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  1. #31
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rachel's Avatar

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    You are absolutely right Christi. I have had to mentally "check" myself many times since Saturday. I catch myself worrying about Fin's actions, even when they're normal puppy things. I wouldn't have worried about them or thought much of them before the trainer said those things. One on one should help to erase the ridiculous things he's suggested and get Fin and I back to the trusting team we were, because he will never be able to trust me 100% until he knows that I trust him 100%.

    I never thought about the "freedom" stuff in terms of Pyrenees' love of wandering, but I can definitely see that. Fin gets free access to puppy-proofed rooms and is in my bedroom at night, too. I am personally really against crating a puppy for more than 3 hours at most. I cannot imagine why or how anyone would think keeping a puppy kenneled for 8+ hours was healthy or right. If someone works that's one thing, but keeping them locked up even when you're home for longer than that as was suggested to me...horrifying.

    He does think they're herding dogs! He kept calling him a shepherd and saying Fin's "herding instincts dictate" this and that and got pretty angry when I tried to tell him they are not herding-- they're livestock guardians. I just found out today that after Saturday, he had the nerve to ask my dad when he brought his dogs to training later that day if I "read up" on what Pyrenees are "really like" before I got Fin, and that I should have. There's nothing worse than someone being blatantly wrong while vehemently insisting you're the incorrect one.

    Thank you for all the thought you've put into our predicament-- I am so glad I stumbled upon this forum.

  2. #32
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    I started to write something about this the day before then decided not to. But having read Rachel's post from yesterday, I thought I go ahead. I started by saying that if this guy was projecting his own personal failure of having to put down a dog due to aggression on Rachel and Fin, then already that is a bad sign because it suggests the guy is insecure about dogs. A person that is insecure about dogs really should not be the one teaching other people about dogs. Add to that the way he treated Fin, punishing a puppy for absolutely no reason at all, leads one to think what the guy's relationship was with that dog that he put down. Did this guy's own (bad) methods actually pushed/exacerbated this dog's aggression to the point that the dog suffered the ultimate consequence? His method of "breaking" puppies is a SURE WAY to bring out the aggression in a young pup. He's potentially causing young dogs to learn to be fear biters. What he is doing can lead to very serious consequences and he truly and really should not be training at all. In this I am not being dramatic or exaggerating.

    Ok, I've said it and now I will speak no more of this guy because Rachel needs to get over this so that she can help Fin get over this episode.

    Again, this is one single episode. It has only been a few days so the memory is still fresh in Fin's mind. But it is important for Rachel to get over it in her head and start a new page. Rachel, you sound like a pretty logical and reasonable person and your descriptions of how you've raised Fin seem to be quite on the right track. If you can find a group training class with a more educated and emotionally stable trainer then go ahead and continue to socialize Fin in that environment. But if Fin has developed a strong phobia of going into stores, then you might want to back off for the next month or 6 weeks. After that, take him to a pet store, get out of the car, give him lots of high value treats and then leave. Repeat that a few times, each time getting closer and closer to the door then eventually nonchalantly and making no fuss, lead him into the store in a very matter of fact way. Fin is young, so he should be able to get over this. But for him to do that, you need to take little time for you to get over your emotions. Don't continue to feel bad for Fin because of what happened. Fin does not need sympathy; he needs for you to be strong so that he knows you are capable of handling situations and that he can put his trust in you. As you said yourself about children, some children labeled as "problem kids" are only so because of how they are treated. Don't treat Fin like a victim so that he won't feel like he is one. Our emotions project right into our dogs. It sounds like you've done a good job so far. There is no reason to change what you are doing.

    Let me say a few words about the concept of keeping a dog in crates at all times. It is a recognized training method though it's supposed for short term only and usually employed to train performance dogs. But, yes, it has also been marketed for "problem dogs". Dogs in obedience, rally, agility all need to learn to key into their handlers very acutely. One way of "teaching" a dog to learn that is to take away ALL stimulants from the dog's world by keeping it in the crate most of the time. The only times it comes out of the crate would be to potty and work with the handler. In that way, the handler becomes the MOST INTERESTING THING and the most important thing in the world to the dog. Again though, the method is only meant to be used for short term only. I had a thread about this some time ago as it was suggested that I do this with Bijou as I was having trouble with her listening to me at agility trials. I chose not to use the method because it was never my intent to go overboard hardcore with training a pyr to do agility - I am not THAT crazy...

  3. #33
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mips's Avatar

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    Oh dear, never go there again.

    I take both my pups to training too and chain collars are forbidden, let along pinch collars! You want your pup to respect you, not fear you. Respect is build through trust and patience.

    Too bad this is the only trainer within an hour driving, it's hard to find good trainers, but in this case I'd just go on with youtube movies and train him from there. And for contact with other dogs, take him to the dog park

    Sounds like a horrible trainer that is not learning anyone how to build up a good relationship with your puppy, but learning you the opposite instead.

  4. #34
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Pyr_In_Manhattan's Avatar

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    Everyone knows that training is important but it isn't mentioned enough the extent to which a bad trainer can permanently damage a dog. Remember, ANYONE can declare themselves a trainer. Many people do the "tough guy" alpha routine which is a horrible way to go especially (but certainly not exclusively) with pyrs. We had a place like this around where we used to live that would take dogs for two weeks for reeducation (note: this should be a big red flag already) at obscene sums of money. I recall one Rhodesian that went from being a shy but otherwise nice dog to being legit unstable and dangerous after a few weeks there. As good pet parents one of our most important tasks is to screen self-declared experts to make sure they aren't going to make things worse rather than better. If you see a chosen trainer acting in an inappropriate manner towards your dog you need to IMMEDIATELY remove your dog and never go back.

    I also have a personal hatred for these types. Every once in a while a stupid person decides they want to force my dog to do something, and that they will improve their chances of doing so by acting aggressively. I have to quickly jump in and warn them that they're risking serious injuries and should never do that again. Usually they act surprised and add "but your dog looks so nice!"

  5. #35
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    Rachel I have a silly question for you. What type of floors did the pet store you tried to take him to have? Fin might have been nervous about going into that pet store not because, of his past trauma but, because he thought the floors were slick and he has bad hips. I know with Monty he would get feverish and panic just by being in the parking lot....you couldn't get him near the doors. With Fin having bad hips though I am brought back to the time right after Missy's knee got screwed up and how she would hesitate about walking on laminate floors or slick tile floors. She would strut her stuff on wood floors that weren't super waxed and carpets with no issues but, tiles she was cautious with because, some of them are slick and she didn't want to hurt herself.

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