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Old 07-12-2008, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Trainer behavior questions

I live in such a small town that we only have one trainer for dogs in our area. She has lots of awards and seems to have a thriving business. She also boards dogs. She has a very sturn way of talking to people and she doesnt seem to care if she might upset you with her words. She is very upfront and forward.

To give a little background, about 3 months ago we put to sleep our 6 year old American Bulldog. We've had him since he was 10 weeks old. (American Bulldogs have the build and appearance of a Boxer to give you an idea of what sort of dog he was, not that it matters) We were ignorant about alot of things with this breed and we were negligent with his training, etc. We should have had him in obedience training but never did. After the birth of our son last August, he slowly started to become more and more aggressive towards everybody that came over to our home or even to strangers if we took him for walks. Eventually he bit me on the hand and nipped at a couple of kids that came over to play with my kids and we had to put him down. It was the single most hardest thing I think we've ever had to do in our lives. We cried for days and I still swear I hear him crying around the house sometimes. Anyway, this trainer had told us about a year ago that he was a dead dog walking and would get worse and worse and she was right. Her training rates were so high and my husband had just gotten a new job working for the state so we had taken a huge pay decrease that year and couldnt afford the training we knew the dog needed. I know its an excuse but its what was real for us. When I spoke with her yesterday about Sadie and how I wanted to put her in obedience training, she agreed that all dogs needed training. She asked about our other dog and I told her and I told her how we cried and cried and she said that my husband should not have been allowed to cry because he killed that dog by not getting him the training he should have had when he needed it. I did put alot of that on my husband because he is the one that wanted that dog and that breed and I had children to raise and told him to take care of the training, etc and he failed to do so. But I dont blame him entirely on his death. I live here too and I could have stepped up more and I didnt. I felt that she was harsh with her words to me though. She also asked me how long it would be before we put Sadie down too if we didnt get her training. That was hurtful to me, but I dismissed it. I told her that that is why I was there with Sadie. I wasnt going to let our other dog die in vain. We should have trained him and we didnt and I wasnt going to make that mistake with Sadie because then we havent learned anything by the death of our dog. She agreed with me and was glad to see me there.

She recommended a few websites to me. She is very helpful to me. I want to do the right thing with Sadie because of what happened to our last dog. Whether we are entitled to cry about our dog or not, it still hurts us that he is not here now. I will do with Sadie all the things I should have done with our other dog. I want to learn and be a good pet owner and I just felt hurt by how she talked to me. Knowing I am going to be dealing with her alot during the training of my puppy, should I say something to her about how she made me feel or just go on and hope she doesnt say anything again? And what if she does say things? I guess I need to hear them, even if its not always good. I dont know. Maybe Im just venting here. I guess the truth DOES hurt sometimes.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:51 AM   #2
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Most dog trainers love dogs so much, it just kills them when this happens. We’ve had a few on the forum volunteer their time to people, but a trainer can only do so much with the dog, it's really up to the owner. Dog trainers train the people on the correct training methods, and the owner must follow through. Of course the owner always has loads of excuses why it didn't work, and I imagine it gets hard to hear the same things over and over with the result being a dog's death.

Many people seem to think that dogs are replaceable and if one doesn't work out, they can just put it down, I'm not at all saying you are like this, but this does happen, and sometimes the gruffness you might see in trainer is a way to not become too emotionally involved in cases. I doubt if you will need a personal trainer for a Yorkie, aggression isn't a problem with this breed, but you can make any dog aggressive, if you don't handle him properly.

There are many books out there on training, and so much information is available for free. Pet Stores often have pet training classes, but they are more social classes, and the information you receive can be found in most books. I think the first step in training should be having a through knowledge of "potty training", if this goes wrong, and punishment or force is used, the results may be an aggressive or overly anxious dog.

Here is a link to housebrecking your dog. Free House Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs - No More Accidents Starting Today! I also suggest Cesar Millan the dog whisper, for really understanding the way a dog "thinks." Welcome to Cesar Millan's Official Web Site If you can't view his programs on the discovery channel, you can rent his whole series of DVDs from Net Flix for an extremely affordable price.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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At least you have the character to admit a mistake and try to do better, many would have dropped the dog at the shelter and walked away making excuses and feeling justified.

You don't have a lot of options, it seems, for local help in training and training is a must not an option, in my opinion, if you want the best for your new puppy. I would not advise you to discuss your personal hurt feelings with this trainer if you want her respect. She will give you her respect when she see's you consistently training your new puppy. I don't agree with hurting other people's feelings but it sounds like this is just her personality.....she deals this way with anyone who enters her orbit.....she's not likely to change her approach. Her stern, no fluffy stuff personality may be a key part of her success. Keep your focus on a well trained puppy and whatever you endure in the process will have been worth it. Best of luck with the training and the trainer!!

