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GSD Fan 12-10-2010 07:35 PM

What do dog trainers do that the owner can't?
I've never hired a trainer before, I did the training myself. When I saw what trainers train the dog to do on a site, it confused me, especially since they teach basic obedience. Basic obedience is "Sit" "Stay" and etc, right? Well, all an owner would have to do is purchase a movie or book and it'll tell them how to teach basic obedience. Instead of spending so much money on training lessons, why not buy a $5.00 to $10.00 DVD or video?
What benefits do training with a trainer offer that the owner can't get on their own?

KZoppa 12-10-2010 07:41 PM

The trainer has the ability to step outside of the general view and figure out what the owner may need help in doing for the best possible results. I view it as kinda like asking someone neutral to give their advice on a problem because they arent actually a part of it, they can give a different perspective. Good trainers have often dealt with dogs who needed different handling than other dogs and can give ideas and advice as to how to go about training a dog who may be more challenged in terms of learning compared to other dogs. make sense?

AbbyK9 12-10-2010 07:43 PM


What benefits do training with a trainer offer that the owner can't get on their own?
When I first started clicker training, I can't tell you just how valuable it was to have a good clicker trainer working with me to teach me the RIGHT timing for using the clicker in training. I think with that particular method, the timing is really hard to get right when you are starting and you need to have someone there to tell you when you're doing it wrong and confusing your dog.

That's also the primary reason why I would always prefer to train with other people, even if it's friends who train rather than a trainer - having extra sets of eyes that belong to knowledgeable people who can tell you what you're doing wrong and when you are sending mixed messages. Because when it seems like your dog is "just not getting it", most of the time, the error is on the handler's end, confusing the dog by getting the timing wrong, correcting or praising at the wrong time, having the wrong body language.

I've noticed this especially with trying to work on my heeling. I've actually started using my little camera to film myself to see what my body positioning is when Ronja forges ahead or the distance between us increases and it's not HER at all, it's my body posture and body language.

A book or a DVD can tell you a ton of stuff and you can learn a ton of stuff from it, but it's invaluable to have a second person there (a knowledgeable person) who can watch you put it into practice and make sure you do it right.

IMHO the Michael Ellis DVDs are a great example of this. They're filmed at training seminars. Michael explains and demonstrates the technique. So you'd think people could just do the same thing. Then he shows people IN the seminar who've just heard him explain it and seen him do it, and all the things they do wrong and that he corrects for them to do right.

GSD Fan 12-10-2010 07:43 PM

Yes it does. Thank you.

Dainerra 12-10-2010 07:44 PM

one thing would be an objective eye. a second person can help with timing your praise/corrections. it can also help to have someone show what you are doing wrong - even though you believe you are copying what you see on the DVD exactly, you might be off, even more so if you are going by the written word alone.

Being in a class can also help because you dog will be used to listening to you with distractions and other people around.

ETA: I think we were all posting at the same time!

Zoeys mom 12-10-2010 09:21 PM

Aside from the other bonus's mentioned training classes provide a great place to socialize your pup, teach them with distractions, and get them used to other dogs. They become accustomed to focusing on you with puppies all over the place, new smells, and noises. They get used to foreign humans approaching them, touching them, and talking to them; and they learn how to interact with other dogs, body language, and how to mingle with other canines politely. This type of socialization is invaluable no matter how much basic know how you have:)

selzer 12-10-2010 09:49 PM

Why do I waste my money and life in training classes?

1. I can train my dogs to sit and down and stay, but I cannot train them around other people and their dogs, who provide a good distraction, and help my dog to get used to seeing other people and dogs.

2. When I run into a problem, a good trainer can see what it is about my body language that is causing the dog to hook to the left, or swing to the front or whatever. They can make suggestions that I might not consider because I do not train in front of a full sized mirror and I am focussed on the dog, not on the dog/handler team.

3. Having a dog in classes and paying for those classes compels me to get out there at least once a week and train that dog (in class). With no classes, I am likely to be lazy and do it tomorrow, and then tomorrow never comes.

4. My training class is where I see Dog People. They are my friends, my mentors, my support group, and some look to me as well. The dogs LOVE going to classes and my Thursday night group has been together way too long. We often pull the chairs around afterwards and have refreshments. Then some of us stop at a fast food joint. My trainer has been involved with a number of different breeds, owns a shepherd and now raises and shows leonbergers. She is also an obedience judge.

Last night (after the worst CGC class completed), I had Joy in our last Advanced(Rally/Obedience) class. This class has been together for almost four years. There are two therapy dogs (Jack Russel Terrier and Cardigan Welsh Corgi), one RE (Doberman Pincher), Joy Joy (who is going to go for her RN), and the lady with the labs. I have brought Rushie, Arwen, Heidi, Babsy, and now Joy to this class. But last night, the Corgi owner brought a little seven year old boy that has improved his reading by reading to the Corgi. It was so neat for him to take the dog out on the Rally course and work with him. His family is all afraid of dogs, but the Corgi has really helped them to not be afraid anymore. The Corgi is working on its RN.

5. Classes are fun for me and the dogs. They help build a bond between the dog and owner.

MaggieRoseLee 12-10-2010 09:53 PM

Heck, I agree with everyone! :)

Sunstreaked 12-10-2010 10:03 PM

I go to class to train ME!

MaggieRoseLee 12-10-2010 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by Sunstreaked (Post 1975587)
I go to class to train ME!

Hey, that's why I go too!!!! :wild:

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