Feel like a failure :-(

Taffyhorse

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We've been evicted from our basic obedience training :-( Not for being disobedient but because Freddie fixates on the other dogs too much and I can't get his attention - or have to work really hard to do so even with ultra tasty treats.

The main issue is being on the lead. Off the lead (as I think I've probably posted here before) he's almost angelic, great heelwork, good recall etc etc and he's much better with other dogs off the lead too. On the lead he can be a bit of a demon - won't walk to heel that easily but wants to be in front, barks and lunges at other dogs or stares them out.

Pressure on the lead makes him worse (as it would) and yes I know hanging on for grim death isn't recommended but I don't feel like I have a choice when we're in a small room with 10 other dogs!!

On the upside, the trainer has recommended trying a couple of other trainers for some 1:1 sessions. To be honest I prefer this as the class environment obviously isn't right for either of us at the moment. Still doesn't stop me feeling pants though and I really feel for him too because he's not a 'nasty' type but people see him when he's jumping about and either glare at me or make comments about him being a 'nasty collie'.

What really kills me is that he was getting so much better until he got jumped on by a couple of out of control dogs (1 x Dobie, 1 X Dobie cross so both big dogs) that were staying with our neighbour. He was off the lead at the time and I managed to grab hold of the perpetrator before it really kicked off but he's really gone backwards since then.

I really want to do agility and stuff with him too so hopefully we can solve this. Anyway, moan over - I'm just wallowing in self pity and feel like a 'bad' owner. I will ring the suggested trainers tonight and see what they say :)
 

CAYLA

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You know I never get this whole "trainer kicking dogs out" thats what they are there for to help you get through and issues using their expertees and training environment so Im not sure you should be taking the blame here, it should be shared equally between you, freedie and the trainer;):D:p
I think sometimes some firm learning to "leave it" where all focus has failed does not harm, I have never not been able to train a dog to stop prancing like a wild pony when I pass another dog and I rarely use focus/treats to be fair, although I certainly have done, I prefer a check and a "leave it" only after that then I may introduce treats. Im aware everyone loves the ole positive/fair training but sometimes a bit of firm does no harm, esp depending on the dog.
It is literal frustration that sees then display this behaviour (at not being able to get to the dog) and rarely true aggression but still it is a hindrance.

If you can, get him out on a bike and get past some dogs more fast paced, this works really well with some dogs, as the time they take to focus and you to grapple is taken out of the equation, you are learning that is really is no big deal only you are doing it to fast for the dog to even react or you;) cos your wizzing by.
 
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CAYLA

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Dont feel bad - if you were a 'bad' owner you wouldnt be bothering with classes and training! :)
^^^ and that:)

Ps
I would take it you have used the usual toys/treats and tried a clicker for focus?
If so it may be worth using them b4 hand and not at the time you are dealing with the situation?
 
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lexiedhb

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Interesting!! You have just described Dex- although I do not know how he is off lead with unknown dogs, as I cant risk him starting something!

I chose to stop going to group classes as it just blew his tiny brain- I ended up in tears and it wasnt any good for either of us. I then saw
http://www.dogsandownersguidanceschool.co.uk/da/80349

in a 1-2-1 setting and she gave us a method to use when he is reacting to others....

With agility can I recommend this lady who I saw this morning for a 1-2-1- dont know where you are in Surrey but maybe she can help you- Dex could not be in an agility class due to dog reactiveness, but had a ball this morning.....

http://www.dayzdogs.co.uk/

Dont feel bad, lots of dogs would lose their minds in a room full of others!
 

Taffyhorse

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Thanks Cayla.

I also feel a bit peed off with the trainer... She seems very 'nice' but its a bit 'straight out the manual' if that makes sense. She has introduced us to clicker training which is good but again of limited use here. I did teach him the watch me command as advised by several peeps on here but again that only works to a point (and you can bet I've forgotten the treat or left the damn clicker in the house on the only walk where we meet another pooch!). He just gets so fixed that you could wave a freshly grilled pork sausage under his nose and he wouldn't react other than to try and see past it!!

Have tried a firm 'no' too - and then walking past. This seems to work best of all and then rewarding him if he is calm on the other side.

