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Need opinions on dog trainer’s plan!(21 Posts)
I have had my first puppy for 3 weeks now. She’s doing really well with tricks - sit, paw, down etc. She sleeps in a crate at night just waking once for a pee at 1ish.
I am really pleased with how she is and think we’re doing ok.
I don’t have much confidence when it comes to her meeting other dogs and getting her to walk nicely on the lead etc.
So I took her to see a dog trainer today. She’s a KC good citizen one. I want the puppy to learn good manners and that’s what the KC site promised.
That’s the background. I now need opinions on some of the lady’s ideas.
1. Don’t fuss the puppy too much, don’t fuss her when she’s asking for fuss. Only fuss on my own terms.
2. When feeding the pup, put her food bowl on the worktop where she can’t get it. Prepare and eat our tea and then let pup have hers - but only if she’s not fussing for it.
3. Don’t let people stroke her. If they want a puppy to fuss then they should buy one!!!
4. Don’t walk her where there are other dogs. She should be aware of dogs but not mixing with them.
5. Ditch the harness as they teach her to pull. Attach lead to a collar.
Does that all sound a tad crazy? The kids came out feeling like they can’t enjoy the puppy if they can’t fuss her and take her to the beach etc. Some things made sense to me but it all seems a bit extreme.
She does group classes and they spend time standing chatting in a circle and the dogs are not to interact with each other.
She was very into packs and the puppy being at the bottom of the pack and having to earn her cuddles and attention.
If we let her get ideas above her station she will be ruling us like a little doggy dictator!!!
Some of those things do make sense but others don't to me.
You will find that each trainer tends to have their own ideas and if you feel that this one doesn't fit don't waste your time or money and move on.
I would be finding a different trainer , the alpha / pack theory rubbish has been completely discredited - complete twaddle .
1.I guess she is trying to avoid an attention seeking puppy. This along with 3, I would go with more of a 'let her approach you' rather than letting people go to puppy to fuss. Lets the puppy know that it is on her terms and she wont be forced to be cuddled/stroked.
2. Perhaps teaches self control and stops her begging for your food - but it definitely won't help her see her place in the pack- that's (thankfully) been disproven
4. I wouldn't go for a high dog area to start with, don't set her up to fail. And yes, aware of dogs but not automatically running up to play is sensible. I would teach her to ignore dogs generally when walking, and only allow play in a strict environment.
5. Harness can help with pulling- think of sled dogs who are used to pull - they use harnesses. However, harnesses are much kinder on the neck. I would attach to both collar and harness. Loose lead walking is invaluable shouldn't make a difference whether its on a harness or collar.
Personally, I would find a different trainer though
Agree with the no fussing but - there’s play time when your kids can play with her but I can’t stand it when a dog sits there whining all the time for attention. But if her asking for a fuss coincides with when the kids want to play with her than fine.
Don’t agree with her feeding routine. I don’t feed my dogs when I eat anyway.
Do not agree with puppy stroking thing. I think if people come up and (hopefully ask) if they can pat your dog it’s fine - even better if you make sure your puppy doesn’t jump all over them! How else will your dog get used to people?
I think it’s a great thing to go to the park and let dogs play together. Plus it’s very difficult to find a park where there are no other dogs!
I don’t use a harness but some breeds suit them better and surely you train a dog not to pull whether it’s a harness or collar.
I know what she’s aiming for - a polite dog that has been trained to ignore other dogs and people. But frankly there’s something lovely to see dogs playing together - they are social and generally like being with other dogs.
When I took my first dog to puppy class, after the lesson it was puppy playtime! Their reward for being good. You gave them permission to play.
For Second dog the class was run like your woman and I lasted two sessions.
Dogs do have personalities - one of mine is bouncy and everyone’s best friend my other one is reserved and more the kind of dog this woman would like.
I’d find a different class/trainer, but for me it was being firm and consistent. Socialise as much as you can. Do not reward whining (ignore it). Stick to that and your dog will be fine.
The bit about harnesses is true; they only encourage pulling and allow the dog to throw their weight into it. The rest is bollocks to me.
Sounds kind of old fashioned. Our youngest dog can settle down quickly when asked, often goes into her crate herself for a snooze. You don’t want an out of control dog over excited dog but want one your kids can have some fun with but the dog understands when told to calm down.
You need to teach the dog to walk nicely on the lead. Ours still pulled with a collar, was no deterrent and was damaging his neck.
So we’ve switched to a harness and continue the training. He doesn’t pull any more with the harness and it’s kinder to his neck.
Thanks for responding. We have a new trainer coming to see us on Monday!
You shouldn’t need a dog trainer for a baby pup. Buy The Happy Puppy Handbook byPippa Mattinson and follow her kind common sense directions.
Don’t overload your pup with instructions, it takes a year to teach what she needs to know so you can’t do it all at once.
The pack/dominance theory has been discredited quite a while ago...
