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How exactly is this dog training?

I was in the pet food store yesterday getting my food. They also do "purely positive" dog training according to the sign on the door. Anyway apparently I arrived just before the class, and suddenly the store was bursting with dogs with puppies - I believe the training was in the basement of the store and they were waiting for the trainer to arrive. One woman was standing there with a 10 week old dog (I asked) - HOLDING it in her arms. The second had her dog on the floor on a flat collar - and as she began to walk - the dug pulled like a maniac - literally slip sliding on the floor. Last year when I was in the same store yet another class (these were adult dogs) was in the parking lot (apparently, the class will happen outside but only if its sunny and warm because Gawd forbid we should have to stand outside in the winter) - and the dogs AGAIN pulled their owners around the lot. Question: Is this how dog training schools operate these days? You carry the dog around in your arms, or let it drag you, anything as long as its "positive". And what exactly does holding a dog in your arms teach it? Are people that are "purely positive" basically saying training is stuffing food in their gullet to pacify them and if its cold, or if I'm not in the confines of a basement with matts and equipment, I just let the dog go nuts. Hmmm. I guess I walk to a different drum . But for what its worth. First, I start puppy training at 8 weeks. Its something I've done for years - but (surprise) even the AMVA endorses early puppy training. Its been proven over and over - the critical period for dogs is the window to begin training. I've posted this 100 times before, so google it if you don't believe me. Second, our winters (at present) are at about 0 degrees celcius. Its downright balmy :-) I would feel differently if it was 15C or 20C or 30C below - and even my Dobersnot would be cold in that weather standing around. So accepting SOME conditions are too cold for SOME puppies without a double coat - here in Ontario at present, its pretty nice (the lowest in the last week was about -8C) And I got my GSD at Christmas (at 7 weeks) and was out the next day. WALKING. In the SNOW. On a PRONG COLLAR (gasp evil spawn of satan) . In the BUSH no less. (On lead). Gasp. Third - regarding carrying a Hmmm. I guess I walk to a different drum . But for what its worth. First, I start puppy training at 8 weeks. Its something I've done for years - but (surprise) even the AMVA endorses early puppy training. Its been proven over and over - the critical period for dogs is the window to begin training. I've posted this 100 times before, so google it if you don't believe me. Second, our winters (at present) are at about 0 degrees celcius. Its downright balmy :-) I would feel differently if it was 15C or 20C or 30C below - and even my Dobersnot would be cold in that weather standing around. So accepting SOME conditions are too cold for SOME puppies without a double coat - here in Ontario at present, its pretty nice (the lowest in the last week was about -8C) And I got my GSD at Christmas (at 7 weeks) and was out the next day. WALKING. In the SNOW. On a PRONG COLLAR (gasp evil spawn of satan) . In the BUSH no less. (On lead). Gasp. Third - regarding carrying a Nuts - truncated. Third - regarding carrying a dog. Well, this is clearly a culture I am not familiar with. A dog has legs. It can walk - and surprisingly it can do it at 8 weeks. Even at 4 weeks. I never ever ever carry a puppy UNLESS its hurt, or tired (if I walked too far). Carrying a dog for any other reason can instill fear, and at worst, it does nothing to train a dog. It teaches the dog NOTHING - and since this particular dog was going to grow to about 60 lbs - what happens in a few weeks when the dog is too heavy? Do we just put it in a cart? What about a stroller? As far as the class - I don't care if its day 1 or 100 - if I'm a dog trainer, and its a class of adults, and they drag the owners around - THAT is what a trainer is there to correct. Immediately. On day 1. Dogs that are permitted to pull you today, will pull you tomorrow. There is no "graduated licensing" in dogs. They learn a behaviour - and once its a bad behavior, its hard to correct. Nuts - truncated. Third - regarding carrying a dog. Well, this is clearly a culture I am not familiar with. A dog has legs. It can walk - and surprisingly it can do it at 8 weeks. Even at 4 weeks. I never ever ever carry a puppy UNLESS its hurt, or tired (if I walked too far). Carrying a dog for any other reason can instill fear, and at worst, it does nothing to train a dog. It teaches the dog NOTHING - and since this particular dog was going to grow to about 60 lbs - what happens in a few weeks when the dog is too heavy? Do we just put it in a cart? What about a stroller? As far as the class - I don't care if its day 1 or 100 - if I'm a dog trainer, and its a class of adults, and they drag the owners around - THAT is what a trainer is there to correct. Immediately. On day 1. Dogs that are permitted to pull you today, will pull you tomorrow. There is no "graduated licensing" in dogs. They learn a behaviour - and once its a bad behavior, its hard to correct. Sorry for the double posts - I am as challenged at YA these days as this dog trainer is at training dogs :) A prong collar won't hurt a GSD with a big furry coat at 7 or 8 weeks - in fact, he was quite happy and I had people comment often (daily actually) what a lovely dog he was and how happy he was to walk and be out. And I use food rewards - so he wasn't being trained with force. People think Prong equals pain - not true. Its a tool - you control how you use it. Its can be gentle "pressure" on a puppy -or adult dog. And this idea that a dog should wait until 12 weeks to train is - wrong. The risk of disease does not outweight the risk of a poorly socialized dog. Certain breeds (Doberman, Mal, Rotti , Akita) are obviously a greater risk - which is why I guess there are so many poorly trained little dogs these days. Anyway, here's the link (again). (Note I had some problems opening - let me know) They advocate begining 1 week AFTER the first puppy shot. http://thebehaviorclinic.com/pages/documents/EarlyPupSocialization-VetMedpdf.pdf @Lacey: no wonder I have no respect for agility and obedience trials. This is EXACTLY my point about these competitions - they are not trained dogs - they are circus dogs - performing tricks for 3 minutes - and then they are carried out and regress back to an untrained beast. With the exception of competitive obedience - MOST people attend training classes thinking their dog will be a good citizen. My relative attended 8 weeks with her dog - and found it patently useless. A total waste of money. For the same reason - the dog wouldn't sit or down on command and the trainer just sat there (actually gave up is a better word) Anyway, its been enlightening. Well, given the overwhelming interest, I'm thinking of going into a new business venture - selling dog "papooses" for all you dog obedience enthusiasts who have titled dogs (you can sew your badge on it like we did in Brownies). Maybe I should patent it. http://www.libertyslings.co.uk/index.htm I give up. :0) @Lacey: Who says my relative lives in my area ? . And did it ever occur to you that the reason your clients don't train outside of the class - is because nobody needs a dog that only behaves in a basement, only on Tuesdays, and not if its raining or a wee bit chilly? Is it possible what you are teaching them is only helpful if your dog happens to live in an obedience ring ? Or does the concept of localization not apply to old and balanced trainers? Anyway, while I think a pet monkey could do a better job, I still think there's more money in papooses - I will set up a booth at a dog show, and maybe order some dog carts for those extra heavy pooches that dare not walk ...because at 10 weeks, its asking too much and they should stay at home, in a plastic bubble to be safe.

