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I have read many posts with suggestions on finding a trainer that is good with dominant behavior, and believe me we need one. I have now fired my 2nd trainer. Where would you look to find someone? What credentials, if any, should I be looking for?

Thanks.
 

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elke said:
I have read many posts with suggestions on finding a trainer that is good with dominant behavior, and believe me we need one. I have now fired my 2nd trainer. Where would you look to find someone? What credentials, if any, should I be looking for?

Thanks.
A little more information is needed. Are you looking for basic obedience or only for specific problem management? (Personal bias here - I firmly believe that problem management is pretty useless without good basic obedience.) What specific behaviors are you calling "dominant" in your dog - or is it a general "you're not the boss of me" attitude?

If you're not looking to train for a certain working task, I would look for APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) certification. To get certified, trainers have to show a broad understanding of dog behavior and a commitment to the well-being of dogs (and owners), in addition to mastering training techniques. There's an actual mentoring and testing program, so people can't just get a certificate and go to town. Check their website - they have a trainer search.

www.apdt.com

I prefer to train with in classes (with a dog training club) because there's opportunity to interact with other dog lovers and share ideas. Also, working in small groups gives automatic "distraction" training - added bonus!

Hope this is helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chynasmom said:
I firmly believe that problem management is pretty useless without good basic obedience.) What specific behaviors are you calling "dominant" in your dog - or is it a general "you're not the boss of me" attitude?
Thanks Chynasmom. I agree 100% regarding the basic OB and believe this is the major issue and has turned into "you're not the boss of me" and need guidance/assistance with the OB.

The biggest problem we have is that Stymie does not respect me. He's pretty good with my BF, which I find odd since I'm the one doing all the training. I also feel that Stymie is not consistant in his behavior and need some help understanding him or what I am doing wrong. He is very smart (at least I think so), he knows where he is allowed to go, one couch and not the other & never on the bed or in the basement. He never tries to go where is knows he's not allowed. He knows that he has to sit and wait until I say OK even with the door open before going outside, he does this but makes sort of a huffing sound, like "I'm doin' it but I don't like it." He will give me his toy/stick/whatever when I tell him to "leave"

My first trainer (a man) said he never would've chosen this type of dog for me as he had no problems with him, but that doesn't really help me does it? It seems that Stymie has no respect for women, and I have seen it mentioned a few times here that this is not unusual and we HAVE to get past it. I'm doing all the things that I read about. ie. try not to let him walk in front of me (not always an easy task), don't give him anything for free (he must sit/lay down/stay) before he gets a cookie or toy, etc. but he has growled at me on several occasions, usually when he's very tired or when I'm feeding him.

Thanks for the website. There's one close to me that does agility as well which I had hoped once we get the basic OB down we could try.
 

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I'm going to swim upstream here and suggest that your first trainer seems to be using the wrong part of his body to think with. I know of no data that suggest dogs make gender-based stereotypes about people. You and Stymie may need to work on your relationship, but that's why you went TO the trainer. What a bonehead.

I had to laugh when when you said Stymie makes huffing noises when you tell him to do something. Chyna has to sit & wait for her food and then do a trick before she's released to eat. If she's really hungry, she'll make this whining "Oh, come on, Mom!" noise as she's doing whatever it was I told her to do. Cracks me up. My attitude is - I don't give a cr*p if you don't like it - just do it. She can whine and bitch and moan all she likes. It's not going to change anything. (basically my same attitude with kids!)

You said that Stymie will pretty much do what you say, including waiting at the door and giving up toys to you - that's great. What was happening when Stymie growled at you when you were feeding him - was he already eating and growled as you came close? Were you just putting the food down? One thing you might try is portioning his meal into 3 or 4 parts - give him one, and as he's finishing, walk up and cheerfully say "back up" (or whatever you like). Keeping your hands out of the way, really invade his space if he doesn't move - even kick his bowl away a bit. Tell him to sit, then dump the second portion in and (again, cheerfully) release him to eat. Repeat with remaining portions. Even better - put a nice smelly treat in with the additional "servings" so each one is an added bonus. Pretty soon, he'll see you coming and clear a path for his "second helpings".

I think you'll find a great trainer through APDT - good luck!
 
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