February 15th 2012 7:47 pm
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Mom and dad took me to my last class. Boy was it packed! There was Ella (my girlfriend!), and Mater (the great dane), Jake (a new pup I've never met), Valentine (she's so sweet!), Riley (boxer-beagle with fear issues) and Nero (one-eyed chin behind a gate barking her head off! UGH!)
Well I passed the test for the STAR program with no problems! Yippeee!!! Then we had to pass a second test for the trainer's certificate of completion. That was hard but I passed it as well! Everyone did really well and we had a good time.
Mom and dad talked alot on the way home. They talked about the trainer. She has a good heart and is genuinely concerned about having a dog with good manners. BUT, she doesn't seem to understand how to fix problems that may arise. Take Riley, she stared me down last time, barking and snarling just plain acting a fool. Today she was next to Valentine, the sweetest and most shyful dog in the class. The minute Riley made eye contact with Valentine she would bark and carry on. The instructor walked away from Riley barking instead of correcting the problem. Maybe the trainer doesn't know how. I don't think she's been training a long time, but you would think as a trainer you would want to know WHY a dog is acting the way it is.
See that's mom's problem. When Turner was alive he became reactive. Mom went to seminars, met, talked, had dinner and enjoyed the company of many worldly known and local trainers. She picked their brains wanting to know why, why is this dog doing this, why is this dog doing that? Brian Kilcommons taught mom some things. Ian Dunbar taught her others. PJ & Sandy were the behaviorst at Best Paw Forward and they invited mom and Turner to Reactive Rover Classes, Growl Classes as well as basic and advanced obedience. Mom became obsessed with the world of dog behavior. Meeting more and more trainers, going to seminars, spending thousands on books, dvds and lectures.
Mom took Turner to class at Best Paw Forward in Florida. They had extremely strict rules. A dog would arrive for class, before class you pottied your dog. Classes were limited and the seats were set out with distance to ensure everyone was comfortable. Training was done and once the class was over you went home. It was training. There was no playtime beforehand. Not that playtime was bad, just that it was time to train and you focused on training. Part of the training was that your dog was focused on you not the other dogs. PJ offered mom a job, but mom couldn't quit the prison, even though she would love to do behavior full time! Instead, PJ and Sandy opened their arms (and minds) to mom. They started the first Karen Pryor Clicker Training Academy in Central Florida. Mom loved being at the center and was sad to move to TX where there was no behaviorist or trainers locally.
When Turner was PTS in April 2010, mom lost her zest for training. It was like Turner took it with him. Then they got me! I want to learn, mom is slowly getting the feel back for all she knows. When I learn mom sees it. When I get frustrated mom slows and starts over for me. I know that mom has loads of things for me to learn, I'm just hoping I can learn as much as she'll teach me! :) After all I am a STAR student now! :):):)
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Just because someone says they know how to train dogs does not necessarly mean they REALLY know what they are doing.
I had a very nice dog trainer at one of the pet supply facilities and all of a sudden she was no longer there. By chance we found her at another pet supply facility and she told us that she had quit her position at the other place because they had hired a new trainer who had no experience with training dogs at all, in fact, he never even had a dog. She said she did not want her name associated with the new individual who did not know what he was doing.
Im so excited that you passed your test and did so well. And Im thinking you sure are bringing alot out of your Mom and her true calling is a dog trainer, and someday she will cause she has a STAR Student :-)