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Author Topic: Training Classes  (Read 2106 times)

Offline Bunter

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Training Classes
« on: November 18, 2009, 12:16:30 PM »
It is virtually impossible to give advice on a dog without seeing him. Training classes are an ideal place to take your dog for a number of reasons:

• They’ll help you and your dog get to know each other and bond
• They’ll socialise your dog with other dogs
• They’ll socialise your dog with other people
• The trainer will be able to see your dog at first hand and give advice on training
• You’ll end up with a beautifully trained dog that is a joy to live with (or at least be on the right road)!

Ensure you choose a training class where positive, reward-based methods only are used; aversives (water sprays, rattle tins, spray collars, etc) and choke chains, jerking, pinching, shouting, etc are not!  It may be an idea to go along and have a look at the classes before joining up (if possible), just to make sure you would be happy to take your dog there.  Have a look at the dogs and their owners.  Are they happy?  How big is the class size?  Small enough for all the dogs and their owners to get attention? Do pups have separate classes?

Once you have chosen and joined your class, enjoy it!  Training should be a fun and positive experience  ;D.  If it's not, ask yourself why.  A friend of mine used to take her dog to a class where they insisted that Barkers Liver Treats were used to reward the dogs.  She suddenly realised that every time she got the treats out, her dog would look very unhappy  :(.  She was not enjoying the class and associated the Liver Treats with the classes. My friend changed classes......  

There are some dogs that may not be able to cope (at least initially) with a class situation, especially if the dog has fear issues around people or other dogs.  By putting him in a class situation you could make things worse.  The poor dog will be in a continual state of fear, stress and apprehension.  His mental state will not allow him to learn  :-\.  His adrenalin levels will be up.  A behaviourist or one-to-one consultations may be better in these cases until the dog has been counter-conditioned to be able to cope with things he previously found scary.

You may want to choose a trainer that is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). All members of the APDT have been assessed according to a strict code of practice and have agreed to abide by kind and fair principles of training. To this end the use of coercive or punitive techniques and equipment are not used.

www.apdt.co.uk

A well socialised and trained dog means that you can take him anywhere in the knowledge that he’s safe in all situations and won’t run off when you take him for a run in the park. A much more relaxed and happy environment I find, as I don’t need eyes in my bottom looking out for other people and dogs!

Offline Bunter

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Re: Training Classes
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 15:38:58 PM »
How do I Find a Suitable Dog Training Course?

An excerpt:
•Look out for the types of training methods used. You should not consider joining the class if instructors/assistants are recommending techniques which rely on inducing fear or pain, such as prong collars, or where they rely on shouting at dogs, or hitting them with hands, feet or the lead. There is no need for such techniques to be used in the training of a dog. Check that dogs are motivated to show the desired behaviours through the use of rewards such as food treats or playing with a toy, and not through fear of the consequences.
•Check whether there are an appropriate number of dogs and owners for the situation. For example, the APDT (UK) recommends no more than 8 puppies in a class with an instructor and one assistant. Lots of dogs crowded together in a hall can create problems, and too many dogs makes it difficult for the instructor to clearly see what is happening, and be available to help owners.
•Observe whether the class is calm and quiet – lots of shouting (by owners) and barking indicates that people and dogs are finding the situation stressful. Except in an emergency, there is no reason for an instructor to be shouting – at dogs or owners.