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Discussion Starter #1
If this has been answered before, please provide me a link.
Someone had posted a list of things to ask and look for in regards to a Breeder.
What about an obedience place?
I am about to call one I found that is not even 10 minutes from me and it has been a loooooooong time since I have done obedience training with a dog in a class.
So many things have changed in the last 20 years with viewpoints on how to train and all.
Other than obvious warning signs,i.e., trainer wants to overpower my dog and slam him on the ground so he knows who ALPHA MAN is, etc.
What are things I should be looking for or asking?
Thanks
 

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Just make sure it is 100% positive reenforcement
you can also ask for references and ask around about the trainer that how we found ours!
 

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Just make sure it is 100% positive reenforcement
If that is how you plan to train.

In order to know what you want in an obedience place is to first know which training style you want to use. Asking for references is a great way to get a feel but keep in mind, no one gives out bad references on purpose.

Other things to look into are the facility itself: what kind of equipment do they have? Is it clean? Convenient?

I would also look at what type of classes they offer and what the schedule is. Again is it convenient? Are they offering things I would like to learn?

The best way to get a feel for a class is to drop by unannounced if they will let you. Ask for their schedule and if it would be OK to observe a class. Talk with the students while there.

I think as much as the reputation of a training facility is important, it also has to feel right to you.
 

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In addition to what is posted above, I would google the facility and see what comes up. There are plenty of websites (some rather obscure ones- or at least ones that you wouldn't generally frequent unless looking for a review). Just googling the facility should provide a couple sites where people have placed online reviews.

Also, I would take into account class size! Unless you are interested in only a basic lesson plan to execute at home during the week- you will probably want a class with a limited class size- no more than 5-7 dogs/trainer.

You might also ask for accreditations. Has the instructor studied under some well known person? Have they gone to some sort of dog training school or academy? I wouldn't put a ton of stock in this, but I might weight such training heavier to someone without such training...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
GREAT suggestions and advice here, thank you all!

As I am typing this, a certain dog who I will leave nameless, Ahem! is now literally throwing his rope toy up in the air where I am sitting.
Ok..I get the hint, I have been on this laptop too long...
Until later!
 

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I would want to know (in detail) what kind of training methods they use. I've seen many websites with a lot of words that say absolutely nothing. They guarantee amazing results with no explanation of how they achieve them.

For me personally, I'd avoid any place that says you have to use a particular kind of collar. Because I've taken many classes at humane societies a lot of them say you CAN'T use training collars (chokes, prongs) and that's okay with me. I have prong collars, and if I want to use them outside class I still can - I'll use a flat collar, or a front hook harness such as the Sense-ation if I need more control in class.

I'll also avoid any place that disdains motivational training and talks about using food as a "bribe", that says praise should be a sufficient reward, that the dog should "work for you" and that using food or toys as a reward means that they're not.

If they offer a wide variety of classes, even better - agility, rally, nosework, etc.

ETA: I agree with the suggestion to observe a class, that's going to tell you more than anything else if it's a place you want to train.
 

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Yeah! Because anyone who might use corrections as way of effecting a dog's behavior is probably a dog abuser. Also we all know corrections never work.
Do you have something constructive to add to the thread or did you just join the discussion to mock another poster?
 

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If that is how you plan to train.

In order to know what you want in an obedience place is to first know which training style you want to use. Asking for references is a great way to get a feel but keep in mind, no one gives out bad references on purpose.

Other things to look into are the facility itself: what kind of equipment do they have? Is it clean? Convenient?

I would also look at what type of classes they offer and what the schedule is. Again is it convenient? Are they offering things I would like to learn?

The best way to get a feel for a class is to drop by unannounced if they will let you. Ask for their schedule and if it would be OK to observe a class. Talk with the students while there.

I think as much as the reputation of a training facility is important, it also has to feel right to you.
This is the only way I have learned to train what are the other methods?
 

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I would want to know (in detail) what kind of training methods they use. I've seen many websites with a lot of words that say absolutely nothing. They guarantee amazing results with no explanation of how they achieve them.
+1000!! I find this to be really important. As an example, since the OP is not in my area- I have been looking for a trainer/behaviorist for my brother's dog. I stumbled upon this website that promises the world, but nowhere could I find how they accomplish those goals. They even offer a "100% Lifetime Guarantee" whatever that means. I would avoid this place like the plague.
Fetchers K9 Academy in South Bend, Indiana - Dog Training
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah! Because anyone who might use corrections as way of effecting a dog's behavior is probably a dog abuser. Also we all know corrections never work.
Thank you!

NOTE TO SELF: Also watch out for arrogant, know-it-all trainers.

:rolleyes:
 

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I personally wouldn't train at a place that "only" used positive reinforcement, so when I ask that question it's for a different reason (if they say yes, I go the other way).

IMHO you can ask all the questions you want, but what is most important is to go watch an actual class being taught, preferably at the level you will be enrolling in (whether it be puppy, novice, etc) so you can see dogs who will behave in a similar manner to yours and how the instructor handles training problems.

If they don't let you go watch a class or two, run, don't walk, the other way.

I prefer larger classes myself, but that's strictly personal preference.
 

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This is the only way I have learned to train what are the other methods?

There are many, many methods of dog training. There are many people (myself included) that think 100% positive training, all the time, without regards to the temperament, goals, or issues with the dog at hand is as bad as 100% compulsion based training. I would suggest you start a thread.
 

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One thing I like is to ask if I can come and watch classes (not taking a dog) to just see the trainer, the dogs, and the techniques. This can really give you a feel for the class and all the best trainers have no trouble with people coming in to watch a class like this.
 

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This is the only way I have learned to train what are the other methods?
Short answer, yes.

100% positive (meaning absolutely no corrections) is actually pretty difficult to do (IMO). Most use a combination of mostly positive with some correction (voice or physical) and then there are still people that use primarily compulsion. I don't want to hijack the thread further with talk of different training methods and which is better than the other.
 

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Oh! I didn't realize that we should let unconstructive, ignorant and misleading advice go with out being challenged. Sorry.
Nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone else. But perhaps you can expand on your post, such as an explanation of why you disagree and what you'd do instead instead, rather than just making a snarky comment about someone else's suggestion. How does that help the OP?
 

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Oh! I didn't realize that we should let nonconstructive, ignorant and misleading advice go with out being challenged. Sorry.

Sorry Guru of dog obedience my nonconstructive, ignorant and misleading advice worked for me!:p
 

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hi emarie,

I tried the 100% positive stuff had to some degree had great results. The main reason i had to start using corrections via prong collar was heeling and reactivity on the leash.

Definitely try to keep it positive, but i don't see anything wrong with a quick "pop" on the collar for a well needed correction. It has done wonders for Cody...
 

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I'd ask if the trainer has worked with GSD's before and if they like the breed. I have met trainers who don't like shepherds. You don't want that trainer.
 
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