Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ll try to keep this as short as possible – this is 20% rant, 80% genuine need for advice.
So, about a month ago, my boyfriend met this dog ‘trainer’ randomly while walking our then 5-month black lab mix puppy, Jupiter, around our apartment complex. At the time, Jupiter had some pretty bad leash manners, and the trainer asked if we wanted to do a session with him to work on it.
I was leery at first, because this trainer does dominance training, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to hear what he had to say. He showed us how to properly ‘back and forth’ the dog and calm her down, and now, 1 month later, she walks like a dream.
We asked him for another session last night, thinking we could learn a few more methods for calming her down, and also quell the puppy biting habit she’s still holding onto.
When he’s here, our dog gets excited, like she normally does when people come over (we don’t know many people where we live, so we don’t have many opportunities to get her used to people coming over). Usually she will calm down after a little while, and she does, but grabs one of her chew toys and starts chewing on it. He says this is bad, that she’s just redirecting her energy for him onto the chew toy. So he does this exercise where he calmly holds the toy while it’s in her mouth to ‘claim’ it, and supposedly she should eventually give in and let go, but instead, she just gets more and more excited, jumping on him, grabbing the toy, etc. Then he tries to pin her down on her back, makes her more crazy.
Now, she never acts like this with us. I take toys away from her all the time, all I have to do is say release and she’ll give them to me, and will wait until I say ‘take’ to grab them again. (I trained her with positive reinforcement)
So he says we need to burn off some energy to be able to work. So we go outside, and he tries to run with her, can’t. He gets his own dog to chase ball with Jupiter, and she’s STILL nuts.
He can’t understand why our dog is so calm when walking with my boyfriend and I, but now she is so crazy. It seems to me that the thing that’s changed is that he’s here, so I suggest that his presence is somehow making her act like this (she also acts a little like this when we see him around the apartment, I can literally tell if he’s around before I see him by the way she’s acting). He gets a little offended and says that if that’s the case, I’m doing something to cause that.
After two hours of this, he finally said that the dog needs to be physically challenged more – he said she needs to be walked 3-4 hours a day at least (which is fine, the only reason we haven’t been walking her more than we have is that we live in Phoenix, and it’s currently too hot here to walk so much, especially for a puppy). He said that we HAVE to buy a treadmill to have any hope of controlling our dog.
I guess my issues with this are:
1. I’ve heard that it’s basically physically impossible to tire a dog – the more you exercise them, the more endurance they build. Also, doesn’t TOO MUCH exercise make them hyper as well? I thought it was more important to tire them mentally.
2. Our dog usually does not act like this. She’s normally calm, and listens to what we say.
3. He told us not to give our dog chew toys, that they would only contribute to aggression, and that when she’s chewing on them, she’s really thinking about chewing on us. I think there could be serious consequences for not giving her chew toys. Also, I’ve never heard anyone say chew toys are bad before.
4. His own dog was not THAT well-behaved… she would listen to him, but he would have to tell her 3-4 times before she complied (I don’t believe in saying a command more than 1 time). She was snarling and snapping at my dog, which he blamed on her behavior, but I’ve never seen any other dog act like this around my dog. When his dog did something he didn’t like, he would hit at her side and she would shrink back.
I guess my issue is, should I take what this guy says seriously? He spouts a lot of ‘dog-psychology’, and a lot of it sounds to me like that’s the theory he’s been telling himself. He seems like a wanna-be ‘dog whisperer’ to me. I don’t mind walking my dog more (it’s actually why we got her, to exercise and go hiking and stuff, and when she’s older, we’d like to teach her agility), but if it’s not necessary, or it’s just going to make her hyper….
HELP! I just want to do what’s best for my dog!
And thanks for reading this far  Sorry for the novel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi! :)
I'm not sure about this; what your trainer is doing may work for some dogs, but since it is unsettling Jupiter, you should probably stop doing sessions with him. Every dog responds differently to different methods. Try doing a session with a different trainer, just to see how he reacts. Does he act the same?
Also, I'm not sure about the whole tiring dogs out - Katie after a long run/walk is absoloutely pooped!! ;)
Hope you manage to fix the problem,
xxxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
I would go back to using positive reinforcement since it's helped you in the past. Your dog clearly wasn't helped and was unsettled by his 'training' so it's pointless to continue.

3-4 hours of exercise for a 5 month old pup should not be happening so that just tells me this guy has absolutely no clue what he's doing.

Her chewing on a toy is bad cause it's putting her energy into the toy?! How is that bad? She's went, on her own, picked up a toy and started chewing it. Does he think her 'energy' is going to somehow make the toy come to life?! Ludicrous.

He seems like a Cesar wannabe to me and I certainly wouldn't continue, your pups still so young, only a baby.

Theres sticky or link somewhere here on the forum to help people find a good trainer but I don't know where it is. It should be in the training stickies so good have a look there to find a qualified trainer :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
If you like your dog's behavior when this person isn't around but not when he is, then I wouldn't invite him around anymore. ;) I think it's HIM who is doing something to cause her behavior change when he's around, not you.

