schutzhund problems

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Postby brooksybrooks1 » May 2nd, 2007, 12:43 pm

i just want to preceed this post by saying that i am not at all interested in getting attacked about this or having me or my trainers being insulted, i just want to know what people would do in my situation.

so i submitted my membership application to the schutzhund club i train with so that i can be an official member and compete. everyone in the club is really supportive and excited to see a non-mal non-gsd in their club and someone young handling them as well. HOWEVER-the head trainer of the club believes that tre, only because he is a pitbull, is just gonna turn on another dog or person one day and he doesn't want a dog like that in his club. he has not expressed these concerns to me, but to my boss and the owner.
I'M FURIOUS! here is this guy with like 20 years training experience and he's still ignorant about this breed! the more i thought about it the more i realized that, although he has trained a lot of pet dogs and worked and titled several different breeds, he mostly works with working dogs in a sport atmosphere, so he doesn't have any real experience with pits. my boyfriend thinks i shouldn't train with him because he doesn't want tre getting sub-par training from a guy that doesn't want him around, but when i watch him work him i don't feel like he treats him any differently than the next dog-which is why i was shocked to hear this from my boss. my boss is going to bat for me, and has said that he will work with me outside of club to make sure tre is bigger and badder than any other dog in the club just to prove him wrong. should i not train there just because of this one guy? i should i expect judgement like this along the way and just push through it and try to change people like this' minds by having a really excellent dog?
i look at the dogs in my club, and while the vast of them wouldn't just up and bite someone, they aren't pets, they aren't having a ton of experience with other dogs and people outside of a working context, which imo makes them less safe, and then i look at tre and i think he's the safest dog there! any person, kid, cat, dog, whatever is safe to do whatever with him, he's SO well socialized, he's the safest dog there! and yet, because he's a pit, he's automatically being called unsafe? i mean, he can have his decoy pick him up and give him a kiss right after he's given him a bite, he only turns in on when he knows it's appropriate. it's b*llshit!

i don't want to leave the club, and i'm willing to talk to the guy about it, but what would you do? i want to just grab him and shake him and say "what the hell are you thinking?!" grrrrr....
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Postby Marinepits » May 2nd, 2007, 5:51 pm

Wow, that's a tough spot to be in. Maybe talking to the guy would be the best thing to do -- ask him why he didn't come to you and express his concerns about Tre.

Of course, try to have a civil discussion with him, LOL. I know that's hard to do when it comes to us pit bull owners having to defend our dogs constantly. :wink:

Personally, if I had the option of training at another club that wasn't biased against pit bulls, I would go train there instead. I also would be concerned that maybe Tre wasn't getting the same quality of training as the other dogs.
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Postby cheekymunkee » May 2nd, 2007, 9:20 pm

if it were me, I would find another place to train. Obviously this guy knows nothing at all about the breed & I would not let anyone teach me & my dog who didn't. I know nothing at all about Sch training but I do know different breeds have different training needs, they train & learn in different ways. What works for a Mal may not work for an APBT. Plus, since he does not want your dog in his club, he may make things tough on you. I'd look elsewhere.
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Postby mnp13 » May 3rd, 2007, 12:40 pm

If the "head trainer" of the club is that ignorant of dog behavior, I would not train with him any more. Your boyfriend is right, if the trainer doesn't want him around, then he will not be getting the same quality of training that the other dogs are getting.

Like Debby said, different breeds need different things from training, and if this guy is unable or unwilling to adapt to the different style of training that a Pit Bull needs then you're not going to be able to get all that far with him anyway.

If he really has 20 years experience, I wouldn't bother talking to him about it. He's right and you're wrong... because "he's been doing it for 20 years" :rolleyes2:
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Postby brooksybrooks1 » May 4th, 2007, 10:25 pm

thanks for your suggestions. they are having a trial this weekend so i won't bring it up until after that, but i do think i should sit down and talk to him. i go back and forth, i mean, realistically my boss does most of his agitation, and pat is more involved in his obedience, so i don't know. it sucks. i'll let you know, thanks for the help.
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Postby DemoDick » May 5th, 2007, 12:27 am

I've come across quite a few "20 year" trainers who barely know which end the food goes in and the poop comes out. Some of them have even managed to title in Schutzhund. :)

My criteria for letting someone work my dog: They need to listen to me, follow instructions, and read the dog with an unbiased eye. If I see breed prejudice I will gladly talk about it and do my best to eliminate it. However, often the longer a trainer stays in dogs, the less they are willing to learn.

If it were me, I'd find a new trainer/decoy. Been there done that.

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Postby Malli » May 5th, 2007, 7:25 am

the man I took my HORRIBLE dog training course for me claimed about 20 years experience as well.

He was anti prong collars(I didn't understand them then) and insisted I simply wasn't doing the corrections right (I am now wonder if I'll see neck problems on my dog later...) so I just kept doing them harder and harder...
He informed me to get my dog to jump with all legs the same height in the air I should "tap" (kick? :| ) the hind legs with my leg (hes recently been diagnosed with hip dysplasia so this explains his uneven jumping style)
I was told that all dogs could be taught to "sit up" for a treat when I expressed my concern that he was unable and seemed uncomfortable.
He refused to treat my Pit Bull any differently then his Border Collies.
He made jokes about my dogs breed in front of me to his other clients.
I could go on...

I trusted this man for most of the length of the course, I didn't know any better and his course came with government accreditation.
I am damn lucky my dog has a resilient personality and more then plenty of patience for all of my mistakes, and that the course, myself, and the training direction I received didn't ruin him altogether.

I wouldn't feel comfortable taking my dog to a vet. who wasn't "good" with him let alone another trainer who didn't demonstrate not only breed experience but also breed knowledge : its one thing to say you've worked with Pit Bulls and quite another to actually understand the breed.

Just my thoughts, from personal experiences

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