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I am looking at different training facilities for puppy classes and one of them says they are not a positive only training facility. I asked what that means and they said they use pressure training with a prong or martingale (if I prefer) collar. Upward pressure means sit etc. They said they do use corrections and I asked what kind and he said they use no as well as pressure. I'm okay with no and use no already for things. Fortunately not often. They focus on leadership and communicating with your dog and teaching him behavior, not just obedience.

They also focus on behavior no matter the distraction. Such as teaching your dog to be able to go anywhere with lots of people and not needing to be petted, played with, or acknowledged by every person or dog he sees. This is what my pup thinks now. They do start puppies on treats but the goal is to quickly move to pressure and not rely on treats, then to not needing any tools because you have taught the behavior.

They also offer board and train and have groups for fearful or reactive dogs with good results. I am only interested in their group classes as I have a confident, gregarious puppy and prefer to train him myself and build my relationship with him. They do teach CGC class and have a tester on staff which I am also interested in. They have pack walks where you can practice your skills and puppy supervised play groups after a month of basic puppy classes.

Everything I've read says goldens only respond to positive (treat) training so I am not sure if this approach is appropriate for my puppy. From the videos I've seen from them and talking to them, correction really does mean just letting them know what is not acceptable and focusing on clearly communicating what is acceptable. They say if you aren't saying yes a lot more often than no, you are doing something wrong.

Any thoughts on this? Anyone familiar with pressure training? I have no experience dog training and the other classes I am looking at are all lure and treat which is what I have been doing and what I have mostly read is how you should train goldens.

The place I am looking at is Enzo's Acres just in case anyone asks.
 

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Kristy
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Honestly, at first glance, this does not appear to be where I would start puppy classes with a Golden puppy. They may be very successful handling behavior issues, rescue seems to be a primary focus for them, so it's hard to say. I would not suggest this place to a friend or family member with a new puppy.

I personally would start with an obedience training club like this one: Our Instructors where people all compete in a sport of some kind with their companion dogs and you will likely have some people who can get you off to a good start with treat/reward training to teach your dog. Generally a Golden retriever puppy who is given a strong and consistent foundation in obedience from the beginning of life will not require a lot of force to get good behavior out of him. Prong collars are an excellent tool in the hands of an expert who is trying to correct a dog that has been taught what is expected of him and refuses to listen for some reason. It would not be how you would teach skills and reinforce good behavior. You can keep this trainer in your back pocket in case 18-24 months of consistent, daily obedience work hasn't produced a dog who will walk on leash etc. This would be more a last resort resource.

Seriously, contact your local Golden Retriever Club for a referral or reach out to Vancouver Dog Obedience Club - Golden puppies are the star of the class if you just practice what you learn in class. At this point, there is no need to resort to pressure. Please consider starting somewhere else.
 

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Honestly, if you start your puppies training the day you get them so they don't develop bad behaviors that you would need to break and retrain then you generally won't ever need a corrective collar. If that is the case and you need to break some bad behaviors then a prong collar is fine. I have used a prong collar on dogs I was training but never before 4-5 months of age and never to correct with pops or anything but if a dog is pulling just stand still and let the pup feel the cinch of the prongs and the pup corrects themselves. 2 or 3 sessions of 10 min each usually "explains" to the pup what the unwanted behavior is and what is expected. There is never a reason to ever have to use a prong collar for general and all training and after those 2-3 sessions I go right back to a regular collar.



A trainer using a prong collar to rely on training the dog isn't worth anything. Anyone can put on a training device and force a dog to do something. The point is to make the dog want to do things the right way. If you train only using the prong collar, the dog will not know how to act without it. It makes a regular collar feel like a day and grandma's house where there are no rules and can be knuckleheads.


Not to mention if you give your dog to a place like this to train your dog, when you get it back it likely won't listen to you like it did them since that type of corrective training is really a fear based training system and they won't fear you (nor should they ever) so they won't listen the same to you as they do those trainers. When you train the right way with positive reinforcement. they will generally listen to other people as well and not just the trainer.


Edit:
The big thing to remember with training, is everyone in the house has to use the same commands. You need to sit down as a family and agree and decide on things like down is for lay down and off is when they put there paws on things they shouldn't like jumping up on you. You can't have all but one saying off for jumping up and one person saying down for the same thing. That extends your training time and confuses the pup. Just be consistent and never say a command and not make them do it. That turns commands into suggestions. So if you say sit they don't and are all excited, pull them aside and get their attention and tell them to sit and once they do, then they get the praise and attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. I had a gut feeling this wasn't what I wanted. I was uneasy with the term pressure training despite the positive spin they put on it. I want my puppy to trust me and only know good things from me. I have decided to pass on this facility.

