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Finn hasn't been to any formal training classes only puppy daycare a few times when we were in lockdown and not allowed out of our houses.

Finn has an excitment issue that's unique to my own dog (I've discussed this in a different thread). We are pretty much on track and making solid progress with that.

Apart from that 8 month old Finn is doing excellent. He's great , on or off leash, really good recall, really calm with dogs and people on or off leash. Calm and confident in every carefully planned challenge slowly throw his way.

He's like the perfect puppy. He's focused , listens , I really feel that he's on the right track to becoming a really good adult dog.

In the beginning it wasn't doing much "training" just shaping habits , building a bond, relationship, building toy drive . Slowly introduced a few essential things, a nice recall, a solid sit , loose leash walking e.t.c.

It's been really paying off. I think what I've been doing is working on relationship and opening a clear path communication. He's so easy to train now and things are just falling into place (it almost seems too easy) .

I'm still careful not to expect much and flood him with stuff to learn. I much prefer slow and steady.

I'm same with people and dogs. I'm very careful how he interacts with them . The vast majority of the time he's expected to ignore dogs/people . He does a great job at this and is unusually focused on me , it's as if other dogs/people are if little value to him.

If he is to interact with people dogs the rules are No jumping, no being over excited and he must always listen to me.

He's really good. He sometimes had us silly puppy moments . If he's offleash I will recall him on if I see excitement building or he's on leash I will pop my slip lead and give him.a quick correction and put him on a sit or dog (any craziness and games are over ).


So this brings me to the class... I'm a few months late to the party. I wanted to build him up slowly and not throw him into a pact of crazy young dogs. So I put off going until tonight....

The dogs that are there have been going to doggy daycare for 5 months and 2 months of formal training.

So I got there. I was immediately told I was not allowed to use the slip lead I had walked Finn to the class in. The do not believe in any adverse training methods of any kind.

No big deal as I thought they might say that , I came prepared with my 6 foot normal leash. It's no big deal, what Finn walks with as he's well behaved regardless. I just personally prefer the slip lead myself as I feel I can communicate with Finn more delicately with it.

We stood in a circle. Finn quitetly sat at heel, I looked at the groups dogs acting like nut cases . Barking , lunging, growling, yanking, over excitement, they were all yanking their helpless owners.

So the first exercise was to all walk together. Mabye about 300 yards and walk back again .

Apparently no corrections were allowed .

It the dog wanted to sniff you must let it sniff until it's done and gets bored , when your dog finally pays attention to you give the dig a treat .

If your dog pulls greet another dog, same thing allow it, wait for it to pay attention to you and treat the dog .

Same rules for jumping on people . Allow them to jump on people , treat them when they stop and pay attention to you .


Then a trainer who knew Finn from the very short time he was their as a small part puppy, noticed us (Probably about 5 trainer's managing about 10 people ).

Finn was sitting well at heel. The trainer decided to do everything in her power to break Finn's sit and get him excited and jumping on her. I was impressed how long Finn held out, but it finally got too much for him.

I found it extremely strange that trainer's were allowing dogs to jump up on them and a few were even actively encouraging it.

I don't get the purpose of this ?

No offense to the other dogs owners but their dogs were acting like nut cases. Pulling their owners around to greet other dogs, engaging in stupid play and tangling up leashes. All while the trainer's repeated the words, let the leash he loose, let them sniff and interact.

I'm pretty proud how Finn behaved. He was putting these dogs to shame . The trainer's kept commenting it's amazing how well behaved he was and they can't be it's his first class .

Out of curiosity I decided to get into the training ethos that was going on around me . So I let and even encouraged him to randomly go over interact with other dogs (this is not something I would normally ever do).

It went alright i guess. He went over to sniff other dogs, The dog would initiate crazy play and Finn would oblige. The trainer telling me to allow it to happen.

I felt uncomfortable as play was getting inappropriate and commented to the trainer "I'm not going to allow the anymore as the leashes are going to get tangled , mabye wrapped around one of the dogs necks , and I don't want to see a decapitated dog!" .

I uttered the work "come " Finn's play stopped immediately and he came trotting straight back to me , to the other dog owners suprise and the trainer's delight.

Finn was now starting to pull lunge and act like a hooligan. So I pretty much stopped following the trainer's advice at this point. No sniffing, no jumping , no playing with dogs well on leash, I even did a couple of sneaky corrections all was well again .

I wanted to get away from the chaos so I efficiently made my way to the front of the pack and walked along side the trainer up front . The trainer up front was decent, we just walked and talked about dogs and geese .

When we got to our destination a second phase of training started. I was actually impressed with this and got into it.

We are all in a big circle and this phase was given by the head trainer .

