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*mutter* Picked the wrong trainer
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    Well not wrong. Debbie at Petsmart is pretty good. But if you've been following the Dog Park Etiquette thread, you know I went to a puppy socialization class tonight at Opportunity Barks training facilities. And... *WOW*

    First its an actual training *facility*. 3 large indoor spaces separated by fences with a vinyl covered floor and playground stuff (slides, houses, ect). And a large outdoor area for fresh air and potty breaks. But second, and more importantly, the trainers themselves. 2 of the 3 trainers that came tonight recognized Kai right off the bat. One with a screeching "OOOOOOOO! A SHIBA!". And the trainer we met first, Matt, described Kai's every quirk and personality trait almost like he lived with him. Very smart on Shibas and very charismatic. Kai, who normally stands off from people till they treat him a couple times, was begging him to play within seconds.

    Positive reinforcement, like Petsmart. But they use clickers in all classes, mostly for teaching new behaviors and reinforcement when necessary. Puppy thru Advanced Obedience, CGC certification, Agility, *FOCUS* (yeah, we're begging for that one) and Dog STAR training available. The main trainer, who we didn't get a chance to meet, is both a certified trainer and behavior consultant.

    As we let the dogs play, Matt pointed out several things about Kai's playing. Showing when everything was cool and pointing out when it would be a good time to step in, before it was necessary to step in. Kai, once again, segregated the puppies into Shiba Capable puppies and fluff puffs that couldn't take a body slam. But Matt kept both groups in separate areas under control until the 2nd trainer (Ms Screech-a-lot) showed up.

    They impressed my girlfriend enough with the staff and facilities that she wants Kai to go to training there while training at Petsmart. So Kai will prolly be doing 2 Puppy Education classes simultaneously. But I'll definitely have him in the Focus and CGC classes as soon as feasible
  • This sounds like a great place! Glad you found it!

    And I hear you about the finding a better place....I loved the place I was going in Santa Fe (they also talked about play style, when it was appropriate, when not), but they didn't have a class I could get into. Then the first place I found has a good trainer (all clicker, and in a doggy day care, so a great facility) but the adult dogs in the class were all hyper reactive and one in particular clearly wanted Oskar dead. The trainer was super cool, and made a puppy class (so now it's me and Oskar and two super yappy schnauezers) but I did think, damn, should I have gone to the puppy class?

    But here's what an experienced dog person told me: there are a lot of trainers out there, and you should sample a lot! Your pup should go to many different classes. And I thought that's true! So after this class is over, we're trying out another clicker trainer closer to where I live. And when that's done, we'll find someone else, or go back to one of the original trainers but in a more advanced class (I figure Oskar can do two basic classes before he needs to move on to something else). And my classes will overlap for one week this month.

    So mostly, yay for you for finding a good place, and just think how much more ready you all will be for the new cool, school!
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    Glad you found another training facility. It sounds a lot like the one I take Mika too :) I didn't really want to enroll her into a petsmart and looked around til I found a facility I was very happy with. Good luck with it! :D
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I'm glad you found a great place. =)
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Serkle kSerkle k
    Posts: 974
    Glad to hear you found another facility!

    Stella is at her 2nd PetSmart, in her 3rd class with her 3rd trainer. She was in a puppy class at PetSmart and Puppy S.T.A.R class at a training facility that started 2 weeks apart, but the finished the same week. She is going to wrap up this Intermediate class the same week her "BRATS" class starts. I look at the PetSmart classes as more of an opportunity to socialize, and sharpen her social skills and some of her already learned skills. I use the other class to sharpen, and learn new skills all together. She gets a chance to socialize at both places though.

    I figure the more I can get her to do, and into, the better for her. I am looking at a 3rd facility for agility and possibly Obedience competition. Stella's DogDays classes are already geared towards CGC.
  • Kuro_KaiKuro_Kai
    Posts: 543
    The Petsmart trainer collided head first into the Shiba Wall. It wasn't pretty :-)

    She was trying to demonstrate Leave It. Kai already knows it somewhat here in the house. But with 4 other puppies in the room he was beyond his distraction limit. I tried to warn her. He had gone into Play Prey Mode as I call it. It's where he focuses intensely on another dog, unblinking stare. If you didn't know Kai, you'd think he was seconds from attacking. But he really *REALLY* wants to play with whatever dog he sees.

