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I'm looking for a dog trainer in or around the Charleston, SC area. My dog catches on pretty quickly. He's learned sit, down, stay and he's learned to walk nicely at my side under normal circumstances, but he flips out when he sees another dog. He likes other dogs, just gets so frustrated and excited that he completely loses focus. We've made some progress on that, but I would like to work with a professional trainer so that I can feel more confident about what I'm doing.

We would need private lessons at least at first I think. I don't see how my dog could focus in a group class. It doesn't have to be in my home, but I would like for my husband to be allowed to take part too.

Looking at websites I feel like I can probably budget, at this time, for about 3 or 4 private lessons. That doesn't seems like a whole lot, but I would definitely be continuing the training on my own time. I just need to figure out what I should be doing as much as anything.

Can anybody recommend a trainer in the area or even just suggest some good questions to ask as I'm searching? I'm going to be sending out emails today and tomorrow to see what kind of responses I get.
 

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I don't have any first hand knowledge of these trainers, but taking a look at websites & credentials the first call I'd make would be to Cindy Carter of Mindful Manners. The fact that she's a certified Control Unleashed instructor shows that she has extensive experience & knowledge in working with reactive dogs (which is the problem you are having)
After that, I'd look at Susan Marett with Purely Positive and then Christine Baker with Bright Mind Canine. (there might be more, but these are the first three that stood out to me)
Here is a list of questions that the Pet Professional Guild suggests you ask when talking to potential trainers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't have any first hand knowledge of these trainers, but taking a look at websites & credentials the first call I'd make would be to Cindy Carter of Mindful Manners. The fact that she's a certified Control Unleashed instructor shows that she has extensive experience & knowledge in working with reactive dogs (which is the problem you are having)
After that, I'd look at Susan Marett with Purely Positive and then Christine Baker with Bright Mind Canine. (there might be more, but these are the first three that stood out to me)
Here is a list of questions that the Pet Professional Guild suggests you ask when talking to potential trainers:
Awesome, I'll take a look at these. You've been so helpful and I really do appreciate it.

We didn't encounter any other dogs on our morning walk today, but we did walk away from a duck and a squirrel. So I'm proud of him for that. I will say that Rusty is getting a little cocky and pushy about his treats though. I'm sure there's something I'm doing or not doing that is causing this. He's just pretty pleased with himself it would seem, and sure he deserves something when he walks away from these smaller triggers. I honestly don't know if that's a good thing or not.

We're doing long walks at breakfast and lunch now and just short trips out at night because he's hyper vigilant after dark, entirely too excited. Also, for the lunch walk I've been taking him to a place where we're not likely to encounter any other dogs so that he can just relax and sniff things and we can work on his basic leash manners. Maybe that's wrong and I should be exposing him to learning situations more often, but honestly, I feel like we both need a long relaxed outing together at least once a day.

Hope you are well! Thanks again for your help.
 

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Relaxing walks are good & important. If every single time he goes out it turns into a stressful situation he's going to start anticipating this even before he sees another dog, which will in turn lead to even more stress (which leads to even more reactive behavior) You end up with what's called 'trigger stacking' and a dog that never fully decompresses & relaxes, since his stress hormone levels are constantly high.

It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with him. Keep up the good work!
 
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