We have been working a lot with just treats and praise and he's learned sit, down, belly-up, and here fairly reliably. We are working on leave it, drop it, and following all commands while distracted. His nose in the yard seems to be his biggest distraction. He gets lots of treats for looking at me, following me, and offering good behavior also.

He is an angel in the crate for 8-9 hours at night without a peep and is pretty much potty trained already but I still keep him confined to two rooms and watch him constantly because I am trying to avoid any accidents and to let him know I'll always take him out.

This is all progress I have made without ever raising my voice or doing any correcting and I have zero experience training dogs. With some help from a positive trainer, I think we can do very well with an all positive approach.

There are two places in town that have positive only classes. Both were recommended by people here. One won't respond to messages and the other I have signed up for.
 

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Kate
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SDTC Classes & Lessons

^^^ This has a list of training locations in your area, I think...

My thoughts/questions when looking for a training location...

1. What is the highest level class offered by the location

- Even if you do not plan on continued dog training after CGC level, it's still helpful if a training location offers regular competition level classes in rally, regular obedience, agility, and whatever else. Why? Because they will do a better job at teaching pups for long term results. They want to get you hooked on training so you will be a long term student who enjoys training your dog.

Locations where they are just shuffling dogs in for early socialization and organized playtime, they are more likely to bring out the harnesses and other controlling devices because if the owners and dogs get stuck using those devices on a permanent basis, it's not their problem.

Other thing though is if you are interested in continuing classes, you can work your way up through the levels at the location - and with a well trained dog who already knows all the foundation skills he needs for those higher levels.

Training at home is very important! But you still need guidance and direction that comes from attending classes once a week. People training alone or at home get "blind" to their mistakes. And their dogs simply learn how to excel at a very low degree of distraction (at home).

2. What is the experience level of the trainer?

- I don't give a darn about education, believe it or not. A lot of young people are trying to take college courses in dog training because they believe this is all they need to get a job in dog training. But understanding dogs comes from working with dogs. It comes from working with a variety of dogs. And it's not stuff you can learn online.

^ I took a handling class yesterday and another today. And both days I was working on different issues. Yesterday it was figuring out leashwork with a dog so he wasn't looking up at me or gaiting with his head too high. Today it was problem solving him being spooked by a bull terrier. Both times the gal teaching the classes knew how to handle and teach me how to handle. This is experience. It's not handling problems by avoidance or by correction even. Neither situation would have been helped by correction. Nor would they have been helped by rewards. Handling skills are learned by hands on experience. This is what you get when you take classes from somebody who learned how to work with dogs by working with MANY dogs.

3. What is the facility like?

- this is of lesser importance, but truly - I generally like taking classes in clean places that are similar to where we would compete.

I watched a youtube video not long ago and it was so bizarre. These were classes given in a garage type place and I can't describe how unlikely the setup was and how it was pointless and I could only imagine it being MISERABLE for people taking the classes.

When I clicked on the Enzo's training pages and saw what the fido walk thing was like - that picture on instagram was pretty similar to what I saw with that youtube video - except it was outside and the dogs were not in a dimly lit garage and climbing over or weaving around obstacles when not waiting in line (and I mean a 2x2 line).

With a good facility, I'd like a lot of space to work my dog - especially if it's group class. I'd like room to keep a bubble around my dog. I'd also like room to MOVE out with my dog.

Ages ago, I took classes with somebody who always separated the large dogs from the little dogs. Little dogs worked in a smaller ring in the center while the larger dogs worked in a big ring on the outside of that smaller ring. <= This was ideal, because little dogs are not going to move out. And if you are in a group class with a big dog, it's miserable taking half steps because there's a little dog waddling in front of you! LOL.

