What to look for in a Trainer or Behaviourist

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by RAINYBOW, Apr 15, 2010.


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  1. leashedForLife

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    yipe.......
     
  2. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    I have had reg trainers ,try to help with us and the dog, i also have a sister who has been trainer for over 30 yrs and all just throw hands in air after trying to train our dog !!!! :scared:
     
  3. leashedForLife

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    horse manure - this is just a SALES PITCH - here's the "join" page for that signature link:
    puppy training classes = http://www.woofdogtrainingacademy.com/join/

    Edited to add - (6:30-pm, Wed Dec-8)
    either *daphne or an unknown moderator removed the sig-link, as i reported it to the mods at approx 12:45-am, and it was already gone when westie-ma responded -
    i am keeping this cautionary note here, as the many SALES PITCHES for such 'e-books', subscription services, trainers-ads, etc, all use similar promises of wonderful results,
    speed, guarantees, and so on. remember - if it sounds too-good to be true, it generally is. :huh:

    so where is "Craig" and who is "daphne"? :thumbdown:
    - terry
     
    #43 leashedForLife, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  4. The Dog Woman

    The Dog Woman PetForums Junior

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    This doesn't make them good, it only makes them 'qualified'.
    I have sat in front of countless so-called 'qualified' people in various fields, all of whom knew the theory of their subject inside out, but were hopeless at putting it into practice.
    It's rather like remembering your favourite teacher at school. That special something made them stand out.
    It was the way they reached you and hit all the right buttons.
    Why don't we remember ALL our teachers in the same light? because they didn't connect with us in the same way.

    It's the same with this.

    It doesn't matter whether a person has letters after their name, have spent hundreds of pounds with an organisation to get some kind of visible diploma/certificate/qualification. if they can't come up with the goods and convince you that they're good, and prove it too... then all their posturing is worth diddly-squat.
    It's the same with anybody with nothing to their name, and nothing to show for their claims.

    It all comes down to results. And sometimes, you have to sift through a lot of lost marbles before coming up with a triumph.

    In the end, it unfortunately just boils down to trial, error and personal experience.

    Even in the so-called realms of Accreditation, qualification and certification, there is such a broad spectrum of opinion, theory and education, that it simply cannot be standardised....It's a minefield, and much as credible organisations are doing their very best to make good this anomaly, it's an uphill struggle, with all these new associations, clubs, organisations companies and bodies getting in on the act.

    ~~~~~

    I completely agree with the following:.

     
    #44 The Dog Woman, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
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  5. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Strange as it may seem, I actually agree with you! The reason I, personally, point out the appropriate organisations is to try to prevent an innocent from going to someone like the useless cow I had the misfortune of getting (see my earlier post on this thread). If you don't know any better, and don't have any personal recommendation, far better to spend your money on someone who is recognised that take your chances with someone who does not know one end of a dog from the other.

    This woman firstly seemed to be annoyed that Ferdie was well behaved without any assistance from her, new nothing whatever about giant breeds and tried to tell me he should have two hours run per day, at the age of ten months, and also tried to tell me that he had to go out as soon as he woke up. He was ten months old and fully housetrained, so I could see no reasoning behind this, and when I bluntly asked her for a reason, she did not have one. I called her out because he was afraid of the car. She just tried the same things I had already tried, and never managed to get him in.

    The second lady I had, who was recommended, had no qualifications that I know of, but she did get him in with lots of games and treats and I would recommend her to anyone.

    Just don't want people falling into the wrong hands, that's all.
     
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  6. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    We have our first session with a behaviourist today - am just off in a bit. She is registered with APDT, CABT & COAPE & sounded really good when I spoke to her previously.

    Fingers crossed it will go well & she can give me some more advice regarding my new dog.
     
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  7. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Everyone has horror stories about this professional and that but the fact is that the training and behaviour industries are totally unregulated. As such there must be somewhere to start and membership to professional organisations that have minimum standards and strict ethics is a crucial start.

    That's all it is however, a start. Like with any professional after that its buyer beware and assessment of a potential hire is a must.

    A thorough analysis of the short lists websites is a good place to start with after that. Narrow it down and then interview AND observe the chosen few. Its your money and its your dog's health so be no less thorough than that.

    Ridiculing or dismissing someone because they have qualifications and standards is silly and downright dangerous. As I have said already in this thread somewhere, other healthcare professionals require minimum standards of education AND experience so why shouldn't one of the crucial links - behavioural, emotional and psychological health is as important as physiological health.
    But the attitude in society is that it isn't and this is one of the reasons that outdated, disproven and downright inaccuracies about dogs and dog behaviour still form the basis for training and behaviour modification. And dogs continue to suffer.
     