We played a game to teach your dog to focus on eye contact to get a reward (Finn was an expert instantly).

We did some luring. I just used it to reinforce the offleash heel position I've already stated to teach Finn.

We did sit command , the stressed the importance of hand singles. The hand signal she was teaching happened to be the exact same signal.

She also talked about the emergency stop (something im playing on teaching, but which I'm holding off right now).


I really enjoyed the second phase, although I wasn't really learning anything new. It was nice to watched and critiqued. They even pointed out few little things that I could improve , which I completely agree with. I also loved having the challenge of working Finn in a very distracting environment (around the overly excited dogs/owners ). The second half was great the first hand not so much.

I also don't agree with letting your dog drag you around and do whatever it wants. Can anyone she's some light on what they were trying to achieve by this ? Is there any method to use the madness???


Personally I like a more balanced approach, positive training is the biggest part but adverse reinforcement is an important part as well.


My main point and reason by making this thread is do you think it will be beneficial training with these people?

What I'm thinking is if I can actually keep Finn's behaviour impeccable the whole session . It will be good practice at Finn working in extemly challenging environments and mabye I will learn something along the way .

What do you guys think?


It's the only local Training play I have local anything else is a long drive .
 

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It sounds like one of the gimmicky almost scam type purely positive training classes. There’s a reason there’s a lot of dislike against purely positive and that’s because you get trainers like that, who don’t actually train and are encouraging misbehaving dogs.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It sounds like one of the gimmicky almost scam type purely positive training classes. There’s a reason there’s a lot of dislike against purely positive and that’s because you get trainers like that, who don’t actually train and are encouraging misbehaving dogs.

All the young dogs there seem to have developed problems . There were only two dogs there that were not acting like nut jobs , my dog and the head trainer's own dog.

I certainly don't agree with their ethos. It's a shame as it's the only thing around that's in a reasonable distance.

I'm desperate to get into some type of training that's a little more than just trying my dog myself. I think I want to push towards some sort of sport/activity.

I'm tempted to stick with it just for a challenge. I'll keep training my way and just use it as an opportunity to work Finn in that type of setting.

I think the head trainer is okay and a lot of things made sence . It will be alright for teaching "tricks" if nothing else .

I'm not sure if this is a stupid idea. I don't want to fall into it if it's detrimental to my dog. The behaviour of the other dogs is what worries me.
 

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I've been to probably hundreds of group classes done by the "pure positive" crowd, and I've never seen anything like what you describe.

I too was accosted coming in the door to a positive only competition class demanding I take the prong collar off my dog. It was actually a leather collar with a chain martingale, it's what we show in. I said it isn't a prong and they obviously didn't believe me. I had to flip the collar inside out on the dog to make them believe me. It was a pretty big turnoff. Tried the class after leaving another where people where hitting g their dogs in class.

This was when my young lab was intact and in puberty and wanted to mark doggy smelling things. I told the instructor if he tries to mark I'm gonna pop him so can you live with that or do you want me to leave. I was given permission to give him a leash pop if he tried to mark. He never did, but I'm not just gonna stand idly by while my dog pees indoors.

Long story short I really can't find a group I like around here...it's either one extreme or the other but even the extreme positive ones didn't allow dogs to drag their owners around and greet each other wildly nilly. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
 

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All the young dogs there seem to have developed problems . There were only two dogs there that were not acting like nut jobs , my dog and the head trainer's own dog.

I certainly don't agree with their ethos. It's a shame as it's the only thing around that's in a reasonable distance.

I'm desperate to get into some type of training that's a little more than just trying my dog myself. I think I want to push towards some sort of sport/activity.

I'm tempted to stick with it just for a challenge. I'll keep training my way and just use it as an opportunity to work Finn in that type of setting.

I think the head trainer is okay and a lot of things made sence . It will be alright for teaching "tricks" if nothing else .

I'm not sure if this is a stupid idea. I don't want to fall into it if it's detrimental to my dog. The behaviour of the other dogs is what worries me.
Have you looked for an AKC club? Or Google Kennel Club and see if you get anything. Sometimes you have to kind of dig to find the AKC obedience people...I know in my area there are classes going on that are not advertised anywhere, it's all word of mouth.

You'd probably be fine in a novice obedience prep class and the AKC people won't condone the sort of nonsense you're talking about.
 

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Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

Equally applicable to dogs as it is to children.

I'll leave it at that because I'm liable to get side tracked into divisive societal commentary expressing my full thoughts on purely positive.

The distraction element of a class though is something I really need to work with my dog on & has me considering signing up for one of those classes too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I've been to probably hundreds of group classes done by the "pure positive" crowd, and I've never seen anything like what you describe.

