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Training Success?

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by Watson's Mom, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. Watson's Mom

    Watson's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 24, 2012
    So, like I’ve mentioned in the puppy post (I figured I’d come here for this one it’s more appropriate and I don’t want to monopolize the puppy section with non-puppy specific questions) Roxy’s trainer basically gave up on her.

    I can’t remember what our last class was titled but it was literally us and an obnoxiously barky Dalmatian. Yes I fully grasp the irony of that description coming from someone who loved a recreational barker of a sheltie.

    Anyway, keeping her attention for longer than 10 seconds was basically impossible. We tried every manner of treats I could come up with. I tried toys. Every type of toy I could think of (we did end up with a special poop toy for house training and that did help some) but she was not terribly interested.

    I’ve called her my adhd dog (I have it I googled it after one particularly frustrating class and learned about hyperkinesis) because once she’s going she doesn’t stop but doesn’t particularly focus on anyone thing but once she is, it’s like she’s deaf.

    The trainer at the end of that last set of classes was basically like “I don’t know what else to do.” I don’t know if it was a trainer issue, an owner issue (I tried doing all the things we did in class to practice at home but we had the exact same results so… reinforcing what she did in class, yay), or a dog issue.

    So that brings me to this possible puppy we may or may not bring home. We have… two trainers that I am aware of. The one we used already; she was recommended by Watson’s trainer who moved out of state. The second, well the second strikes me as a backyard breeder, not in any sort of a good way and most of her social media posts are about puppies available and next to none about training. She doesn’t list anywhere any certifications she has and the last couple of reviews are basically describing her as a Cesar Milan wannabe.

    There are other training groups around the region, an hour to an hour and a half away. We got Roxy just before Covid shut everything down so that made things significantly more difficult. After a while we were able to get the trainer we were using to come to our house but only because we could be outside in the yard once it got nice.

    If we bring this puppy home, I don’t know what to do about training. Try to do it on my own? Try with the trainer who gave up on Roxy? I’d at least like to get her into a puppy class to meet other pups. I’m at a loss.

    I read someone’s post about taking their pup everywhere. Even just staying in the car or holding them so they could start getting exposed to different sounds. So I’ll do that; hopefully the world doesn’t shut down again.

    I’d love to hear any thoughts on the training/trainer situation we are in.
    Sharon7 and Ron Atkinson like this.
  2. Ron Atkinson

    Ron Atkinson Premium Member

    Oct 5, 2019
    Sugarcreek, Ohio
    Now that I am retired and have Teddy he went through 1 puppy class and He gets to play with 3 of his neighborhood friends 1 time a week in a fence in space off leash. I walk him 2 times a day as far as I can go We go shopping together at pet friendly stores and when it's cold out he goes with me to the others. My wife walks him 2 to 3 miles every evening and our neighbor walks him when she needs a puppy fix. He greets people and dogs in a safe manner while on walks. I think it has made him a very well rounded pup and with the multiple people it gives him a secure place in our pack. The thing I have noticed is he will walk the speed of the handler.I am the slowest and he will walk at my pace and the same for the others We are beginning to do jumps in the backyard and this winter there is going to be basic agility classes close by. So we will sign Teddy up for that.
    Sharon7, Ann and trini like this.
  3. trini

    trini Forums Sage

    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate NY, USA
    Training is not something that happens just in specific times/places like a class setting...it is literally a 24/7 happening even when we are not actively working on training...so most of the training our dogs get they actually get from us hourly. For first time dog owner's attending a class or having a trainer come to the house can be very helpful, but for people who have had dogs before, unless they are looking to certify a dog in some specific area, I honestly don't think that official training is necessary...esp if you don't have a trainer who you really feel is top notch. Experiences under a bad trainer are far more damaging than no official training at all. It is important for a pup to meet other dogs, children, and new situations and once vaccinated taking them into many different places helps build both their tolerance and their acceptance of new people and things. I know right now that can be hard with so many restrictions...both our Panda (2 years old) and now our Laddie (1 year old) haven't had as much opportunity to socialize with strangers and new places as my previous dogs have had, but in the long run both will be fine.
  4. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Good luck I call Angus the party hound as every day is a party for him. He has no focus and will flit around thing to thing. He is smart and does mind but things like fetching, please. Also once he has done something he just looses interest. But he is great for Spitfire and soaks up loving like it is the best thing in the world. Some just don't got it. Spitfire on the other hand can do anything, is smart as all get out but is so independant that at flyball practice someone looked at me and said 'I think he just gave you the paw' Yep if you are on his agenda great, if not no coaxing will help your cause. In contrast Sca was smart and all about me and had a TON of drive. Just got to love them for who they are.

    Oh and separate them when training the puppy
  5. Watson's Mom

    Watson's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 24, 2012
    Ron Atkinson likes this.
  6. Watson's Mom

    Watson's Mom Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 24, 2012
    If there is anything I can look for in the puppies to help me tell how they will be I would love to know. I will not bring home another one that I know is going to be like Roxy. I love her dearly and she is such a cuddly thing but I do not want to live with another one that took six weeks to learn to sit. Maybe I’ll just bag the puppy idea.
    Sandy in CT and trini like this.
  7. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I’ve heard about a puppy temperament test (although I’ve never done one). It may be helpful to make sure you know what they’ll be like.https://www.dummies.com/pets/dogs/how-to-test-a-puppys-temperament/
    Sandy in CT, Ron Atkinson and trini like this.
  8. Elei

    Elei Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2019
    I would recommend talking to the breeder, and explaining the temperament you are looking for, and the temperament you don’t want. The breeder should be able to help you choose a puppy that will be the best fit. Is this the same breeder Roxy came from, or does the breeder know Roxy? If so, I think the breeder should be able to tell you if these puppies are similar in temperament to Roxy.

    If you can, meet the parents as well.

    Kip’s breeder chose him for me based on what I told her I was looking for: confident, playful, high energy, and that I wanted to do agility. That’s exactly what I got.
    Piper's mom and Sharon7 like this.
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Moderator

    Oct 31, 2009
    I absolutely agree with talking honestly with the breeder. There's no wrong or right in this kind of situation - it has to work for you, and it has to work for Roxy. My decision was made for me between two lovely girls when the one immediately pestered Faith, and the other (Meadow) sniffed her over, and then walked away.

    They do learn from each other, good and bad. My little Ally was a terror with the vacuum cleaner, and she taught Faith, who then taught Elijah, who then taught Meadow that attacking the vacuum was the thing to do. Neither Faith, Eli or Meadow originally had that behavior - they didn't like the vacuum but they'd just leave the room.
    Good stuff too, though, our first Sheltie Skye really taught puppy Asta a lot of good stuff.
  10. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    They most definitely learn from each other! When Piper was a pup he never saw me leave so he never saw how Riley reacted (barking). We were in a different house with Finnie so Finnie did see me leave and saw Riley barking at me...now I swear Finnie has managed to pick up all Riley’s bad habits! I tell my mom he’s Riley reincarnated! Piper of course could care less. I am doing Blueberry the same as I did with Piper and she hasn’t learned this bad behaviour. Of course Blueberry tries to get the vacuum and she can even get Piper (who never bothered with it) going after it!
    Sharon7, Sandy in CT and Ron Atkinson like this.

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