(Closed) So, The Dog Trainer Came Today, A Little Update To My Last Post….

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think it is great you had someone come to work with you guys.  Has the trainer addressed any of the other issues with pooping in the bed?

I think you should give it a few sessions.  I know it costs money, but you should hopefully get a sense of whether this is going to improve things pretty quickly.

 

 

Post # 4
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

@Mrs_Amanda:  DH seemed pretty chill about it- I think he expected some British lady like on that Nanny show to come in and literally whip the dog into shape! I think he was a little surprised to see her normalcy haha

Victoria Stilwell does NOT literally whip them into shape!  That implies that she beats them into submission.  LOL!  She is very against physical punishment/correction, and instead uses positive reinforcement training.  I like her much better than Caesar…if you notice, “Dog Whisperer” episodes have a disclaimer that his training methods should not be tried without professional guidance, whereas “It’s Me or the Dog” has no such disclaimer because her methods are much safer for the average dog owner to use.

Anyway, glad the meeting went alright.  Hopefully you guys will continue to see improvement.  

ETA: Forgot to answer your question.  That’s what I get for watching TV at the same time.  Hehehe.  Anyway, did what she was doing/telling you make sense?  Did you feel like she was addressing your concerns?  From what you described, I am guessing you didn’t really “click” with her…it seems like she may know what she’s doing, but it’s important that you like her, and that you are able to understand her and her methods.  I know he’s got a lot of issues, so perhaps she was trying to cover as much as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, but it just left you with information overload, (or at least that was my impression from your post, anyway).

I would maybe try one more session with her, and see how it goes.  Like I said, you want to be able to click with her.  Going through trainer after trainer can make things more difficult, because they will each have differing methods and one thing you definitely want is consistency.   A lot of people make issues worse with both pets and kids by not giving a method a chance to work before moving on to the next thing. Hence why I would give her one more session…see if you guys click, see if you feel less overwhelmed by her next visit.  

Post # 5
Member
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Mrs_Amanda:  It sounds like it was just an OK experience, so I would personally try to find a different trainer and pass on another session with that same woman.

DH and I had a similar experience with our puppy also. We contacted about 6 local trainers regarding an in-home training session and ended up with 2 favorites, but decided to do a training “orientation” with the trainer who lived closest out of the two. We could tell that he had a lot of experience, but we just got a “so-so” vibe from him. I’m not quite sure what we were expecting, but he didn’t seem to meet our expectations haha. We agreed that we’d rather try out the other trainer before committing to more sessions with the first guy.

Best of luck with your decision and please keep us updated 🙂

Post # 9
Member
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I would give her two more tries.

Sometimes the first meeting is laid back or stressful because the trainer is trying to evaulate the situation, how YOU react to what she says (will you do it? Do it well? Consistantly?), what buttons she can push on the dog, etc. I think that if you still feel that way and see no or little improvement with her techniques by the third time, I wouldn’t go for a fourth.

Post # 11
Member
7175 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@Mrs_Amanda:  I’m hoping/assuming she gave you homework to do with the dog (ie: practice the motions and suggestions on the routine).  I also hope she suggested the amount of daily training with those homework lessons… keep working on those and see if her tips make a difference.  If they do – you have a winner who ‘gets’ the issues with your dogs.  If not, I’d keep looking.

…I also just read through your post from a couple days ago and have to say I completely relate.  We adoped a dog from the pound around the same time you did and it has been SUCH a challenge.  We both work too and have a non-yard living space.  The thing that I learned very quickly from a lot of sources is a 15-20 minute walk will not cut it.  I am NOT a morning person, but have had to change my routine to wake up at a god-forsaken hour to do a 2-mile walk with the dog (30-40 minutes).  That’s the bare minimum and seems to work well for our dog.  Then it happens again in the evening (same distance now – used to be a 3 miles when we first got her), and she gets a shorter potty walk at night.  Because your dog seems to be exhibiting issues with energy, I would try to do a minimum of 90 minutes of brisk walking (I’ve heard it’s fine to break it up) –  I watched ceasar milan use a treadmill for a dog to tire it out… if I had a treadmill, I would probably try to rig it so I could use that too!! 🙂

When we get home at the end of the day, there is at least 10 minutes of mandatory ‘lesson’ time – often it ends up more, broken up in tiny chunks throughout the evening.  We pretty much make everything a lesson (well, I do – DH mostly likes to play).  

