Opinions?

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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 11:51 am

I live in the middle of nowhere. Obedience classes are few and far between. A lady who works at the University is offering obedience classes soon. I had thought I'd take Reno, then I read Liz's thread today which got me thinking I really need to ask this trainer some questions before I put Reno and myself in her hands. Here is the email I sent her and her reply:

Danette,

What type of training do you teach? Is it adversive or positive training? Do you do clicker training at all?

Thanks,
Angie


I certainly use as much positive training as possible, but I still feel dogs need some correction, as that is how their mother teaches them. But how much a person corrects their own dog is up to that individual. I am not going to force a person to do anything, although I might highly suggest some things if I feel it would be of benefit to the dog. I do not "teach" clicker training, as I do not use the method myself, but many people have used clickers in my classes and I am fine with that. As long as it isn't something that is distracting to the rest of the class and people are still doing the same exercises, I am fine with variations of the training. The methods of training or accomplishing a goal are not as important as the actual concepts learned. I am always open to ideas and new concepts.



Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks! Danette


Since I don't have a clue what I'm doing, an savvy person here have an opinion for me as to whether or not to proceed?

Thanks!
Angie & crew

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Postby maberi » April 2nd, 2010, 12:00 pm

Is this a basic obedience class? Has your dog had any formal training before?
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 12:44 pm

Yes, it's basic obedience and no, Reno has not had any formal training. Her obedience classes are only offered a couple of times a year.
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 1:00 pm

For those who might give me their opinions, here are the forms she sent me when I first inquired about the training. I removed the blank lines:

DOG OBEDIENCE CLASS REGISTRATION FORM
Trainer: Danette xxxxxx

Name of Owner/Handler: e-mail: Street, City, State, Zip:

Home Phone: Business Phone: Cell Phone:

Call name of dog: Breed: Date of Birth Sex: Has it been spayed/neutered?

At what age was the dog when you obtained it?

Has the above dog ever bitten or attempted to bite anyone? If yes, please explain.

Have you owned a dog before? If yes, what breed(s)?

Have you trained a dog before? If yes, how many years ago?

State briefly the reason you decided to enroll your dog in obedience class. Please be specific.

What do you hope to accomplish?

Do you have any issues that would hinder your ability to handle your dog?

Does your dog have any physical problems or disabilities which may affect its training? If yes, please explain.

If your dog has had an illness or skin disorder in the last 6 months, state the nature of the problem and whether it has been treated by a veterinarian.

What is the veterinarian’s name?

How did you hear about this dog obedience class?
**********************************************************************
DOG OBEDIENCE SCHOOL RELEASE FORM
(Trainer’s copy)

Waiver, assumption of risk and agreement to hold harmless.

I understand that attendance of a dog obedience training class is not without risk to myself, members of my family, my guests who may attend, or my dog, because some of the dogs to which I (we) will be exposed to may be difficult to control and may be the cause of injury even when handled with the greatest amount of care.
In consideration of and as inducement to the acceptance of my application for training membership in the obedience training class, I hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless this dog obedience school, trainer Danette xxxxxx and any assistants she may have, from any and all claims for liability of any nature for injury or damage which I, my dog, any member of my family or any other person accompanying me, may suffer. I expressly assume the risk of, including specifically, but not without limitations to, any such injury or damage resulting from the action of any dog, including my own, during any training session or function of the dog obedience school or while on the training grounds or the surrounding area thereto.

Signature of Owner/Authorized Agent Date

******************************************************************************************
CERTIFICATE OF HEALTH

This is to confirm that (dog’s name) , belonging to (owner’s name) is up to date on inoculations, in good health and free of parasites. Date of most recent vaccinations: Rabies: DHLP:

Corona: Bordetella (Kennel Cough) Other (specify):

I would like to add the following about this dog that would help it succeed in the training environment:


Signature of Veterinarian Date
******************************************************************************************
***Please bring your dog to the first session.***
Main points to note:
1. Minimum age is 4 months, although exceptions may be made under specific circumstances.
2. Your dog must have an active rabies vaccination for your protection and your dog’s as well as a courtesy to others. Distemper/parvo must have been given within the last three years. Bordetella (kennel cough) is recommended. (Vaccination exceptions may apply for medical reasons.)
3. A six-foot lead is required for training sessions. Leather is preferred, but nylon is acceptable. NO chain leashes are allowed.
4. A chain slip (choke chain) collar or pinch collar is the collar of choice. Please ask regarding other types.
5. The trainer must be able to handle his or her own dog. All dogs must be on leash upon arrival on the grounds. No contact should be made with other dogs while on the grounds - this includes playing.
6. The training classes will be held rain or shine. Access to covered and/or enclosed buildings is available.
7. The instructor reserves the right to ask anyone with a dog of questionable temperament to use a muzzle on his or her dog — at the owner’s expense.