The bike thing could be problematic - A) cos I don't have one :) and B) most of the tracks I walk on are tiny narrow ones in the woods so I think me, the dog, the bike and possibly other person and other dog might end up in a heap! But I take you point - actually I do go running and take him then and we have passed a few dogs at a canter - as long as he is on the side of the dog so that he doesn't trip me up that works quite well although I always feel obliged to slow down to a walk if we are coming head on (maybe its to do with being a horse rider, it always feels a bit rude to run straight past another dog instead of walking).
 

Toffee44

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I would go and find a trainer who actually cares about your problems and your dog rather than kicking you out so she can keep her "perfect class".

Thats disgusting. I am afraid I would go a bit mad and name and shame etc. your paying her money for a service shes not providing. But thats just me.

Good luck with your dog. You seem to have forgotton pictures of this monster collie ;) Hint Hint
 

CAYLA

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You need a treat pouch then missus to remember those aids:p, this is one reason I dont use treats often as I never remember, but to be fair it never takes me long with either method, but I can usually get the behaviour out with a check and my "leave it" coupled with my gob as it is scarey enough.:D

Order yourself a treat pouch and see if CC can give you some clicker guiding, im sure she uses one for floofy:D

Def seek out a good trainer though and don't let that put you off, they could give a new perspective and new ideas, look at lexis list:)
 

Taffyhorse

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Thanks Cayla, Lexie and everyone else. She hasn't been that harsh in fairness but she did say she feels it better that we don't come to classes until we've had some 1:1's and ironed out his 'issues' particularly if we want to progress to agility or flyball - which we do.





Here's a couple of pics which some of you have probably seen before. And no, thats not my OH in his underpants reflected in the sunglasses -he's actually wearing long beige shorts but they don't show up very well!!
 

Slinkyunicorn

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Loving the shades!:D:D:D

If its any consolation our old Labrador got asked to leave her training classes and Mum was told to take her back when she was more mature!:D:D:D Not sure if she meant the dog or mum.....;):D:D:D

The trainer who ran the classes I took Sweep too made it quite clear she was only really interested in people with GSDs and collies as that is what she had - our class must have driven her to distraction as there were a couple of naughty Labs, a spangle, a husky, a rescue greyhound and a flatcoat - i can't remember what else but none of them were as obedient as she wanted and neither were their owners;):D:D:D but you do wonder why she ran the classes when she obviously actively disliked dogs other then her favoured breeds:0 - nutter!:eek::rolleyes:
 

Spudlet

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Bless him. I assume she is giving you a refund if you had paid for a course, or if you pay by the lesson she is saving you some cash - no point in forcing yourself into a group class if it's really not suiting your dog at this point. I had lots of 1-2-1 with Henry before we joined a class, it is no failure on your part:)
 

CorvusCorax

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I hate that. 'I can't deal with this common problem in dogs, so out you pop'.
Really, it's not you, it's her.

I do indeed use clicker training with floofbags - did you prime the clicker first, in that you just throw food on the floor and click when the dog arrives, and spend a couple of days or even weeks clicking random good behaviour?
I combine clicker training with hand-feeding, apart from his Kongs and pigs ears, all the food my pup gets comes from my pockets as a reward for...sit, down, watch, wait, heel, here, get the ball etc.
You might want to get a fishing or camera jacket so you always have food and a clicker on you.
If he dicks about, squeals, fixates, barks, I just wait and give him no attention whatsoever (unless he is being a real brat and then he does get a vocal THEN lead correction if he ignores the voice, and then immediate reward for attention again)

My older dog I did end up having to put a bit more pressure on as he was so big/vocal etc but again, the principle is, keep calm, keep moving, check if you have to and IMMEDIATELY reward the attention after the check.
He's passed his basic obedience and tracking qualifications despite being a dog who used to want to fight with everyone else (through insecurity, mostly caused by me...)

Is he toy motivated?
 

MurphysMinder

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Nothing to add to all the good advice, but it really p's me off when trainers ask difficult dogs to leave. There is a trainer round here like that, she can't cope with anything that has the slightest problem and asks them to stop coming, not exactly helping the local dog population is it!
 

Dobiegirl

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Dont feel bad its lack of training on her part, I had exactly the same problem with my last Dobe but he was nasty. It just meant I found a trainer who was used to Dobes and we turned around his problems. So in the end being kicked out of class was a blessing in disguise for me and my dog.
 

biccie1

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We walked out of our training class and never went back. The trainer was a nightmare and it was her way or no way and really thought that one way would work for all. :rolleyes:

She loved the sound of her own voice the puppies were bored senseless as they were just sitting there with her lecturing - then she wonders why they start getting restless...

