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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My last two dogs did their training with the same trainer at Petco. She was great so I planned to take Loki to her only she is out indefinitely due to medical issues.
One of the clubs had some nice training classes, but they were too far away. A friend recommended a place that does daycare and boarding and has all kinds of classes.
The description was 8 weeks with the first class as orientation without your dog.
That was a lie. I showed up the first class without my dog to find out it is 6 weeks with the dog. I missed most of the first class driving home to get the dog.
I get back and they are practicing sit. He demos with something really tiny. She is yanking up on the leash which is lifting the dog off the ground. The dog had a harness on so it wasn't yanking on the poor things neck. When it is time for us to practice she tells me no treats at the facility and that we are supposed to pull up on the leash and shove their but down if they don't comply. I am also allowed to pet him or do anything other than say yes when he complies. For heel, we are supposed to pull on the leash until he complies.
I wanted to ask the PF if this is normal training, or if I should just bail and find another place.
 

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I would run away fast, you can do a million times better. No dog should be yanked around especially sensitive smart poodles.

I hope you can get your money back.
 

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I can't, but I would rather lose the money than mess up my dog.
Did the class description give you any indication what training methods to expect? If the reality didn’t match what was promised, that would justify requesting a refund.
 

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Did the class description give you any indication what training methods to expect? If the reality didn’t match what was promised, that would justify requesting a refund.
I’m thinking the same thing.
 

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Ugh. No, this just seems like a way to teach a dog to hate training.

I actually did have Pogo and Snarky trained to sit when I pulled straight on their leashes. It was an extension of luring the dog into a sit by using a treat. When you hold a treat in front of the dog's face and then lift the treat higher, the dog will tilt his head up to follow the motion of the treat. Most often the dog will naturally slnk back on his haunches and fold into a sit when the head goes up. Therefore, once Pogo and Snarky mastered the sit concept, I could actually ease them into a sit by using the leash to nudge their heads upwards. It just flowed from looking up to follow the treat.

Aside from everything else you say about this trainer, it seems they don't really understand dog anatomy and how to use it to make learning easier. Pushing down on a dog's haunches doesn't make it easier for a dog to sit, as it doesn't position the legs in a way that makes sitting natural. Pulling up on a harness rather than a collar won't ease the dog into a sit either, as it doesn't lift the head. (Though, honestly, it sounds like a good thing this dog was protected by a harness; dangling a dog from a collar doesn't teach it to sit either.) I would, therefore, question whether this trainer would carelessly put the dog at risk of injury by forcing a dog into movements that aren't appropriate for that particular dog.
 

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My last two dogs did their training with the same trainer at Petco. She was great so I planned to take Loki to her only she is out indefinitely due to medical issues.
One of the clubs had some nice training classes, but they were too far away. A friend recommended a place that does daycare and boarding and has all kinds of classes.
The description was 8 weeks with the first class as orientation without your dog.
That was a lie. I showed up the first class without my dog to find out it is 6 weeks with the dog. I missed most of the first class driving home to get the dog.
I get back and they are practicing sit. He demos with something really tiny. She is yanking up on the leash which is lifting the dog off the ground. The dog had a harness on so it wasn't yanking on the poor things neck. When it is time for us to practice she tells me no treats at the facility and that we are supposed to pull up on the leash and shove their but down if they don't comply. I am also allowed to pet him or do anything other than say yes when he complies. For heel, we are supposed to pull on the leash until he complies.
I wanted to ask the PF if this is normal training, or if I should just bail and find another place.
Get the heck out of there. That’s a person who has no idea how to train a dog and is forcing them into position instead. The dogs will learn nothing except how to fear their humans. The methods are not positive, they’re not balanced either though, they’re purely compulsive and wrong. The leash prompt (or “pop”) is supposed to be a LIGHT tug on the leash to remind the dog that you are there and to pay attention. It is also used as a correction after the dog already has been reinforced and “knows” how to sit ( I don’t personally use it but could see why someone might). There’s also a training method where you pull the leash up gently and hold pressure until the dog sits and then you release pressure but this one still is more about positions and encouraging a sit, which didn’t matter at all for a non-competition dog. Also these are all prompts or corrections though, they don’t “train” anything, they don’t tell the dog what to do. Doing it as a first step doesnt make any sense, the dog has no idea what it’s being prompted to do/ why it’s being corrected. It also has no incentive to do anything and no classical conditioning is occurring except tracing the dog that standing up around this trainer is dangerous. You’ll want to find a certified CPDT trainer and seriously get out of that class before that trainer injures your dog emotionally or physically.
 