4. Descriptions of training - positive only or pressure based or ?

- Sometimes when a location advertises that they are positive only, I think that's nice... but... sometimes those trainers can be pretty depressing and negative to train with. I've trained with (meaning we take classes together) various people who follow different methods and ideas for training. And there's 1-2 people who advertise as positive only, but ohgosh. I'd hate taking classes from them. It's taking dog training and making it super difficult when you can take a more direct and simpler route to teaching something. I take lessons from somebody who is primarily positive handling and I enjoy those classes. Another person I had no idea she was positive only until I was chatting with her. She's somebody who is very pleasant and low-key and has fun with her dogs. She doesn't make dog training a chore for herself or for them - and does take simpler routes to teaching them. Her dogs all wear buckle collars for training - it was something I never noticed because she doesn't make a big deal about it. Taking classes form her would be very pleasant I think.

Any training location with K9 in the name or clear signs of being "that" type of training (police dog based, lot of corrections and heavy handed, etc) - I avoid like the plague.

Pressure training - this is the first time I've heard that tag and probably depends on what exactly they mean by pressure. If this is "sit means sit" type training... that would be a huge and rapid skip for me. I never "force" my dogs to do something. And I don't handle my dogs roughly.

Balanced trainer - is a tag that's used by a variety of trainers. I would use it myself, but balanced for me means 99% positive only and 1% corrections. I do know of people out there who call themselves balanced trainers, but they use ecollars on their dogs in obedience - and they are out there zapping the dogs to force them to do stuff and they are pinching and twisting dog ears to again force them to do stuff. That's a kind of thing that makes me cringe (and a lot of other people as well).

^ My point is tags are not helpful as sitting and watching classes and seeing what goes on. Watching different people and learning their different training styles means more than a simplistic tag that they might use to describe their training style.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The big thing to remember with training, is everyone in the house has to use the same commands. You need to sit down as a family and agree and decide on things like down is for lay down and off is when they put there paws on things they shouldn't like jumping up on you. You can't have all but one saying off for jumping up and one person saying down for the same thing. That extends your training time and confuses the pup. Just be consistent and never say a command and not make them do it. That turns commands into suggestions. So if you say sit they don't and are all excited, pull them aside and get their attention and tell them to sit and once they do, then they get the praise and attention.
This is an issue. My husband and I agreed that I would choose the commands since I am the one home all day working with him and the one who did lots of reading on positive training. However, he forgets what I've told him sometimes and gives different commands. He is really bad about repeating a command several times instead of waiting or luring him after saying it once. Fortunately, he doesn't mind me correcting him. Despite this, Butters is still learning. We are working on it. I keep reminding him.

On the other hand, both my son and husband are doing great at having him sit before they greet and play with them upon coming home every day. So far he doesn't jump on visitors or us when greeting.

We won't be perfect but we got a golden so I don't think we have to be. It just might take a little longer than if we knew what we were doing ;-)

Your suggestion to take them aside is a good one and I will definitely try that. So far, when he doesn't listen outside, we quit playing and come in even if I have to pick him up and bring him in. Next time, I will bring him in and have him do the commands he didn't listen to with praise and treats.
 

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Your suggestion to take them aside is a good one and I will definitely try that. So far, when he doesn't listen outside, we quit playing and come in even if I have to pick him up and bring him in. Next time, I will bring him in and have him do the commands he didn't listen to with praise and treats.

Yeah, don't do that, don't take them in and play time is over. That situation is the most ideal time to get the most out of your training. When you have a Golden pup, they are the ADD poster children at it's finest. You have to teach the look or look at me command. So when you get a time like this pull them to the side and lure them to look at you with a treat if you have too. Once they make eye contact release a treat and praise. The more you do this in crazy hyper times is when you get the most out of it. Your pup will always be excited to meet other people and dogs so you know that in those situations if you can get their attention and listen to a command, your pup has arrived and honing that is what's next. It won't be prefect for a while but being able to get their attention is such a huge win in any puppies training.
 

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I agree with looking for a training club in your area. Never correct a puppy while you’re teaching something new. Mine do get corrected when they don’t do something....but they have also been taught what is expected.
 

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Yeah, don't do that, don't take them in and play time is over. That situation is the most ideal time to get the most out of your training. When you have a Golden pup, they are the ADD poster children at it's finest. You have to teach the look or look at me command. So when you get a time like this pull them to the side and lure them to look at you with a treat if you have too. Once they make eye contact release a treat and praise. The more you do this in crazy hyper times is when you get the most out of it. Your pup will always be excited to meet other people and dogs so you know that in those situations if you can get their attention and listen to a command, your pup has arrived and honing that is what's next. It won't be prefect for a while but being able to get their attention is such a huge win in any puppies training.
My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!
 

