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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had two situations pop up that left me agape in the past week.

I want to hear what others have done/said in the following predicaments because I'm becoming leary of ever handing the leash to anyone else ever again, yet we're going to be spending a great deal of time in obedience and confo classes.
Help.

Last night during our basic puppy obedience class the guy who has up to this point been using 100% positive methods; "we're not using any leash corrections *yet*" took the lead and whilst doing loose leash examples for us walked fast in the opposite direction- Khaz lept up in the opposite direction and fell flat on the hard floor. Uhm hello leash correction much.... I almost had a stroke.

Coincidentally it was the one night I forgot our camera w/vid on it. I've been taping our classes up to this point for dh.

The other incident happened in a open walk-in conformation class we'd not attended before but had great success w/the lady who owns the place w/Nina in obedience. Sorry that was wordy.

A handler in the class specialing a schnauzer offered to stack Khaz and work on examples of how she trains puppies to heel- now I'm no handling expert but I DID NOT LIKE her rough treatment on a confo lead.
There would have been no way for me to tell she was this rough judging by how well the schnauzer was doing, except the schnauzer seemed a bit like a robot in retrospect.

I WANT A HAPPY DOG, not a robot and need some phrases in my toolbox so to speak to keep my peace of mind in the future.
What if I'm ever recommended someone for handling that I decide is too rough?

I like our other confo instructor a great deal -she is very careful(a dobe person as well) but that class is only once per week.

Anyone have any suggestions for this?
All I've got so far is "thanks anyway" waiting on the tip of my tongue.

If anything let this be a warning to noobs that there are no shortage of old habits out there.
 

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The most important thing my trainer taught me is how to say no. My job is to protect Shanoa, and if I'm not comfortable then I say no. No, we won't try that exercise. No, she's not ready for that. No, you cannot pet her. It's hard, because I am definitely not someone who likes confrontation. I just try to be polite when I say it.

It sounds like you aren't comfortable with the methods being used. Personally, I'd say no thanks and go elsewhere, even if it's less often. My relationship with my dog and her well-being (physically and emotionally) is paramount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Meadow.
Did you luck out and get that trainer first? Has anyone ever shocked you before when handling your dogs?
We only have one class left of the one but I'm going to pass.
 

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The most important thing my trainer taught me is how to say no. My job is to protect Shanoa, and if I'm not comfortable then I say no. No, we won't try that exercise. No, she's not ready for that. No, you cannot pet her. It's hard, because I am definitely not someone who likes confrontation. I just try to be polite when I say it.
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Yes, THIS. And it's not easy. I've learned over the years to speak up and/or ask them to show me on another dog (their dog, etc.)

I'm fortunate that I know the trainers I work with enough to know they wouldn't use methods Im not comfortable with but in the past that wasn't alway the case.
 

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Thank you Meadow.
Did you luck out and get that trainer first? Has anyone ever shocked you before when handling your dogs?
We only have one class left of the one but I'm going to pass.
Unfortunately, I didn't find her first. Yes, I have been shocked by a trainer. Since Shanoa is our first dog, I really didn't know what to look for in a trainer or anything like that. The first place we went to training used mostly lure/reward methods for our obedience classes. However, we were having a lot of trouble with Shanoa and our cats. I asked the head trainer/owner to come in for a private session in our home. She put an e-collar on Shanoa, and a prong. She used a couple of corrections with each. Neither did anything to decrease Shanoa's interest in the cat. I wasn't totally comfortable, but she was a trainer, so I figured she knew what she was doing. She then turned the e-collar all the way up, and shocked Shanoa using the "continuous" button when she went to chase the cat. I've never heard a dog scream like that. To top it off, Shanoa still chased, even while screaming.

That's when I knew I had to do something differently. A few folks on here were helpful enough to recommend Control Unleashed. I did a lot of googling, and got very, very lucky with some odd key words, and found my trainer. She is wonderful. I adore her. Sadly, she's moved to Boston (boo Boston!). We're lucky enough that she had a few colleagues locally that she recommended, and we have a great new trainer now.

It took some work for the first trainer to drill into me to protect Shanoa at all costs, and not just from things like being shocked into oblivion. She taught me to read Shanoa's body language, to watch for stress signals, and to be her advocate. She taught me that it's okay to say no, whether it's to a trainer, a vet, a groomer, whomever. I know that Shanoa now trusts me to protect her, and when she is stressed she looks to me for help. Our relationship really changed when I found that trainer and really learned how to work with my dog.

So, yeah, I find it really, really hard to do, but I say no for my dog's sake. I don't have to do it often, but I don't hesitate.
 

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I agree with MC. You just have to be able to say "no" to trainers sometimes. If you feel you're being encouraged to do something with, or allow, your pup to be handled in a way that makes you uncomfortable - just say "No. I don't want to do that."