This page is strictly for your information. Please complete and return the attached registration and release form with the proper fee (payable to Danette xxxxxx) by May 1st , 2010 or bring with you to the first session.

DOG OBEDIENCE SCHOOL RELEASE FORM
(Owner’s copy)

Waiver, assumption of risk and agreement to hold harmless.

I understand that attendance of a dog obedience training class is not without risk to myself, members of my family, my guests who may attend, or my dog, because some of the dogs to which I (we) will be exposed to may be difficult to control and may be the cause of injury even when handled with the greatest amount of care.
In consideration of and as inducement to the acceptance of my application for training membership in the obedience training class, I hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless this dog obedience school, trainer Danette xxxxxx and any assistants she may have, from any and all claims for liability of any nature for injury or damage which I, my dog, any member of my family or any other person accompanying me, may suffer. I expressly assume the risk of, including specifically, but not without limitations to, any such injury or damage resulting from the action of any dog, including my own, during any training session or function of the dog obedience school or while on the training grounds or the surrounding area thereto.

Signature of Owner/Authorized Agent Date

Matt - I saw your response in Liz's thread. I kind of wondered about the collar business, but again I don't know anything about formal training.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Malli » April 2nd, 2010, 1:27 pm

If I were in your position, I'd prefer a class that let you choose which collar you use, or at least try choosing a collar and switch if it isn't affective.
That is a big deal for me. I went to dog "training school" and was made to use a certain type of collar a certain way, and in the end I REALLY regretted it - BS if you ask me, as long as you get results, who cares what kind of collar you are using (besides something completely inhumane or being used in an inhumane manner).
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby maberi » April 2nd, 2010, 2:01 pm

Here is my own personal opinion...

If you are new to dog training find a trainer that focuses on positive reinforcement (good things happen when a behavior is performed, e.g., treat given when a dog sits), extinction (ignoring unwanted behaviors) and negative punishment (removing something the animal will work for, e.g., removing attention from a jumping dog by turning your back).

Do I think there is a time and place for positive punishment, e.g., a correction with a prong or choke collar? Yes, but for me, they are few and far between and I don't believe that handlers or dogs should be introduced to training that way. Requiring someone to show up with a tool they may never need to use, makes little sense to me and screams old school trainer. The only requirements I like to see on a class listing are a flat collar, six foot leash and lots of yummy treats.

A few things that are odd to me
I certainly use as much positive training as possible, but I still feel dogs need some correction, as that is how their mother teaches them.


The use of corrections because that is how a mother trains her dogs? :bs: When people start talking like this they usually start talking about alpha dog BS and that is when I start to tone them out. I'd give her much more merit if she indicated she uses positive punishment because adding something an animal will work to avoid will suppress a behavior.



I do not "teach" clicker training, as I do not use the method myself, but many people have used clickers in my classes and I am fine with that. As long as it isn't something that is distracting to the rest of the class and people are still doing the same exercises, I am fine with variations of the training.


She doesn't use the method or doesn't use the tool? A clicker is really just a tool to mark a behavior. Clicker training is usually described as a subset of Operant Conditioning using positive reinforcement, extinction, negative punishment, and an event marker to modify behavior. To be a "clicker trainer" you don't necessarily have to use a clicker. If she likes to keep "training as positive as possible", what in the world does that mean?

If you are interested, I can put some feelers out for some good trainers in your area. What was said above is only my opinion and knowing the training world you will get a lot of other opinions as well :wink:
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 2nd, 2010, 2:34 pm

Ditto what Matt said. :)
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 3:12 pm

maberi wrote:If you are interested, I can put some feelers out for some good trainers in your area. What was said above is only my opinion and knowing the training world you will get a lot of other opinions as well :wink:



Matt, everything you said makes sense to me. Thank you for the offer and yes, please put out some feelers.

I know I'll probably get differing opinions, but that's fine with me. I'll be able to make an informed choice that way.
Angie & crew

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 2nd, 2010, 3:31 pm

Matt, that was very well said!
"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 airwalk » April 2nd, 2010, 5:02 pm

Interesting, we are beginning our new offering of Basic Obedience, preparation for CGC next Monday through the shelter. Both of our trainers are positive reinforcement believers and huge on the use of the clicker, and treats. Me .. not so much on treats but I'm willing to give it a go.

Our goal is basic obedience and setting dogs and handlers up to be able to pass the CGC evaluation. So our request is for 6' lead, flat collar, withhold dinner and a pocket of treats.

I'll be an interesting 8 weeks as I am taking Magic and we are going to give it a go and see if they can fix me.
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Postby mnp13 » April 2nd, 2010, 6:30 pm

HappyChick wrote:Danette,

What type of training do you teach? Is it adversive or positive training? Do you do clicker training at all?