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Old 07-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #4
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I would look for a new trainer. I live in a small town too in California. Most of the time I have to go to a couple cities outside of where i live for services. If your not comfortable with the trainer in your town, look around. I am sorry about what happened to your other dog. However, it was biting, and hurting children/you. It would not have been long that animal control would have taken that dog.
Yorkies are very smart little dogs, and with the propper training and consistence you will have no problems with your puppy. I would go to the Library, and research the breed, and training methods that you can implement on your own .
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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The trainer was harsh but probably just because putting a dog down is a touchy subject. I would just put your best foot forward and go to training. She will see you are putting in the effort now and most likely will never mention it again. Good luck
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for being non-judgemental about this toward me. I am going to give her a fair try. I think that sometimes thats what you need to succeed. I do take criticism and will learn from what Ive done wrong with our last dog. I have already been teaching Sadie how to sit when I ask her to and have NEVER EVER used force on any dog Ive ever owned or been in contact with. Our other dog was a bully type dog and unfortunately we didnt correct it when we first started to see his dominance at a very early age. Sadie and I are working on her potty training and I have spoke with this trainer about how to go about it the best way so Im crossing my fingers and hoping for the best! I wont bring up the past with my trainer and I think that she will see that I can be taught - as well as my Yorkie! Unfortunately, my husband still does not understand how aggressive our last dog was and is still torn up about why we had to put him down and he is in denial and believes that we could have corrected him. The sad thing is that if we could have "fixed" him, I gave my husband a full 9 months to either sign up for a class for him or start teaching him to be more social or put him in the backyard tied up with a dogrun or SOMETHING but he did nothing and ignored the problem in hopes that it would just go away. Sadly, he did go away and I wont let him own another dog again where he is responsible for its care. Period.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:40 AM   #7
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I am terribly sorry that you had to put your pet down especially as it was not sick. Raising a dog is like raising a child, it takes two people. I would find books or some other means of training. The trainer may be a very good one, but to put the full blame on one person is not right. The trainer needs also to have some people skills. If anyone is to blame it is both, however, we are all on a learning journey through life and if you don't let that happen with your pet now, due to what you learned with the first one, then his passing is not wasted.
Good luck with all you do and please hang in there.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:03 AM   #8
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With training a Yorkie.. love has to be in there somewhere. You have learned from your last dog that indifference does not help any animal. These little guys will do anything you ask of them. Be consistant with your training and NEVER hit them. They have so much love to give that it is amazing. And they are so smart.. and occasionally a little stubborn. But they will always love you. They are a member of your family and need to be treated as such. Your best bet, besides the trainer, is to read up on this wonderful breed, learn all you can about them. I thought I knew so much about them until I joined YT. I have found out that I really didn't know as much as I thought I did. There is so much information here, and so many people who are very knowledgeable willing to share that knowledge. All you have to do is ask. There are links to video's, books, just about anything you want to know about them. Please take the time to read about these special little Yorkies. You will never regret it.

It took a lot of guts for you to come on here and tell everyone of your past mistakes and your wanting not to repeat it. I wish you the best of luck with your new baby.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:17 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks everyone for your kind words. I really mean that!

Sadie is already signed up for Puppy Preschool and Im so excited for her (and me) to start learning!!! We go on vacation this week so it wont start until next week sometime. After Puppy Preschool is Puppy Kindergarten. Its sounds soo cute too! LOL!! I will do all the things with Sadie that we should have done with our last dog because I wont let his death mean nothing.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BethPurk View Post
Wow, thanks everyone for your kind words. I really mean that!

Sadie is already signed up for Puppy Preschool and Im so excited for her (and me) to start learning!!! We go on vacation this week so it wont start until next week sometime. After Puppy Preschool is Puppy Kindergarten. Its sounds soo cute too! LOL!! I will do all the things with Sadie that we should have done with our last dog because I wont let his death mean nothing.
Here is a link to a current thread in the for sale section of YT. It may be of help to you She is offering her help as a behaviourist to YT members via online sessions.
Ask the Behaviourist

HTH!!
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erino77 View Post
Here is a link to a current thread in the for sale section of YT. It may be of help to you She is offering her help as a behaviourist to YT members via online sessions.
Ask the Behaviourist

HTH!!
What a great idea, I love reading her advice.
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:07 AM   #12
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I think the most important thing you can teach a Yorkie is to come to you when you call and not to bolt/run when the door opens. I've seen this behavior with two of my dogs and it is so scary!

I'm terribly sorry about your first dog Do you think(just out of curiousity) that he became territorial because he felt he was protecting your son?

I've got to be more open to training with my two girls. My husband is excellent with them and they mind him much better than they mind me. I'm more of a softie, but being a softie could be the death of them. Like I said, Daisy will bolt at times. We've been lucky with her so far, she hasn't run into the road, but I've got to get a handle on her.

Tony, my husband loves our girls, he just will not tolerate any bad behavior. Or should I say, he tries very hard to correct it.

I think you're taking the best approach with your Yorkie. I wish you all the best. Please let us know how it goes and share any tips you have.

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:54 PM   #13
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I'm sorry she was so "rough" with you. I am sad to say she is wrong for putting the blame so much on your husband. You both need to be involved in training your dogs. Sometimes, one person is "solely" responsible and then the other person gets mad because the dog won't listen to them.

I would give her a "fair" shot at the training, and see how it goes. Hopefully, your other dog won't be brought up.

I am a little worried about the comment that you gave him 9 months to get him into training or put him out on a dog run in the back yard. When you have a dog like that, with aggression issues, (any dog for that matter) banishing him to the backyard will only make it worse and endanger the public.

With your yorkie, make sure you use gentle methods. I also would ask if you can train her using a harness instead of a collar, to eliminate the risk of neck,throat injuries, which can easily happen on toy breeds.

Make sure that you get your husband involved! Having a dog is a "family affair" and is much more enjoyable when everyone is involved!

Good luck with the training, and just remember to stay consistent and patient!
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