    There was no way short of a nuclear detonation that *she* was going to get his attention. She did try mightily. Called his name a couple times... Ear twitch the first time then nada. Gave loud ass wolf whistle... Not a blink. Squatted down in front of him. He looked around her. Waved a liver treat under his nose... He took the treat in his mouth and tossed it out of his way.

    I think she was unprepared for how 'self-motivated' a Shiba can be. The "I" / "Me" / "My" / "Mine" part of their personality. Luckily I had my Bite Size Fusion Bomb in a pocket: a Stella and Chewies treat. A quick whiff under his nose broke the spell. But he had to do a bunch of puppy pushups to get it first :-p
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 360
    Oh, leave it. I think that is the most difficult command...for me! Not for Mitsu. When we have a treat ready, she knows the game well. She won't touch anything that is put in front of her if there is treat incentive, because she knows that a leave it is coming. But take away the treat incentive and she thinks it's amusing that you really expect her to leave something alone. "What's in it for me?" is her thinking and when I try to show her that love is a great substitute for a treat, she shrugs me off.

    My trainer told me to take away treat incentive and do "Leave it," a click, and LOTS OF LOVE, but I think she forgot that I am working with a shiba here. I give Mitsu a pat and she gets pissed off I didn't treat her and barks before diving for what she just left on the floor. Haha.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590

    So I posted this yesterday in another thread, probably not the most appropriate. It's a great resource to help with finding a great trainer/behaviourist.

    Next to finding a reputable breeder, I think finding a reputable/responsible trainer is high on the list of importance(including a great Vet, of course). And understanding what to look for in a trainer/behaviourist is essential. I hope the link will help!!

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • MoxyFruvousMoxyFruvous
    Posts: 385
    Not sure if this should be a new thread or not, but figured I would start here and ask...

    We're getting our new Shiba pup (a male) Labor Day weekend. Currently at home we have 4 cats, and 2 dogs. We have Moxy our 9 year old Shiba and PJ our 8 year old Corgi. Moxy and PJ never had any training. being old farts now, they're actually pretty darn good most of the time. I think the worst they do is food guard sometimes and PJ has potty accidents once in a blue moon. But I remember all the issues we had with them growing up and being untrained. I would like to make a fresh start with the new puppy. So training is a must!.

    The big question I have is... who are good trainers in the Seattle area? I live in Mountlake Terrace, which is in Snohomish County, right next to Lynnwood. I would love someone easy to get to or who comes to our home. Price can be a little bit of a issue. I can't spend a fortune. But don't want to just do Petco/Petsmart training classes, unless they come recommended.

    Speaking of Petco. My friends took their puppy last year and part of this year to our local Petco for "Puppy Playtime" The pups play with other puppies and people for a hour and learn basic commands. Should I do this as well? I want to make sure the puppy is exposed to lots of people and animals, so he isn't shy or afraid.

    I could easily just yelp the trainer info, but I would like suggestions of trainers you guys may have used and what you liked about them.


  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Whole point of "puppy playtime" is for socialization. Don't worry too much on training commands. Lucky you!! You're in Seattle. I'm pretty sure a lot of people can chime in. @Rikka @Jenn @Lindsayt regarding trainers they recommend for Shiba owners.
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    @moxyfruvous Yes take your pup to puppy playtime, Petco usually has it on Saturday mornings, different locations have different times. We attempted this a couple of times, but they either cancelled it or the other puppy was way too young to play and was terrified, so I'd call first!

    As for trainers, I wasn't thrilled with either of the ones I used, but it was good for me to learn and then build off of doing purely R+ at home. Both trainers we worked with were positive most of the time, but wanted to use aversive tools for loose leash walking which I was not a fan of. If I was to get a puppy again, I would try Ahimsa in Ballard, Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue (ironic, yes), or one of look into some of these:
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby /
    Post edited by jenn at 2014-07-29 17:25:35
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Four Paws is in Lynnwood
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
    For Seattle area private-in home training, and specific issues like aggression and SA, I might look into these guys...

    I have no personal experience with them, but I'm a big fan of Prescott Breeden, and know their methods would be non-aversive, and most likely science based.(Breeden is the founder of SPARCS)

    If anybody has used/consulted their services, I'd love to hear a review.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Diane Rich is also good for private in home and group lessons...she's worked with a lot of Shibas.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 68
    I also don't mind helping anyone in the Seattle-area with training and stuff. Every training session is a new adventure.