Asked By: Chix - 1/6/2013
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Did you observe the class or were the students just waiting for class to start? What lesson was the class on in the parking lot? All these are important for me to adequate answer your question. However since these questions were not answered, I'll give you some of my reasoning... More
Answered By: Lacey UD, RE - 1/6/2013
Additional Answers (5)
yeah SOME classes stop at the door. I one I went to no unless owner says "No don''t wanna work on this"..
Answered By: ragapple - 1/6/2013
 
It's quite obvious that this was a beginners class and the people really needed the lessons... More
Answered By: Noccie - 1/6/2013
 
A 10 week old puppy shouldn't have been there in the first place. So in the arms was a likely safer place than the floor. The majority of "puppy" classes shouldn't accept pups under the age of 12 weeks for vaccination purposes... More
Answered By: Highbread Ding-Bat - 1/6/2013
 
Thank You Lacey, I carry my Papillon (under 9 lbs) & a friend's 7 lb Toy Poodle that I run at Agility trials going to & from the ring in areas very congested with people & charged dogs. Safest place for that toy dog to be is in my arms. People aren't paying attention & almost step on them. Very often stepping up to... More
Answered By: Agility DawgMa ~New Pup!~ - 1/6/2013
 
Wow Chix. I am profoundly disappointed... More
Answered By: anne b - 1/6/2013
 
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