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gvalenti 02-16-2014 08:48 PM

anyone mind reviewing this trainer?
I'm looking to find a trainer to work with us and our newly adopted 3.5 yo GSD. I cam across this guy and am intrigued. He offers a money back guarantee and has nothing but positive reviews. That being said, $600 is steep but if it meant having a more obedient, safe dog that I could really enjoy life more with I'd do it!

Northern Virginia Dog Trainers | Northern Virginia Dog Training

any thoughts?

onyx'girl 02-16-2014 08:51 PM

link doesn't work

gvalenti 02-16-2014 09:27 PM

really? Will try again Northern Virginia Dog Trainers | Northern Virginia Dog Training

If not, and you're up to it, you can google off leash dog training VA

onyx'girl 02-16-2014 09:37 PM

I am not a fan of a basic obedience package consisting of e-collar....all dogs are different and shouldn't be one size fits all.
Personally, I'd pass, because I'd rather be in a club/group situation as the journey of training is always ongoing, not a 6 week course for a well behaved companion.
You can get that basic obedience with engagement/rewards, not ecollar.
$2800 for a two week board and train? No thanks.

Stosh 02-16-2014 09:45 PM

What she said! Off leash obedience can be obtained without using an e collar (Mirror Method for example). And the price is really steep. I'm not a fan of the board/train in general, you'll get much better results from doing it together with your dog. But maybe that's just me

gvalenti 02-16-2014 10:09 PM

Yeah i am also not a fan of voard/train so i wasnt going to go that route. But thank you both for your input!! He is very reactive to dogs and im not sure he would do well in a group ywt, so maybe we will start with private training and move to group

David Winners 02-16-2014 10:23 PM

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With the right trainer, this type of training is very effective. It doesn't induce a lot of stress in the dog. It creates a set of rules that are easy for the dog to understand.

I would recommend you go watch some training taking place and observe what the dogs look like during training.

Are the dogs stressed out or having fun? Fun is good!

Are they constantly vocalizing or overtly reacting to the stim? If it is obvious when the dogs are being stimmed, the level is too high.

How do the dogs react to the trainer? Are they happy to engage with them? Are the trainers enjoying working with the dogs and creating an atmosphere that is positive? Things should be upbeat and fun.

What do the kennel facilities look like? Clean, happy dogs with the opportunity to exercise a couple times a day other than training?

What type of training does the owner receive? You need to understand how to effectively communicate with the dog, and how to maintain your training. If you are going to be doing maintenance training with the e-collar, you need to have enough training that you understand how to do that.

It bothers me when people label e-collar training as some type of shortcut for general obedience. It is fast because the communication is effective. A good trainer with good timing and understanding of these methods can achieve very good obedience in very few training sessions. If the dog is not stressed out, has no negative effects of the training, complies with commands from the owner and has a great time doing it, how is it a bad thing?

I just don't understand the automatic knee jerk reaction some people have to the e-collar. I see far more compulsive training every day just watching people walking their dogs on flat collars.

onyx'girl 02-16-2014 10:32 PM

David, I do use ecollar, I'm not against them at all. My comment was about the "basic" obedience package and the use of the it always necessary/one size fits all? I'd rather use enthusiasm and engagement/reward than stim for basic position training.
My comment was not a 'knee-jerk' reaction to the equipment, but the way the descriptions were outlined on the training methods.
Price is high for most everything in that location, so I'm sure the trainer is competitive in the market.
The 2 hour sessions with the handler to teach the handler is enough? I don't know....I'd rather be involved in every aspect of my dogs training and be trained along with the dog to better understand the reason for the methods used.
One other thing in this situation...the dog is 3.5 yrs old, so has a foundation already,either needing fixing or shaping or possibly a clean slate? So there may be more involved in the training of an adult vs a younger dog.

onyx'girl 02-16-2014 10:47 PM

Too late to edit above post, but I bet your $600 quote will grow as 4 sessions to train the dog on an ecollar is, IMO not enough, especially not to proof the double or triple that amount. If a trainer is getting completed goals results in 4 sessions and proofing the dog, then they are a great trainer.
Let us know if you go this route and how it worked for you(6-8 months later).

mycobraracr 02-16-2014 10:49 PM

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I saw some things in some of the videos that I wasn't a fan of, but I hate to base an opinion off video. See if you can go watch some training. If you like what you see and can afford those prices then do it.

The e-collar thing doesn't bother me too much. Know of a trainer that teaches everything with an e-collar and even starts with 12-16 week old puppies. Short of them being compliant, you would never know they had one on. It is a very effective tool when used correctly.

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