    Just throwing out there that I'd be cautious of "puppy playtime". Some trainers at Petco + Petsmart really can't tell when things are escalating from play, or when one puppy might be done and the other starts to annoy / pester them.
    Also be aware of other owners who might not be on top of their puppy, always be prepared to step in.
  • So I thought I would open this up again and ask for current recommendations and possibly any helpful hints you guys might have.

    Tang is now 1 year and 4 months old. He is super great like, 90% of the time and knows basic commands. He really is a awesome, smart little guy.

    BUT.. we are having a issue with him and it needs to be addressed. The issue I am having is not uncommon, but not simple to fix. Tang has started to become food aggressive. He does not get upset at all when a human touches him, his food or a treat when he has it. Not even a little bit. But when Moxy or PJ come within 4 feet of him when he has food, he snarls and gets very defensive. They will NOT start a fight with him, but he is starting to get bold and if they come any closer, even just walking by when he has a treat, he jumps on them and starts biting and it looks AWFUL. No one has gotten hurt YET. But I'm worried someone might. PJ won't fight back and goes limp. Moxy will fight back. he is much bigger than Tang, but not as fast. So I'm worried one of them will get hurt or killed, and I'm VERY worried this may escalate and one of the cats could get killed on accident. The cats don't want his food/treat, and right now he leaves them alone, but if that changes, they are much smaller than him.

    I'm looking for helpful techniques/suggestions for working with him on this. And I'm looking for suggestions of maybe in home training. He is not the same when we go out, so I think in home would be best. We do not live in Seattle. We're north of Seattle in Snohomish County Lynnwood/Mountlake Terrace.

    Any ideas or as I said, training techniques you guys have would be so, so helpful. I want to make sure I take care of this now, while he is still young.

    Some background about treats and food in my house...

    Everyone eats at the same time each day. They all eat in different parts of the house. moxy in the hallway, PJ in the kitchen and Tang in his kennel. Unfinished food is removed when they are done. I don't free freed.

    I used to give treats when they came in from outside and SOMETIMES for just being cute. ;) But when I do, they all get one treat each. Small treats that can be consumed right away. I usually ask them to do something first, like sit, lie down, speak, high five. If I give out chews, everyone goes to a different part of the house so we don't have someone stealing or getting upset. This situation is just fine for me to deal with, but now Tang has started getting a bit more touchy about it. If I have food I am eating, like dinner for example, he gets upset and starts to go crazy if the other dogs come near me. This could easily be fixed by just putting everyone in the other room during meals, but that is a bandaid fix. the guarding needs to be addressed instead. I just have NO idea how to approach that.

    Thanks guys!

  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
    @MoxyFruvous - Ah! The little possessive demon emerges! Tali's food aggression began pretty early on, like 6 months or so. She's never resource guarded against humans but I wouldn't be surprised if she suddenly developed it later. However, we've been working on counter conditioning her for a few months now and it's been a HUGE improvement. She used to literally lunge at my other dogs for even being in the same room as her. She's attacked Pacman, my maltese, for walking close to her even though I had removed a bully stick from her already. She thought it was still there and attacked when he waltzed by. Extremely scary and fast, so we've been training everyday since.

    Now, they have to get really close for her to display guarding behavior. But I don't let that happen even though she's gotten better. With anything high value, she's in her crate or tethered next to us where we can see her. However, she's only gotten better with the household dogs. She will not hesitate to maul a strange dog that so much as looks at her food and that is what we are working on with a trainer.

    But, this is the counter conditioning method that I use and swear by because it really really worked for her. You just have to take it slow and be consistent. The article also states that any tug o' war games between dogs could cause a relapse in food aggression so that's also something to keep in mind.

    This book is also a great resource:

    And just to show an example of how far Tali has gotten with the above method:

    The video was only as a demonstration. Normally, they eat in separate parts of the kitchen and we watch them until they finish all the food and pick up all the bowls. We also don't free feed. Too much of a risk, plus our Lab would eat everything until she threw up, then eat it again >.>

    I hope I gave some helpful advice, I'd love to read up on any progress or methods you choose to use for Tang =)
    Post edited by Nikkitine at 2015-10-28 22:56:48
  • **I don't want to name names here. If you're curious about who I am talking about, please PM me for info.

    I'm going to go through what happened here with this person.. I just want a honest opinion from ya'll. If this trainer came HIGHLY recommended to you because she works with lots of Shiba's and this happened to you, would you just look for someone else or keep trying with her? Would you tell her why you decided to go somewhere else or just move on?..