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Leo (GSD), Lily (APBT), and Simon (SPoo)
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The trainer I take classes with at Petsmart uses upward pressure on the leash as a "reminder" for the dog to sit if they get up, but it's not a yack on a leash attached to a harness.

From what you've described, this isn't a class I'd be comfortable continuing with. If the reality of the class is vastly different from the description, I'd go ahead and ask for a refund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also, when would you expect AKC Star Puppy classes to begin? The place I wanted to go requires the puppies to be between 4 months to a year. This place and the other dog club only do AKC Star Puppy for 11 to 18 weeks. Above that, you get shoved into a class for adult dogs.
 

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My Theo earned his AKC Star Puppy. Frankly it’s nothing special. I took two puppy kindergartens with him and the one that didn’t end with earning the Star Puppy was a better class. There was a big gap between Theo’s puppy class and his level 1 obedience so I signed him up for a second puppy that filled in that gap.

The class he took with Star Puppy had puppies from 10 weeks to 8 months. Theo was by far the youngest and smallest dog in the class. For all dogs, it was their first class and I felt we were all around the same place.

I do think AKC CGC or a similar program or therapy dog training (even if you don’t do the actual therapy) are extremely valuable training for pet dogs and their owners. A good puppy class is valuable, but “Star Puppy” is optional.

We’re in a Basic 1 class now, Theo was 5.5 months when we started and all the other dogs range from 2-8 years old. He fits in well and we’re more advanced than most because this is generally a repetition for dogs who took puppy classes but new for older dogs who never took a class. I probably would not want him in this class if he hadn’t had not experienced puppy class first.

I would look for the best puppy class. After puppy class he should be able to mix in with older dogs in a basic level 1 obedience class.

After level 1 we will take level 2 and that’s the class that prepares the dog for AKC CGC - usually the exam is offered when the session ends.
 
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Nope -fly away quick. The last thing you need is a traumatized puppy. I had a similar story when a trainer told me to put Asta in a choke chain - needless to say, never went back.
 

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Follow your instincts.

We did one class with a local kennel club and never went back because of the cold approach.
I decided that losing the money was easier than repairing my relationship with my dog.
 

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wow thats not just an outdated method thats ancient!

I have been in a class that was not a 100 percent force free. But they way they did it is they would start with treats and then move onto punishments like choke chains (not that I recommend this either! it did not help our dog at all!) but even that wasn't as extreme as you describe and this was back in 2006 I think.
 

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My last two dogs did their training with the same trainer at Petco. She was great so I planned to take Loki to her only she is out indefinitely due to medical issues.
One of the clubs had some nice training classes, but they were too far away. A friend recommended a place that does daycare and boarding and has all kinds of classes.
The description was 8 weeks with the first class as orientation without your dog.
That was a lie. I showed up the first class without my dog to find out it is 6 weeks with the dog. I missed most of the first class driving home to get the dog.
I get back and they are practicing sit. He demos with something really tiny. She is yanking up on the leash which is lifting the dog off the ground. The dog had a harness on so it wasn't yanking on the poor things neck. When it is time for us to practice she tells me no treats at the facility and that we are supposed to pull up on the leash and shove their but down if they don't comply. I am also allowed to pet him or do anything other than say yes when he complies. For heel, we are supposed to pull on the leash until he complies.
I wanted to ask the PF if this is normal training, or if I should just bail and find another place.
Run Find another place that is not Positive Reinforcement. I enrolled in a puppy class from a well respected boarding/daycare etc facility but didn’t check out the instructor on our 1st class(7pm) she recommended a “Prong Collar” for all of us on our 4 month old puppies.
I was mortified! I have had Terriers & have never used a Prong Collar. There is a site where you can find Positive Reinforcement Training and Behaviorist that are licensed;
My last two dogs did their training with the same trainer at Petco. She was great so I planned to take Loki to her only she is out indefinitely due to medical issues.
One of the clubs had some nice training classes, but they were too far away. A friend recommended a place that does daycare and boarding and has all kinds of classes.
The description was 8 weeks with the first class as orientation without your dog.
That was a lie. I showed up the first class without my dog to find out it is 6 weeks with the dog. I missed most of the first class driving home to get the dog.
I get back and they are practicing sit. He demos with something really tiny. She is yanking up on the leash which is lifting the dog off the ground. The dog had a harness on so it wasn't yanking on the poor things neck. When it is time for us to practice she tells me no treats at the facility and that we are supposed to pull up on the leash and shove their but down if they don't comply. I am also allowed to pet him or do anything other than say yes when he complies. For heel, we are supposed to pull on the leash until he complies.
I wanted to ask the PF if this is normal training, or if I should just bail and find another place.
Run that’s not positive reinforcement. There are still draconian training practices. I attended a 4month old puppy class @ a well respected boarding, daycare etc facility but didn’t check out the trainer whom on the 1st and only class I went to recommended a PRONG Collar
that you could order from her; I was dumbfounded and aghast . I have had Terriers and have never used a Prong collar.
To find a Positive Reinforcement Trainer and Behaviorist go to: Association of Pet Dog Trainers
 