Seriously, specifically with the "redirecting her energy for him onto the chew toy"? Yes, that is what she is doing. She doesn't literally think she is chewing on him, but she's redirecting her excitement to an acceptable outlet. I have no idea why he thinks that's a bad thing. What would puppy owners do without redirection? Don't chew on my shoe, have this toy. Don't chew on the couch, have this toy.

The only way I survived Toast's puppyhood was redirecting his energy from my body parts onto toys. Now he grabs toys automatically when he's getting excited. Gosh, how... awful? :confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,599 Posts
As soon as he tried to pin my dog on its back, I would immediately not listen to anything he said.

I'm so confused why he thinks redirecting onto the toy is bad? That is extremely ideal. "Oh right, can't chew on him, but I'm allowed to chew on this toy" is amazing.

I really am not a huge fan of exercising dogs via treadmills. To me it's just not mentally stimulating enough for a dog, and the point of the walk is to get out, smell stuff etc. I have heard that over-exercising a dog can cause your dog to always need that level of exercise. 3-4 hours a day for a puppy is crazy. To me it sounds like your puppy was probably over-tired and needed a nap.

I would avoid this trainer, he's clearly doing something that sets your dog off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,969 Posts
Your instincts were right on, @hdziuk

Continue with the PR training and ditch this guy. Be aware that the 'training' that this guys has done may have confused your pup a bit so you may end up going a little backwards for a short time.

I agree with @Shandula - I don't like treadmills either for the reasons that she listed. Personally, I think mental stimulation is just as important, if not more important, than physical stimulation.

Stick around this forum and feel free to ask any questions! There are so many knowledgeable people on here. They really helped (and continue to help) me when I first got my girl. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
As has been said, keep the pup away from this trainer. Also something else to think about here, and this is true whether it is a trainer, a groomer, a vet or anyone else that you trust your dog to for a while: Just as we have people we like, and people we don't like, so does your dog. Sometimes it takes going through several of these "professionals" to find one your dog responds well to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Usually she will calm down after a little while, and she does, but grabs one of her chew toys and starts chewing on it. He says this is bad, that she’s just redirecting her energy for him onto the chew toy. So he does this exercise where he calmly holds the toy while it’s in her mouth to ‘claim’ it, and supposedly she should eventually give in and let go, but instead, she just gets more and more excited, jumping on him, grabbing the toy, etc. Then he tries to pin her down on her back, makes her more crazy.
.
:headshake: This is enough to tell you he is bullsh*tting you.

That's just b*llocks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
I'm glad y'all are going to discard his advice. It seems to me that you know more about training then he does.

You've taught her what's acceptable when she gets excited and that's to get a toy rather then mobbing your guest. That's a good thing. 10 to 1 when he grabbed her toy she thought, oh he wants to play and then was confused about why he didn't. Some dogs take trying to pin then down as a type of wrestling, others can be completely freaked out by it, and others take it as a form of aggression. Any way you look at it it's not a good thing to do to a dog.

Exercising a young puppy that much is a bad idea and can damage the growth plates. Walks and play is fine, but any strenuous exercise, like taking them biking, running, dog sports, running on a treadmill should wait till the puppy is a year old. To answer your exercise question, yes a dog will build endurance the more you exercise him. At first you'll find the dog is tired, but then as he gets used to the amount of exercise he'll be able to take it in stride. To counter that an owner needs to teach the dog how to relax if it's not able to do so on it's own.

2. It sounds like she was responding to how the guy was acting, or something she sensed about the guy. If she's only acted that way towards him then the problem lies with him and not her.

3. That's the dumbest statement I've heard in quiet awhile... So if you feed her meat is she also dreaming of eating your leg off in the middle of the night? Chew toys are great, especially when you have a puppy that's teething or getting in new teeth. Dogs chew, it helps clean their teeth and it's instinctual, it helps to clam them, and it's a stress reliever. It's best that they chew on appropriate chew toys rather then the table or chair leg...

4. His dog may be dog aggressive, it may be dog selective, or if he hits it every time it objects to another dog it's likely learned that it's right to fear dogs, they cause bad things to happen, and it should try and drive them off before they get it in trouble.

All in all, it sounds as if the guy is a self titled trainer, with no real training behind him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,186 Posts
All in all, it sounds as if the guy is a self titled trainer, with no real training behind him.
They did meet him randomly on a walk...

Sounds like someone who watched a Dog Whisperer marathon and thought, "I can do that".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
Redirecting energy into a toy is an extremely good behavior and if a trainer tried to get my dog to stop doing that I'd boot him out the door!

I went into Petco once and asked a trainer walking around what I should do about my dog barking when playing with other dogs (he's a herding dog so he does this quite loudly and quite annoyingly) and without warning the guy slams his fingers into Cosmo's side HARD, making an awful "CHHH" sound absolutely out of the blue! Cosmo got down really low and shrank away from him and before I could so much as blink he did it again! No reason at all! Cosmo ducked behind me with a horrified expression and I informed him to never do that again and that Cosmo is fearful of stangers and showed myself out while he was blubbering behind me about how I have to assert dominance and I haven't given a dominance based trainer the time of day since!

