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A couple weeks ago, I started a thread about looking for a dog trainer to help with aggression problems in our pack. Thanks to all who responded with thoughts, and suggestions.

Recap:
Since we got our rescue, Sparky, a year ago, he has occasionally “lost his temper” with Sadie, and lashed out at her. It was starting to get worse and more frequent, and finally got to the point where Sadie ended up with a bloody ear, and Mama with a bloody hand.

Update:
The hand and ear are both fine. In the beginning, it was pretty clear that Sparky had issues about food. He felt like he needed to protect it and fight for it. Since then, we have fattened him up nicely (Too nicely!) and now he’s almost polite about it, (Almost… He IS a beagle.) but something else has been going on lately.
When Sparky came to us, he could “sit” like a champ, and was fully house trained. (Except for the first night, and that little incident on our bed right where Sadie sleeps.) So we’ve never bothered to work with him on much of anything else.
So… What we think has been happening (Who really knows?) is that Sparky, every once in a while, (since we’ve never given him a purpose or a job.) has been making up his own job to do… “Protecting” us from Sadie. Especially his Mama, who he likes to follow around the house all day. (Or… Maybe he just wants her all to himself.)
Thinking back… almost every time he has attacked Sadie , he was close to Karen, and Sadie approached them from the other side of the room. Lately, Karen has been trying to not position herself where Sparky ends up between her and Sadie, and (fingers crossed) we haven’t had an incident since… But we, as a pack, need some work.

Interviewing trainers:
A girl from “The Canine Coach” came out to the house, talked to us, and pulled out a…. shock collar.
She demonstrated it on a dog (Boxer-pit mix?) that she brought with her. The animal did everything she told it to do (With it’s ears back and tail between it’s legs.) as she worked the knob on the remote.

$800 including a collar - 3 in-home sessions, then unlimited group sessions at one of several local locations.

Please don’t think badly of us. Over the course of a very sleepless night, and in our desperation over bleeding hands and ears, we were actually tempted by this very “effective” method. But it goes against everything we feel is right for our babies (or any other dog) and what we know about beagles.

At the same time, we had been playing phone tag with the local “Barkbuster.” I finally connected with him and we talked a little. The pricing schedule was complicated… $200 for the one in home session… $200 more for a one year guarantee… $200 MORE for the advertised, lifetime guarantee! …“And remember, this all doubles because you have two dogs.”
Further phone conversations revealed that beyond the one, initial visit, the guarantee involved phone calling and emailing, and that he would come back out to the house only if he absolutely HAD to. I don’t know what great secret in dog training he could give us in one, three hour session, but I can’t imagine it’s worth $1,200. And if we needed to take advantage of the “guarantee” we’d expect more than, “Please call back Tuesday through Saturday, during regular business hours.”

When Sadie was 16 weeks old, we took her to obedience classes at “Companion Dog Training Center”. A local training and boarding kennel. They don’t do private or in-home sessions. Or we wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of looking for someone else now.
Sadie just slipped in by a few days on the minimum age requirement. I think we would have gotten more out of it if she had been a little older at the time. Also, we never really continued working with her once the classes ended.
We boarded both dogs with them when we went on vacation this past spring. Beyond our worrying, and Sadie’s being mad at us for it, we felt really good about choosing Companion to board them.
Karen called the owner/trainer, and told her what was going on with our two. The lady said,” You know… The longer I work with dogs, the more I realize how little I know about them. Every one is different in the way they respond to things, but training can help with almost every problem because it gives the dog structure and purpose. ”
FINALLY!… Someone who is humble and gracious, and doesn’t make me feel like they’re trying to sell me a used car!
We will be joining her next basic obedience class. It starts mid-October. I believe Sadie goes for free as a repeat, but it doesn’t matter. Those were fun times when she was a puppy. Our weather should be cooling off a little in a few weeks. I think we’re all going to have a good time!

Meanwhile, we’re dragging out the old instruction sheets from Sadie’s first go around, and heading for the back yard.
Maybe we can get a jump on this thing and not embarrass ourselves too much!

Thanks for reading.

Link: Companion Dog Training Center
 

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I am glad you found something you can feel comfortable with. Training has made such a difference with Maggie.
 

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E-collar training can be very effective and certainly isn't cruel - if you are taught by a person who knows what they are doing. It works on the idea of giving the dog a stimulation that using a very low level to give the dog a cue. This is a good article you might want to read about e-collar training, that will help you understand how it works and will help with the negative emotions you are feeling about it:

http://www.k9force.net/index.html?row2col2=remotecollar.html
 

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Bruce, it sounds like you found a good place to take the Beags. You need to be comfortable with the training you are doing with them. Otherwise, it's a waste. We had one trainer suggest an e-collar for Jersey's separation anxiety to stop her barking. I hung up on the woman and started searching for doggy day care places to take her instead. The same woman also suggested that I have Jersey's vocal cords cut so she couldn't bark anymore. What do people think sometimes!?

Good luck with the classes. I hope that Sparky (and the rest of you too!) benefits from them.
 

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Originally Posted By: jen-n-jersey The same woman also suggested that I have Jersey's vocal cords cut so she couldn't bark anymore. What do people think sometimes!?
omg-i think that woman needs her vocal cords cut out so she doesn't tell people that!i would be so sad to never hear homer bark or howl again-even if it does annoy me at times!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote: E-collar training can be very effective and certainly isn't cruel - if you are taught by a person who knows what they are doing. It works on the idea of giving the dog a stimulation that using a very low level to give the dog a cue. This is a good article you might want to read about e-collar training, that will help you understand how it works and will help with the negative emotions you are feeling about it:
She lit that dog up! The initial cue at the beginning of the demonstration made all four paws leave the ground and the dog yelp. After that, the dog did what she told it to in order to avoid the pain. I did a little research and found out that the girl received her certification through Sit Means Sit.
(Sit, or else???)
No thanks.
 

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Originally Posted By: Karebru
She lit that dog up! The initial cue at the beginning of the demonstration made all four paws leave the ground and the dog yelp. After that, the dog did what she told it to in order to avoid the pain. I did a little research and found out that the girl received her certification through Sit Means Sit.
(Sit, or else???)
No thanks.
Then she certainly wasn't use the collar properly! Once a dog is trained on an e-collar the stim level used is so small that even a person couldn't feel it, and you certainly should not be able to see the dog react to it. You could touch the collar when its on your self on a higher level and it just feels like a static shock.

Its trainers like this that give e-collars a bad name. Just like anything else, they are a training tool and need to be used appropriately. If her dog had been trained properly on an e-collar she would have it at the point where she rarely needed to stim it anyway!

ETA: There is also a difference between a 'shock collar' which was the old style collar from many years ago. Modern e-collars are a lot different (am referring to brands like Innotek).
 
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