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There are many good trainers who are members of APDT, but all that is required to join this organization is to pay the dues. Honestly everyone here could be an APDT member. The best place to find a really good trainer is through CCPDT.org. To become a member of CCPDT you need a minimum of 300 hours of training experience, an attestation statement from a CPDT-KA or a veterinarian to even register to take their exam (which was one of the hardest exams I've ever taken in my life (and I have a PhD in immunology from an Ivy League University). All trainers certified by this organization have agreed to using a humane hierarchy and also the principle of Least Intrusive/Minimally Aversive (LI/MA) methods. They will start with the gentlest techniques to teach and reinforce good behaviors and will only introduce stronger methods if needed. Puppies don't need pinch collars and they shouldn't be used on adults to teach new behaviors. I would stay away from the use of a pinch collar for nearly all dogs, but if that is really the best you can get progress with under LI/MA then that is the tool to use. Most people shouldn't introduce them without proper help and I would not ever start at that level of a tool. Then again the idea of leash pops and jerking dogs off their feet is absolutely not a way to start either. Find another place or a better person who you can work with in ways that are appropriate for puppies.
 

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There are many good trainers who are members of APDT, but all that is required to join this organization is to pay the dues. Honestly everyone here could be an APDT member. The best place to find a really good trainer is through CCPDT.org. To become a member of CCPDT you need a minimum of 300 hours of training experience, an attestation statement from a CPDT-KA or a veterinarian to even register to take their exam (which was one of the hardest exams I've ever taken in my life (and I have a PhD in immunology from an Ivy League University). All trainers certified by this organization have agreed to using a humane hierarchy and also the principle of Least Intrusive/Minimally Aversive (LI/MA) methods. They will start with the gentlest techniques to teach and reinforce good behaviors and will only introduce stronger methods if needed. Puppies don't need pinch collars and they shouldn't be used on adults to teach new behaviors. I would stay away from the use of a pinch collar for nearly all dogs, but if that is really the best you can get progress with under LI/MA then that is the tool to use. Most people shouldn't introduce them without proper help and I would not ever start at that level of a tool. Then again the idea of leash pops and jerking dogs off their feet is absolutely not a way to start either. Find another place or a better person who you can work with in ways that are appropriate for puppies.
I agree and should have suggested their site 1st. espically since she didn't have a positive class experience. My bad
[Moderator comment: I fixed a misplaced bracket that was messing up the quote formatting; text is unchanged.]
 

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I agree and should have suggested their site 1st. espically since she didn't have a positive class experience. My bad
[Moderator comment: I fixed a misplaced bracket that was messing up the quote formatting; text is unchanged.]
No worries or apologies needed! I just like to front for CCPDT as much as I can. Aside from being a CPDT-KA certificant, I truly believe the best trainers are there. It was hard to get certified and you have to do CEUs to remain certified.
 
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No worries or apologies needed! I just like to front for CCPDT as much as I can. Aside from being a CPDT-KA certificant, I truly believe the best trainers are there. It was hard to get certified and you have to do CEUs to remain certified.
I used?a behaviorist/trainer from CCPDT for my Cairn Terrier Nathan whom was a rescue from a notorious puppy mill. He was aggressive towards children, not food motivated, had no concept about toys and didn't know how to play. The behaviorist literally changed our lives and Nathan was able to become a confident loving dog.
 
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