore the actual science behind the behavior. Unfortunately people who are new to dogs and/or training take what they hear from "dog trainers" as gospel and don't do their own research.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 9:32 am

She's at least asking why I didn't like him and what he did. I just sent a crazy long email to her, and made sure she knows I'm not a "clicker nazi" and still use a prong occasionally. I know sometimes people get turned away by the "crazy clicker people" too. :giggle: I recommended my trainer to her and told her how much she's helped Inara. I also offered to help her with her dog if she just needs some basic assistance and not major behavioral overhaul. Fingers crossed.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby fenella » April 2nd, 2010, 9:32 am

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 9:40 am

Thank you!

And your blog about Murphy absolutely tore my heart out for you and him. :(
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby hugapitbull » April 2nd, 2010, 10:22 am

Bad trainers take many forms, they are not all the 'pack' enforcers - our experience was with a domination freak.

When we got Trouble, we knew we had to train her, after all she was a pitbull. Unfortunately, that was the limited knowledge we had. We made every mistake in the book when it came to training, and have paid for it many times over.

We didn't know what to look for in a trainer, so we just picked one. We were getting ready for a two week trip to Alaska and needed to board Trouble, so logically (we thought) we would have her trained while she was boarded. BAD MISTAKE. Never, Never, Never have one trained for you. We had a beautifully obedient dog - for the trainer. She was marginally obedient for us.

One of our last sessions with the trainer, I had a particularly bad experience with him and the choke chain. He obviously thought it was OK to choke them into submission. From that point forward, Trouble had throat sensitivity, trachea issues. The harness was her new best friend. With age (10 years) and her surgery, it has been necessary to go back to a flat collar.

Over the first few months after her 'training' we discovered she had a fear of boots. She didn't run in fear, but certainly went out of her way to avoid being near them.

Liz, your friend is lucky to have you to help educate her. I so wish we would have had someone to help us at that point.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 10:59 am

Shanna, I wish I'd also had somebody to tell me not to go to him. He caused me years worth of work with Inara after just one evaluation and 2 sessions.

I'm arguing with one of my friend's FB friends right now because she thinks this guy is god's gift to dogs, and positive methods don't work for all dogs, and he's not cruel, blah blah blah.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 11:30 am

Reading everyone's horror stories with training has me scared. I was planning to enroll Reno in obedience training which starts in a few weeks. Now I'm not so sure. I emailed the trainer to ask what type of training she does. I haven't heard back yet. The info she sent me so far states that all dogs attending should have a choke collar or a prong collar.

I would love to have some serious guidance on clicker training, but I don't have anyone near me to teach me. I've gone online searching, but I don't understand it all.

I'm really glad you posted this today, Liz, because you may have just helped me avoid a bad training situation with Reno.
Angie & crew

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 11:40 am

I've learned most of my clicker stuff from online sources, and pestering Erin with questions. :wink: I then found a fantastic trainer who has taken me even further with it. Look around - if you want to try it you can find somebody.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby maberi » April 2nd, 2010, 11:43 am

That fact that she states all dogs must have a choke or a prong without even meeting the dog would make me run. In saying that, I like to actually observe a training class prior to enrolling and most trainers worth paying shouldn't have a problem with you observing first before you decide to enroll.

HappyChick wrote:Reading everyone's horror stories with training has me scared. I was planning to enroll Reno in obedience training which starts in a few weeks. Now I'm not so sure. I emailed the trainer to ask what type of training she does. I haven't heard back yet. The info she sent me so far states that all dogs attending should have a choke collar or a prong collar.

I would love to have some serious guidance on clicker training, but I don't have anyone near me to teach me. I've gone online searching, but I don't understand it all.

I'm really glad you posted this today, Liz, because you may have just helped me avoid a bad training situation with Reno.
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Postby hugapitbull » April 2nd, 2010, 12:40 pm

maberi wrote:That fact that she states all dogs must have a choke or a prong without even meeting the dog would make me run.


Very interesting you would say that. I know enough now to understand what that really means. When we had our bad experience, folks weren't using clickers or positive reinforcement and everyone required a choke. Training has come a long way in the past 10 years. Duke responds very well (except when he is in protect my property mode) to treats and will work hard to do what you want to get them. Trouble is learning from Duke. She sees him respond and get treats, so she will respond for treats. He taught her to 'speak'. :wink:
Shanna & Spirit Trouble
We beat osteosarcoma - 27 months 20 days cancer free
'Spirit' Trouble departed for the Bridge 3/16/2011 a victim of aging
Visit - http://k9cancer.org

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain--and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
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Postby fenella » April 2nd, 2010, 3:39 pm

HappyChick wrote:Reading everyone's horror stories with training has me scared...The info she sent me so far states that all dogs attending should have a choke collar or a prong collar.


I am a clicker person, and don't like prongs/choke chains. I will say that not every trainer who uses them believes in dominance theory a la Cesar Millan. That said, I agree with the advice to observe a class first.

HappyChick wrote:I would love to have some serious guidance on clicker training, but I don't have anyone near me to teach me. I've gone online searching, but I don't understand it all.


I am not trying to self-promote here, but I do have a link about training and a page that explains clicker training on my site. http://www.thepositivedogsite.com/training.html I set it up initially as a resource we could point our service dog puppy-raisers to (and we have one now who needs some help in this area). That may give you an overview. It is still a work in progress.

Good luck!

Karen Pryor is the goddess of clicker training. Her books are great, and her site is http://www.clickertraining.com (which is also linked at the bottom of my clicker page). The site is comprehensive, but can be a bit overwhelming.
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 3:44 pm

Thanks, Fenella. I started a different thread with my questions and concerns.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32841

Didn't want to hijack this one. :wink:
Angie & crew

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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 10:44 am

Jenn (fenella) brought this up last night...this is from the AVSAB article she posted above...this made us laugh last night...

Will growling or trying to bite a dog
or making a claw with your fingers
mimic what a wolf does when he
growls at or bites a subordinate?
There are no studies on this. However, as an
experiment, you might ask a friend who has
been bitten by a dog whether poking him
with your fingers bent in claw formation has
an effect that’s similar to when he was bitten,
or whether your growling or biting seems
similarly ferocious. In general, we shouldn’t
assume that our actions mimic those of a dog
or a wolf. Rather, we should evaluate each
of our interactions with our pets and observe
their response to determine how the pet
perceived it.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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