  8. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Certainly agree with that. There was a time when anybody with a driving licence could set themselves up as a driving instructor, even if they had only just passed their test. How dangerous was that? Now, of course, it is illegal and imprisonable to charge for driving lessons if you do not hold the proper licence.

    I don't expect dog behaviour to come under a similar law for many, many years, but it is important to be able to point people in the right direction.
     
  9. The Dog Woman

    The Dog Woman PetForums Junior

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    I completely concur with the whole of your post. But unfortunately, the only way sometimes, that people know to not fall into the wrong hands - is to find them in the first place!

    Yes, I see your point, and I do agree with this. It has to start from somewhere....



    I would hope you are not referring to me...I am doing nothing of the kind....
    I'm referring to those who have qualifications and standards - yet are still absolutely hopeless at what they do. There should be a better and more frequent assessment system. like a probationary/apprentice period....


    I agree, they are, but there doesn't seem to be one set, standard, widely approved-of or generally accepted methodology. And two doctors have been struck off in my neck of the woods alone, in the past year, for malpractice. And one was a Consultant. So even in the sectors where one would think a set register of regulation and guidelines exists, some still get through the net. I'm just saying, nothing is infallible, no system will ever bring perfection. No matter how well-intentioned the original premise....

    What would you suggest....?
    It's all very well decrying matters as they stand, but do you have an alternative that might work better?

    And please take nothing above as intentionally argumentative or contrary. I think responsible people (such as I hope we are), are those who can move mountains if we join forces....
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    But an inexperienced dog owner, one who has never had a dog before, might not know they have fallen into the wrong hands. Someone has a website and bit of signwriting on the side of their vehicle, saying they are a dog behaviourist, and people believe it. Then the person comes, talks a load of rubbish, and people believe it, which does more harm to the dog and the relationship with its owner than if they had just let well alone.

    Luckily for me, I am not an inexperienced dog owner and knew about my particular breed before I bought him, or I could have ended with a dog with damaged joints because of her. She was also more interested in selling me things than anything else and even seemed put out that I was feeding him Royal Canin instead of something cheap, so she couldn't sell me any dog food.

    I had just never come across a dog who had a fear of the car before. My retriever never liked it much, but he still went in and you can't exactly pick up a newfie and lift him in, can you?

    Now he just jumps in, all thanks to the second lady I had out.
     
  11. The Dog Woman

    The Dog Woman PetForums Junior

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    Yes, I agree with this, and I've come across owners who have fallen for this,and it's heartbreaking. But the fact is, that a lot of the time, the idiots setting themselves up as Dog Trainers/behaviourists, who turn out to be inept, do nothing to cure a problem. What's more, it's highly likely they actually either make the problem worse, or create new ones. And this prompts the owners to have to do more, unfortunately.
    I say 'unfortunately', because the "more" is not always constructive, sadly.

    Sometimes, the only cure for this attitude is a bullet to the back of the head. It's so much kinder, don't you think...?? :D (I am kidding....!)

    I love reading your posts.... You're precisely the kind of person a good behaviourist loves to work with. Or more accurately, is delighted they actually don't have to work with too much, if at all!

    My own personal experience was that my dog was not so much afraid of the car, as what getting into the car resulted in.
    Travelling along at weird speeds, through all kinds of places she had no clue about, and in something that she had no control over....That's why she was so resistant to getting in at all.
    It took a while but once I got her confident in getting into the car, after a while she was as comfortable about getting into the car as she was about going up and down stairs.

    I'm so glad you found a good 'un! Well done you......!
     
  12. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I think with Ferdie he was more scared of where he might be going. When we got him he had already had a hernia operation, so it is likely that his only trip in the car was to something unpleasant. Then his second time in the car he had to leave his playmates and come away with us.

    Once we had taken him somewhere he liked a few times, I didn't need the ramp or the treats any more because he couldn't wait to get in. I still have to lift Joshua in, with my son's help, because he has arthritis in his front knees and I am not sure he has the strength to lift himself up. I won't try to teach him to get in by himself, just in case he does himself more damage.
     
  13. The Dog Woman

    The Dog Woman PetForums Junior

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    Excellent point. Worth looking at the history, of course....!

