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Feeling Invalidated By Trainer :(


Guest Amis_Ma
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Guest Amis_Ma

So as some of you know Ami is my first doggie ever! She has some behavioural issues we're working on with the adoption agency's trainer but I'm sometimes left feeling like I'm not a good mommy -_- Ami has severe resource aggression and is a dominant/assertive dog but this was never revealed to me at the time of adoption. I feel that Ami and I are doing great with what we have to work with and that as a result of the trials and tribulations we are faced with we will bond that much stronger as a result.

 

No disrespect to her if she's reading this but I sometimes feel invalidated due to the fact that my girl has some issues. I've only had her 2mts and I feel she's come a long way this past month since the adoption agency admitted that she has 'issues'. I love my girl to the moon and back but she is a lot of work. I want what's best for here and have been investing a lot of time in to her training. Like I've mentioned before, although assertive she is also a gentle and loving soul she just requires some patience.

 

I dunno even why I'm telling you this; I guess I just need to be reassured that it will get better with time. After today I am on vacation for 2 weeks so I plan on spending a lot of time with her!

 

Thanks for all of your support, it's greatly appreciated!

 

:beatheart

D & Ami

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Is that the one that likes to poke fake arms at dogs while they're trying to eat? If so enough said. Like poster above said any quack can call themselves a trainer, and as such they can "diagnose" your dog with all manner of malady's it doesn't have. They're out there.

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I understand what it's like when you don't have a frame of reference to go by; I too have never been a dog owner until we adopted our girl last Christmas. (I just found a trainer and will start training shortly as well.) In situations where I'm unsure, I go by my gut; it never fails me. I would think you should have an opinion formed about her by now. if I liked my trainer in terms of her experience and effectiveness, then I would talk to her about my feelings in an attempt to clear the air between us. But if you don't think she's all that great, and you think that Ami could do better, move on.

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Guest Amis_Ma

Is that the one that likes to poke fake arms at dogs while they're trying to eat? If so enough said. Like poster above said any quack can call themselves a trainer, and as such they can "diagnose" your dog with all manner of malady's it doesn't have. They're out there.

Yup. She is a certified dog behaviorist and well known in the area but just doesn't have a lot of human tact; she isn't charging me and she provides me with good information. I guess I just have to harden up and not take her criticism to heart. The support I receive here balances out the harshness. Ami is a good girl and I must continue to do what's in her best interest. Thanks for the support.

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Anyone can call themself a dog trainer. ANYONE.

 

If you don't like this one, find a new one.

 

I call myself a dog trainer :P (But only halfway, as I've never been trained to train - I just make it up as I go based on the shelter pup I'm working with :lol)

 

Anyhoo, another good thing to keep in mind is that this trainer is a dog person. Sometimes, dog people, especially trainers (at least the trainers I've worked with) have been less than sensitive when it comes to dealing with people. They mean well and they're perfectly nice people, but the explanation of the "problem" or proposed training solution often comes off as matter-of-fact and maybe a little brusque - they can see it clearly and feel like they need to explain it in a way that the "average person" will understand, so it comes across as dumbed down. So it's very possible that she really doesn't know that what she's saying (and how she's saying it) is making you feel uncomfortable and invalidated.

 

Personally, I think it's great that you're willing to work so diligently on Ami's issues. You're a good mama to her :)

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

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Perhaps another resource for helping you and Ami would be to do some reading. Books and/or articles by respected dog trainers. That would give you yet another source of ideas, perspective and confidence, even as you work with your groups trainer. I've always found that the more information I have, the better equipped I am to handle any problem. I'm not the best person to recommend authors or websites for dog training but perhaps others here will chime in?

 

Your love and commitment to Ami will carry the day. :grouphug

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Yup. She is a certified dog behaviorist and well known in the area but just doesn't have a lot of human tact; she isn't charging me and she provides me with good information. I guess I just have to harden up and not take her criticism to heart. The support I receive here balances out the harshness. Ami is a good girl and I must continue to do what's in her best interest. Thanks for the support.

 

Certified by whom? If there's no master's degree or dvm behind that, run. Run fast, and run far. I would seriously question any training techniques or advice you get. I think I saw another post about your dog being considered "aggressive" by the adoption group and trainer? The behaviors you've described here are ordinary dog behaviors.

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Is that the one that likes to poke fake arms at dogs while they're trying to eat? If so enough said. Like poster above said any quack can call themselves a trainer, and as such they can "diagnose" your dog with all manner of malady's it doesn't have. They're out there.

I wholeheartedly agree. I have never felt anything but encouragement and respect by the trainers I've had. And we have been through some pretty serious issues over the last few years- fear aggression with Henry, and now, leash reactivity with Truman. The training process can be SO incredibly frustrating. It's their job to help you get to a point where you feel hopeful and encouraged enough to continue working through it. I'd refuse to work with someone who is demeaning.

