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How annoying.

I signed Ruby up for an 8 week obedience level #1 class awhile ago and we decided that my husband would be the one to take her because he spends more time with her than I do.

When I made the first phone call back in September I left a message on her machine which said "We just moved into a new house and have a 6 month old GSD that is barking at everything"
You would think the trainer would call me right back? Didn't that sound somewhat urgent? Instead she sent the brochures and registration papers and I signed Ruby up for the appropriate level class, and wrote down all of my concerns.

DH took Ruby the first 2 weeks and she had toileting accidents both times. The trainer sent me an email asking us to walk Ruby for a good half hour right before class to make sure her bladder and bowel were empty- this way we could see if it was nerves that was causing her accidents. I'm pretty sure it was.

Third week trainer called and said she decided to set up private lesson instead- don't come to the center. OK. Did that once. Then she was vacation, then she was sick. Today we got a check in the mail for a refund of our unused classes. DH says the dog failed. I think someone failed- just not too sure it was the dog. Perhaps DH? Perhaps the trainer? I'm pissed.

Also- everytime DH went to the class he would come home with a different type of collor which drove me nuts. Especially because she is growing so fast you can't keep a proper fit on her.

Ruby's big problem is pulling on the leash. I am looking at the Leerbug site - at the quick release prong collars with a slip collar back up.

I need to research this more. And find a new trainer.
I dont' think she was totally a GSD person.

OK- Vent over.
 

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Your trainer failed, not the dog.

Take the refund and find a decent trainer.

I know there are quite a few threads here that address pulling, do a search here, I'm sure you will find something that will work for you.
 

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Why does your husband feel that Ruby failed?

To me, this really doesn't sound like a very good trainer or facility. I would wonder about someone who, instead of calling you back after you call them and explain your concerns, mails you a bunch of brochures and a sign-up form. The other thing that really had me scratching my head is why the trainer keeps calling/emailing? First to tell you to walk Ruby before class, then to let you know she set up private classes instead. Why doesn't the trainer just talk to your husband about these things during or at the end of the class instead of emailing or calling? And why would someone just schedule private classes without talking to you first?

It all seems really odd here. I think you're doing a good thing if you take the refund and find a different place. The only person here who failed seems to be the trainer. Seems like they went out of their way to make training difficult ... first by going from group to private classes and then by not following up with the private classes (vacation and sick, with no substitute trainer).
 
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In decades of training dogs I've never given a refund. That's because I never gave up and I never failed to train a dog. Find another trainer. Your dog didn't fail.

Pulling is not a hard behavior to correct for a competent trainer. My guess is that person couldn't handle anything larger than a small dog. Whenever I've seen a GSD given up on that was always the case.
 

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What part of NJ are you from?
 

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One of the biggest components of training an owner to train a dog (which is really what a trainer is doing, at the beginner level) is consistency and timing. Kind of ironic that the trainer would keep changing classes, locations, collars, etc.

For the pulling, I don't know that I'd get a prong just yet. There's plenty of other things to try with a puppy that doesn't know any better yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi- Sorry I've been away. Busy day at work. I've been giving DH and earful of my opinion on the whole thing. He can't get past the fact that Ruby was stressed out during the first two classes and had the toileting accidents. Deal with it. Where is your empathy for this dog? If you want something done right you have to do it yourself! And that's how I feel. I told him that I am taking over starting this week. Ruby has some good behaviors and can do well, it's the inconsistentcy that is messing everything up. I will be working with her over the next few weeks, see how we do and consider a new trainer after the holidays. I'm glad to be done with the other person.

We are in Hunterdon County.
 

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Lorraine ... this may not really have anything to do with anything, but it Ruby your husband's first dog / first puppy / first dog he has taken to classes?

It sounds like your DH doesn't realize that a classroom can be really stressful for some dogs which may lead them to behave in ways that are inappropriate ... like going potty on the floor or lunging and barking at other dogs. Maybe if that is a new situation for him, you could explain that this is a pretty common behavior, especially with a young dog in her first class?
 

