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Discussion Starter #1
So I took my 18 week old puppy Hugo to his first puppy class tonight and the trainer was horrible!! I live in a very small town and this is the only class around for at least 45 min.
When we first sat in the circle we went around and said what we expected out of the class. The whole time Hugo was acting like an 18 week old puppy would act. (barking because he wanted to play and mouthing me ) The "trainer" stops talking with the other lady (only 3 ppl in the class) and told me I need to correct this behavior right away because this is him being aggressive. She then directed me on how to do an alpha roll!? When I told her that the alpha roll is not something I am interested in doing, she told me that since I have 2 young children I needed to do my research and that maybe a GSD was not the dog for me! I have been working soooooo hard with Hugo and his mouthing is 95% better than what it used to be! He is getting in his adult teeth and I'm sure he is in some pain. We are very successful with redirecting and turning our backs to him. When I told her that, she said that method is just a temporary fix and he will be very aggressive when he gets older if I don't show him that I'm the dominant one by doing the alpha roll. She even went as far to say that my son should stand over him as I do it! That is when I told her I would no longer be attending the class and I told the other ladies that her methods are only going to make things worse and I don't believe in dominating my dog!
Sorry for the book :) but I am just sooo upset right now. I came home crying to my husband because I felt like I am doing everything wrong! Ugh... That lady was NUTS!
 

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Oh no! You did the right thing. Look at videos, get a clicker, take Hugo lots of places...you'll find another trainer before long but you'll have to get to work by yourself. Sorry for the disappointment. You're not doing anything wrong, sounds like you're doing a great job!
 

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Bad trainer, BAD! :nono:

How far would you have to drive for a decent class? In the Bay Area I'm lucky, there are tons of great choices for training classes, but I realize that in many parts of the country that's not the case. Still, I've taken several classes that were an hour away, and would do it again.
 

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thats horrible!!!!! i would have gone off on that trainer. You did the right thing by leaving. hope you demand your money back and put the word out about this trainers methods. Talk about harsh and by far totally wrong. sorry you had a negative experience. Some people are so incredibly ignorant i cant believe it. I'd smack the trainer for you if i could.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks :) I am looking into a new trainer that is about 45 min away. I was just so hoping that this lady would be as good as everyone said she was :(
I am doing clicker training with him already. She told me that I would not be able to use my cliker in her class. (red flag #1) I am working on the 100 rule :) 100 new faces and places in the first 100 days!
I just felt like she was telling me to get rid of my Hugo, because she knew he would be a threat to my children. (he LOVES kids)
I also told her that I was doing off leash hiking 3 times a week and he was doing really well with his recall. She told me while I was in her class to stop doing that because it might interfere with her recall training? Has anyone ever heard of that?
 

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You did the right thing. Did that trainer have a website or is she attached to a pet store ? I'm just curious to see if she has any review on her training. Get a few videos in the interim and start training on your own till you find a sane trainer.
 

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Nope...you did the right thing by leaving the class. Hope you can find another class. But it sounds like you are doing really well with Hugo already.
 

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Good grief! What an appallingly unenlightened "trainer"! Good for you for removing yourself and your dog from that situation! A longer drive for high quality training would be well worth the extra effort.
 

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What a total dip. If this is your first experience with puppy classes, that changing trainers is a great move. If you have done this many times, I would have stuck around simply for the socialization. But I would not let her touch my dog and I would not have followed rediculous advice either.

I doubt you will be able to get your money back. But the worst thing that can happen from asking is they say no.

Good for you for getting outta there.

Driving for puppy class is ok. Use the 45 minutes to relax and clear your mind before class. Put on calming music in the cd player. And leave everything else behind. So that when you have your class you are not rushed, and harried about everything outside of your experience.

Use the 45 minutes in the car back to recover from puppy class. Put on soothing music, and relax.

Puppy class should be fun, fun, fun. It may be a time to curb a behavior, but mostly it should be very positive.


Good luck finding a good class.
 

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Thanks :) I am looking into a new trainer that is about 45 min away. I was just so hoping that this lady would be as good as everyone said she was :(
I am doing clicker training with him already. She told me that I would not be able to use my cliker in her class. (red flag #1) I am working on the 100 rule :) 100 new faces and places in the first 100 days!
I just felt like she was telling me to get rid of my Hugo, because she knew he would be a threat to my children. (he LOVES kids)
I also told her that I was doing off leash hiking 3 times a week and he was doing really well with his recall. She told me while I was in her class to stop doing that because it might interfere with her recall training? Has anyone ever heard of that?

obviously she's stuck on old methods. Intelligent GOOD trainers help you teach how YOU want to teach. It sounds like you're doing fine on your own. Keep up the good work and dont sweat on the trainer. you'll find the right one for you soon enough. have you contacted your local vet? they may be able to refer you to a couple of different trainers that might be suitable. Conduct an interview. After all, they are technically applying for a job. If they're not right, move on. If they're ignorant about GSDs, if they're open for education yippy! if not move on. If they are relatively knowledgable about GSDs give it a shot. Shasta is 6 months old, still chews on us on occassion but i found her earlier having shimmied over the baby gate to my 3 year old daughters room to check on her. Possible future aggression? Only towards anyone who tries to hurt her family!
 

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Thank you for protecting your pup from this woman! 18 weeks?! At first I read 18 MONTHS. I am now completly horrified this person is allowed to dish her 'knowledge' on unsuspecting people!

Seriously, thank you for standing up to this, it isnt right. Give a peanut butter cookie to Hugo and good luck with the new trainer :)
 

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My guy is 11 months old now but I use to put him in a settle position (on his side and holding his neck and and butt down) just till he relaxed- after he relaxed you let him go without saying anything. We all play with him and he bites us (because thats the only thing a dog can do) when he gets to rough we say settle or enough and that pretty much stops him:) As long as you socialize your puppy he will be fine.... I went to a trainer that told me that when I sit on the floor and he is taller than my shoulder height I can no longer sit on the floor - I never went back ( it was a private lesson because of his barking and biting us when he was that little) my new trainer said if he didn't look 100 percent GSD they would've thought he was a lab.
 

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Many trainers think that GSD's are aggressive. So they think being "alpha" and doing all the dominance training is what a GSD needs. My first trainer with Onyx was that way and she had GSD's, so I thought we'd be getting good instruction...wrong!
Capone, if you are physically restraining your dog to "relax" it takes much more time and effort than calming techniques and touch massage. The dog will fight the restraint and only become submissive to get you away from holding him down. Doesn't work much for the bonding either. There are better ways to calm a puppy.
 

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:thumbsdown: for this "trainer".

and :thumbup: for you!!! Don't be upset, be proud that you know better, and be proud that you understand your pup and stood up for him.
 

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I drive 45 min. each week to where I train Frank and it's the best thing I ever did.
You might try your local AKC club and see what trainers they have in the area.
I started with an instructor at a pet store (thought I was doing the right thing) and then had to retrain so many things with my Border Collie believe me the drive can be well worth it for the right trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you everyone :) I feel much better this morning! I have found a trainer that I am going to meet with this weekend and the drive is only 25 min! This time I will be doing a lot of research on the person that I trust to help train Hugo and me :)
I am so very proud of my little Hugo and everything he has learned this far.
 

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You absolutely did the right thing. If someone wants to train in such a way that you never would, they are NOT the trainer for you.

Kudo's for taking good care of your pup and his mental health!
 
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