Thanks,
Angie

I've gotta be honest, you started off with a loaded question, and may have gotten a loaded answer.

The training club that I am involved with has tried to "label" classes in the past. Classes will be on the schedule as "all positive" or not have that listing... which obviously says that the other classes aren't. Thing is, "all positive" is phoney to start with.

I personally agree that starting off a class with prongs and chokes is a little "old school" however, there is also the possibility that the dogs will wear them and the leash will never be attached to them. That is actually the BEST thing you could do for your dog in the case you decide to use one of the collars because it will help avoid the problem of your dog becoming collar smart - a major problem with "slapping on a collar and training a dog."

I am a "bag of tricks" trainer. My Brats class starts off with almost every dog on a flat buckle collar (there have been exceptions) and we start with marker training and focus work and adjust as necessary. Some dogs stay with flat collars and clickers, some end up with prong collars mixed in by the end of the eight weeks. It all depends.

I don't know anything about the trainer, and I am not defending her or her methods or her response, but I personally would not have responded very nicely to your question - as it was plainly loaded to begin with.
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 7:21 pm

I've gotta be honest, you started off with a loaded question, and may have gotten a loaded answer.

I don't know anything about the trainer, and I am not defending her or her methods or her response, but I personally would not have responded very nicely to your question - as it was plainly loaded to begin with.


I certainly didn't have any idea I asked a loaded question! I don't know how else I should have asked it though. Remember, I said before that I don't know anything about formal obedience training. I asked the questions of Danette based on information I found here on the forum. I thought I was just asking for facts thinking negative (adverse) and positive training were the two options.

Now I feel like sh*t and I better go apologize to Danette.
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My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby mnp13 » April 2nd, 2010, 8:22 pm

I was only speaking from my personal experience, remember...

However, my experience as a trainer who uses everything from clickers to prong collars to e-collars is this: there are trainers who are total "clicker nazis" and if you use ANYTHING other than kisses and hugs then you are a horrible abusive Neanderthal. Yeah, I know it sounds dramatic but I'm serious.

When you ask if a class is "positive" OR "aversive" in my mind it's loaded. That doesn't mean that in her mind it was.

I got this email a few weeks ago about my Brats class:
Is there still room available in this class? Also, what methods do you prescribe to?


Here is my response:
As for what methods I prescribe to - I don't have any that I follow, I just do what
works best for the dog and the owner and I try to keep my priorities in that order.
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Postby katiek0417 » April 2nd, 2010, 10:46 pm

mnp13 wrote:I was only speaking from my personal experience, remember...

However, my experience as a trainer who uses everything from clickers to prong collars to e-collars is this: there are trainers who are total "clicker nazis" and if you use ANYTHING other than kisses and hugs then you are a horrible abusive Neanderthal. Yeah, I know it sounds dramatic but I'm serious.

When you ask if a class is "positive" OR "aversive" in my mind it's loaded. That doesn't mean that in her mind it was.

I got this email a few weeks ago about my Brats class:
Is there still room available in this class? Also, what methods do you prescribe to?


Here is my response:
As for what methods I prescribe to - I don't have any that I follow, I just do what
works best for the dog and the owner and I try to keep my priorities in that order.


:dance: Excellent! I have to agree with Michelle on this. You started out by asking if she used aversive or positive training.

I know that I much prefer being asked about what methods I use...in addition, like Michelle, I like to think I use everything available in my toolbox in order to train a dog. I always carry around extra prong collars when i go to a client's house...not because I assume I WILL use it...but I want to have it...I also bring clickers, treats, long lines, gentle leaders, and so on. Why? Because I never know what I'll need....and I don't want to limit myself. But, it's not fair to assume that I'm an aversive or "positive" trainer...I use the methods that work best for EACH client and EACH dog...however, I alwas put it out there that the client needs to feel comfortable with the method, and if the client is not, then we change methods...

Oh, and inn reality, this so called "positive" training is a misnomer as "positive" (in learning theory) simply means giving something (or the addition of something) it could be something good or bad depending on whether you're looking to increase or decrease a behavior...just a btw!
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 10:58 pm

Okay, I got it, Michelle. Thank you! I do appreciate yours' and everyone's help, and all the info. This is all part of my training and I am anxious to learn.

I did go ahead and send her an email apologizing because, I don't want to leave a bad impression with her regardless if I choose to take Reno to her training or not. She and I both work at the University and I don't need to make enemies there.

I am actually a person who believes in moderation in most things, I'm not an extremist as far I know :lookaround: and I will find my middle ground on this subject too. I LOVED the whole prong collar, leash training that I learned from Michelle and used with Vinny and Reno. It completely changed our walks, with Vinny especially, into something we both enjoyed instead of the horrible ordeal it was before the prong collar. For this I am grateful because Vinny and I enjoyed such wonderful, quality time that I will treasure forever.