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SDTC Classes & Lessons

^^^ This has a list of training locations in your area, I think...

The place I decided to go with is on this list and is close to me. I talked to the trainer and she was really nice and helpful. I haven't seen the facility but it is close to me and worth a try. Most of the others on the list are at least an hour's drive from me and involve heavy traffic through Portland.

Dog Days Training in Vancouver is the one I signed up for. I feel much better about this place than I did the others.
 

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My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!

You need to do the training outside where there are distractions. Every puppy is a star in the house. You should get a 30 or 50 foot cotton web lead for outside. This way they think they can run and run but you can corral them. The whole point is work in areas with distractions.
 

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Not sure what they mean by pressure-its not necessarily a bad thing. I train horses and use a pressure and release method of training. Which at the basics means that when I pick up the right rein and take out all the slack (putting light pressure on the horse's mouth) I keep that pressure there until the horse even slightly moves his nose to the right, then I drop that rein to give him a release. The release is his reward-horses don't like the pressure so will move around til they find the release; eventually they learn that moving their nose to the right was what gave the release-which is why giving the release at the exact right moment is so important; if you release before the horse moves his nose, you will teach him that pulling against the rein is what you want and you will have a very poorly trained horse. <- That's very basic first step type stuff that you do with a young horse even before you get in the saddle, but an example of pressure and release training.
With dogs, I apply similar principles. For instance, teaching sit, I push gently on the puppy's rear while gently pulling up on the leash. When he sits, he is immediately rewarded. For goldens, I actually typically don't use treats. I find that they are often too food oriented and focus too much on the food rather than what they are being taught and end up not really learning it. I find that goldens are such people pleasers that an exuberant "Good dog!" and petting are perfectly acceptable rewards for them. I might give treats at the very beginning of learning something, but that's about it.
I'm also hesitant to recommend "positive only" trainers. It sounds like a good thing, but too many of them have you rewarding your dog for bad behavior because, hey we're all about positive. You can absolutely tell your dog no when his behavior is not acceptable. But many positive trainers would tell you to never correct your dog, just shove treats at them instead. (thereby effectively teaching them to continue that bad behavior since they got food for it.) I agree with others about finding a trainer who actually competes and has titles in AKC obedience or agility or what ever.
And prong collars can be a wonderful thing for a stubborn dog when fitted and used correctly. My sister, dad, and mom got a husky/lab mix puppy who just turned 1. My sister does the training and she listens very well to her-she walks her with just a flat buckle collar and she doesn't pull (or if she does, my sister just gives her a pop on the leash and tells her to heel and she's back to paying attention). She listens to my dad too. My mom, however, has never been much of a trainer. All of our dogs have always known that she will let them get away with more stuff. She doesn't want to let them get by with stuff, and tries to correct them, but she just isn't very authoritative I guess. Anyway, she's in her 60's and was getting to the point where she was afraid to take the puppy on a walk because they live on top of a hill so have to go downhill to walk and mom was afraid she would get pulled over by the puppy, especially when they would scare up a rabbit or something. So I bought a prong collar and got it fitted to the puppy and showed my mom how to use it. Its been a lifesaver for my mom as she can now enjoy her walks with the puppy. We never had to use a prong on our goldens though, so it really depends on the dog. Our goldens we had from breeders at 8 weeks old though, and the husky/lab they didn't get til she was like 4 months or so (craigslist rescue), so that could make a difference too since we always start training our puppies right away.
 

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Puddles
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I'm glad you found a place to help you learn how to deal with your pup. As far as running your acre and not responding... put the pup on a long line. Remember this dog doesn't speak people yet. Never allow a situation that you cannot control with a pup. You want to create a situation where your puppy can be successful. Your pup has no clue what you expect from him until he learns the words, until then keep on a leash. He is doing what he knows how to do, be a hunting dog. It's up to you to teach him other behaviors and the training group will help you do this.
It's like kids running through the mall and their parents running after them screaming... the kids do this because they can :)

As far as the training... corrections can only be applied after the dog understands the command and is refusing to comply. While this Kohlar method works for several breeds (German Shepherds, Doberman, rottweiler) a golden takes corrections personal and can have a melt down trying to figure out what they did wrong. Training a golden follows the thought that you will get better results with honey than vinegar.

Enjoy the process of training, these guys learn quickly. Have fun.
 

