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A close friend of mine adopted 2 male puppy mill dogs a few years ago. Them being puppy mill dogs, they've received no training or discipline in the 4 years or so since she's had them because she just feels too guilty and that they should never be harmed again in their lives.
They've destroyed her house, not fully house trained, she basically goes home after work and "cleans up after them" every day. She refuses to crate train them (again because of the puppy mill/cage thing) and won't use any type of negative reinforcement training. She and her husband have spent over $35,000 in vet bills therefore re-homing them isn't an option either because no one other than these two would spend that kind of money on these dogs.
Here is where my intervention comes in: they're getting divorced now and both need to find a new place to live while they sell their house. These dogs you truly "can't take anywhere", so in the next few weeks (they're selling in spring), they'll have to do something about them. The dogs are very loving but they don't get along with other dogs, they don't walk on a leash, they're not house trained, they can't be separated, they cost thousands a year in vet bills, on top of everything else, one of them is deaf, so let's face it, no one else will want these dogs. I've already promised mysef that whatever happens, I'm not taking these dogs in because it would probably cause my divorce (at the very least, destroy our house) so I need to help in another way, by somehow fixing these dogs so they're more compatible with their new living situations.
Does anyone know of any trainers that will take these dogs over a few weeks and train them (positive only) into well behaved house pets? Anyone?
I've spent years trying to convince her that crates aren't punishment, showed her how my dogs love their crates, I've shown her our e-collars, zapped myself, zapped her, shown her vibrating ones, citronella ones, she will not do it. She's already admitted that the problem is her and not the dogs and has no business in the future owning any animals once these are gone, so she really does need someone to do all of the work for her.
 

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there are a few people on this site that may be able to help you from your area Qwinnsmom elizabeth0007 and the are a few more just can't think of them
 

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I'm in brampton and would help-but 'boarding' the dogs up and expecting them to come out 'fixed' is ridiculas. For one, I could say I'm using only positive methods-but to me a prong collar is positive reinforcement. So you can't trust anyone. I wouldnt trust anyone to 'train' my dog.

This lady needs to grow a pair. If she would like she can bring the dogs to me and we'll have the worlds biggest talk about how she's not giving her dogs the proper guidence and love, and then I'll show her how to 'positively' walk her dogs. Stopping when they pull, about turns, walking like a drunk basically. If the dog can't 'trust' where you are going, they will pay attention. I'll tell her that a crate is not the worst thing in the world, she can put the dogs together in an xpen if 'my poor babies would rot and die in a crate'. I'll tell her how she can housetrain her dogs.

Problem is, she'll go home after I spent all that time talking with and showing her, only to not follow through with it.

Problem is, even if she boards her dogs and they use 'positive' methods, the minute they come home, o my poor babies what did they do to you!! and all the 'training' goes out the window.

She needs to make the attempt herself to retrain these dogs. I believe she can do it. She needs to pick her head out of the sand. And then, when she really sees how utterly retarded it is that she comes home to a mess(S) she'll start training. She'll put her dogs in a crate/xpen, because that is whats best for them. She'll walk them, not them walking her, because that is whats best for them. And they will stop messing the house, because that is best for all.

I believe your friend needs to 'see the light' in this situation. Positive methods are great, but simply don't work in some situations. You can't plead and beg a dog to not bite you.

Again, I think she can do it. I'm willing to spend time with her, but the chances of her taking my advice are slim to none.

Edit: Tell your friend to take a class at petsmart with them. They are positive only, and ya, the trainers are 50% they actually know something, but its good socializing for the dogs. Or an obed. school.
 

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For one, I could say I'm using only positive methods-but to me a prong collar is positive reinforcement. So you can't trust anyone. I wouldnt trust anyone to 'train' my dog.
I wouldn't either but I think these dogs' time might be limited. I think the dogs are the least of the problems in this equation, if they come back crate trained, it might make it easier on her. She has bought sets of crates a few times, only to give them away because they second they start to cry, she takes them out... these dogs have almost become a borderline mental illness for her.

This lady needs to grow a pair. If she would like she can bring the dogs to me and we'll have the worlds biggest talk about how she's not giving her dogs the proper guidence and love
I've already told her if these dogs ever leave her care, they're as good as dead. No one else will see what she sees in them. One is relatively healthy but the deaf one is pretty much nature's mistake. Since they're so attached to eachother, she won't put the other one down.

and then I'll show her how to 'positively' walk her dogs. Stopping when they pull, about turns, walking like a drunk basically. If the dog can't 'trust' where you are going, they will pay attention.
These dogs are terrified to wear collars... which in turn terrifies her. If she sees them distressed, everything stops immediately. I'm aware of how this could easily be fixed, but not with her in the picture. She's fine with crate training in general and dogs wearing collars and walking and socializing, but she's a large part of the problem because she can't watch HER dogs in "stress". I could have at least taught them to walk and wear collars by now but she doesn't trust my training me with them because she's seen my dogs' "living conditions" (I'll attach a photo) and knows what I'd "do to them".