We felt like naughty kids sneaking out :D and not going back but we're happier working through things ourselves using different techniques from different people til we find a way that works and we are happy with.

Everyone who meets Rocky is amazed how good he is for just 6 months old so we're obviously doing something right!

He is the same as a lot have said - off lead he is fab, on lead he is impatient and just wants to get off but he is 6 months old and very energetic (from working lines) so I understand why he is happier off lead.
 

Taffyhorse

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Grr just typed a massiv reply and it lost it!!

Thanks all - Spudlet, she doesn't deal with the 'fees' but I will be emailing the lady who does to get a refund on the sessions that I won't be attending.

She has recommended a couple of other trainers but I can't find any info on them. One is called Elaine Heath from the Cranleigh area of Surrey if anyone has heard of her?? PM if you prefer.

Lexi - I looked at your site but we are right on the W Sussex border so its a bit too far really.

CC - no I didn't do the loading thing (didn't know you were supposed too), the class was the first time I have ever seen or used clicker training. Its a bit strange as he's already trained to the voice/hand signal so now I use the voice/hand signal and then click and reward when he does the required thing.

Yep, I'm also a bit annoyed as the whole reason we were going to classes was because of his issues on the lead - this was all explained prior to being accepted on the class. Oh well, tbh I prefer the sound of 1:1's anyway, at least we might get something out of it :)
 

Spudlet

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Shame you're not nearer, you could come and see us - we're a hell of a way away though. Can't believe the trainer didn't load the clicker with you - rubbish! I mean, that is both a crucial step, and extremely basic knowledge for a trainer to have!
 

CorvusCorax

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*sigh* so she just expected you to click your dog and give him food and for him to know exactly what to do?

You do need to spend a while just teaching the dog that click = good = food before you go off into commands and tricks etc, there are plenty of good resources on the web and I would go back to basics with him that way - I was getting my bratty boy to walk past a field full of dizzy sheep running all over the place, getting him to look at me, with my clicker last night, also if the dog is hungry he will work for his food.
Also ALWAYS give food, even if you click by accident, you break the trust otherwise.
 

lexiedhb

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Grr just typed a massiv reply and it lost it!!

Thanks all - Spudlet, she doesn't deal with the 'fees' but I will be emailing the lady who does to get a refund on the sessions that I won't be attending.

She has recommended a couple of other trainers but I can't find any info on them. One is called Elaine Heath from the Cranleigh area of Surrey if anyone has heard of her?? PM if you prefer.

Lexi - I looked at your site but we are right on the W Sussex border so its a bit too far really.

CC - no I didn't do the loading thing (didn't know you were supposed too), the class was the first time I have ever seen or used clicker training. Its a bit strange as he's already trained to the voice/hand signal so now I use the voice/hand signal and then click and reward when he does the required thing.

Yep, I'm also a bit annoyed as the whole reason we were going to classes was because of his issues on the lead - this was all explained prior to being accepted on the class. Oh well, tbh I prefer the sound of 1:1's anyway, at least we might get something out of it :)

Depends where bouts I guess, I ride just over the West sussex border, and it is 20 mins from the agility lady. The trainer/behaviourist would also come to you for 1-2-1 which is what you probably need - ( I think dont know how far she is willing to travel!)
 

PucciNPoni

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Can I ask a question without getting mauled? Oh yeah, this isn't NL, so I'm safe! ;)

Seriously though...my question is more theoretical than anything else. But what if the trainer didn't want to disrupt the rest of the class with one dog that is fixating on other dogs? Personally, I don't think a trainer (worth her title) should just chuck someone out - they should be able to help. But if it was at cost of alienating other dogs and owners, it might have been better to pull the disruptive dog aside, perhaps do some 1:1 herself with the dog when not in the middle of a class. I do find it dodgy that she's suggested training with someone else to sort that behaviour, which leads me to believe that she can't cope with it herself!

I think if I were an owner with a dog that was trying to get involved with a training club and there was a dog that was a bit of a disruption I would be put off from going if that dog was either allowed to continue being disruptive, or got most of the attention during each session. I'm not suggesting the OPs dog is like this - but how does a trainer cope with dogs like that in a group environment?

Just wondering really....
 

