(Closed) Dog Training: Tell me about your experiences!

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
3140 posts
Sugar bee

We did professional training for our aggressive dog. A lot of what we learned spilt over into just general good manners and knowing dogs better in general and getting them to a happier and healthier state. That has been helpful with our new puppy, but ultimately the training for aggression was not successful. However, since you don’t have this problem, I would say private training would be very beneficial. 

The real thing I liked about private training is that the trainer helps you fine-tune your training much quicker and better than group training because they are only paying attention to you and your dog. The trainer should be able to see the little places you are going wrong and give direction that suits both your style and your dog’s needs. 

We paid $65/1hr lesson. It was well worth it and I plan on taking out puppy to private lessons and also group agility/obedience lessons when he gets a bit older. The group lessons are great to give your dog more challenges to mind when he is working as well as for socialization. 

Actually, the leash pulling was (in our experience) a very easy fix with the private trainer. She actually taught us a game “Find Me” to ensure that your dog is mindful of you all the time and is rewarded for it. It takes a LOT of patience though. PM me if you are interested in the details of it! 

Good luck!

ETA: We taught my mom the “Find Me” game and she started using it on her dogs with quick success too. However, you have to keep up on it, just like everything else.

Post # 4
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

When we got our shih-tzu I had previous experience with a keplie x doberman so I had experience with a working dog. Having said that, a small dog is a whole different type of dog but the basics are still the same.

If you want your dog to respect you, you have to take it for a walk/rollerblade/bike ride and show him that you have more stamina and endurance than he does. This might sound harsh but when you get down to actual training it is easier to have a dog with less pent up energy and thinks you will outlast him if he plays up. 

Don’t get frustrated with your dog, just like kids they will use it to make you go nuts and drop the training you were trying to work on. If they have too much energy it will also show, as distractions will get more of their focus than whats right in front of them. 

Make it a game that they enjoy. Use a squeaker toy, or they are a fetch fiend already use that as a reward once they have done what you ask them to. 

Watch Cesar Milan tv shows but keep in mind that alot of the clients are in extreme cases. I do not ever think it is ok to hit or kick a dog but I also understand that in an extreme case it may be necessary to use a stronger force than what is presented. IE think of what a restrained bounce or police office does at work and transfer the process to a dog cituation. 

Post # 5
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I had a leash puller, too.  I really recommend the Gentle Leader head collar (be sure to watch the DVD and use properly).  My guy used to pull so hard he would choke and wheeze like crazy, and he would hurt me.  Now he’s really great on walks.  I’ve used other training methods, too (like Zen walking where you stop whenever the leash is taut and wait for your puppy to move back and release the tension on the leash before you move again), and I sill have used them in addition to the Gentle Leader, but sometimes an effective training tool alone can make a world of difference. 

I also recommend Patricia McConnell’s books on dogs and dog training.  She has a PhD in animal behavior and trains dogs for herding trials, so she really knows her stuff, unlike some self-proclaimed dog experts.  (Okay, I’ll be honest, I hate Cesar Milan and think many of his methods can be counterproductive.)  I’ve also taken (group) training classes at the local animal protection society and they were generally good.  I think it was around a hundred dollars (or a bit more) for a number of weekly meetings.

But, there is no magic cure for anything.  Training dogs can take a lot of patience and it’s hard work!!

Post # 7
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m going to second the gentle leader/halti for a leash. We have a beagle too and she’s a VERY strong puller if we just use a leash and collar, but with the halti, she’s fine to walk. 

As for chasing the cat, the only thing that seemed to keep my dog from doing this was the cat turning around and smacking the dog a few times…

Post # 9
68 posts
Worker bee

Here’s Amira – she’s 8 months old.  We’ve been doing 6-week training at PetSmart.  So far we’ve done the Puppy training and right now we’re doing Intermediate.  The first puppy class was only with one other puppy, but our intermediate class has three other dogs.  It sometimes sucks because your dog doesn’t get one-on-one training, but it’s also really good to teach them to do things with distractions (other dogs are best!).  She’s very smart and catches on really fast.  I think it’s definitely just patience and don’t show them your frustration.. the more frustrated you are the less inclined they are to listen/do what you want.  If you’re patient with them then they will catch on much faster.. consistency is also key.  You can’t do things only half the time and both partners have to have the same views – otherwise the dog will get confused if you say one thing but hubby says another.  


Post # 10
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

To get them not to pull while walking, you can train them with a gentle leader on his face. I use them with my huskies, and it works wonders. They still pull because they absolutely have to be in the front of me. I guess it’s a sled dog thing, but I give them enough lease so it’s comfortable. 

Look at some videos of “dave the dog trainer” on youtube. He’s VERY helpful. It’s Dave or David, can’t remember now.

Post # 12
7174 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@NewfieBullet:  What a sweet fur baby!  

re: pulling on walks – our dog would not go for the head collar so we opted for a FRONT clip harness (we use the EasyWalk Harness (front clip) and LOVE it)).  It doesn’t stop pulling all together, but is MUCH easier than a collar leash to help guide them.

Why is your dog pulling?  Meaning, is he pulling away or towards something in particular?  Or just so excited to go out and about he is moving forward?  I think that’s important, in order to give you more tips.  If he is just pulling forward (to go faster), I would work in a small area and work on having him focus on you.  

What I do with my dog is if she is pulling to move forward, I just stop in my tracks.  I then call her back to me and make her do a sit.  Then we go again.  In the beginning, this happened every few stops (patience is key!) but she learned that pulling doesn’t get her what she wants!).

re: training, we did a group training with the local shelter and it really helped our dog bond with us and get her focused on us.  I also do training with her every day (not a lot of time – maybe 5 minutes in the morning and then another 5-10 throughout the evening).  I also incorporate ‘training’ into everything she does (sitting before going out the door, before meals, to get petted, etc.)….


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