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Dogs Don't Just Train themselves (RANT)

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Ace

Mischief is my- middle name
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 29, '12 9:00am PST 
I get a lot of smug comments from my 19 year old daughter, who of course knows everything, about how my dog should be much better trained.

This is coming from a girl who adopted a very well-trained mature Husky. He was 4 1/2 at the time, and really is a total sweetheart. But SHE didn't put in the work to get him that way, she adopted him that way. (Yeah, it CAN happen... but she was EXTREMELY fortunate in that regard.)

My dog on the other hand... I'm a first-time, imperfect owner, but I DO work with her, I have seen great improvements since I got her at 7 months old, and I continue to work with her 10 months later. She has a ways to go, but it's taking time and patience and experimentation and self-education on my part. (My husband didn't really want a dog, complains about the expense as it is, so I'm trying to do it without paying for training on top of everything else.)

I never had a dog until I stopped working full-time. Never felt like I had the time and attention a dog deserves until then. My dog gets my time and attention now and she's coming along. It may be slow, but that's on me, because I don't always know what I'm doing.

So yes, my dog needs more training. But hearing that from someone with a well-behaved dog who had no part in making him that way is just annoying.

And to whoever had her before she ended up at the pound (unchipped) as a stray at 4 months old... YOUR LOSS!
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 29, '12 9:23am PST 
Haha. This issue is why I've always told my friends if they say they want a dog, or ask me what breed to get, I tell them to get an adult dog with some basic training already put in if they've never owned a dog before. The learning curve is WAAAAAY too steep with puppies. smile Better to have some experience and a plan before doing that. There really are LOADs of shelter and rescue and private party rehoming dogs that are mature adults, housetrained, leash-trained, etc out there like Ace's daughter's dog.

"Choosing the right dog" is indeed about more than breed. There is no breed of dog that comes pre-trained, but there ARE individual dogs that do, if you can give up the idea of getting a cute widdle puppy.
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Ace

Mischief is my- middle name
 
 
Barked: Fri Jun 29, '12 9:43am PST 
When I was deciding between dogs I liked, one of the factors was that Ace was with a foster, while the other dog I liked was kenneled at the time. I felt like I had a better chance of her being somewhat better trained being in a foster home, even though she was technically still a puppy at 7 months.

Personally, I really did want a young dog at least, to get the maximum time with it, because losing a pet is just horrible and I want to go through that as seldom as possible. Selfish? Maybe.
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 1, '12 8:05am PST 
Well, I think there is a value in looking at it from Toto's view, Mozart has said several times that she wants to be a dog trainer, and I know she's young, so it's a good life lesson to realize that it's not going to do you any good as a future professional dog trainer to get mad at your clients, but realize people need to be educated as to what's required and motivated. Just like with the dogs you're training assume they just don't know any better yet and not that they are "bad people, bad dogs" . . . . .

Some people really will never get it and those people *maybe* you'll have to at some point move on from, BUT if you take the attitude right off the bat that some people are lazy idiots who can't be motivated (and not saying that's *exactly* what OP is doing here) how is that any better an approach to training people than it is to training dogs? Imagine if you took your dog to class and the instructor said "sorry, your dog is an exceptionally unmotivated, stupid dog, there's nothing we can do . . ."

Sometimes that's showing them how easy it is to begin training once you know a few methods--there was nothing more exciting when I first got my dog and took her to class than finding out *I* could get her to do some things!way to go

And I've been humbled time and again in class seeing a fumbling awkward frustrated team, (secretly thinking smugly in my corner, "oh Gus, we've got this, that poor guy, he just doesn't get it") . . . and by the last class after patient redirection and encouragement from the instructor they have made so much improvement! And those people keep coming back for more classes because they are improving and having such fun.


Being a dog trainer is First and Foremost being an inspiring PEOPLE trainer -- so many people can train dogs to a decent degree-- it takes good people skills to be a successful professional dog trainer. You have to be a cheerleader for people, not a naysayer.
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