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Old 02-20-2013, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Class not so "force free". :(

So my one caveat for Lula's training class was that it be pure positive, force free methods. The class I chose promised it was but now that we're actually training, I hear the trainer advising us to "correct" our dogs, all of them puppies, by popping the collar. For the defiant dogs, she has modeled Milan-like techniques of foot correction, alpha rolling, & holding one jumper's feet high in the air & squeezing while yelling "off" repeatedly (this dog yelped, then avoided the trainer - shocker).

I'm not about to use these methods on Lula, but is it even healthy for me to remain in class with her witnessing the other dogs being jerked around?
The reason I haven't already packed up our cookies & left is that the trainer can clear us for CGC & Therapy Cert, which is what I want for Lula.

I guess what I need to do is have a polite, clear convo with the trainer about my feelings & ask if it's feasible to remain in class & mostly do my own thing. Yes?

Damnit, this is really upsetting me. 2 fellow dog owners are neighbors of mine, who joined class on my recommendation & their 7mo Weim is constantly being made an example of due to his exuberant nature. (He was alpha rolled tonight.)

Am I over-reacting? Are people still training like this?!?


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Old 02-20-2013, 07:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would check your area for other trainers that can get you the certs you need. It's obvious you are not comfortable and I think Lula might pick up on that. I say better safe than sorry.

You may want to try talking to the trainer first, but if you still don't feel right I say follow your instincts.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh my, I can see why you are not happy. I feel these methods are questionable at best and in your place I would probably opt out of class and look for someone with more positive training methods. Alpha rolling puppies? Yikes! I wish I could clone my teacher. She is very laid back but if you pay attention you learn so much. You don't need to train with her to get the certification, right? Just to take the test? I would be very leery of staying in the class in case you inadvertantly pick up something that is going to mess up your dog. At the very least she is going to pick up a stressed vibe from other dogs whose owners are following this questionable advice.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You recommended the class to your neighbors in good faith. Just tell them you are not happy with the results and all of you find another class.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Eep, how unsettling! Even if you can be certain that Lula won't be mistreated by having a talk with the trainer, staying is still sending a message to her and the other owners that you're okay with what's going on. And, no, I don't think it's healthy for either of you to be in that setting! I think you'd be justified in getting your money back as this was false advertising. I get sooo frustrated by "fake" trainers like that!! If one wants to use those methods, they can just be honest about it. There are still plenty of dog-owners comfortable with that. I don't see why they want to mislead owners and put them in the situation you're in right now. I think if you leave you will absolutely find another trainer who can help you towards your goals with Lula. Make the choices that feel right to you, and everything always works out. : ) Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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well i feel some correcting is ok but that sounds like it sure isnt what you signed up for. ive never heard of a trainer reacting that way for jumping. if you dont feel comfortable id let the trainer know and really this is there training method so if i was you id just find a different one.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am sure you wouldn't allow any of these correction methods to be used on Lula or Lula would just behave so well that she doesn't even need any major "correction" BUT I wonder how helpful the trainer's advice would be when you need help correcting your pup the non-CM way.

There should be other CGC evaluators in your area.
American Kennel Club - Canine Good Citizen Evaluators

You can train Lula to do the 10 CGC test items and go take the test at an AKC dog show. AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program - Searchable Calendar

This video is the demo test created by Nickel's trainer.

Last edited by schnauzerpoodle; 02-20-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would definitely talk with the trainer to see if the method he/she is using is her ONLY method and if it is I would RUN not walk and take your neighbors with you!
Poodles can be stubborn, but they are also tender minded, and too intelligent to be 'abused into obedience'! I've met dogs who's spirits have been crushed by that kind of training and although they complied with their owners orders, they seemed to do so without joy....they seemed 'sad' somehow......
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Find another trainer. You will get more frustrated each time you attend and you are wasting money in something you don't believe in.

I watched the CGC video, I believe Leroy would pass it. He's so weird, he knows when he is being tested, and acts perfect (was great in obedience class). He's even good and calm in big events, festivals, parades. But he cannot manage to meet one random person off the street - he goes nuts!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You have to do what you comfortable with. If the class makes you uncomfortable, then you shouldn't put yourself and your dog through that.

I'd get my money back because that's definabley not as advertised.

Hopefully there are other trainers in your area utilizing methods you feel comfortable with. Trulydogfriendly.com and petprofessionalguild.com are good places to find vetted force free trainers and they advocate for continuing education for trainers.

Sorry you went through that. :(
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