journal-2016-07-14-beast

I’ve been tentative about registering (even though I already adopted the techniques that can be gathered from the youtube videos) for the past year or so until I saw the new reactive dog video and decided to give it a go.Β For the past couple days we’ve been working on phase 2. Since I’m visiting family at the moment we have to keep training sessions short because they’re only possible to do when we’re alone. He’s grasped the concept that he is to remain seated even when I put slight pressure on the leash and walk around him. While on the walk tonight we were faced with a couple impromptu real-life training sessions. The first went well. A couple walking their two dogs showed up about 50 feet in front of us and we couldn’t turn around due to dogs walking behind us Beast hadn’t noticed. When he noticed the dogs ahead of us I told him to sit, gave him a treat, put pressure forwards on the leash, put him back into a sit if he got up, and gave him another treat after he was freed. With constant praise during the event he did marvelously. He didn’t lunge, bark, or whine. He sat there and watched the dogs (who’s owners were annoyingly standing there waiting for us to leave so they could walk on the larger section of grass) until the coast was clear enough for us to turn around and leave. The second event went as they usually do. We were headed home and a golden retriever walked perpendicular in front of us. They were headed on a straight course away from us so I told him to sit and planned to do as before until the dog was far enough away that we could continue home. That didn’t happen. The golden’s owner noticed us and walked in our direction. Beast lunged and barked, hackles all the way up. He has a particular dislike for goldens and labradors that I don’t quite understand. I dragged him home and we nearly had another lunging fest when he saw a dog pulling it’s owner across the street quite a ways away.

I ordered a leather leash today that I hope aids in control and saves my hands throughout this journey.

I have to mention how disappointed I am in the foundation style trainer in my area. I researched for a very long time and was extremely skeptical due to their ridiculous pricing and slightly obnoxious attitude, but I was almost ready to fork out the cash, which is a huge thing for me because I’m a college student (translate: broke). I was lucky enough to see them training in a very crowded, public area one night. The first thing I noticed was of course the dogs. Not a single dog was happy. All had their ears back, tails tucked, averted eyes, and many were licking their lips. The trainer told the owners to put their dogs in a down and only one or two dogs did so while told, while the rest sat there looking nervous. The owners then began roughly yanking their dogs, and the trainer told one owner to yank harder. Not once while I stood there watching did a single owner praise their dog. Next, I took a good look at the trainer. He was glaring at the dogs, the owners, and looked like he would rather be anywhere else. He impatiently told the class to continue walking before each dog had accomplished the command and didn’t help those who were struggling. Frankly, I wouldn’t go to this trainer even if it was free. I won’t sacrifice my dog’s spirit and happiness in the name of obedience, and I certainly don’t want him to resent or fear training. Reactivity is better than a miserable dog, cold training, and an angry trainer any day.

Responses

  1. Can you please share who was the “foundation style trainer” in your area, because it sounds like someone either falsely claiming to be one or misrepresenting the technique since jerking hard on the leash is not allowed in the style and praise is 100 percent essential for even the most basic exercises?

  2. Hi Sabrina, I’m also doing this same exercise as you with my GSD Tazer who is reactive to strangers and dogs but he is in a wheelchair though. (I use a mat (place) or the stay command as he can’t sit or down in the wheelchair). I have the same problem out in public when it comes to other dog pet owners not understanding our dogs need to be keep under their threshold of reacting. I even ask one of them if they like to help by walking around us while I did the resistance training with Tazer. Unfortunately she just didn’t understand that coming to close was to much to soon and keep pushing my dog over his threshold to learn.
    What I do now is use dogs behind fences where I have control over the environment and proximity. Joining a club is a good way to go as it does provide you with a control environment. When I read about the Foundation dog trainer in your area my thoughts were surely he can’t be a certified Foundation style dog trainer. I’ve been following Foundation training system here on this website and their training system isn’t how you described this dog trainer methods to be or how he was treating those in his class.
    I live in Australia and we don’t have any Foundation dog trainers here so I’m teaching my dogs the system through this website alone. I find with the advice and assistance of the dog trainers on the site through watching the instruction videos and reading other members posts I can do most of the training myself. I am lucky though as I do have a dog trainer (does the maintenance training of my protection dog – the other dog I own) who understands the Foundation training system so when needing assistance of other people or dogs I can attend his classes for Tazer training too. Your journal is helpful for me to follow as I can learn from it as I also hope my response here can be of some help to you as well.

  3. Yes, I’m no way is that Foundation Style Training and and real Foundation Style Trainer who has gone to the school for this style of training would never treat a dog in this rough manner as is goes against what we teach. If they are truly claiming to be this then is a mistake representation of themselves and they are in fact NOT practicing training in our style. If you would like to share so that we are aware, you may message myself or Mike if you are more comfortable doing so rather than posting it. If you ever feel uncomfortable with something you see a trainer doing always trust your gut in that situation.

    It’s sounds like you are doing great! It takes time and patience, not to mention a lot of practice!

    Keep practice your resistance in a very low distraction environment like at home even when you don’t have any distractions, when he is doing well, start throwing in more distractions on your own, throw some treats, if he goes to break correct him back in the sit…be your own distraction, our dogs love us, without saying his name create distance and try to see if you can get him to break…if he does well lots and lots of praise, if he breaks correct back into the sit and when you get a good spurt, say his name and fee him up. It will take a lot of practice especially when what they want supersedes anything else. But with time and patience you will get there. Timing is everything. Make sure you start resistance before he even gets a chance to look at another dog, since you already know he will lunge. If you see a dog in the distance immediately do resistance and lots of praise. You will get there.

    Also that you for writing in your training journals! It’s a great way to keep track of your progress. If you need help from us or want more feedback please ask for any help or post any questions in the forums. This way we will get back to you and the whole community may see so we can help.

    You’re off to a great start! We are glad you decided to join our community. We have a lot of great people here ! πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you all for being so welcoming! Since I’m visiting family that doesn’t have appreciation or respect for training it’s hard to fit much in or come online without tons of criticism and arguments.