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Thread: advise please

  1. #11
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    It sounds to me like Kos was just being a sensible dog- poor baby had been hurt/frightened once; he'll probably get over it, but not immediately, anymore than you would recovering quickly from a mugging! Holly once got jumped on by a border collie in the park (dog hated little dogs) and although she wasn't hurt- a miracle in itself as the dog had just literally thrown a little JRT in the air, and then jumped on Holly's back and went for her neck/throat- it was a while before she became her usual merry self around larger dogs. Holly wasn't a puppy; this happened within the past year, so she was 2 at least. I'd agree with the others; find another trainer. Could you talk to others in the class? How do they feel about how you/Kos were treated by the trainer?

    I'm also interested in the responses re discouraging fear. Holly tolerates the new puppy very well, but she prefers to stay out of it's way and she has that white-eyed "What the heck is going on?" look. I've been thinking that perhaps the way to get her used to the pup quickly is to control exposure to the pup, ignore Holly's nervousness, and praise her to the skies when she shows interest or lies beside me when I have pup on lap...similar sort of idea, I think,

  2. #12
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    Thanks Rory's Mom, Molly, and Cathy T,

    I did have a treat that I was trying to goat him into a sit with. I did have it in the air, he just was not attentive to it in the least bit. I would say his name and he would look at me but his tail was between his legs and he was frozen. He could have cared less about the cookie and what's worse is this was one of those "special treats" that on any given day he would have done ANYTHING for. I really do mean anything.

    It is nice to have some reinforcement. I know this is sort of a "grey" area for many people as I do understand they need to get over their fears. Heck, Kosmo is afraid of all kinds of things. Broom, Vacuum, Dust Pan, door stopper ( ) and sometimes he will bark for hours at them. EventuallY I get tired of hearing him and I'll go and put the stuff away or open the door to cover the door stopper. I don't cradle him, just put it away and ignore him. When he was little the broom was leaning against the wall and he tried to play with it which caused it to fall down on the floor and make a loud sound. Since that day, he's been scared of it, lol. . . When he sees other things that he's scared of, like the big cats and bulldozers when we're on a walk I just walk by them and ignore him. One time when we were driving we were side by side to a tractor trailer and he FREAKED. I couldn't help it, it was hillarious, I had to laugh. That seemed to calm him down, but holy cow that was funny.

    So you can see, he is scared of things that are ignored. However, I think this context is totally different and it's something that needs to be addressed. When Kos is so scared that he doesn't even want to move, that is hurtful to me. Maybe it's because I am his mama, but I don't like to see him in that state. I don't know about all other cavlaliers, but Kosmo would probably rather die than stick up for himself. He's very VERY gentle and submissive 100% of the time. I've never seen him stick up for himself, even when we were with another cavalier who came up and took a jerkey treat out of his mouth! I believe when it gets to this point, then there is definately a problem. It should never be to the degree where I am fearful of his psychological state and his physical well being. I thought it was dead wrong to force him through that exercise. I felt like instead of forcing him, he should be gradually re-introduced into these situations. He was like that in the beginning, you know. When I first got him he was so fearful he would always hide under the chair. It did take a lot of work at home and a lot of meeting other dogs to bring him out of this, but we finally worked through it. He was happy to see anybody, although always a little cautious around Casey. When Casey freaked and ran to attack him, he was off leash and there was nothing I could do other than run after him, but by the time I got to him the damage was already done. Now I feel like my efforts have been backslid a little bit. I do have 2 more weeks of this class and I have to continue it to get my certificate but I think I am switching to a different night. She said "yeah we have big dogs in the other class too" but it's not about having big dogs. It's about having dogs who are not under control and owners who have a hard time realizing that. If I had a dog like Casey and I knew there was a previous history of him going after small dogs (like she told me AFTER he got hurt) there's no way on this earth that I would let him off leash. What happened if it were a customer's dog he had hurt?

    I am sorry to go off on a tangent but the more I sit and think about it the more upset it makes me.
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  3. #13
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    Sara,
    I'm sorry to hear what you and Kosmo have been through at the training class. That must have been embarrassing and humiliating to be singled out and forced to do what you knew was wrong for your baby.

    Make sure that you go observe classes at other clubs or training centers before you join!! I was looking into joining another club to get Geordie into more advanced agility with more/better equipment, and I was surprised at how backward some of the bigger clubs are! At one, I saw a large breed puppy wearing a prong collar

    I decided to stay with the training center I belong to, because they are all APDT certified and use 100% positive reinforcement training, plus everyone who I've met there has excellent interpersonal skills.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  4. #14
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    Geez, that sounds awful!!! We're taking our puppy to a Petco class, and I didn't think I'd be impressed but we got a good deal and I knew it would be good for socialization. They limit class size and have a small-dog puppy class. The trainer told us not to force them to do anything they're afraid of like being around another dog! She does everything with positive reinforcement and positive attitude. I was pretty impressed with her.

    I'm sure you can find a better class somewhere for Kos. Poor guy. I read a book by an autistic author, Temple Grandin, about animal behavior. She hypothesizes in the book that fear is worse than pain for animals. After owning guinea pigs, I can totally understand this. Good luck in finding a more suitable class!

  5. #15
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    {{{{{{{{Sara & Kos}}}}}}}} I really feel for you. That woman shouldn't be running a training class if she hasn't enough people skills or is trying to force Kos into a situation that scares him with good reason.

    I wonder if she's bothered to chastise the other owner like she has you or if she's just done it to you because she thinks you're a soft touch (as in soft touch as soft dog!).

    Want me to come and sort her out for you?

  6. #16
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    I would definitely look for a different trainer!
    J.

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