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Dog Training

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I was just wondering what experiences you dog owners have with trainers and behaviorists? I'm really interested in how well it's worked for you and what kind of training you used.

I have an almost 7 year old Jack Russell Terrier, she didn't have a great start in life, my ex was abusive which affected her a lot - she's a sensitive, smart dog plus she was attacked by a bigger dog which was the start of her aggression problems. That and the fact she's a terrier and highly strung, I just didn't know what to do and my ex wouldn't help me train her.

Two and a half years ago I left him and took Poppy and Fable (the only cat I had then :P) with me. I moved in with my fiance 6 months later and Poppy's finally in a stable environment with no violent people around. My fiance is not a fan of dogs but is very supportive of me and Poppy, after trying lots of ways to train her and not getting very far, I got the money out of my savings and contacted http://www.barkbustersdogtraining.co.uk/. OMG it's changed our lives!!

The lady comes out to us and basically trains us which is what I wanted. At first I was worried it wasn't going to work but this last week has really seen a difference in my dog. I have to use the word 'bah' or 'bad' in a deep growl when she does something we don't like, we have training aids of a water bottle to squirt her with and a pouch with a chain in it which is thrown in front of her to get her to stop what she's doing. Such simple things have changed everything! These past few days we've even come across the postman, she's started to bark and I've got her to instantly be quiet and walk on calmly!!!

I'm so proud of my dog and I know she'll be much happier knowing that she doesn't have to be on edge all the time. We still have a way to go but there's actually a great big light at the end of the tunnel!

So, if anyone has any dog training stories or experiences, I'd love to hear them .
post #2 of 14
I've actually heard a lot of good things about Bark Busters. I think it's pretty awesome that you basically get a lifetime membership and a trainer who can come to your door when you need them.

I've never had to use a trainer or behaviorist with my dogs. I've grown up around dogs, and have done a lot of reading on training and prefer to do it myself. I'm always interested in different ways to solve problems so I read whatever training material I can get my hands on.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
You're so lucky to know what you're doing! I've read a fair bit over the years trying to help Poppy but nothing really worked until now. Glad to hear you've heard good things about Barkbusters too!
post #4 of 14
Quote:
You're so lucky to know what you're doing! I've read a fair bit over the years trying to help Poppy but nothing really worked until now. Glad to hear you've heard good things about Barkbusters too!
hahaha I don't always feel like I know what I'm doing :p Just having a lot of expirience with different dogs, talking to different people, reading different things really helps. I'm sure you've picked up on quite a bit too! I'm glad to hear Bark Busters is working for you. Doesn't it feel great when you can accomplish something with your dog??
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's such a relief to know that this training works for her! We had a hiccup last night when my other half took her out without training aids despite me saying I'd fetch them and she barked at another dog . I put that down to my other half's impatience and am trying to forget about it. I took her on two walks today, both went fine and I made her stand while a delivery type person was talking to someone outside their house! For some reason my fiance thought she'd turn into the 'perfect dog' after two months training, in my opinion this is something we'll be doing for the rest of her life which is fine by me! She's my responsibility now and we'll see it through.

Sorry just gave myself a pep talk :P.
post #6 of 14
I am glad you found someone that could help you. Some dogs are tougher to train than others and terriers can be tough. They are high energy and many have a high prey drive. Even though they can be difficult they can also be great dogs.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
I've actually heard a lot of good things about Bark Busters.
And I've actually heard a lot of BAD things about them. Throwing stuff at dogs, "growling" at them, squirting them with water, its all suppression techniques. You are punishing her for things you don't want her to do, but you aren't actually teaching her what you DO want.

Suppressing behaviors has caught on so readily because they are a "quick fix". They work by shutting the dog down, they don't fix the underlying problems. The other, better (IMHO) methods for training dogs take more time and more work, but are much more effective (IMHO).

For example, for a leash reactive dog, I teach them that the approaching Scary Thing (whether it be person or dog) is not scary after all. You do this by bringing the dog far enough away from the trigger that he is not reacting, and give treats or play with a toy, whatever the dog values. Then you slowly inch closer. And each time you can get closer and the dog is calm, you reinforce. If you get too close and the dog reacts, simply turn around and go back to the last point where the dog didn't react, and start again. I have had great success with this method with my terrier mix, and dogs at the rescue I have worked with, including a maniacally leash reactive young Doberman Pinscher.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think that some dogs and people respond well to some types of training but not to others. I'm glad that works for you but we tried all sorts of things and this is the only thing that's worked and Poppy is a lot happier for it now that she is no longer top of the pack! It certainly is not a quick fix, it's hard work and we've been at it for about two months and will continue for the rest of her life.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
And I've actually heard a lot of BAD things about them. Throwing stuff at dogs, "growling" at them, squirting them with water, its all suppression techniques. You are punishing her for things you don't want her to do, but you aren't actually teaching her what you DO want.