I too was accosted coming in the door to a positive only competition class demanding I take the prong collar off my dog. It was actually a leather collar with a chain martingale, it's what we show in. I said it isn't a prong and they obviously didn't believe me. I had to flip the collar inside out on the dog to make them believe me. It was a pretty big turnoff. Tried the class after leaving another where people where hitting g their dogs in class.

This was when my young lab was intact and in puberty and wanted to mark doggy smelling things. I told the instructor if he tries to mark I'm gonna pop him so can you live with that or do you want me to leave. I was given permission to give him a leash pop if he tried to mark. He never did, but I'm not just gonna stand idly by while my dog pees indoors.

Long story short I really can't find a group I like around here...it's either one extreme or the other but even the extreme positive ones didn't allow dogs to drag their owners around and greet each other wildly nilly. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
At the start the guy was explaining why let the dog sniff and interact with other dogs / people.


He explained it like this...

"if you wanted to watch your favourite TV program you wouldn't appreciate it if someone stopped you or turned it off halfway through (no corrections) "

"Allow them to do what comes natural and pay them (treats) the second they decided to pay attention to you ".

I think what they are trying to achieve is they are trying to convince the dog that paying attention to them is more rewarding than doing natural doggy nonsense.

In reality all I saw was dogs doing whatever they wanted and helpless owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you looked for an AKC club? Or Google Kennel Club and see if you get anything. Sometimes you have to kind of dig to find the AKC obedience people...I know in my area there are classes going on that are not advertised anywhere, it's all word of mouth.

You'd probably be fine in a novice obedience prep class and the AKC people won't condone the sort of nonsense you're talking about.
I'll have to look up what AKC means .

The closest club (still a fair distance ) is an IPO club . This might be a bit too serious for me .

I would love to get into obedience. When your dog is all fancy pants .


**** Just looked it up. American Kennel club, I'm in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Proverbs 13:24 “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

Equally applicable to dogs as it is to children.

I'll leave it at that because I'm liable to get side tracked into divisive societal commentary expressing my full thoughts on purely positive.

The distraction element of a class though is something I really need to work with my dog on & has me considering signing up for one of those classes too.
Haha it's a pretty challenging environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I've been to probably hundreds of group classes done by the "pure positive" crowd, and I've never seen anything like what you describe.

I too was accosted coming in the door to a positive only competition class demanding I take the prong collar off my dog. It was actually a leather collar with a chain martingale, it's what we show in. I said it isn't a prong and they obviously didn't believe me. I had to flip the collar inside out on the dog to make them believe me. It was a pretty big turnoff. Tried the class after leaving another where people where hitting g their dogs in class.

This was when my young lab was intact and in puberty and wanted to mark doggy smelling things. I told the instructor if he tries to mark I'm gonna pop him so can you live with that or do you want me to leave. I was given permission to give him a leash pop if he tried to mark. He never did, but I'm not just gonna stand idly by while my dog pees indoors.

Long story short I really can't find a group I like around here...it's either one extreme or the other but even the extreme positive ones didn't allow dogs to drag their owners around and greet each other wildly nilly. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen.
I think the theory of letting dogs greet whatever / whenever is they will become bored, it will become same same . They are also reinforcing the dog the second dog pays attention to the owner.

So I guess they are trying to get the other dogs their system and reinforcing the dog paying attention to the owner.

I've heard them bang on about this before regarding their doggy daycare. Flooding the dog with interaction with other dogs . Make it so normal its no longer exciting for the dog .

It's very likely it would / could work but I think a lot could do wrong and has big potential to backfire.
 

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I'll have to look up what AKC means .

The closest club (still a fair distance ) is an IPO club . This might be a bit too serious for me .

I would love to get into obedience. When your dog is all fancy pants .


**** Just looked it up. American Kennel club, I'm in the UK.
AKC= American Kennel Club equivilent to the UKC
I don't think Tennessee realized you are in the UK.

The class you described sounds a lot like our big box pet store 1st beginner puppy classes here in the US. Although those classes are usually geared for very young pups (10-16 weeks). They like to promote the pups getting their puppy goofiness out of their system before the class formally starts which would be more in line with the second have of the class you attended. Although they don't typically promote or encourage pups or dogs to jump up on people or play rough that I have ever seen.
 

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I would call it quits and continue on your own path since that seems to be working well. Any one can call themselves a trainer.
 

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Your dog seems to be leaps ahead of anything that class can produce. Dump the class and move on.

