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You hand the leash when you actually decide to work with a trainer/get help from them.
I'm not sure what you mean by "use their own dogs for demos" though.
No I don’t. If I don’t like the trainer I will “undecide”, pay for the session, thank for their time and leave. If I like what I see and that the trainer is competent I can ask the trainer to show a concept with my dog and he can have the leash.

They can show the goal behavior/technique on their own dog. Or they can use words.
 

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No I don’t. If I don’t like the trainer I will “undecide”, pay for the session, thank for their time and leave. If I like what I see and that the trainer is competent I can ask the trainer to show a concept with my dog and he can have the leash.

They can show the goal behavior/technique on their own dog. Or they can use words.
Well, not really... you can't demonstrate "technique" of handling a reactive dog on a non-reactive dog.
You can do a lot in a training session. I did work my dog, we did chat, and I did pass him the leash. We did all of that, and more :)
 

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I use my dogs to demonstrate specific things, like Nosework. This is the setup. Here is how I want you to release your dog. There is the change of behavior. This is how you reward. This is how you move to the next search etc...

I also take the leash with aggressive dogs after the initial meet and greet.

For typical training sessions, OB type stuff, I don't use my dog or handle their dog for anything.
 

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I use my dogs to demonstrate specific things, like Nosework. This is the setup. Here is how I want you to release your dog. There is the change of behavior. This is how you reward. This is how you move to the next search etc...

I also take the leash with aggressive dogs after the initial meet and greet.

For typical training sessions, OB type stuff, I don't use my dog or handle their dog for anything.
Makes sense...
 

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If I had an aggressive dog that I brought to a trainer as the last resort then probably it would be different. Normally there is no need to handle someone else “pet” dog.

My approach is based on personal experiences. Unfortunately, I was never surrounded with ME type of trainers, and I still feel shame after one encounter with a local trainer when I did give her a leash based on her “reputation”.

My previous dog was a strong dog, he met power with power, aggression with aggression, had a very strong sense of fairness, and strangers meant zero to him unless they took time to establish rapport. He would respond to regular voice or whisper if needed, raised voice, pushiness with him led to nowhere.

He was young, I didn’t know all of this about him yet. He did not have any problems besides leash pulling. I went to the trainer just to start him on the right foot. The trainer immediately decided to correct him, escalating and escalating and becoming mad at him because he would not comply. I really still over a decade later feel shame that I did not end that “session” right away. After that encounter I decided to train my dog on my own and vet any future trainer really hard. My dog, my rules.
 

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Not comfortable with a stranger touching my dog. For any reason.
He was not a "stranger" though. I've known this guy for many years.
But even if you go to a trainer you don't personally know (let's say you just you've just read reviews, checked what he's been up to, etc.), they will fortunately not be "strangers" anymore after you take some time to meet and chat :)
 

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He was young, I didn’t know all of this about him yet. He did not have any problems besides leash pulling. I went to the trainer just to start him on the right foot. The trainer immediately decided to correct him, escalating and escalating and becoming mad at him because he would not comply.
Oh well, that doesn't sound good...

I really still over a decade later feel shame that I did not end that “session” right away. After that encounter I decided to train my dog on my own and vet any future trainer really hard. My dog, my rules.
I understand.
 

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I had kind of a similar bad experience but the "baby" version I guess, when we tried a local sports club with my girl years ago.
It's actually an associative, non-profit place where you just pay a small membership fee and you can try agility and OB, but the "instructors" there are like volunteer enthusiasts, not professionals.
At some point one of the older instructors grabbed my dog's leash and dragged her through the slalom cones like she was a bag or something...
My dog had absolutely no idea what was going on of course, neither did I ^^ lol
I definitely decided I would be more wary going forward.
This particular dog isn't very sensitive though, and she didn't give a darn, it didn't impact her. She was just like "humph, this guy was weird, what's next?" lol
But of course repeated incidents or ill-advised training can have terrible consequences.
 

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Well, my trainer if she continued would get herself bitten and you can imagine what a mess it would have been. My dog was not affected, just pissed, but I was for sure, as we can see lol
 

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Right now I will never hand a leash to any trainer I see for the very first time in my life. The trainer has to earn my trust because I am the one responsible for the well being of my dog.

Disclaimer: my dogs are pets, not working dogs, competition dogs etc.
I taught clicker training classes: no dogs were harmed 😜
 

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But I'm still not sure I agree with Lou's vision that it could benefit to anyone, at any point of training. I came across an old thread from jarn, where Lou says that "believing you should start training with other methods, and only then can the Ecollar be used to proof those behaviors", was wrong/a misconception, that his practice had proven wrong.
I've been here a long time, including during when Lou was active on the board, and that is exactly my takeaway from his (extremely long) posts. Not only did he suggest that everyone should be using e-collars, with every dog, to train anything and everything, he was quite insistent about it. He would argue extensively about all the ways you were wrong if you disagreed with him, picking apart posts, quoting single sentences completely out of context for that express purpose. Like it was his holy mission to spread the gospel of e-collars or something. It was a real turnoff. That being said, I have and have used e-collars, but for me there's a time and place for them and I don't think we would all be better served if we had just used an e-collar to train our 3 month old puppies basic OB like sits and downs. That may be an unfair characterization of his beliefs, but his promotion of e-collar training came across as extremely heavy handed.