Suppressing behaviors has caught on so readily because they are a "quick fix". They work by shutting the dog down, they don't fix the underlying problems. The other, better (IMHO) methods for training dogs take more time and more work, but are much more effective (IMHO).

For example, for a leash reactive dog, I teach them that the approaching Scary Thing (whether it be person or dog) is not scary after all. You do this by bringing the dog far enough away from the trigger that he is not reacting, and give treats or play with a toy, whatever the dog values. Then you slowly inch closer. And each time you can get closer and the dog is calm, you reinforce. If you get too close and the dog reacts, simply turn around and go back to the last point where the dog didn't react, and start again. I have had great success with this method with my terrier mix, and dogs at the rescue I have worked with, including a maniacally leash reactive young Doberman Pinscher.
I agree. Throwing things at dogs might work short-term, but long term it can have negative effect on some dog. A game of baseball now causes my friend's dog to become very scared after this was used. It fixed the problem, but caused another one. But, if it floats your boat and the training is not truly abusive, no problem.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
We don't throw the pouch at Poppy, we throw it in front of her to stop what she's doing, nothing else has worked. It's a bit like when the cats fight and you make a loud noise to stop them in their tracks. Makes them jump but doesn't turn them into a nervous wreck, just means they'll start thinking about something else.

As for the growling, that's how dogs communicate, it's like hissing at a cat to let them know you don't like what they're doing or blinking slowly to tell them you love them.

You can't put animals in the same box as humans, they don't think the same as us. Poppy is aggressive towards other dogs and there is no other way of getting her to understand that she shouldn't bark at them. I can't let her lead me anymore! When we see another dog, I now jangle the pouch with the chain in it and she knows I'm in charge. She is no longer confused! I tried clicker training her once, she was rewarded with treats and she was actually scared of the clicker!

So I'm not saying that our way is the only way and I'm not saying that all bark busters' trainers are great but mine has been so far. I can see that Poppy is no longer the wreck that she used to be, she is now able to relax which is brilliant after what she's been through!

http://www.barkbusters.co.uk/our-dog...ing-philosophy

Oh and our vet nurse knows what we're up to and at some point we'll be taking her in to train her there.

Edited to add:

She gets a hell of a lot of praise for all the good behaviour which has been great for boosting her confidence and reinforces the training.
post #11 of 14
I use positive reinforcement based training and some clicker training. I've found this to work really well without the potential fallout of corrections training (which I did use in the past with previous dogs.)
My previous dog Pooch I first trained using corrections (leash/voice corrections plus praise/treats) and he HATED training class. He was a very stubborn and hard-headed, independent type of dog (typical terrier) and I thought that was just how it was going to be until I started learning about clicker training. When I started clicker training it was like a lightbulb went off over his head, he began to love training and learn things very quickly.

My current (new) dog Bianca was trained with lots of corrections and training collar type Schutzhund type of training. She has issues with other dogs on leash and also is very insecure in general (even 2 trainers who had just met her, on 2 different occasions, commented on her being unconfident/insecure.) I took her to 4 sessions of a reactive dog class which uses no corrections and she has made HUGE progress. I can now walk her and not have her lunging/barking/growling at half the dogs she sees. We're taking another class now at a different place which is called "Outward Hound", it's a really neat (also positive) class where they go to different locations and work on obedience/manners in the 'real world' such as at parks, dog parks, a pub, dig beach, etc...
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupeycat View Post
You can't put animals in the same box as humans, they don't think the same as us. Poppy is aggressive towards other dogs and there is no other way of getting her to understand that she shouldn't bark at them. I can't let her lead me anymore! When we see another dog, I now jangle the pouch with the chain in it and she knows I'm in charge. She is no longer confused! I tried clicker training her once, she was rewarded with treats and she was actually scared of the clicker!

I see by your signature that Poppy appears to be part terrier. I do understand that terriers can be a challenge to train. I have a small terrier mix myself, and he is a challenge to train. He was abused by his prior home and thus had some confidence issues we had to work through, and he also had some leash reactivity. He is not an easily motivated dog (treats and favorite toys only work inside the house), so I had to be creative in my techniques.

Of course a dog won't understand that she "shouldn't" do something. That is human thinking! You have to teach them that there is no reason to do it, that it is better to do some alternate behavior instead.

Dogs don't try to lead you, they simply behave the way they know how. I posted a thread about this in the IMO section.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...74#post2707174
post #13 of 14
I am training to be a dog trainer myself, and while I focus mostly on positive and clicker methods, some dogs just do not respond to it! I have heard many many people using the bag of something noisy to distract the dog. It works very well on some dogs. I've heard it works well on sporting and terrier dogs mostly!

I think its great you are taking such great steps in making your dog happy! Good luck with future training!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for that! Yesterday I had her sitting on the pavement watching the postman going about his business, I only had to give the pouch a small jangle! The postman said she'd improved 100%!! After he walked away, Poppy got a massive fuss, she's doing so well!

Good luck with your training!

Edited to add:

OMG, I just took her for a walk and she made friends with the postman!!!! I can't believe it!
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