    After doing research here and via online searching, I found a trainer/behaviorist to help with Tang. I contacted her via email on Oct 23rd and explained what I was going through. She got back to me within a day and said to call her. So I did that same day. She was super nice on the phone and we went over everything, including some stuff with the other dogs. We set up a in home meeting (because I want in home training) for Oct 28th at 12:30pm. She asked me to give her directions from a small lake near my home, so I emailed her the directions. The 28th comes.. my husband stayed home from work so he could be here for this first meeting. at exactly 12:15pm (15 minutes before she was to be here) she calls me. She is lost. I ask her for cross streets. She is exactly 2 miles from my house and it would take (according to my gps) 7 minutes to get here from where she was. I tell her she just has to backtrack up one road (the road she is on at that moment) and continue with the same directions I sent her. She sounds very flustered and annoyed on the phone. Says it will take her 20 minutes to get to me and she has been on the road for 45 minutes already. She is sure it will take 20 minutes and wants to give me the full hour. She also mentions she has a client right after me and she can't be late for that. So she will have to reschedule. I again said she would still make it on time if she left now, but she said no. She said I gave her the wrong directions and after talking more, I did.. BECAUSE she said she was coming from around lake (insert name). But what she meant was she was coming from lake (insert name) ROAD, which is the opposite direction. It was both our fault. She didn't say it was a road and not the lake, and I guess I should have double checked that. So again she says she will reschedule. I ask her if she will call/email me and she said yes. We hang up. My husband is furious now. Because he missed work and because she was literally 2 miles from our house. I email her a hour after she cancels and apologize again. I ask her to please get back to me asap so we can set up a new time. a week goes by and I hear nothing. I email her on Nov 3rd and ask her again to please let me know a new time for us to meet. She emails me within a couple of hours and tells me she is very busy with new and old clients, but she should have time next week because she will be graduating some dogs this coming Thursday (the 5th) and she will let me know her schedule on Thurs. Its now the 12th and I have not heard a word from her. I see she is posting to her twitter, so I know she is online.

    I feel like she is being extremely unprofessional here. Even just a quick, I'm very busy, lets talk in a couple of weeks would be better than nothing at all. My biggest problem is I want someone to do IN home with me and I can't find anyone else. So I have a choice of nothing or keep trying with her and hope it gets better. I realize she is busy, I realize its only been 3 weeks, I just think its weird how she was so quick to make our original meeting date and now she is just not getting back to me at all. I'm not sure if she is busy or if she is blowing me off. All the online reviews I can find for her are great. So I don't know...

    I guess I'm just wondering what other folks would do here. I'm feeling very let down. maybe I had too high of expectations here and I just need to give her more time.

  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @MoxyFruvous, yeah that sounds really frustrating. I agree if she kept blowing me off like that, I would consider looking for someone more reliable. Maybe try calling instead of email to get a new appt scheduled, and can you give her GPS coordinates to your house? :)

    I don't know who you are referring too, but If I'm remembering right, you are somewhere near Seattle - perhaps some of the local folks can recommend a real behaviorist or trainer experienced with resource guarding. @lindsayt @sandrat888
  • @Zandrame I don't think she uses a GPS.
    Post edited by MoxyFruvous at 2015-11-13 20:05:58
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @MoxyFruvous - That is just ridiculous. If she posts to twitter and has an online presence, I can almost guarantee that she has a smart phone. All smart phones have GPS.

    Plus, if she offers in home consultations and sessions, then she should have a GPS and be able to navigate around her service area. Unless you live in an incredibly rural area or in a relatively new (say... less than 6 months old) development, she should be able to find you easily, even if she does not have a smart phone or GPS. Google Maps is an amazing tool.

    She is being completely unprofessional. I would call her (not email) and ask her what her deal is. If she is unwilling to work with you, then she needs to tell you so that you can make other arrangements.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @MoxyFruvous, even if she doesn't have a phone with GPS, she can look up directions and print them out like we used to do. BTW, to get location coordinates in Google, right click on the map and click the "What's here?" option - a popup will show the address and the actual GPS coordinates which you can click/copy. She can put in her own start point. Example

    But yes, she sounds unprofessional if she can't handle this. And an easily flustered trainer is the last thing dogs with troublesome behavior need.
    Post edited by zandrame at 2015-11-14 04:05:59

  • @MoxyFruvous
    Plase contact me off line if you want. dognewbie @ "the free google email".

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