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Discussion Starter #1
So, I never said it here but while I worked for a city shelter for 4 months, I ended up losing that job because despite my strong efforts, I'm just too clumsy and that can cause dangerous situations with some of the dogs we have. I was really devastated when I was told shortly before Christmas, but now I'm doing my best to find another job ASAP.

I had an interview today at a family owned (for a few generations) kennel/daycare/groomer. The positions I applied for mainly involved working the desk, running daycare and/or kennel duties. But since I have a trainer's certification it seemed like the man running it kept asking about how I would deal with certain training problems, so much so that I asked if he was looking for me to be a trainer. But...it became clear just by walking into the place that it was a very old school type training mindset. There were many choke chains on the wall and the man called positive training "fluffy training". I made it very clear I was a positive trainer (although not adverse to water spray, citronella, etc. in severe circumstances) but I think he felt like he needed to show me I was being ridiculous thinking that positive training actually works for most dogs. I also emphasized that just because I'm a positive trainer doesn't mean I'm weak or let dogs walk all over me. He kept giving me different situations, baiting me and hoping I was going to say I'd use a forceful method. There was a lot of "alpha" talk, and Cesar Milan was even mentioned. There I did step in and say my trainer cousin in LA has had to deal with dogs he's traumatized, and I said I've seen other dogs ruined with harsh methods. Now, the thing that really made me raise my eyebrow was that he said when one of the daycare dogs gets too crazy or rowdy with the others and won't come to you...he throws a kong at them to get their attention and then take them out of the yard walking them to "Show them who's in control". To be honest I like the idea of separating the misbehaving dog and giving them a cool down walk but I don't think he realizes *why* the dog is calming down. But the throwing of the kong certainly bothered me. I did say I wouldn't be throwing anything at any dogs. There were also a few things he said that I did know were quite frankly, incorrect (like the smartest dog having the intelligence of a 2 year old child--I know it's more like 4-6 year old.)

Otherwise this place has stellar reviews, the dogs seem well taken care of and happy, I would be able to take Stella to work with me, and in the end I wasn't applying to be a trainer. I think I was also very uncomfortable because my confidence level in anything, and as a trainer currently is pretty low. I don't feel like I'm very good at anything, and giving me conflicting messages on "how" to do something is really the sort of stuff that messes with my head now.

I feel like I emphasized only the bad parts, and that some of them might not even become that big an issue if I'm just alone in a daycare pen most of the day or answering the phone, these conflicting training methods might not be so bad. Right now I'm thinking of accepting this job (because I really need one) and also looking for another opportunity that suits me better.

Has anyone ever had to work for an employer with really different views on training? How do you deal with them? Is there some merit in the old school techniques when used sparingly? Any advice for this would be appreciated, because right now I'm just not in a position to turn down any job.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about you losing the shelter job. That really sucks. Is there anything in particular that you were having difficulty with? I'm pretty clumsy too so I can be slow to react in group situations so I've worked on getting better at reading body language so I can be more proactive about dog- dog interactions rather than having to worry about reacting.

I'm working at a kennel now that is "balanced" and has gotten more and more aversive since I started there and it's made me miserable and burnt out. I don't even know if I want to work with animals anymore. Even though I don't personally use those particular methods seeing other people use them is really heartbreaking and stressful. I've talked to my supervisor about it and she's talked to the owner and trainers but the thing is trainers tend to have huge egos and think they're always right (especially balanced/dominance/aversive based trainers) so there haven't been any changes. I've been trying to find another job for a couple months now.

If that's your only option I'd take it and see how it goes while continuing to look for a better job. If you're a certified trainer have you thought of doing training, walking, or pet sitting on your own? There are a few members on here that have been successful with that kind of thing- busterbcsmom and Kelly (I can't remember full usernames- on my phone app).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I am clumsy to a fault and have poor body awareness, even when I'm trying hard. Before I tried my "back up" plan of working with dogs I was going to work in social work, and I once read a book about children with special needs. Apparently I fit almost all the criteria for a motor skills disorder. So this means either I have this motor skills disorder...or I'm just so clumsy I have a ridiculous amount of coordination and body control problems. To top it off, I'm not that strong, and a large portion of the dogs at that shelter were large and/or bully breeds.

Ironically part of the thing is that I don't want to be a "dog trainer" on my own. I'm not confident in my abilities and just...*sigh* I don't know. I got the certification so I could get a job in a shelter. That's where I like working, and there's SO much competition in the area I live for dog training it would be hard. I am probably going to try pet sitting if I need to though.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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