Anyone who says there is only one way to train a dog is dangerous. My area is full of these "trainers" ripping people off. One such trainer told me it would take 2 years to get my dog heeling/walking nicely. BS...slap a prong on and in one session he was walking nicely. My dog is one of the best behaved dogs around. Off leash in my yard, dogs walking by barking, lunging, he just sits there looks at me, looks at them. Same with kids, runners, bikes, etc. Today I had him in a down for about 20 min while I was talking to the guy next door. He does it because he knows there is a reward (ball) at the end or he gets the "stick" if he breaks the down.
 

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You could consider an extended drive to a reputable trainer. Since your dog sounds like it's on the right path maybe you could go every few weeks if you do not have the time. Being in touch with a good training club may pay divident in the long run.
 

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I love all positive training stories. Just let your dog jump on the little old lady until he stops and then reward him. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Great plan! The best story I heard was one my previous trainer told. About a dog jumping on the table to get food and would be rewarded when they got off the table.....think about that one. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Find a balanced trainer that will teach you to set boundaries and to TEACH your dog what you want. Teach your dog to work thru stress. Pressure is a stress. Prong collar is a stress. They have to know how to handle stress in real life and they can't do that if you never let them. Catering to them does not do that. Stresses can be added in small amounts. Collars can be paired with food to teach them to work thru something they don't like. Training should be 95% positive. It should not be 100% positive and a trip to the kill shelter with an out of control dog at 15 months (and that IS what happens). You are already on the right track for a well trained, happy, dog. Keep following your instincts.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I love all positive training stories. Just let your dog jump on the little old lady until he stops and then reward him. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Great plan! The best story I heard was one my previous trainer told. About a dog jumping on the table to get food and would be rewarded when they got off the table.....think about that one. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Find a balanced trainer that will teach you to set boundaries and to TEACH your dog what you want. Teach your dog to work thru stress. Pressure is a stress. Prong collar is a stress. They have to know how to handle stress in real life and they can't do that if you never let them. Catering to them does not do that. Stresses can be added in small amounts. Collars can be paired with food to teach them to work thru something they don't like. Training should be 95% positive. It should not be 100% positive and a trip to the kill shelter with an out of control dog at 15 months (and that IS what happens). You are already on the right track for a well trained, happy, dog. Keep following your instincts.
I think it depends on the skill of the trainer. If you put young puppy in the hands of someone extemly skilled and knowledgeable. I think they would be able to produce a great dog by purely positive.

Personally I think adverse reinforcement is there mainly as a tool to problem solve . So realistically purely positive could/would work, if you had the right dog and you did everything perfectly.

The probability of a ln average dog owners achieving this with an average dog is pretty damb low. In my opinion.


I personally believe I need a balanced approach. I always try to teach behaviour purely positive, when my dog knows what I expect and dosen't carry out the expected behaviour , this is when I add corrections/adverse stimuli.

For example my dog has learned to not lunge at other dogs while on leash. If I see his excitement is about to get the better of him. I will give him a quick leash pop, a reminder of this is what we don't do!

I suppose it's probably due to my failings as a trainer, I need to use these corrections . If I were skilled enough and had good enough communication, my dog should he able to effectively learn and never display behaviour that needed a correction. Mabye ....

I suppose this is my mindset regarding training. Perhaps unrealistic, but I want to become more skilled at communication and shaping behaviours hopefully to the point I have less and less of a reason to use corrections.

I'm not saying I won't . I totally believe in adverse reinforcement when appropriate. I would just like it, if I could effectively teach my dog so well the dog always displays the appropriate behaviour.

It's probably an unrealistic dream. I can only hope . It's not even like I see adverse reinforcement as a bad thing. I see it as nessesary and an indication I could have done a better job teaching and shaping.

I agree with their ethos of pushing towards purely positive be as for reality and expectations . A big "No" from me.


From what I've seen the purely positive trainer's, they do not have the skill to train average people to achieve this. It seems they are in the business of creating broken dogs.

All it takes is to realise the trainers failings
at teaching the dog and see which is making the dog unstable. If one approach is not working you add another level , a different approach (corrections).

From what I saw was all those dogs needed was leash pressure, corrections, and most of all be taught to respect the leash. I think the longer a dog is able to act like a nutcase the deeper the problem will become and the harder it will be to fix.
 

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My one and only issue with the purely positive crowd is their refusal to ever consider other methods.
All dogs are different, they all have different motivators. And all situations are different.
If my dog likes chasing Cars I'm not going to wait for it to decide it wants a reward for not doing it.
The best trainers are the ones who can change from dog to dog. I can pound a nail with a wrench but a hammer probably works better.
 

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I agree. My dogs rarely have a correction. I teach them. It's not rocket science. But I don't believe in "purely positive". A correction can be something as simple as withholding the reward. Listen to what Dave has to say. (skip the first few minutes. It's Ravi saying "hello can you hear me now?")

 
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