Elton had his second private lesson and he has been doing extremely well. I do not like certain things about this trainer and would rather see someone else but I already paid for 5 lessons. She believes in corrective actions. She wanted to put a leash around his neck and give a tug for correction. This is a No No especially for cavaliers. Having something pulled on their neck when many have issues with CM and/or SM, I don't think so. I told her I believed in positive training and did not like the use of correction. She asked why Elton had a harness and I explained their health issues and I don't like anything on his neck.

I decided that since the lessons were paid for, I would go and tell her I did not want to do certain things for correction. I tried the clicker training and it was hard for me to get timing right so we are working on praise immediately. I may still have to get the hang of the clicker. Anyway, we did the heel, sit, stay etc. and he did great and everything was positive and he did not need correction but this changed last night.

He KNOWS the command to lay down. We have done this before training but it was always for a treat. He was doing great with heeling, sit, lay down, but we need to work on the lay down then sit and place. Everything was fine until he had a meltdown. I think he hit his wall. He went to sit and I could not get him to lay down. He was refusing and it's not that he did not know the command but he just did not want to listen. Part of me wanted to say that he has had enough because they can get tired but then that is teaching him that he can do that. I don't like the whole "pack leader" but I do not want to reinforce the behavior. A friend sent me an article about the problem of ignoring unwanted behaviors and I really liked it. The problem is that she says the trick is interrupt unwanted behaviors and reinforce what you want them to do to replace the unwanted behavior. For example, Elton barks so I have tried to get him to sit when he is barking which he will do, then once he stops I give him praise. However, that does not help in this situation.

The trainer pulled Elton's front legs and MADE him lay down then held his back. I really didn't like this. I don't know what to do instead and I really need to know because this comes into play when I'm at home. If he doesn't want to get down or be moved, he will growl and stiffin his body. He will snap also and has a look in his eyes. The trainer told me to close his muzzle which I don't like either.

Please help me because I don't like this.

PS. The training and working with Elton has really helped his anxiety and excitement. I am now a STRONG believer in training because I can see a noticible difference and I know he is happier.