Now we're focusing on Cosmo being comfortable around strangers because he was already nervous - now he's downright scared! He won't let a stranger touch him with a 12 inch pole :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
@cos, there is no excuse for that idiot doing that. I'd be willing to bet he was pissed because you asked a question, but did not have your dog enrolled in his so called training program.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I went into Petco once and asked a trainer walking around what I should do about my dog barking when playing with other dogs (he's a herding dog so he does this quite loudly and quite annoyingly) and without warning the guy slams his fingers into Cosmo's side HARD, making an awful "CHHH" sound absolutely out of the blue! Cosmo got down really low and shrank away from him and before I could so much as blink he did it again! No reason at all! Cosmo ducked behind me with a horrified expression and I informed him to never do that again and that Cosmo is fearful of stangers and showed myself out while he was blubbering behind me about how I have to assert dominance and I haven't given a dominance based trainer the time of day since!

@cos, Oh, my god! How dare he touch your dog like that, especially without your permission. I'm so sorry that happened to your dog :(

That sounds an awful lot like what my 'trainer' was doing to his own dog, though it was obvious he's done it before because she was scared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Exercising a young puppy that much is a bad idea and can damage the growth plates. Walks and play is fine, but any strenuous exercise, like taking them biking, running, dog sports, running on a treadmill should wait till the puppy is a year old. To answer your exercise question, yes a dog will build endurance the more you exercise him. At first you'll find the dog is tired, but then as he gets used to the amount of exercise he'll be able to take it in stride. To counter that an owner needs to teach the dog how to relax if it's not able to do so on it's own.
She's normally pretty calm. Every time she did something good, he would say his presence was making her do it (even behaviors I had trained in her) Of course, everything bad she did was because WE had done something wrong.
I really think he gave the 3-4 hour quote because he couldn't admit that A) he was the one making her crazy, and B) He couldn't control her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,840 Posts
There is absolutely no need to give any puppy 3-4 hours of exercise. High energy breeds cannot be run down with exercise. Try to do that and you will create an adrenaline junkie and just exacerbate your problem. Exercise releases endorphins and dogs get addicted to that (similar to human runners we make faces at when they tell us how good they feel after a run, and it's all they can do to clear their head or process things).

Then you end up with a dog that can't settle down, that has to go, go, go. An off switch and being able to settle down is something that has to be trained and reinforced. It's not created through bounds of physical exertion. It's created by not overstimulating your puppy all the time and gently insisting on "quiet time" in a calming environment. IE her only option is to lay down and chew her appropriate thing, remove potential distractions, and consistently redirect from attention seeking behaviors and self-stimulating behaviors. It takes patience with a busy puppy.

Also, mental exercise is far more exhausting than physical. A treadmill is not something I'd ever suggest. Some people seem to genuinely get a thrill out of putting their dog on a treadmill so it bulks up. But that's honestly not my thing. And those devices have to be used carefully. I've seen dogs get addicted to them to the point owners have to be very careful. The dog will not stop on it's own accord, even to drink water. It'll go all day, which is unhealthy. And they have to keep the treadmill separated from the dog. They can't just have it in the house where ever. The dog will seek it out and run totally on it's own accord. Like a hamster in a wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
@cos, there is no excuse for that idiot doing that. I'd be willing to bet he was pissed because you asked a question, but did not have your dog enrolled in his so called training program.
I feel bad for his dog who was walking around with him, she has to deal with that idiot! The worst part is he honestly thought that was the correct way to handle that :( I am not going to bully my dog into listening to me, no matter how "affective" it may be! His dog is probably so anxious around him all the time :(
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,197 Posts
Redirecting energy into a toy is an extremely good behavior and if a trainer tried to get my dog to stop doing that I'd boot him out the door!

I went into Petco once and asked a trainer walking around what I should do about my dog barking when playing with other dogs (he's a herding dog so he does this quite loudly and quite annoyingly) and without warning the guy slams his fingers into Cosmo's side HARD, making an awful "CHHH" sound absolutely out of the blue! Cosmo got down really low and shrank away from him and before I could so much as blink he did it again! No reason at all! Cosmo ducked behind me with a horrified expression and I informed him to never do that again and that Cosmo is fearful of stangers and showed myself out while he was blubbering behind me about how I have to assert dominance and I haven't given a dominance based trainer the time of day since!

Now we're focusing on Cosmo being comfortable around strangers because he was already nervous - now he's downright scared! He won't let a stranger touch him with a 12 inch pole :(
Oh you're better then I am. I also have an aussie that is not a fan of strangers (I think it is part of their breed. He is not afraid of them, he is just stand off ish). If he would have done that to my dog I can say if Forbes didn't bite him first (Which is a possibility. He really does not take well to physical corrections, especially from someone he does not know), I would have either slapped or kicked him whichever I could do faster. Also I would have taken a quick walk over to the manager on duty, explained the situation to him, and also asked for the corporate number. From my understanding Petco (like Petsmart) is suppose to be a positive reinforcement only. I hope Cosmo is doing better though.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top