Monday, October 19, 2009

Dog Training - Day 1 - Teaching how to Teach

The first thing that was stressed to us is actually to make the dogs feel comfortable with the space they are training in. Surprisingly, this is done by having the dogs potty (yes, I said potty!) in the training area (the front lawn, in case you were wondering). To continue working on their “confidence” my homework for the week is to get them to potty in strange places and on the leash.

We also worked on getting the dogs to sit instead of jump on us. We have to actually entice them to jump on us, and when they sit they get treated. Eventually it will work into a treat only if they sit with no jumping before they sit. We also worked on the down and sit commands, and on how to break a dog of its ‘fixation’ by using touch (cats are usually fixations).

Apparently there are three ‘stages’ to dog training (I call them stages at least): teach, train and proof, and proof is using training in real world situations. The first stage, teach, will last a few more weeks, probably into week 5 or so.

I am still not impressed by the dog trainer’s professionalism. He was 40 minutes late starting the session...But, it really seems like he knows what he is talking about, we completed two hours of ‘teaching’, and he is fair. See, the last time we tried an expensive dog trainer, we were not prepared for the extent of training necessary. We didn’t have the time and we didn’t realize the commitment needed. My mother and I dropped close to $800 on that training, and after the first session asked to put training on hold so we could better prepare.

By the time we called back, many months later, we were told that we were too late, our money was non refundable, and even though we only had one lesson they would not continue training or give us our money back. The worst part was being told this was in the contract we signed. Sadly, I spoke with the trainer who had no problem putting our training hold back then, but that trainer was no longer with the company, which sounds like the real problem with the refund.

Total Cost: $87 per session ($350 for two dogs, four-two-hour-long sessions)

- I can control Nickel when he revs up to attack another dog; I know how to correct this
- I know how to use a corrective touch

- Potty in strange places
- Sit opposed to Jump
- Down to Stand to Down (looks like doggy yoga)

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