    Oh bless.... Bet you'd NEVER swap him for a yorkie though.....;)
    Your dogs sound wonderful.
    I knew a girl in France who had a Newfie, and she couldn't go swimming in the river, unless her husband took him off for a walk to distract him... otherwise she couldn't get further than ankle-deep before he tried to shove her out.....

    Sorry. O/T.
     
  14. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I wouldn't swap my Joshie Washie for anything. He is a real sweetheart, really well behaved, very calm, walks on just his collar and lead. I am planning on applying for him to be a PAT dog, because he is so calm. He costs me a fortune in medicines and as he is only two, will hopefully go on for a long time yet.

    I am not a small dog person. I love all dogs, but would not go out of my way to own a little one. I like a dog to look like a dog.
     
  15. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    I was not referring to anyone specifically.

    With reference to accepted methodology, there is and there isn't. Among enlightened and educated professionals there is quite a bit of well regarded, valid and objective work on how animals learn, how aversives affect learning, canid behaviour so this is what methodology is drawn from, or should be. Among those on the dark side, not so much :D ;)

    But this is also why standards are so important. Otherwise those doctors wouldn't have been struck off so that nobody else is affected. When there are standards and procedures these things are possible - in the training and behaviour industries this is not.

    There are three trainers here who were removed from a well known international professional trainers organisation as they did not comply with its strict code of ethics/practice - this is good. But what did they do next? They have started a self regulated and self assessed trainers group here :mad:

    As regards suggestions: the only way to improve animal welfare is to improve owner education. That means that professionals must be educated. The industry must be standardised so as to recognise these basics. This means that individuals who take after the next tv trainer can't start to damage dogs for a fee.

    As regards my own individual effort: I am academically qualified so that I can work on complex issues and have an indepth understanding of treatment methodologies and able to interpret research work so as to use this to develop behaviour modification.
    I run a pet dog training business and work with vets, other professionals and a voluntary rescue group. Between professional and voluntary work I have seen over 1000 dogs and getting closer to 2000 dogs everyday.
    I teach animal care workers and pet owners. I am a member of a number of international networking and education groups for behaviour professionals. I run a blog with training articles and programs free for anyone to use. I am a founding member of APDT Ireland (all founding members have been independently assessed) and we are working to establish professional and educational standards for trainers here so pet owners have a safe place from which to source training help.

    But it has to be about educating pet owners.
     
  16. The Dog Woman

    The Dog Woman PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for your considered and articulate, gentle reply. I appreciate your taking the time.

    it's all food for thought and worth noting.

    Incidentally, I have started a thread on a similar topic, regarding irresponsible breeders/owners....
     
  17. Sgril

    Sgril PetForums Newbie

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    As afaithful animal a trainer and behaviourist is needed.He should be efficient and good worker and can handle the different position.
     
  18. rottiemum

    rottiemum PetForums VIP

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    Great thread! I've been looking for a behaviourist recently. Baillie is usually very good on the lead, but would occassionally and without provocation lunge at someone walking past! Hard to judge when she would do it.
    Recently she has had a sore eye - she got a scratch and then it got infected, so she has been wearing the dreaded 'lampshade' collar for over a week now. It seems she is worse since putting this on - of course, she's miserable with it, and not feeling well either, so she's grumpy - but you just can't have a 6+ stone rottie jumping and growling at people!

    My vet strongly recommends the APBC and says not to use anyone that isn't a member. While I don't agree with him that anyone not a member isn't qualified or 'good', I have found a member in my area that seems quite reasonable and is up front about his methods and prices. He's even had an independent study done and has the results posted on the site - not all 100% as you would expect if he were trying to make himself look good, but realistic numbers that are still impressive.

    He's charging £120 for first 2-4 hour home consultation (or in the environment where the trouble is happening, i.e. walks); then if required, £60 per visit afterwards.

    What does everyone think? Good deal or not? And do you think I should wait until she gets to have the collar off before trying this?

    Thanks! :D
     
  19. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    That sounds extremely cheap to me! When you consider that the likes of Bark Busters are charging £280 to come out, with no proper qualifications and limited to their own, outdated methods, he sounds a gem.

    I would most definitely wait though. You dog is not going to feel like co-operating if he is already uncomfortable. Do let us know how you get on.
     
  20. rottiemum

    rottiemum PetForums VIP

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    Thanks! Yeah, I thought he sounded pretty good. I'll give him a call after she's feeling better. She should be able to ditch the 'collar of shame' by next Monday! ;)
     
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