When Fi was a pup I learned not to hand her leash over to just anyone to let them show me something. I made that mistake once with an inexperienced trainer and I was livid. I know better now what methods I'm comfortable with and what I'm not, I also tend to know a trainer's methods, reputation, and experience before working with them now - I honestly didn't when she was a little pup.

I was naive when I started training with Fiona. I thought I was getting a dog that would be my hiking buddy and my couch potato. But she demands far more of me than I ever imagined and because of that I had a sharp learning curve when it came to the world of really involved dog training.

Just go with your gut and don't ever be afraid to be honest with a trainer about methods you don't like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you both so much for sharing your experiences and tips.
It just blew me away when after all this time, he did that. I hate being fooled by people but am glad I asked this question early.
 

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Sorry cant help on the conformation question...

I cannot say exactly how I would react if that happened to me when Rocko was a puppy. I do have the utmost faith in my trainer but we have worked together for over a year. I think it boils down to a person knowing what there set expectations are and sticking to them. If that results in a conflict with the trainer leading to a failed relationship so be it. Depending on how far you want to go with the training, it benefits you more to get through this type of thing early on.

As for the leash correction did he neutrally walk in the other direction and the dog slipped and fell(maybe smooth surface)

-or-

Did he take of in the other direction as to give the dog a serious correction.

We did the loose leash walking with a slip lead when Rocko was a puppy, very soft slow turns. I can understand if it was the first scenario things happen. BUT judging by your distress and the fact you started a thread I'll assume it was the later. If I saw that done to my dog me and the trainer would have words, and none to kind.


Good luck in your decision. I hope you can either get it resolved or set up with a person who is more up front with there methods(or there impulsive corrections).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry cant help on the conformation question...

I cannot say exactly how I would react if that happened to me when Rocko was a puppy. I do have the utmost faith in my trainer but we have worked together for over a year. I think it boils down to a person knowing what there set expectations are and sticking to them. If that results in a conflict with the trainer leading to a failed relationship so be it. Depending on how far you want to go with the training, it benefits you more to get through this type of thing early on.

As for the leash correction did he neutrally walk in the other direction and the dog slipped and fell(maybe smooth surface)

-or-

Did he take of in the other direction as to give the dog a serious correction.We did the loose leash walking with a slip lead when Rocko was a puppy, very soft slow turns. I can understand if it was the first scenario things happen. BUT judging by your distress and the fact you started a thread I'll assume it was the later. If I saw that done to my dog me and the trainer would have words, and none to kind.


Good luck in your decision. I hope you can either get it resolved or set up with a person who is more up front with there methods(or there impulsive corrections).
Hi T,

yanno what set off the red flag for me was that particular incident is he didn't acknowledge what a hard correction it was, that it was accidental or anything, so I'm done w/that one. These were hard lessons for me.

I would rather do no training at all than be a part of injuring my dog
thru naivete.
 

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Last night during our basic puppy obedience class the guy who has up to this point been using 100% positive methods; "we're not using any leash corrections *yet*" took the lead and whilst doing loose leash examples for us walked fast in the opposite direction- Khaz lept up in the opposite direction and fell flat on the hard floor. Uhm hello leash correction much.... I almost had a stroke.
How old is the puppy?

What is your definition of a correction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How old is the puppy?

What is your definition of a correction?
5 months old.

A correction to me is doing anything aversive w/a lead in this case. I realize there are all levels of correction, even to no reward markers.

And in this case correction is a nice way of putting it. I would be horrified if I deliberately did anything that would have caused a puppy to fall flat on his back on a hard floor.

My recollection and my daughter's are different. I recall him on his side, she thinks he fell on his back. Either way there was definitely a "WHOMPF" sound of air being knocked out of him.

As time has worn on and it's been on my mind hundreds of times since it happened my anger over it grows.
 

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I've had to deal with this before and it's hard for me too because I like to avoid confrontation. But I've found that you have to be the advocate for your dog.

When Sabrina was learning the dumbbell, my trainer took the lead from me to demonstrate a method to teach her to walk with the dumbbell in her mouth.
She held the leash under her chin with the dumbbell in her mouth (sort of clamping her muzzle closed) and was pulling her to get her to walk with it in her mouth.

Well she HATED it and was shaking her head and wouldn't budge. That's when I took the lead back from my trainer and said I would find a different method.
My trainer didn't like it but too bad, she's my dog. It literally took me about 5 minutes at home with her off leash to get her to walk while holding the dumbbell in her mouth. Now she's retrieving over hurdles with the dumbbell and loves it.

I typically don't let anyone take the lead from me anymore to demonstrate something. I just say that my dog works best when I'm holding the lead.
The point is, you have to use the methods that are right for YOUR dog and sometimes that means saying NO to a trainer.
 
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