The other thing that was SO difficult at first, was to work on some of the commands when we are out and about on a walk.  Our dog has anxiety / fear issues – so getting her to sit was ok – but getting her to ‘down’ when were were out in the scary world was another story.  I felt like an idiot, trying to get her to ‘down’ and her ignoring me.  As soon as I focused on her and demanded her responsiveness (mostly not caring that onlookers saw me as a lunatic) she responded.  Now (after about 2 weeks of this) she will obey at the first (or second) try.   That’s a HUGE improvement over the 6-10 tries from before.

My point in all of this is DON’T GIVE UP.  Dog training is SO MUCH MORE work/time/energy than I ever thought or dreamed.  It’s sucked up a big chunk of our life and DH and I would have MANY conversations over the past months about if we would take her back or if she would stay.  Many tears have been shed over her issues (not just anxiety issues, but safety/kids/possessiveness), the problems they’ve created between DH and I, and the general stress and life-change it’s caused in our home.  We’ve also had to limit social stuff in our home (and even how much we go out) because of the dog and her reactivity.  At first, it was hard for me to wrap my head around the dog starting to control our social life and the few hours we had outside of work – but, the bottom line is – she was a high-needs rescue dog and if we were commited to her – we had to make the choice to do what was in her best interest (which was to work with her issues, etc.). 

What I’ve learned is this:  dogs are SMART. dogs need consistancy.  dogs need DAILY everything (exercise, training, attention, etc), and they like to test boundaries (which is why the consistancy is key).  They know what they can get away with and will get away with it, if they can!  

The other thing that’s REALLY helped me is advice from a breed-specific forum (specific advice on behavior/training/etc). Our dog is a mix, but primarily a certain breed and has that breed’s temperment.  If you think she’s mainly boxer, maybe check out: http://www.boxerforums.com/portal.php

Post # 12
Member
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Definitly hang in there!  It can be tough when finding a trainer to get to the one that works best with you and your dog.  When I look for a trainer I want someone who meshes with me and my dog while they are training one on one.  I also want someone who offers meaningful homework between sessions to really get the dog where it needs to be. (Some less then honest trainers avoid “homework” because it lets them charge for more sessions).  The fact that she took the first session as an evaluation is a good sign, but I think I would have wanted some feedback from her before she left about what I was doing/what to work on.  

If it makes you feel any better it could be soooooooo much worse.  I dislocated my knee Sunday and am now hobbling around on crutches, and really not supposed to be on my feet at all.  Which doesn’t work for me since we adopted a purebred german shepherd 3 weeks ago, and are in full training/settling into the household mode.  Because of her history/lack of training she jumps on people, and is very reactive whenever someone new comes in, you get up from watching tv etc.  So she has to be leashed if she’s not in the kennel.  Try managing a excited 55pound shepherd while juggling crutches and cursing every other word because my knee hurts.  Oh and we can’t do our daily tire the dog out walks for the next couple weeks too 🙁  

Just remember that the settling in crazy dog phase will pass if you stick with training.  In 6 months you should be looking back at this going ahhh so much better now.

Post # 13
Member
1778 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m so proud of you guys! 

 

It helps so so SO much to have a professional guide you. 

Post # 14
Member
7293 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@oracle:  Beautiful response 🙂

@Mrs_Amanda:  So happy to hear about the trainer! I know you guys are still unsure, but keep going a few sessions. Love the leash ideas, and also that he was tuckered out after 🙂 Keep up with exercise and making boundaries! This too shall pass !!

Post # 16
Member
3773 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

@Mrs_Amanda:  It sounds like you guys are making great progress!

P.S I wouldn’t hide toys in he couch, the dog might think the couch is a toy and could end up ruining it (our intelligent dog figured out of to get the cushion out from the slipcover and shredded a cushiom, we then had to train to stay off the new couch)

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