When you convince a dog that doing the right thing is their idea, it doesn't take a lot of compulsion to keep them in line.
👆 And THIS is exactly why I don't agree with Lou. I want to first build a foundation, a relationship with my dog, where I show them why it's in their best interest to comply. Good things happen when you do what I want! And then, LATER, if/when I need to add consequences, I'll do that. But to paraphrase David, the more my dog/s want to work for me, the less I need to correct them for not doing so. It just makes good sense, IMO.

In my opinion, it depends entirely on the trainer in question. If Michael Ellis wants to work my dog, have at it :)
I worked with Lisa Maze, ME's business partner in Loups du Soleil Belgian Malinois. Sadly, she died of cancer a few years ago, but she was an amazing trainer. The first time I met her I handed over the leash without hesistation. I understand why people wouldn't do that with just any trainer though, especially someone they didn't really know. She used her personal dogs in training sessions, Feist was the dummy dog when we worked on Keefer's leash reactivity. She could put him in a down, off leash and leave him there indefinitely while we worked a dog around him, and then when we needed more stimulation she'd have him stand, or bark as we walked Keef past him. Super nice dog, he'd have a tug in his mouth and shove it at anyone nearby to get them to play with him. He was the perfect neutral dog to work around. And her Border Terriers and BT mixes were great bait for curbing prey drive chasing issues. Lisa Maze
 

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Thanks @Cassidy's Mom! That's the impression I got from Lou's articles too.
A time and place for everything, sums it up I guess :)

I love that my trainer has several dogs to help him depending on the requirements of each "case" he works on.
He has tis ability to mix and match dogs to make influences work for him.
 

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I've been here a long time, including during when Lou was active on the board, and that is exactly my takeaway from his (extremely long) posts. Not only did he suggest that everyone should be using e-collars, with every dog, to train anything and everything, he was quite insistent about it. He would argue extensively about all the ways you were wrong if you disagreed with him, picking apart posts, quoting single sentences completely out of context for that express purpose. Like it was his holy mission to spread the gospel of e-collars or something. It was a real turnoff. That being said, I have and have used e-collars, but for me there's a time and place for them and I don't think we would all be better served if we had just used an e-collar to train our 3 month old puppies basic OB like sits and downs. That may be an unfair characterization of his beliefs, but his promotion of e-collar training came across as extremely heavy handed.



👆 And THIS is exactly why I don't agree with Lou. I want to first build a foundation, a relationship with my dog, where I show them why it's in their best interest to comply. Good things happen when you do what I want! And then, LATER, if/when I need to add consequences, I'll do that. But to paraphrase David, the more my dog/s want to work for me, the less I need to correct them for not doing so. It just makes good sense, IMO.



I worked with Lisa Maze, ME's business partner in Loups du Soleil Belgian Malinois. Sadly, she died of cancer a few years ago, but she was an amazing trainer. The first time I met her I handed over the leash without hesistation. I understand why people wouldn't do that with just any trainer though, especially someone they didn't really know. She used her personal dogs in training sessions, Feist was the dummy dog when we worked on Keefer's leash reactivity. She could put him in a down, off leash and leave him there indefinitely while we worked a dog around him, and then when we needed more stimulation she'd have him stand, or bark as we walked Keef past him. Super nice dog, he'd have a tug in his mouth and shove it at anyone nearby to get them to play with him. He was the perfect neutral dog to work around. And her Border Terriers and BT mixes were great bait for curbing prey drive chasing issues. Lisa Maze
I agree that Lou is very forceful in his approach to people and he would regularly respond to posts line by line in an exhausting manner. Strangely enough, he was very pleasant in person and on the phone, at least in my experience with him.

We agreed to disagree about rewards in training.

I think the main benefit he brought to the e-collar training world was his website. He meticulously broke down training into step by step protocols that anyone could understand.

I don't follow only a single trainer's methods or program. I take what I like and put the rest in the toolbox. I have always tried to work with a dog instead of against it. Lol force an issue if it's life or death, but that is rare. I'd much rather figure out how to get the dog to do what I want and then make that a rewarding behavior. I may then move that to a situation in which they don't want to perform that behavior, taking their options away, but I do my best to make it fun and rewarding even when proofing things.

I never had the opportunity to meet Lisa in person but we emailed back and forth a bit years ago. Everyone always had nothing but amazing things to say about her.
 

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I agree that Lou is very forceful in his approach to people and he would regularly respond to posts line by line in an exhausting manner. Strangely enough, he was very pleasant in person and on the phone, at least in my experience with him.
I found his online presence so completely repellant that I had zero interest in ever speaking to him or even visiting his website, but I'll take your word for it. "Forceful" is an understatement, lol.

Lisa was fantastic. Her ability to read dogs was a gift, seeing how my dogs related to her instantly was a revelation. In that first meeting she told me that I underestimated my dogs, that I'd taught them more and they were capable of more than I realized and that I needed to up my expectations. She was right. And clients always ended up becoming friends too.
 

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This is from 2010, Lisa was with Andrew Ramsay at the time, he was starting to promote his training business and asked if they could take some photos with us and our dogs at home to use on his website. Afterwards, we all went to a local brewpub for lunch - from left to right that's Feist, Halo, Cosmo, and Keefer. Lisa is taking the picture, me and Tom are seated with Andrew.

 

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2011. Lisa was famous for her photo ops, and this one was epic. A bunch of clients got together with her at a local marina/park, and we got 17 dogs in one picture. I just had Halo with me, she's on the ground in front between Feist and Lisa's BT mix Gooey.

 
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