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Hi. I went to the firsttraining class and feel uncomfortable. The first class was without our dogs. When I adopted my dog he was already amazeingly well trained. I am starting a beginner training class, so I can make sure he stays trained, and I might want to go on to do something like agility.

Here is the problems.

First off the trainer told us because of where we live we probably dont walk ourdogs. I do walk my dog usually 2 or more hours a day, and I don't like people making assumptions about me.

Next, the trainer keept on incisting that since my dog is a shepherd mix that he is aggressive to other dogs. Hitch is never aggressive with other animals, not with dogs, nor cats, nor horses, nor people. I don't like people making assumptions about my dog without meeting him.

Third, he is making everyone buy either the gentle leader or the front lead harnesses. Hitch does not pull, and he listens to me well just using a normal harness or a collar along with verbal commands. I have tried on the gentle leader my mom has and Hitch hates it, I don't know why I would make him wear it if he is great in what he currently has. Let me again remind everyone that the guy has never met Hitch. I don't mind bringing my mom's gentle leader into class and using it if Hitch all of a sudden changes personality drastically when meating the guy, but I would rather use one of Hitch's current harness.

Am I being to offended for no reason? Is it normal for a dog trainer to be making these assumptions without knowing me or Hitch? Do dog trainers always reccomment training devices without ever meeting the dogs? What should I do, I have already paid a lot of money up front?

Thank you all for your time.
 

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Have a talk with the trainer and tell him/her that making such broad assumptions does all the dogs - yours in particular - a grave disservice.

If she/he doesn't change his/her approach, then speak to the manager and see about taking a different class.
 

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I think you have every right to feel offended. The comment about assuming that your dog must be aggressive w/out even meeting him was a big red flag for me. I'd give the trainer one more chance with your dog present. If he's still negative, I'd ask to be put in a different class with a different trainer (and give the manager your valid reasons as to why).
 

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I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
 

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Yes, exactly. Do this ASAP.
I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
 

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I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
Mind-boggling, through the years I have met a few trainers that thought they were solving world problems and had a high opinion of themselves. So high that they did not have to actually see the dog they possibly might get for training.

A trainer like this usually trains all the dogs the same, I would compare it to a blacksmith making a horse's hoof fit a shoe rather than the shoe fitting the hoof. The latter usually ends up with a horse that goes lame.

A competent blacksmith has different size horseshoes because he does not know what shoe he needs before he sees the horse, just as a good dog trainer should have many different tools in their dog training bag as he knows nothing about the dog before he meets him. I would run from this trainer cause he's an incompetent idiot.
 

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They should have a policy in place where a refund is granted after the first class, especially if it's a dog-less orientation class.

If I were uncomfortable in the least way, I'd take the refund and run like a thief.
 

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You have every right to be offended. When my clients ask for what I think may be going on with their dog, before I meet the dog, I tell them that what I'm saying probably won't be accurate and it's just based on what they have told me.
However, to make assumptions like the dog is aggressive just based on breed is ridiculous. I'd ask for a refund and leave the class. There is no way this "trainer" really knows anything about training dogs. If he's making everyone buy certain tools then that must be the only way he can train dogs.
 

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I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
Yep, this.

I also think it's odd that this trainer insists on a gentle leader/front-clip harness. In all of the classes I've been to, the trainers insisted on a normal flat collar.
 

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Last Monday, I paid for an 8 week obedience class for Lucy, my six month old Shih Tzu x Maltese. When I arrived there she had a bunch of chain choke collars and a prong collar on the table. She had her Shepherd with her and proceeded to show us what we were going to do with our dogs.

Now I am old enough to know that her method of training is what we "used" to do forty or so years ago because that is how I was first taught. She said we could not use treats. I put Lucy into the class mainly for the socialization which will do her good and won't be using a choke collar on her, the trainer can like it or lump it. The classes are in a park so lots of activity going on and as I want to do Agility with her when she is old enough it is good experience.

Our second class is tomorrow night. We did not do anything with our dogs the first night. Going to be an interesting night. There are only three other dogs in the class: a year old Cane corso x bluetick hound, a seven year old Shih Tzu x and a Westie x Heeler cross.
 

