Join Date: Sep 2005
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I can't compare trainers since I have only had experience with one, but I audited a working seminar with Andrew Ramsey and I can't say enough great things about the experience. His methods were positive, straight forward, and focused on building drive. It was not geared towards nacsw or akc trials but just on you, your dog, and getting his nose as close as possible to the odor source. One thing that really impressed me about Andrew was that many of the dogs at the seminar were advance level before coming in but the green and novice dogs quickly surpassed them. Several of the advanced dogs had learned unwanted behaviors before the class when their handlers or trainers had marked and rewarded when they shouldn't have and it was tough for them to get past this.
If you're a visual person like me then there's no substitute for seeing it in person and being able to ask questions and get feedback immediately. It was very easy for me to train both of mine after the seminar. They picked it up FAST. The training lab was key to how quick it all went. I know a lot of people don't care for the extra work it takes to set up a lab but it makes it pretty fool proof.
I will also say that training an alert was key to our success. In our case it is a freeze and putting their nose on or as close to the odor source as possible. This seems to be controversial with a lot of people but I DO NOT want my dogs digging, scratching, chewing, bumping, or laying down on anything because we train many different places and they need to avoid damaging property. My dogs still know it's okay to climb and alert on hides above 4 or 5 feet high; however.