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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Training for a puppy

We don't even get to bring our new little guy home until March 30th but I'm looking at all the trainers in the Denver area. That brings me to a question for everyone. Did anyone else do any kind of training or did you just do the training yourself? I'm not looking to do training for socialization, we can get that figured out. We would have the trainer come to our house so my children and husband and I can be on the same page.

We haven't had a dog in 8 years. Our last two dogs were rescue dogs, shepherd mixes, and one was very abused. We had them before children. They were not good around other people, and a lot of that was us not training them. They were great, lived long happy lives and I miss them like crazy. This new puppy will be our first golden retriever.

I'm willing to spend money to train - I'm also amazed at what people are charging - it's all over the place. Some of the people I talk to don't feel like a good fit with my family and others do - but are so expensive. So my question is, has anyone ever just trained on your own? Share everything, I appreciate it! Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:32 PM
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Are you getting your puppy from a reputable breeder in your region? If so, you should be able to get a good referral from her. Or she should have contacts who can help get that information. If you tell us where you are located we can probably help you with ideas. I would start with an obedience club and ask for their suggestions on who would be a good fit to work with a family with kids.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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SW Denver area. We are getting our pup from a good breeder so I will ask her next week. (I'm trying to limit texting her to once a week. lol I'm going crazy and want pictures every hour!!)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:44 PM
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I would also suggest, in addition to your breeder, that you contact the Golden Retriever Club of America in you area to get recommendations for trainers.

"In rescuing animals I lost my mind....but found my soul"
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:17 PM
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I would also suggest, in addition to your breeder, that you contact the Golden Retriever Club of America in you area to get recommendations for trainers.
Excellent idea, Mile Hi Golden Retriever Club is excellent. Mile Hi Golden Retriever Club | Goldens in the Rocky Mountain Region
You might like to attend some of their events, could be a great thing to get involved in.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:04 PM
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Maya is our first golden. Actually first dog with my wife who had zero experience with dogs before. We did a lot of training ourselves, but did ask a trainer to come home for a couple of hours to reassure us. I found it reassuring that we were doing things the "right" way. We also did puppy K which was a huge revelation for us. Maya excelled in the obedience/training part of the class (where you practice sit, down, touch, etc.) but was a total wallflower when it came to playing with other dogs. We actually learnt a lot about her personality from those 4 classes.

Professionals train you which enables you to train your dog. If you feel you need guidance initially it is not a bad idea to have someone come home for a personalized session. In fact it makes sense in your case with kids. Hearing how to do what from a professional will probably ensure your family is aligned on how to train.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:43 PM
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I'm a big fan of group classes: a good class is where dog owners learn to train their dogs. Some kind of early formal training is, IMHO, important with a large, energetic dog like a golden retriever. It's much easier to teach the basics when the pup is small, than to wait until you have an unruly animal weighing 60 lbs upwards.

A good training school will encourage as many family members as possible to come to class, so you all learn at once. And your pup will learn to focus on you even when there are distractions. Don't underestimate the importance of that! Also, the group setting serves as motivation to do your homework, in order to keep up with the other members of the class. And it's less expensive than having a private trainer come to your home.

I'm not sure what you have in mind when you say you have socialization covered. Socialization doesn't mean meeting other dogs: it means getting your pup out into the world in which he'll be living, and exposing him to different environments, sights, sounds, people, floor surfaces, etc. Group class will accomplish all of that, within a structured setting. A pup who has good, early experiences with other people will have a greater chance of being good with people when he's older. A pup who's been taken to different places and exposed to different things will be easier to live with later.

Best of luck, whatever you decide. Have fun with your pup!

Christine

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My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:35 PM
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I generally do training on my own, but I've been training dogs for a very long time. But I occasionally do classes, too, for certain things.

Christine, I think you would definitely benefit from having a trainer over, but also from doing group classes. Group classes are great because you get to watch others going through the process, too.

Just don't rely on a trainer to train your puppy. Because, here's the thing about dog training: It's not the dog that needs the training, it's the people. The dogs already know how to do everything. The people need to learn how to work with their dogs. They need to learn what they can and cannot expect from their dogs, the importance of consistency, techniques for motivating and communicating with their dogs, and problem solving, among other things.

Dog trainers train people, not dogs. Oh, they can work with your dog, get your dog going great and take your money, but as soon as they are out the door you're right back in the same problem, and clueless. Get a trainer who will train you. Then you can train your dog. Get all the family members learning about training, so everyone is on the same page and your puppy doesn't get confused by all the mixed messages.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Great advice from everyone! Thank you! Yes, we are the ones that need the training. One of the trainers wants to do a pre-puppy visit to go over what to do as soon as the pup comes home. It's $150 for 1 hour with the whole family. And $125 per session (for 5 sessions) after that with the puppy.

A lot of the classes are only allowing 1 parent/1 child and that doesn't work for us. We all want to be involved.

I will keep searching and I just know the right fit will come. Thanks again everyone. Love this forum!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christine1010 View Post
... One of the trainers wants to do a pre-puppy visit to go over what to do as soon as the pup comes home. It's $150 for 1 hour with the whole family. And $125 per session (for 5 sessions) after that with the puppy.

A lot of the classes are only allowing 1 parent/1 child and that doesn't work for us. We all want to be involved. ...
Have you actually reached out to the Golden Retriever club and called someone they refer? I really, really think you'll be happiest getting their recommendation. You can find someone you feel good about to come work with your family a few times at home. Do this until the puppy has the necessary 2nd set of shots (most likely what is required or suggested) to go to group class.

THEN, one of the adults takes the puppy to a group training class. The family can still be involved with practicing things but it will tend to go more smoothly if one parent is the 'lead' plus, the class keeps you honest about daily obedience practice and is much more reasonably priced. Then you will have another trainer who knows you and your puppy and can be a resource if you have issues down the road. To be honest, taking classes the whole first year and a half is probably smart if you all have never owned a Golden before. Don't feel that you need to purchase a huge package of private lessons. Private lessons to get you all started on smart puppy management and the basics is great, then go to group. (I promise we really know what we're talking about with this )


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