Problem is, she'll go home after I spent all that time talking with and showing her, only to not follow through with it.

Problem is, even if she boards her dogs and they use 'positive' methods, the minute they come home, o my poor babies what did they do to you!! and all the 'training' goes out the window.
She knows how "regular dogs" should be treated and in theory doesn't object to the use of crates and discipline in normal situations but she's rationalized it to herself that since these are puppy mill dogs, they shouldn't be subjected to those methods and any form of discipline towards them would be cruelty.
I think if they came back to her as "regular dogs", she would be OK with walking them and crating them. It's not the treatment itself that kills the training, it's her dogs' reactions. Her take on it is that she didn't rescue them to just further abuse them.

I believe your friend needs to 'see the light' in this situation. Positive methods are great, but simply don't work in some situations. You can't plead and beg a dog to not bite you.

Again, I think she can do it. I'm willing to spend time with her, but the chances of her taking my advice are slim to none.
You have more faith in her that I do lol
I think once they're trained she could maintain it, but not unless someone else does the training for her.
There is a guy I've seen at our park that sent his beagles away and said he saw amazing results, but of course, for the last few months the guy is nowhere to be found so I could get his trainer's info.
When I mentioned this to her, she didn't shoot it down immediately so I think there is a glimmer of hope that when it boils down to giving her dogs to a rescue or sending them away to be trained, she'll choose the training, so I'm just researching some options for her.

...annnd here is why I'm unqualified to give her advice, this is my "solution" to having a puppy, I "lock them in this basement until they stop screaming". (Which is technically not untrue):
 

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I wouldn't either but I think these dogs' time might be limited. I think the dogs are the least of the problems in this equation, if they come back crate trained, it might make it easier on her. She has bought sets of crates a few times, only to give them away because they second they start to cry, she takes them out... these dogs have almost become a borderline mental illness for her.

I see. A women who is too emotionally attached to her animals is a dangerous thing to be sure. I'm 'mom' in the house, but really, I'm a drill instructor in mommy clothes...my animals are still that, regardless of my attachment. I see why you believe her having a break from them would be best for her.


I've already told her if these dogs ever leave her care, they're as good as dead. No one else will see what she sees in them. One is relatively healthy but the deaf one is pretty much nature's mistake. Since they're so attached to eachother, she won't put the other one down.

A deaf dog, IMO, still has a quality of life. Different strategies to be sure, like training to come to vibration, and hand commands. However, it is much harder to train a deaf animal.

These dogs are terrified to wear collars... which in turn terrifies her. If she sees them distressed, everything stops immediately. I'm aware of how this could easily be fixed, but not with her in the picture. She's fine with crate training in general and dogs wearing collars and walking and socializing, but she's a large part of the problem because she can't watch HER dogs in "stress". I could have at least taught them to walk and wear collars by now but she doesn't trust my training me with them because she's seen my dogs' "living conditions" (I'll attach a photo) and knows what I'd "do to them".

This is a very sad situation. Tough love?
She knows how "regular dogs" should be treated and in theory doesn't object to the use of crates and discipline in normal situations but she's rationalized it to herself that since these are puppy mill dogs, they shouldn't be subjected to those methods and any form of discipline towards them would be cruelty.
I think if they came back to her as "regular dogs", she would be OK with walking them and crating them. It's not the treatment itself that kills the training, it's her dogs' reactions. Her take on it is that she didn't rescue them to just further abuse them.

Tell her to watch cesar millian. May not believe in some of his methods however he does teach the 'do not be sad for the dog' approach. I will attest to the fact it is hard not to. But this woman is clearly way too mentally attached and needs to back up a bit.
You have more faith in her that I do lol
I think once they're trained she could maintain it, but not unless someone else does the training for her.
There is a guy I've seen at our park that sent his beagles away and said he saw amazing results, but of course, for the last few months the guy is nowhere to be found so I could get his trainer's info.
When I mentioned this to her, she didn't shoot it down immediately so I think there is a glimmer of hope that when it boils down to giving her dogs to a rescue or sending them away to be trained, she'll choose the training, so I'm just researching some options for her.

...annnd here is why I'm unqualified to give her advice, this is my "solution" to having a puppy, I "lock them in this basement until they stop screaming". (Which is technically not untrue):
Seriously? Thats a WONDERFUL setup. I love it! You obviously care very much for your dogs comfort :) And leaving them screaming is the right thing to do. Unless you want to be as well trained as your friend...:p

I think if you truely think she'll maintain training them go with it.

If she can make it do brampton, I strongly suggest http://www.olympusk9.com/17201.html.

I will be attending this obed. school, and they offer inboarding training as well.

Good luck!
 

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None of use are debating that she's nuts :) (not even her) which is why after this, she's never getting dogs again but she feels responsible for these guys now.
The Olympus dog training looks like something would work for her, I see from their testimonials that they've helped an abused dog before.
I'm sure she'll keep up the training because otherwise she's a really good pet owner (I would have thrown in the towel, one way or another, tens of thousands of dollars ago), unfortunately these particular dogs gave driven her nuts I think.
 
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