Some of it makes sense.. but a puppy can learn to meet, greet and move on from other dogs without having to avoid them.
I generally feed my puppy first, and then ourselves,,she looks hopeful, we ignore ..not a big deal (I do let her lick the plate tho before it goes in the dishwasher!)
We fuss or not fuss the puppy depending on what we are doing at the time.. when anyone comes in there is 5 mins of 'LOOVE ME' and then she potters off to play/sleep and we play games on and off throughout the day.. but I wanted a dog to love not to ignore!
I use a harness because mine will be a big girl when she grows up, and I feel more secure with her in it! I doesn't seem to make her pull..but we are working on loose lead walking anyway,
The puppy needs to know that you're in control. However, there's no need to go to these extremes.
Teach her to wait for permission to eat her food once it's down and the leave command is very useful for stopping them eating things you don't want to have, e.g. dropped tablets.
Small puppies need comfort and affection like small babies. It makes a difference to how their brains develop and their ability to build bonds with their family. I agree with offering affection when she's not whining so you don't reinforce that behaviour but don't withhold affection.
She needs to be around other dogs when she's small so she can learn the nuances of dog language. When they're tiny, older dogs forgive mistakes and correct gently. They need that to grow into mature dogs that can socialism successfully. If they make those mistakes after about six months, the older dogs will be less gentle.
Lead walking is successful if you teach them to walk next to you, paying attention to you and naturally staying close. Using a lead instead of a harness may mean they can pull harder but it can also release stress hormones that are really unhelpful. They shouldn't be tempted to pull at all if you have trained them to walk to close to you properly from the start.
I hope your next trainer is better.
Well that sounds like a load of tosh in the main and pretty miserable if you can't pet your dog when you feel like it.
What on earth is going to be achieved by making your dog wait for its food like that.
My dog always eats before I do. She's eight years old, if she's plotting a take over she's playing a very long game as up till now she hasn't shown any signs of it.
And as for pulling, she's never been walked on a collar always on a harness and never pulls because she's been trained not to.
Find a different trainer. One who is up to date and doesn't believe in out dated, disproved theories on dog training.
Train your puppy well and above all enjoy her.
I would say - from having had a similar puppy trainer and having made mistakes as a result:
- yes to having them sit before you put the dinner bowl down. And perhaps don’t race to feed them first. The rest is a silly power play.
- yes to not taking them straight to an environment with lots of other dogs for crazy play while they are still little, but they should be introduced to other dogs of all shapes and sizes in a calmer way.
The other bits are bollocks. Many dogs will pull on a harness but the same dogs will also pull on the collar. A harness that attaches at the front of the chest can help.
DDog used to pull like a train but now walks beautifully on a harness, and I know his neck won’t be injured if he gets excited by a bird.
Our trainer is from the KC good citizen scheme but we are not doing 121 we are in a group class.
We always have made a fuss of pup as does everyone who meets him.
It's good manners to get him to sit before his food and get him to wait for your command before he starts eating but we've never made ours wait until we've eaten.
We were also advised against a harness. We only used one when pup was very small then moved onto the collar. Pup walks really well now on the lead.
Our pup went to doggy daycare from 13 weeks so interacted with lots of dogs. As a result he loves dogs but has also learnt when to back off and not be overly friendly.
I would definitely recommend the group good citizen scheme. We have learnt loads there and pup loves it!
I agree with it all except for 4 - she absolutely needs to be walked around other dogs, she needs to learn to walk calmly past them and sit calmly around them if requested and if the dogs are friendly it would be good for her to be allowed to socialise.
And 5 - pulling is very bad for the throat, if she is still learning loose lead walking I think a harness is better
I agree with all the points except for the collar. Pup is still developing and I would use harness until she has learnt not to pull then switch to collar.
You should avoid walking with lots of dogs present as you are setting her up to fail. When we learn to drive, we start in a quiet car park before venturing to quiet residential roads, we wouldn’t stick a beginner on a busy dual carriageway and hope for the best!
I would consider an IMDT or APDT trainer (google them) as dog training has come a long way and KC is pretty outdated nowadays. Good luck!
I think it's hard to judge without knowing the character and breed of your individual puppy. I have one dog who would have been fine with stroking and fussing. But I have another one who would whine constantly for more and get very wound up.
Same with the feeding and pulling when walking. (I think the theory is that teaching some dogs in a harness can sometimes encourage them to pull and it's best to switch to a harness later once they have learnt to walk properly without rushing ahead.)
And not introducing her to other dogs may be to prevent her from getting scared or overwhelmed - you have only had her for three weeks so there hasn't been a lot of time for trust to build up between you yet - she may be planning on introducing your puppy to dogs in a more calmer, managed way later on once your relationship is stronger.
The pack stuff is outdated but I wouldn't dismiss the rest out of hand, as she may be tailoring the training to your dog's individual personality.