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Old 03-19-2017, 04:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I am glad Dolly is okay, but I feel really badly for the BC. I hope they give him up to someone who gets it before they totally ruin the dog.

Hopefully the trainer will take a life lesson out of all this and make sure they place dogs appropriate to what they can do, what their owner's understand etc., rather than just trying to fill a class.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Or take classes in Rally.

In Novice none of the troublemakers even get off leash.

Muahahaha.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:19 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I have dabbled in rally with both girls, and likely will again. I had more trouble with the signs than the girls had following what I was doing, lol, but I will give it another try. The BC was never off leash, his owner was not able to hold him or understand the gravity of the situation.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
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The whole situation with the BC seems like a disaster. Obviously the owner is in way over their head (or just not willing to do the work...). But it seems to me that the trainer kind of mishandled the situation. Why was the owner allowed to remove the head halter? Why was the dog ever in that class in the first place if the trainer knew about the issues it was dealing with at home? Anyway, that's just all-round sad. The dog is the one losing.

But I'm glad things are now straightened out for you. I hope the GSD can chill out now and everything will be smooth sailing.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:13 AM   #25 (permalink)
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rj16 you see this as I do I think. The person running the class has a responsibility to keep everyone safe in addition to the teaching/training. That can mean telling some people not to come to any class, not just an agility class. The BC would have been a train wreck in a rally class too since the dog's problems are being exacerbated by the poor skills of his owner.

I don't think it is fair to characterize rally as the sport to go to when you don't have the skills to do anything else. Just because you can talk to your dog and it stays on leash in novice doesn't mean it is not challenging. There is a lot to learn to do rally well enough to earn advanced and excellent along with RAE titles. Tell the 159 other teams entered for RAE rally this week in Georgia that rally is the idiot sport of the dog world and they will disagree with you as do I.

When I have a beginner or a novice class with more than one dog the whole dynamic of what I do changes because now I am managing dog interactions and not just teaching a person how to do something new with their dog. I am always watching for dog to dog eye contact, intention moves by dogs towards other dogs or people and handlers who are not engaged with seeking focused attention from their dog along with a myriad of other small things which will be better nipped in the bud before they become full fledged out of control disasters. So far (over a year) I haven't been bitten and I haven't had dog to dog contact more than once in all of my beginner and novice groups.

I think the GSD is likely to settle now that the energy of the BC team is out of the mix. As he gets better agility skills he will become happy to focus on his work.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:57 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I really appreciate that the training class I am in has 2 trainers. The class is also limited to 6 teams.


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Old 03-20-2017, 07:03 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I absolutely agree that the real fault here lies with the trainer, who is also the owner of the facility. I also think that filling the class had something to do with the initial decision to allow this team in. I've taken many classes here, and there have been issues before but never to this extent. There aren't a lot of choices in my area for trainers who use positive training methods, or that have a decent facility to train at. There's a new one opening up soon and I'm anxious to try it out.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:29 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
I absolutely agree that the real fault here lies with the trainer, who is also the owner of the facility. I also think that filling the class had something to do with the initial decision to allow this team in. I've taken many classes here, and there have been issues before but never to this extent. There aren't a lot of choices in my area for trainers who use positive training methods, or that have a decent facility to train at. There's a new one opening up soon and I'm anxious to try it out.
I know what you mean all too well. I think with trainers it is realistic to not expect them to be excellent at every aspect. The good teacher may not use the right training methods. The great dog trainer may not be good at classroom management. The one's good at managing conflicts like this may not be the best at training. In my case I've had to understand that my trainer follows a method I'm very happy with, is generous with her time, and patient with the humans but (a) she doesn't 100% practice what she preaches and (b) is clueless when it comes to behavioural issues. I'll be trying out at least one alternative in the future to see if the equation works out better for me but in the meantime I'm just going in with a clear idea of her limitations. I hope for you that the new place opens soon and is a good fit!
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:45 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Hey Caddy, I'm really sad to hear how this turned out. Your experience was almost identical to one I had. The trainer allowed an uncontrolled lab into class - it wasn't the dog's fault, the owners had neglected the dog since they got it as a puppy (no socialization, no training, no exercise), and this was their last ditch effort to save the dog. From what I could tell, the wife wanted the dog and the husband didn't; the husband wouldn't allow the wife to spend any time or money on it. The wife was the one who brought the lab to the class and she seemed heartbroken over the dog. The situation understandably tore at the heartstrings of the two instructors, and they let the pair in. It was a rally class, and the dog couldn't even walk on a leash. During the first class, one of the instructors worked with the pair outside of the building, but during the second class, they were in the building with us. While Mia was in a down-stay and I was working at a distance, the lab jumped on Mia's back. Mia shrieked, I dove between the two dogs to separate them, and somehow they got the lab and the handler out of the building. I was furious - but even more so when the instructors told me that they were going to keep the lab and the handler in the class and that I would not get a refund if I withdrew. Of course I withdrew. This was completely unacceptable. This sort of dog has no business in a class with other students and dogs - it was way over threshold. My minimum expectation in any dog class is that the dogs are kept safe. I care far less about the ability of the instructor to train, than I do about how the instructor's prioritizes the safety of dogs.

I understand that the BC in your story was not necessarily as neglected as the lab in mine. However, you state that the BC was fixed on the GSD before the incident. If you picked this up, so should the instructors - it's a clear sign of potential trouble. Anyway, I have to run now, but the more trainers I meet, the more appalled I am at how few trainers think through potential conflicts in class and work to keep dogs and handlers safe.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:46 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Wow Liz that is just too damn stupid for words that you had to withdraw without any $$ consideration.

In your case I feel for the wife and the lab, but I have to say it was probably pretty unrealistic for her to think her husband would come around if he really didn't want a dog.

As mentioned above it is complicated to mange group dog classes, but it is possible to do so without disasters and hard feelings. On the first day of any beginner class I do I spend time talking to each handler about what they have indicated their needs and goals are on the registration form they fill out. While I do that I watch each team to see how the dog seems in overall temperament and for its attention to the handler, but also very importantly to the other dogs (and I make sure they are well spaced out wile I do this). I talk to them about the importance of not allowing their dog to stare at any other dogs (ever) and introduce the concept that centripetal attraction to handler and focused eye contact with handler are the keys to success.
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