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I train in Hunterdon County, my trainer does not do group classes though - it's all one on one. But he is a GSD man through and through. I can PM you his info if you'd be interested.
 

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My dog goes poo on the training floor every single week! It is just her nerves and excitement. She will not go potty outside at the school just sniffs around and then goes when we are back inside. And she is well house broken and has been for months.
 

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One of the first things we tell people is that some dogs will react to stress as many humans do, but dogs can't runn to the restroom. We keep plenty of clean up supplies and neutralizer on hand and we offer to hold the dog while the handler cleans up.


Some 8 week sessions there are no accidents, some plenty. It happens.

If your husband was not comfortable your dog probably reacted to that also.

I hope you find a better class with a better trainer.
 

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Where is this training facility in Hunterdon County? I am located around here as well, I've trained at two places in this area.

phgsd, are you talking about Steve L?
 

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Sorry my internet has been down for a week...
No I was talking about Andres Aportela. I don't know of a Steve L.
 

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Your trainer failed, not the dog. Frankly, I have little respect for most trainers and time permitting suggest you and the hubby train the dog yourselves.

There are a few good ones, but almost impossible to find and in most cases expensive.

I am sure some will disagree, but our experience, myself and kids own several dogs, suggests otherwise.
 

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Your trainer failed, not the dog. Frankly, I have little respect for most trainers and time permitting suggest you and the hubby train the dog yourselves.

There are a few good ones, but almost impossible to find and in most cases expensive.

I am sure some will disagree, but our experience, myself and kids own several dogs, suggests otherwise.
 

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thanks - I was talking about Steve Lavallee. He has GSD's and trains in Hunterdon Cty as well. I like about 10 minutes away from Andres place and have trained at a few places around here in other venues.

Are you a member of the North Jersey Sch/PA or do you just train with him? I've got a 14 week old dobe that I want to get evaluated, but just cannot make it reliably up to the club her breeder trains with. But I also know dobes aren't always welcome in every club!
 

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I went to Hunterdon Central Regional HS....with a Lavallee.

Thanks for the memories, and sorry for the thread hijack! LOL
 

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Different trainers have different backgrounds, experiences and methods of training. Mix that with our background, experience and method of training and there can be some issues/problems/confusion. I've learned with all the instructors I've taken, but that doesn't mean I will go back to train with all of them!

Where do you live in NJ!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the K9 Campus in Randolph, NJ. http://www.thek9campus.com/ They have a bunch of instructors too, so if one isn't a good fit, you can go to another for the next set of sessions. I personally wouldn't have minded the mix of private and group classes, but that's nuts that they said you just 'failed' (nice you got all the $$$ back).

As an interesting aside, and NO reflection on your husband's ability to train dogs (heck, I don't know him), it somehow seems the vast majority of people who attend dog classes and KEEP attending are, well (maybe don't tell your beloved husband)......... female!!! So, though I don't know what that means or why (no actual scientific studies have been located by me on this fact) you may want to take the dog to the next set of sessions and see how it goes.

And I have to add 3 out of 3 of my pups have had 'accidents' when I've been training. For me, it's no big deal and I just try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

How's the general socialization going? This should take care of most of the stress and nervousness in general so you can just focus on the fun of training. You been able to take the pup out almost every day on car rides? Your pup met all your friends/neighbors and been to their house? Met new dogs, cats, horses, pigs, llamas, etc by now? Just standing in front of Walmart with a ziplock of tiny hotdogs and a request of 'Will you pet my puppy?' does wonders for my girls!
 

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There's plenty of discussion on this board about pulling on lead - Two main methods are 1. just being a post (my favorite - makes a short walk last a long time for a few days) 2. turning and walking the other direction. Search our archives for more detailed discussions.

Yeah, too bad about the trainer. The dog sounds fine. I've never had a training wreck but it took for ever to get the youngest to have a BM at our first show. I walked her for about 2 hours!
 
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