Training experiences and where do I go from here?
So I had Rex for 4 months now. I got him when he was 8 and he is now 12 months.
I went through three trainers and I did a lot on my own through videos and books and this generous forum.
I believe I did well so far and here is where I am at:
Sit, down, wait, stay are very good now. With distractions such as other dogs around and cats.....
Recall is very good. Now, he comes when called off leash but anyway when we are walking or running off leash, he is rarely more than 8 feet away from me.
I can hold a heel using a toy for about 50 feet.
We play fetch and tug very nicely so overall I think we are at a good place.
So how come three trainers. The first was board and train where he did a week and then I went there and that was my first training experience. He made a good leap there but I dont like the environment there and I prefer to work with Rex. When I went there to work with them, I felt they were not thorough and I did not like it.
The second trainer was food rewards based and introduced drive after, but he had to travel and at the time, maybe a couple of months back, I was not sure about him. After subsequent lots of reading and videos, I think I began to appreciate him more.
The way I stumbled across the third one was I heard she was a german trainer who used to train police dogs in Switzerland. She is the one I am most confused with and I am not sure if I should continue working with her. So here is the situation:
I achieved most with her but Rex does not enjoy working with her because of their first meeting (more on that below). What I am trying to get advice on are:
1. Thoughts about her training philosophy.
2. If I should continue working with her given the two opposing factors: she achieves best results compared to the other two but Rex does not enjoy the sessions.
She mixes play, food drive and some type of compulsion training. For example, she introduced her way of teaching the heal today. She basically leashes Rex on a short leash and teaches him the heal by walking briskly and using leash very small pops to bring him into position. Stops, moves, turns etc. But felt like she is more jerking around and him wanting to do it. Then she uses the play drive by doing heal off leash. I am questioning why do the leash pop compulsion style while the play drive works and while he does not necessarily know the heal command well. She said it is about precision and making him learn it and as long we are also doing it using play, then that balance is good.
The incident was when she first met him. When she came in, she said high and they greeted each other but he was overly rambunctious I guess and he jumped on her so she used her knee to tell him off. I saw it, it was not a strong knee, she just put it out and I think he got startled and came and stood behind me. Since then he does not really respond to her, so most of the time, she demonstrates and let me do the motions as she says he does not trust her from that first incident.
So while I think she has good experience and leaves me with stuff to do that clearly improves him over the two weeks, the training with her for him seems like a chore and he does not enjoy her.
It is like she is one of those teachers kids don't like in school but they teach well.
I would appreciate your thoughts on above.....as I am confused and guidance and thoughts would help in my direction.