BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Miscellaneous › Other Pets & Livestock › Dog training book reccommendations, please!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dog training book reccommendations, please! - Page 2

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure I want to join any clubs or do any events right now.  I just want a great family dog.  Do you think it's necessary for a trainer to have titles?  I live in the sticks and it's likely that I’ll have to drive 40+ minutes to any trainer; I really don’t want to narrow my options even further if I don’t have to!  I’ve heard mixed reviews about pet store trainers.  I’m not against the idea of using one, but if I decide to go that route I’ll definitely watch the trainer I’m interested in using before signing up for any classes.  Of course, I’d like to do that with any potential trainer.  Is it acceptable to ask a potential trainer if I may join in on one of their classes to watch how they teach?  I would like to join a group class, partly because it’s probably cheaper, and partly because I don’t know a lot of people and the socialization that would give would be valuable.


About how much does a good trainer cost?

post #12 of 37

 On a side note, what kind of dog are you thinking of getting?

post #13 of 37

for me personally, yes.    it shows what the trainer has accomplished with dogs in the past.   I don't care if the trainer themselves has any credentials for completing classes but I want them to prove that they know dogs.    Telling me about their own dogs is a great way to do that.


For example, I have a friend who bills herself as a dog trainer.  She is making good money at it.  But I know her dogs - it took her 4 years to get a rally novice title on a dog that I know is super intelligent.    
I've seen her clients dogs.    None of them have what I would even consider basic manners.

Therefore, I know that she isn't someone that I would pay $$ to teach me to train my dog.


Another friend has put multiple titles in multiple venues on her dog.   She has put titles in different events on dogs that she shows for clients.   She has trained clients to handling their own dogs to titles in multiple events.


The current head trainer at PetCo here doesn't even OWN a dog.    Her only training experience is the class she was given at the store, mainly focused on how to encourage people to sign up for classes.

All charge the same amount for classes.   Whose class would be the better investment?

post #14 of 37
Originally Posted by Copper Creek View Post

 I do mean pet stores such as Petco etc. I believe your information is misguided and completely false. They are highly trained and have vital training tips.


I know many people who have been trainers at box stores.  I applied for it myself.   Withdrew my application once I saw the rules for being a trainer there.

They allow no alternative method for training dogs - using anything other than the 1 prescribed method is bounds for dismissal of employment.

Focus is on selling classes.


I've watched, just at my local PetCo, over 2 dozen trainers (most of them don't keep doing it long).  

This is an actual private lesson that I recently watched.

 Sit.  Sit.   Sit.    Sit.   Dog lays down.   Trainer shrugs and says "that's close enough.  reward him"  

Heel.   Heel.   Heel,  Dog is literally laying on his stomach being pulled along the floor.    "Good job.   be sure you reward him" 


Trainer interrupted her lesson 4 times to try to sign me up for classes.    She also stopped to encourage multiple others to sign up before "your dog becomes aggressive"     Pushed neutering for a 3 month old puppy "before he starts biting people and peeing on everything in sight"

I routinely ask them basic training tips that anyone should know - best method to introduce a crate.  how to introduce 2 dogs.    how to properly fit a collar.     A few answers are good.   Some are hysterically bad.  Some are downright dangerous - one person told me that the best way is to take the 2 dogs into a fenced area and turn them loose to "sort it out for themselves.  and don't worry if they start fighting, that's what you want them to do"

Edited by dainerra - 11/17/15 at 4:11am
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

Copper Creek, I'm going to get a collie.  Specifically I'm going to get an Old Time Scotch Collie, which is basically the Lassie dog of a hundred years ago.


Dainerra, it's no wonder you're so against chain store trainers!  I certainly wouldn't sign up to one of those classes!  So far I've only found one trainer within 25 miles of me.  I'll keep looking, but I might not be able to even get a trainer, chain store or otherwise.


I've ordered a second book: "Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six Week Program for You and Your Dog" by Patricia B McConnell.  Once I read my books I'm sure I'll feel more confident.  My dog will be a collie, so I'm not super worried, but I also like to be as prepared as possible, hence my researching now.  Slightly off topic, if anyone wants to give me puppy advice I'm open to it!

post #16 of 37

 I love collies! My neighbor has a beautiful red collie to herd his sheep. They are so fun and playful. Enjoy your dog.

post #17 of 37

 Dainerra: I think you just had a bad experience at that store. Try a different store or if you move, try one there!

post #18 of 37
Sorry I haven't chimed in about the crate training! I don't claim to be a trainer, so the info I give you is my own experience. I'm just a vet student with an interest in animal behavior (and having a dog I adopted who was a stray with a lot of anxiety has taught me a LOT!)

