Well, we went to our first puppy pre-school session. It went well. It was a lot of telling us to make sure Godric gives eye contact, and doing a distraction thing where either my husband or I holds a treat in our hand while the other one of us calls him, and when he looks at the person calling him, he gets a treat, and although we have taught him sit and lay down, he doesn't lay straight down like you need in schutzhund, so she taught us the proper way to get him to lay down.
My mother-in-law brought her GSD who is a year and a half old for novice obedience. He's never had formal training before.
Now, I have never done any sort of real training, so I'm not sure what's the norm, but I didn't feel comfortable with the way that she dealt with him. It was his first class, and his only interaction with dogs before has only been to play. He goes to the dog park, or we bring our dogs to his house. So he saw other dogs training nearby, and wanted to play, and barked a little and whined on the leash while we were standing there talking.
He was definitely not in a dangerous mindset or any such thing. He wasn't lunging or being out of control. He was sitting on the leash, whining. The trainer said, "If you don't give him a real correction, he's going to do that all day, with you trying to give him small corrections and him still doing it."
Well, she said she'd correct him, and took his leash and purposely walked him towards the other dogs to get a reaction, then made a sharp sudden turn and jerked the **** out of his choke, pulling him off his front feet, to correct him. She did this a few times. They were using the same tactic on a dog there that's dog aggressive.
Is this normal or good? I would think that before you do a harsh correction, you should teach the dog to heel first, right? Shouldn't you show him what you DO want, and then when he knows what you want and still doesn't do it, then correct him? Aren't you sorta punishing him for something he didn't even know was wrong? Am I wrong? My husband and MIL seem to think that's the way it's done. Am I just being a wuss?
I've seen a lot of things said about setting your dog up for success, and teaching him what you want him to do and preventing bad behavior rather than waiting for bad behavior and correcting it. I'm not sure how this is done, so I figured a trainer would teach us.... Umm, doesn't look like that's gonna happen here. Help?
Now I'm worried about this trainer and her methods... after we already paid for six sessions.
I'd like opinions on this trainer and ideas about ways that she could have gone about that instead. My MIL tends to latch onto anything new she learns, and preaches it to everyone, and will do it all the time, so I'd much rather she learn something positive.
The trainer did tell my husband and I that with our pup, if we're going to try schutzhund, then we go much slower, and she doesn't even expect him to have the obedience down until he's almost two, which seems a little crazy to me, when you're working with a puppy everyday and they learn so fast! But everything is so precise with schutzhund, so I don't know...? I knew to keep an eye out for anyone trying to push him too hard or too fast. Should I be keeping an eye out for someone not expecting enough of him as well? Haha. What would you say is the average or the norm?
Our pup had only been on a leash once, for a few minutes the day before we went to the class. If you walk with a treat in your hand, he walks with us, no problem. Most of the time, even without a treat, he'd walk right with us. He was generally pretty good, but every now and then, he'd be stubborn against the leash and tug backwards and stuff, like all puppies do at first. She said we should put him on a leash and tie it to something and let him fight against it until he's tired, and then we can go out and "rescue" him, and then he'll be happy to walk with us.
Why would I let him fight against the leash? He's barely fighting it now, and when he starts to, I distract him, or call him or something and he stops. If I let him start to really fight it, won't he do it that much more next time? Wouldn't that teach him not
to like the leash? Why would I do that when he's already being good on it with just some treats or praise? He's walking with us because he's focused on us, not on the leash. I could see doing that if maybe you had an older dog who fights like crazy about walking on a leash, and you're trying to prove that fighting is futile, and that he won't escape, but for training a pup who has never been on one before?
I know that's not very many examples to say whether or not she's a "good" trainer, but I was only there for about an hour. I know you guys have more experience with training/trainers and training methods than I do (I have zero experience), but I want our dogs to have POSITIVE experiences.
I'm not that worried since it's only another 5 sessions, and Godric is so little, and I doubt that she's going to "correct" him, and I don't think I'd let her... if I was sure of myself. Since I'm not positive what's right and what's normal, I don't know, but I can tell you that I wasn't comfortable with it. Then again, he's a puppy, and I only have one chance to do this right, and don't want him messed up.