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Re: Training

Posted by:  Heather Reid
Posted on:  November 06, 2001 at 12:02:02

In Reply to: Training
Posted by:  MaryEllen Magee
Posted on:  November 06, 2001 at 10:55:58

Question:

: Hello. We have a five month old jack russell terrier, Max. We have had Max for 5 weeks. Last night, Max had a vet appointment, his 3rd one, and had his final shot. After the vet appt, we had a dog trainer visit us for the first time for a lesson in our home. Today, Max is very distrustful, won't come to us, and is hesitant when touched. He is not his normal puppy self, is very shaky, and wont play. I am concerned - this is the first time I have seen the lack of trust towards us. The training session consisted of using a chain collar and walking two steps, dog on the left, then having him sit. This was repeated several times. A pull to the chain was used to get him to sit. Any thoughts as to what might cause this change in behavior - is it a reaction to the vet visit, or perhaps the training? I am rethinking this form of training if this is the effect it has on our dog.

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Hi MaryEllen,
It could be that Max is reacting to the training, it could be he is feeling fevered and yucky after his vaccinations or it could be partially both. I would speak to my vet about this.
As far as the training, this type would not be my first choice. I prefer a method where I am teaching my dog what I want him to do, not only reacting (pulling neck) when he does something wrong. It can be very confusing and frustrating to a dog to be told primarily "no" in a situation where they do not understand what is expected of them. It can also be frightening. Positive reinforcement methods focus on what the dog does right. I've found it to be much more effective long-term.
Bottomline, no matter the kind of training, if you are not 100% comfortable with it, don't continue with it. Max will pick up with your discomfort, and it will make things more confusing and harder for him. There is also nothing wrong with delaying your next session until you've had some time to think it over or to observe other training methods to see if they are preferable to you. I'd talk to the trainer about your concerns also; she should be more than willing to have a frank, intelligent conversation with you about it.
good luck!
Heather