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You need to do the training outside where there are distractions. Every puppy is a star in the house. You should get a 30 or 50 foot cotton web lead for outside. This way they think they can run and run but you can corral them. The whole point is work in areas with distractions.
There are two situations that happen outside typically, aside from potty. The first is we go out there when he's full of energy and wants to play. This goes well. We play tug with a towel. We practice drop it with this intermittently. Then when he gets it and plops down with his prize, I'll walk about 30-50 feet away and call him. He comes running as fast as he can (sometimes with the towel and sometimes without) and loves this game. In the evenings, we do it with my husband and I taking turns. He is focused on me (or us) and plays and comes reliably.

We also work on retrieving a bit. He likes to do short fetch games in the house but outside I only get one or two retrieves before he gets bored. I am hoping he will like this game more eventually as I want to use it when he's bigger to tire him out.

The other situation is, he wants to explore. I do this on leash and let him sniff around the yard and follow him. I am not sure if this is good or not. I just wanted him to be able to explore. He has some favorite areas that he likes to sniff and stick his nose in. I can't even get him to turn his head to look at me when he is sniffing. I don't exist until he reaches the end of that leash which happens when he gets near something I don't want him near Even then he doesn't look at me, just goes a different direction. Perhaps I shouldn't let him wander like this until he learns to look at and take direction better?

The big problem lies when we are playing the off leash game and his nose takes over and he starts sniffing, or he gets near the blueberry bushes where for some reason he likes to dig. He gets underneath them and it becomes a difficult chase game to get him out.

I will try the long lead where he can't get to those bushes. That will work and we can still play our game without the option of reaching the bushes, shed, or rock pile that gets his nose going. My husband is also going to put a little fence up around the blueberries this weekend since they are irresistible to Butters and the hardest area to get him away from. It seems we are being trained more than the dog ;-) I expected that.
 

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Not sure what they mean by pressure-its not necessarily a bad thing. I train horses and use a pressure and release method of training. Which at the basics means that when I pick up the right rein and take out all the slack (putting light pressure on the horse's mouth) I keep that pressure there until the horse even slightly moves his nose to the right, then I drop that rein to give him a release. The release is his reward-horses don't like the pressure so will move around til they find the release; eventually they learn that moving their nose to the right was what gave the release-which is why giving the release at the exact right moment is so important; if you release before the horse moves his nose, you will teach him that pulling against the rein is what you want and you will have a very poorly trained horse. <- That's very basic first step type stuff that you do with a young horse even before you get in the saddle, but an example of pressure and release training.
With dogs, I apply similar principles. For instance, teaching sit, I push gently on the puppy's rear while gently pulling up on the leash. When he sits, he is immediately rewarded. For goldens, I actually typically don't use treats. I find that they are often too food oriented and focus too much on the food rather than what they are being taught and end up not really learning it. I find that goldens are such people pleasers that an exuberant "Good dog!" and petting are perfectly acceptable rewards for them. I might give treats at the very beginning of learning something, but that's about it.
I'm also hesitant to recommend "positive only" trainers. It sounds like a good thing, but too many of them have you rewarding your dog for bad behavior because, hey we're all about positive. You can absolutely tell your dog no when his behavior is not acceptable. But many positive trainers would tell you to never correct your dog, just shove treats at them instead. (thereby effectively teaching them to continue that bad behavior since they got food for it.) I agree with others about finding a trainer who actually competes and has titles in AKC obedience or agility or what ever.
And prong collars can be a wonderful thing for a stubborn dog when fitted and used correctly. My sister, dad, and mom got a husky/lab mix puppy who just turned 1. My sister does the training and she listens very well to her-she walks her with just a flat buckle collar and she doesn't pull (or if she does, my sister just gives her a pop on the leash and tells her to heel and she's back to paying attention). She listens to my dad too. My mom, however, has never been much of a trainer. All of our dogs have always known that she will let them get away with more stuff. She doesn't want to let them get by with stuff, and tries to correct them, but she just isn't very authoritative I guess. Anyway, she's in her 60's and was getting to the point where she was afraid to take the puppy on a walk because they live on top of a hill so have to go downhill to walk and mom was afraid she would get pulled over by the puppy, especially when they would scare up a rabbit or something. So I bought a prong collar and got it fitted to the puppy and showed my mom how to use it. Its been a lifesaver for my mom as she can now enjoy her walks with the puppy. We never had to use a prong on our goldens though, so it really depends on the dog. Our goldens we had from breeders at 8 weeks old though, and the husky/lab they didn't get til she was like 4 months or so (craigslist rescue), so that could make a difference too since we always start training our puppies right away.
That's what I thought pressure training was as well. In my reading, loose leash walking with a martingale collar is done this way. We have tried a bit of this. I am not opposed to gentle pressure to communicate and direct.