This is what I want for me and my other dogs too. For them to enjoy their time with me. All aspects of it. Instead of me yelling and having to limit their exposure to the world because they don't listen to me, I want them to learn to listen and obey because it will be enjoyable for them as well as me. That may be a difficult concept for some to understand because I just mentioned a prong collar, but I understand it. Because the prong, with a small measure of negativity brought about a positive change, we were able to go on so many more walks than we would have done otherwise. I have to tell you Vinny loved walking with me. He got so excited when he saw me grab that collar and leash!!! He would just about beat anything near him to death with his tail!

I'm interested in clicker training, but I really don't understand it. As far as Danette and her obedience training goes, I suspect that she gets people who have even less of a clue than me and maybe that is why she wants a choke or prong collar involved.

I still want to know if Matt finds any other trainers in my area and what they have to offer.

Thanks Everybody!!
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 11:07 pm

Katie - if I had known at the time what you said about asking "the methods used", I would have asked that instead. Again, I thought I was asking factual information about types of training. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about formal training. I think Danette gave me an answer similar to what you said about how you train. Not in the same words, of course, but she is open to new ideas and concepts.

Thanks for the input! I'm getting a better picture in my head about how a good trainer should train.

"We do what we know and when we know better, we do better".
Angie & crew

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My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby katiek0417 » April 2nd, 2010, 11:09 pm

HappyChick wrote:Okay, I got it, Michelle. Thank you! I do appreciate yours' and everyone's help, and all the info. This is all part of my training and I am anxious to learn.

I did go ahead and send her an email apologizing because, I don't want to leave a bad impression with her regardless if I choose to take Reno to her training or not. She and I both work at the University and I don't need to make enemies there.

I am actually a person who believes in moderation in most things, I'm not an extremist as far I know :lookaround: and I will find my middle ground on this subject too. I LOVED the whole prong collar, leash training that I learned from Michelle and used with Vinny and Reno. It completely changed our walks, with Vinny especially, into something we both enjoyed instead of the horrible ordeal it was before the prong collar. For this I am grateful because Vinny and I enjoyed such wonderful, quality time that I will treasure forever.

This is what I want for me and my other dogs too. For them to enjoy their time with me. All aspects of it. Instead of me yelling and having to limit their exposure to the world because they don't listen to me, I want them to learn to listen and obey because it will be enjoyable for them as well as me. That may be a difficult concept for some to understand because I just mentioned a prong collar, but I understand it. Because the prong, with a small measure of negativity brought about a positive change, we were able to go on so many more walks than we would have done otherwise. I have to tell you Vinny loved walking with me. He got so excited when he saw me grab that collar and leash!!! He would just about beat anything near him to death with his tail!

I'm interested in clicker training, but I really don't understand it. As far as Danette and her obedience training goes, I suspect that she gets people who have even less of a clue than me and maybe that is why she wants a choke or prong collar involved.

I still want to know if Matt finds any other trainers in my area and what they have to offer.

Thanks Everybody!!


Where are you located exactly? I know a ton of trainers all over... :rolleyes2: I may be able to refer you to someone as well!
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby HappyChick » April 2nd, 2010, 11:19 pm

Macomb, Illinois 61455

We are about 1 and 1/2 hours from the Quad Cities, 2 hours from Springfield, 4 hours from Chicago, an hour from Burlington, IA, and literally in the middle of corn country!

Thanks for your help!
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby katiek0417 » April 2nd, 2010, 11:31 pm

HappyChick wrote:Macomb, Illinois 61455

We are about 1 and 1/2 hours from the Quad Cities, 2 hours from Springfield, 4 hours from Chicago, an hour from Burlington, IA, and literally in the middle of corn country!

Thanks for your help!


Okay, let me see who's out there, and if they're not close, I'll ask them if there's anyone they recommend!
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
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Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 3rd, 2010, 1:03 am

From the other side of the fence, I would NOT be upset at being asked this question...

What type of training do you teach? Is it adversive or positive training? Do you do clicker training at all?


I do know how to use positive punishment, but I don't use it when I go to client's houses. I can work a prong collar, a choke collar...I know how to give a correction...but I chose not to do so.

I think honestly, you need to read up on the types of training, and get yourself well versed in styles of training to find out what's comfortable for you. If you're comfortable using a prong collar, and feel that a "one-size fits all" approach to your dog, then go for it. If you're comfortable with the trainer, and how they handle dogs...that's what's important.

You say that you're not familiar with clicker training. Well, it's easy enough to read up online about clicker training (clickertraining.com for one)...and see that it's not that difficult, and there is science behind the training style...it's not just a bunch of happy hippies making noise and stuffing treats in their dogs faces. :D
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