Anyway, we've crated all our dogs. With our cattle dog and golden, we started them as puppies. We gave them crates that were just big enough to stand, stretch a bit, and turn around (means you may have to invest in a couple crates as the puppy grows) and we just put them in there to sleep every night. We never used it as a punishment, and you can start slow if they are not tolerating it as well (crying, etc). I found giving a treat for going inside the crate helped give a positive association to the crate. You could also put the dog in the crate, wait for the puppy to show any sign of calming, then let them out. Repetition has always been my friend with dogs!

Our cattle dog was so smart and really didn't cry much at all in the crate. He loved his crate and would go in all the time on his own. I think it's good to leave the crate open so they can go in whenever they want. For many dogs, it can be a safe haven. Some dogs do well with a covered crate, but beware dogs that like to chew! You don't want to end up with foreign bodies. Same goes for toys. I don't leave any toys in the crate, but my parents used to give the cattle dog this really tough black bone thing. With supervision, a Kong with treats or peanut butter is another great way to give a positive association with the crate. Stick them in the crate with that and just keep an eye on them.

The dog I have now I adopted at about two years of age. She was a stray the shelter had picked up and I have no idea if she was ever crate trained. She was a bit scared at first, but it didn't take long for me to lure her in with treats. She seemed quite content in the crate after she learned it wasn't going to kill her. Not she goes in the crate as soon as she hears the treat bag, and at my parent's house she'll wait outside the crate when it is bed time for someone to open it for her. Tonight I left her out in the apartment (that's rare. She usually goes in her crate when I am not home so she doesn't bark or get into trouble) but when I came home, she had gone in her crate all on her own. It was actually really cute!

I think the younger you start, the better. Positive associations are your friend!

Another thing I would do if I was getting a puppy is socialize the heck out of it, and get it used to everything. Tugging everywhere, handling of the feet, poking, loud noises, etc. I also taught my current dog to give me her paws to clip her nails. I got her to do that by asking for a paw, clipping JUST the tip of the claw (you do NOT want o hit the quick or the dog will have a hard time trusting) and then said "good!" And gave a treat. I do this for every nail. She's so conditioned that when she sees the clippers she sits there with her paw up waiting. Let me tell you, this has been a tremendous thing. It makes doing that so easy!

Clicker trainer is a lot of fun too. If you can get a book on it, I recommend it. Once a dog gets the hang of a clicker, you can use it to train so many things. We both enjoy learning tricks using the clicker!
Edited by Chickerdoodle13 - 11/17/15 at 7:41pm
"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." ~Douglas Adams
"If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan

"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem." ~Douglas Adams
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 

I love collies, too!  Actually, my whole family loves collies, thanks to the one I grew up with.  She showed up as a stray and won us over very easily.  I am quite serious when I say she trained herself.  We didn't know squat about owning a dog, but she always knew what we wanted and what we needed.  The only thing she didn't do well was walk on a leash (she'd stay put and not budge), but when we really needed her to (like when we took her to the vet), she cooperated.  She was absolutely the best dog we could've ever asked for, and I'm very much looking forward to working with a collie again.


Chickerdoodle those are great tips about using a crate!  I probably won't buy a new crate every time the pup grows--I'll just buy one large enough for when she's grown.  I'll deal with the messes the pup makes to save money and space.  How can you tell when a dog is ready to be left out of the crate at night?  I'll feel much more secure if I don't have to lock my dog in a crate at night (not saying it's a bad thing, just that a dog makes me feel safer when they can roam the house).


I'll definitely do as much socializing as I can, and I'll also take your advice on "teasing" the pup and giving it treats.  I have young nieces and a nephew on the way, so I will most definitely make sure the pup and children learn to respect each other!  I forgot all about clipping a dog's nails!  We tried to clip our dogs' nails, but all the clippers we used were terrible.  Can you give any recommendations?  Also, recommendations on brushes for shedding season would be appreciated.


I still don't understand what's so special about clicker training, but I guess that just means I have a lot of researching to do!  I'll look into it for sure, now.

Edited by la dee da - 11/18/15 at 7:02am
post #20 of 37
Originally Posted by Copper Creek View Post

 Dainerra: I think you just had a bad experience at that store. Try a different store or if you move, try one there!

I have experience with big box trainers in 5 states, personally watched classes at probably 40-50 stores.   We travel a lot for dog shows so we stop at a lot of stores.

I can count on one hand the number of their trainers who knew more than the barest basics and a lot of them don't even know that.


You're lucky if your local store has good trainers.   That is definitely the exception not the rule.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Other Pets & Livestock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Miscellaneous › Other Pets & Livestock › Dog training book reccommendations, please!