MurphysMinder

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You raise a very valid point PnP, but think you have also answered it yourself. The training classes I took Evie to had two very disruptive dogs, which their owners struggled with and these dogs did unsettle the others. What she did after the first couple of weeks was have them go to her for some extra training, with their owners (and I suspect, knowing the trainer, some rather firmer handling than could be seen in a basically pet class;)) and then the dogs rejoined the class and were absolutely fine.
This particular trainer runs several classes in an evening, from puppy to advanced, and another thing she did was bring disruptive dogs into the advanced class for a couple of sessions, as the older dogs were quite capable of coping with disruption and in fact it did them good to act as stooge dogs.
 

Spudlet

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We're very lucky where I teach to have a few people capable of teaching always floating about - so if someone is having a problem, it's normally possible to give them some 1-2-1 attention without the rest of the class suffering. I have had to deal with a class of four, with 2 difficult dogs and 2 better ones, and it was a struggle - it was certainly a learning curve for me and I'd deal with it differently next time. Because I'm still learning, I'd refer anyone with a problem to the boss - I'm not ready to go it alone yet by a long way. But since there's no requirement for any kind of qualification to be a trainer, and not even one professional body, anyone can set up no matter how experienced they are.
 

CorvusCorax

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Agree, with us, there are always a couple of people floating about that can take you off and work with you (believe me, I spent most of my time in the ASBO corner!!!) and as MM says, if you need to put a bit more pressure on dogs that can take it, that's OK, better than being out on your ear and back at square one none the wiser.

As Spud says, there are a lot of clowns out there :(
I saw a class linked here a while ago where you don't say 'no' and there are 'no harsh or loud noises'. Oh well, that would have been me screwed 'shh...please...I'd rather you didn't eat the ickly puppy...pleeease....'

And at our place, distraction is welcome, which as just as well as my pup is still in a phase of buggering off, flying around the field and saying HIIIIIIIII! HELLO HELLO HELLO! To all the big important dogs trying to work towards a competition :eek:
 
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biccie1

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I saw a class linked here a while ago where you don't say 'no' and there are 'no harsh or loud noises'. Oh well, that would have been me screwed 'shh...please...I'd rather you didn't eat the ickly puppy...pleeease....'
Blimey - that sounds like the class we made the mistake of going to and promptly walked out. :rolleyes:

Rocky needs more than a "pwetty please behave" and we are not afraid to give it :cool: - unfortunately that was not an option in her class!
 

CorvusCorax

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Funny, 'no' or the equivalent command, leave it, ah-ah, stop, enough, is something that I teach first of all and consider the most important in terms of being potentially life-saving, tends to stop dogs getting run over, chasing cats, going for pups, eating something dangerous (most of the time :p).
 

PucciNPoni

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I've been to training classes with my dogs ...and certainly would find it really disheartening to have each class dedicated to sorting out someone else's problems (ie someone else's dog) when that sort of thing should be taken offline...afterall presumably you're all paying the same fee for the training!

But to me, from what's been described above, that the trainer wasn't willing to do the training outside the class, or even with an assistant in the class, that they're probably not much of a trainer.

OP, don't feel like a failure. Just find a better trainer/club to help!

And as for the not using NO or no using loud noises...hmm, they'd hate my shop then! I have been known to bellow "NO" and "I SO VERY DON'T THINK SO!" when a dog is doing something incredibly daft or dangerous (ie trying to bite the clippers while they're running). Beats having a shredded tongue anyday!
 

CorvusCorax

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No one bellows (we would get a slap around the head for that :p) there's no point, dogs have ten times the hearing we do, there's no point in screaming....but there's no problem if you want to make a sharper noise than normal to get the dog's attention.
(I did get overheard sighing - not yelling :p - 'Oh puppy, stop being a dick' in the woods the other day by a jogger who had a good giggle on his way past :p)

QR Training in a sterile environment is all very well for a while/in the beginning but it does not translate to real life. Sometimes there will be a barky dog across the street or an exhaust will backfire etc etc etc.
 
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CorvusCorax

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Also Spudlet, a couple of people actually left our place because we AREN'T regimented enough for them, they want drills and people shouting out commands and everything very organised and such, we just go out on the field and do our work, if a group wants group work, they ask for it, if we want a trainer we shout, if the trainer sees us making a hash, they will come over and try and un-hash it :p
 

Spudlet

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I make my classes do forfeits if they crash into each other doing free walking (as in not round in circles), I think that's quite regimented really:p:D Although they have all got too good at looking where they're going, where's the fun in that for me:mad:
 
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