Seeking help for Simone

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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Sailboat
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Seeking help for Simone

Postby Sailboat » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:31 pm

We need to try to do something about Simone's behavior...either a trainer or a behaviorist. To grossly oversimplfiy a complex and subtle behavioral suite, she practices passive resistance a lot of the time when being walked; she can get really stubborn and just decline to participate.

I haven't noticed reviews of trainers posted here. Is it board practice to ask for recommendations? For opinions on specific trainers?

We live in Northern Virginia. I'm not quite sure how to get started.

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:56 pm

No advice but I hope you find someone who works for you all!

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Nickdawg
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Postby Nickdawg » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:12 pm

argh - typed out and lost my post!

short version- wow! Nick used to do that -refuse to walk or go a certain way! so frustrating!! think alot was due to arthritis although he was stubborn - was much better on meds - is that a possibility? is it about the surface - grass vs pavement perhaps? the collar? Nick refused to walk when I tried the loopy harness thing - ha! no go for sure!

long ago so not alot of tips - I did learn not to go too far if he was in that mood as hassle getting back. I do recall throwing treats ahead (or his ball) to get him going and praise.

best to get a trainer- maybe pm red for recommendations?

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MarMar
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby MarMar » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:53 am

I agree that she should be thoroughly vet checked to start... here's a link to some ideas on finding a trainer/behaviourist:

http://themarlotrust.wordpress.com/find ... al-to-you/

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UnconventionalLove
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby UnconventionalLove » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:26 pm


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Amie
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby Amie » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:40 am

http://yourdogsfriend.org/

Where in Northern VA (feel free to message me) - I can get you some more specific names. Jeni Grant comes to mind. She's terrific, but I'm not positive of her service area.

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Sailboat
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby Sailboat » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:57 pm

Thanks for the support.

Does anyone have an opinion on this guy: Mark Reed, Exceptional Dog Training?

My wife liked his website, but I am a little hesitant -- one or two references to "when your dog respects you" made me worry he might be on the other side of the dominance theory from my philosophy. I lean toward Sophia Yin's writings on dominance (that it has been both misunderstood and over-emphasized). Maybe I am projecting my concerns onto him unfairly, however -- my wife found him in a few minutes of Googling, which may have prejudiced me.

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Amie
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby Amie » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:37 pm

I have no experience with him, but despite his claims that he is up to date, he's definitely pushing some old fashioned thinking with all his "be the leader" stuff (still talking about walking through doors first? NOT current in the least) I did find it amusing that he said "not every certified dog trainer is a certified puppy trainer" and then didn't say that he was, or where he was certified (if he was, and since CPDT is the only true certifying group that isn't a certificate of course completion, and they don't offer a puppy version....) Overall his website is more vague than I'd like - I like to see clear guidelines of what methods they'll use, and what tools they won't.

So as much as my vote counts in your family decision (tons, right?) I'd say no to him.

You might also try http://www.trulydogfriendly.com in addition to the http://petprofessionalguild.com/DogTrainingMembers that was linked above.

On Pet Professional Guild, I'm familiar with (and would feel comfortable recommending):
Melissa Chow http://www.pawsofchange.com
Ariana Kincaid http://www.operationsocialization.com
who are both in VA

and in DC (are you that far north?)
Pen Brown http://www.phibetak9.com

And MD folks who might go to NoVA
Lisa Arant http://www.smallandtalldogtraining.com
Jeni Grant http://www.trainyourbestfriend.com
Sarah Stoycos http://www.laughingdogacademy.com


I would also trust the recommendations of any of these people.
There are others in MD that I know, but I think they're likely out of your distance area.

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tiva
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Re: Seeking help for Simone

Postby tiva » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:23 pm

Sailboat wrote:We need to try to do something about Simone's behavior...either a trainer or a behaviorist. To grossly oversimplfiy a complex and subtle behavioral suite, she practices passive resistance a lot of the time when being walked; she can get really stubborn and just decline to participate.


As another poster suggested, please schedule a thorough vet checkup, focusing on joints, particularly hips. Pitbulls have some of the highest rates of hip dysplasia, and pain can make any dog reluctant on a walk. A thyroid test would also be helpful.

I'd also suggest that you try clicker training. Focus on marking and rewarding every tiny step towards the behavior you want.

Rather than thinking of Simone as being stubborn and refusing to walk, instead reframe your expectations, so your goal is just to walk 20 yards in the front yard. Click and treat every tiny approximation of happy, enthusiastic walking. Keep it short, fun, and upbeat, so she looks forward to the next lovely walk, short as it might be. Simone might be afraid or nervous, rather than stubborn, so keeping walks very short and full of positive rewards might help her relax and be more interested in walking with you.

Also try short walks that go back and forth from a central point (like a pendulum), going a little further in each direction on each pass. This way, if you or your dog feels that the walk has been long enough, you don't have far to go to get home or back to the car.

For exercise, walks really aren't particularly good. Flirtpoles are often a better alternative--but only if the vet doesn't find any joint, thyroid, or pain issues.


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