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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can i train on my own?

I was wondering how many people on here have trained their dog in OB Or Sport or anything without the help of a professional trainer and being a first time dog owner. What were your experiences, what tools did you use, are there any books or dvds you guys would recommend. What are typical things newbie trainers deal with.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I need another pair of eyes to help me always. That eye also calls me out on 1.my tone of voice, 2.my timing of rewards or 3.spotting my dogs positions.
You don't necessarily need a professional, but a training partner would be a great asset to your program. Especially if you need some 4.moral support or 5.keeping your ego in check!
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another pair of eyes is definitely good. I've been training more than ten years now for all sorts of purposes from basic obedience to utility work (farm/herding dogs) to some sport (haven't gotten incredibly deep into that yet though) and I still have little things I do that friends and fellow trainers will point out to me. At the very least, I would get friendly with someone who has experience training and take some time to work together. It's great not only for distraction work, but also for critiquing your method, and you'll probably pick up a lot of good habits by working with someone who has experience as a trainer.

As far as books, it depends on how you want to train. I haven't worked with prongs for years so if you're going that route, there are others who still train with them that will have excellent resources to look into. If you're looking more positive reinforcement, Pat Miller's book The Power of Positive Dog Training is a good resource, as is pretty much anything of Karen Pryor's. Pryor has mounds of books, videos, and tutorials pretty much everywhere. The youtube channel Training Positive is also a good one and I personally like visuals.

For a first time dog owner, I can't recommend Patricia McConnell's book, The Other End of the Leash enough! Great study both of dog and human behavior and the ways our interactions work together and clash horribly as well as how to make communication much clearer and use your dog's own natural behaviors to your advantage. It will definitely help give a better awareness of your reactions and body language around your dog as well as the underlying meanings of many of your dog's behaviors.

The only thing I'll say about training methods is if you go the prong route, especially if you have never used it before or if you are a first time dog owner - get a very experienced trainer you are comfortable with. It is not a method for a first-timer to muck about with and it can lead to dangerous results very quickly if you don't know what you're doing. Personally for first-timers, I'm partial to the positive reinforcement route because it is much more forgiving and in my opinion, much more versatile.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It would prolly be best for me to just find a professional trainer. Especially since idk anyone experienced in dog training. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is just my opinion and I am very new here.

My dog has been in training since she was a puppy but the training is more for me honestly... I cant begin to tell you what you can learn from a solid, reputable and experienced trainer.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Out of necessarily I've trained OB & tracking nearly exclusively on my own. I've done much of the helper work on my own dogs aswell
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think for the most part, if you have experience, you can do most if your obedience training by yourself, same with beginning tracking. Most if us don't have a pro trainer to work with multiple times a week. And training can't just happen on the weekend when the club meets.

But, while I do most of my obedience on my own, I still meet up with other friends and get their input. They see things I don't. As for tracking, it's much more fun to have someone there to talk to while waiting for the track to age. I am not very experienced in tracking, so it's nice to have a friend there to help me through issues.


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Old 03-03-2014, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I only trained mine basic commands with treats and a clicker. Basic being sit, down, shake, stay, drop/leave it. He's only 11 weeks so his attn span isn't that great, but we're eventually going to have him professionally trained the second we're able to do it.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman1stclass View Post
I was wondering how many people on here have trained their dog in OB Or Sport or anything without the help of a professional trainer and being a first time dog owner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
I think for the most part, if you have experience, you can do most if your obedience training by yourself...
It really depends on what you're interested in doing with your dog, but I tend to agree with gsdsar that as long as you have some prior experience you can do a lot on your own. BUT, since you're a first time dog owner, that doesn't apply to you.

I do tons of stuff on my own at home with a brand new puppy, but I also take a bunch of classes too. Even an experienced dog owner can benefit from working with a good trainer, but I personally think it's essential if it's your first dog. Now that I've raised a few puppies over the years, I know the kind of foundation stuff I want to work on, although even that's constantly changing as I learn new things, and because each puppy is different than any other puppy I've had.

You don't necessarily need a private trainer for the basics, look for a good group class, which will save you a lot of money.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
I think for the most part, if you have experience, you can do most if your obedience training by yourself, same with beginning tracking. Most if us don't have a pro trainer to work with multiple times a week. And training can't just happen on the weekend when the club meets.

But, while I do most of my obedience on my own, I still meet up with other friends and get their input. They see things I don't. As for tracking, it's much more fun to have someone there to talk to while waiting for the track to age. I am not very experienced in tracking, so it's nice to have a friend there to help me through issues.


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