I hate prong collars and will never put one on my dog. My father-in-law uses one on his standard poodle (not correctly) and It makes me sick whenever he yanks on it and makes the dog yip in pain. He does this while yelling and the dog clearly doesn't know what he's supposed to do. It is really painful to watch and hard to not do something. I do understand that there is a correct way to use them. My aversion to them is personal.

I agree that some positive only is too much if it rewards bad behavior. I am also not opposed to telling my dog no. We do this already. I don't yell but I do firmly say no to unacceptable behavior such as chewing on furniture or baseboards. I direct him away and give him an appropriate chew toy, which he happily takes. He seems to want to please. Then I praise him for chewing on the appropriate chew toy.

It's funny but Butters listens to me more than my husband even though I am the bigger softie. I think that's just because I work with him more being the one home all day.

I hope we will do well with the trainer I signed up for. They do teach competition obedience. If not, I'll look somewhere else. I certainly don't want to start with correction if it's not necessary.
 

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The place I decided to go with is on this list and is close to me. I talked to the trainer and she was really nice and helpful. I haven't seen the facility but it is close to me and worth a try. Most of the others on the list are at least an hour's drive from me and involve heavy traffic through Portland.

Dog Days Training in Vancouver is the one I signed up for. I feel much better about this place than I did the others.
Dog Days in fantastic! We've been going there for 5 years and have done puppy class all the way through Novice.
 

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My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!
I have a similar situation; large yard that attaches off of the garage. I just keep a bag of treats near the door. Everytime he comes back toward you and gives you his attention, call his name and treat him. You can let him know you have the treat if he's really distracted, but don't call him unless you know he'll come.You can do this multiple times in a session before you bring him back inside.
 

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I have a similar situation; large yard that attaches off of the garage. I just keep a bag of treats near the door. Everytime he comes back toward you and gives you his attention, call his name and treat him. You can let him know you have the treat if he's really distracted, but don't call him unless you know he'll come.You can do this multiple times in a session before you bring him back inside.
I am a walking treat dispenser. I now only wear sweatshirts or fleeces with pockets full of treats. I am sure I smell like dog food all the time ;-)

This is what I do but I haven't tried not keeping him in after doing it. Great suggestion. Next time I'll let him go back out a few times. It's the same concept as out in the yard and letting him play more after a recall but I hadn't thought about doing it at the door too.

I spoke with Dee from Dog Days for quite awhile on the phone. I think we'll like it there. I wish I could do more than one class a week but it looks like I can once we get through puppy class and companion 1 successfully. She said it usually takes more than one round of companion 1 to be ready for companion 2 or the other classes. She also said goldens are a bit harder because they are just so excited around other people and getting over the distractions is difficult for them.
 

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Jay S.
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We can never dismiss pressure training because even with treats you will need some sort of pressure. For example: to teach sit you usually pull up on the collar and gently push down on the bottom. That is pressure. How about jumping up? Do you give them a push with a knee followed by a "no" (pressure again) or just give them treats and positive praise when no jumping. Some sort of pressure is always needed. There should always be positive training including "good dog", pets and lots of praise when commands or tasks have been done correctly. Relative to prong/pinch collars I prefer them to a "choke" chain. I feel it applies a more even pressure and never will cause a dog to choke when they start pulling. However, both can be used effectively. Relative to picking a trainer or a group check with those that use the trainer and how it is going. Lastly, I like to work a puppy without distractions first then bring those in later once each command or task is mastered. Training a puppy with a bunch of other dogs would not be preferred.
 

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Jay S.
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71 Posts
My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!
My young dogs always have a check cord and small pinch collar attached to them when running around in a bigger field or yard during training. A very thin cord for a 8 week old puppy and obviously something larger for a bigger dog. Before you call the dog go find the end of the check cord, call, apply pressure on the cord as needed and reward as you see fit once your dog is recalled. Do this consistently and then again with distractions (kids playing, around toys, etc..) and you will have solve this problem. Hint for bigger dogs that are big runners....use gloves! Also, do not leave a pinch or choke collar on your dog when you are not with them.
 
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