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Yep, this.

I also think it's odd that this trainer insists on a gentle leader/front-clip harness. In all of the classes I've been to, the trainers insisted on a normal flat collar.
I often recommend a front attach for dogs who pull (it's one of the things I ask about in that first, dog-less, class) but I don't insist on it. Sometimes people make general statements that other people take as directed specifically towards them. I'd probably wait and see how skilled the trainer is with actual dogs there before making a snap judgment. I'm not a big fan of head halters, but I would rather see someone encouraging people to buy one (especially when a less aversive piece of equipment like a front attach harness is also offered) than see them slap a choke, prong or shock collar on every dog in the class.
 

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Last Monday, I paid for an 8 week obedience class for Lucy, my six month old Shih Tzu x Maltese. When I arrived there she had a bunch of chain choke collars and a prong collar on the table. She had her Shepherd with her and proceeded to show us what we were going to do with our dogs.

Now I am old enough to know that her method of training is what we "used" to do forty or so years ago because that is how I was first taught. She said we could not use treats. I put Lucy into the class mainly for the socialization which will do her good and won't be using a choke collar on her, the trainer can like it or lump it. The classes are in a park so lots of activity going on and as I want to do Agility with her when she is old enough it is good experience.

Our second class is tomorrow night. We did not do anything with our dogs the first night. Going to be an interesting night. There are only three other dogs in the class: a year old Cane corso x bluetick hound, a seven year old Shih Tzu x and a Westie x Heeler cross.
Honestly? If you aren't comfortable in the class, and the dogs who are on the prong-and-chokes are not comfortable, it's not likely to be a great socialization experience for your dog.
 

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She said we could not use treats. I put Lucy into the class mainly for the socialization which will do her good and won't be using a choke collar on her, the trainer can like it or lump it.
Are you a treat trainer ? What are you going to do if your dog shows a moment of utter brilliance ? feed ???

Sounds like potential mutiny on the bounty, lol.


Handlers DO need to make the decisions for their own dogs. Trainers should be merely making suggestions.
 

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My all-time worst training experience came when I showed up for a new class. I had driven 45 minutes to attend. I called ahead and talked to the trainer about methods. She claimed to be a positive reinforcement trainer.

I showed up with my two dogs heeling side by side on my left. They were calm and happy and never pulled. My "classmates" entered one by one being dragged by their handlers. This was supposed to be a competition level session. I was pretty concerned by the chaos and lack of control. Once everyone was in the room and the other dogs calmed down, I asked the trainer where I could put my training bag. She told me to put it in a different room. I asked if I could keep it closer as I had my treats and toys in it and I was planning on rotating reinforcers.

The trainer went nuts and actually turned to the class and said, "Class! Class! This person thinks she's going to bring treats into this room! She needs to BRIBE her dogs to get them to work for her!" I then asked her what she used as a reinforcer, as she billed herself as a positive reinforcement trainer. Praise. Praise alone. I thanked her for her time and started to walk out of the class and she told me to come in and at least try a "better way." I told her that I wasn't going to change how I work with my dogs just to fit in. She insisted that if I brought food into the training room, no one would be able to keep their dogs from trying to eat it. THAT was probably true. She kept telling me to stay and I repeated that there was no point. Her parting shot was, "When you decide to actually learn how to train, you can come back. Sorry you wasted a drive." It was awful.

If it's a bad fit, bail. It's easier than fighting.
 

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I think I also vote for look for a new trainer...I'm not down with her making assumptions about a dog's behavior sight unseen. When searching for a new trainer, I would ask if you could observe them and their methods before committing to taking their class. That might save you this situation again in the future. ;)
 

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I agree that a trainer shouldn't make assumptions about a dog they've never seen, much less worked with. They also shouldn't make assumptions based on breed.
 

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I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
Yup. Any trainer who assumes all GSDs are exactly alike isn't a good trainer.
 

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I would give no more chances. Any trainer who makes recommendations about dogs he's never evaluated is a lousy trainer. Get your money back and find someone who knows what they're doing.
THIS!!! Don't walk, run away from this trainer!!!
 
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