 

And I still think this woman is an idiot for using a fake hand on a dog that's already been known to guard.

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Positive re-enforcement for both dog and owner is a must! Granted, the dogs are "perfect" and the humans need the training, but making a person feel invalidated shows complete lack of knowledge on how to be an instructor of any kind!

 

Please start off your vacation time by finding another trainer; someone who will make you AND Ami feel good! Good luck!

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

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And I still think this woman is an idiot for using a fake hand on a dog that's already been known to guard.

 

I agree, too. I have seen this done on a TV programme after an otherwise sweet dog was rescued and rehabilitated following a horrible case of neglect. He'd recovered to the point where they were going to rehome him, but he had to pass their assessment. One was to poke a fake hand at him while he ate. When he growled and turned his head the first time, the stupid woman did it again, and again, until he freaked out and bit that weird thing and all the while she was saying 'See? Awfully sad, but we can't rehome this dog', all the while provoking stronger and stronger reactions (because she was taking ZERO notice of the dog's discomfort and warning signs. This was a dog who'd been starved. Of course he's likely to guard his food! And the poor thing was euthanised on the strength of that.

 

Against that I'll give the the story of a dog I adopted who'd been required to jostle for his food in a bunch of other dogs and was much too thin when I got him. He guarded his food too. I just took it slowly, made sure he had plenty to eat, and time and space to eat and at first he was fed away from our other dog. In time, by touching him AS I was putting his dish down, and holding onto treats for a second or two as he took them from me, and tossing good things into his bowl while he ate, he completely lost all trace of food aggression.

 

I have never stopped feeling sad about that poor 'rescued' dog with the fake hand. To my mind, poking at dogs while they eat only proves one thing: some dislike it more than others and some will do something about it. Oh, yeah, and that some 'trainers' don't have enough brain to listen to what the dog's saying to them before poking weird objects at them that most will never have seen in their life and which probably smell funny. If they aren't washed and disinfected before being used again (unlikely), they probably also smell of the fear and anger of the previous dog that got poked with it. :(

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Guest EvanstonGrey

I'm sorry you're having this issue - and of course GT is a great place for reassurance and lots of advice! I think if you are feeling uncomfortable, this is important to notice as it can carry over into your interactions with your pup... Training sessions should be fun and empowering for you both. If it's not working for you, don't hesitate to go elsewhere.

Best of luck!

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Two months is just the blink of an eye to a newly retired Greyhound. The resource guarding will probably fade with time.

 

Aggressive/assertive with other dogs? If so you may also find that as Ami has more and more encounters where nothing bad happens she may lose that trait also. The trainer stuff sounds awful. Listen to the good folks here on GT - they won't steer you wrong.

 

So anyone can call themselves a trainer? OK so I am a trainer - the best their ever was. My Grey was like yours when he arrived and like you he was my first dog. In fact my first pet of any kind. Now he responds perfectly to every sound I make, every word I say, and every wave of my hand - a dog simply cannot have better manners than my boy. And I did it all in just 18 months. So tell that trainer who is making you feel bad that the greatest trainer in the world says she is wasting her time and would be better off in the food service industry or perhaps doing something in custodial services. Sticking a fake arm in a dogs face while it is eating - what the @#%* is that?

 

Seriously - it is in the dogs. Time, patience, and gentle, calm, positive reinforcement and everything will work out - this advice from the best trainer in the world. Good luck.

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Here's how I feel about dog training and dog trainers. Take it for what it's worth.

 

You can have the best trainer in the world. They can know everything there is to know. They can have all the right information and all the right techniques. But if they make YOU feel like crap and like you're not a good dog owner then they can't really help YOU help your dog. At the end of the day a dog trainer is just teaching YOU. And YOU are teaching your dog. So how you feel when dealing with your trainer is just as important as the information they are giving you. You need to be always in a happy, confident, optimistic mood when training dogs. Frustration, anger, hurt, sadness... while you may do your best not to portray those feelings, they will still impact your training and be picked up by your dog.

 

If you look in these forums you'll see people who have changed vets because of personality conflicts/poor bedside manner even if the medical knowledge and care was stellar. I would argue the same goes for a dog trainer.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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The biggest job you have as a dog owner is to be an advocate for your dog. If someone - anyone - is making you feel like you don't or can't do that, then you need to not have that person around both of you. Go with your gut feeling about who you have and who you want in your life.

 

A good dog trainer understands that they aren't training the dog, they're really training the owner. A "trainer" who doesn't get along with people is about as useful as that stupid fake hand (which is also as outdated a training tool as "dominance" theory). Yes, it's really great that your group has someone to use as a resource, and that the advice you're getting is free. But it's also only going to be worthwhile if you both can benefit from it.

 

Greyhound are, really, just dogs. Any good positive reinforcement trainer will be able to help you. Please remember that most of the behaviors you described are NOT true aggression. Resource guarding is a very common trait in all dogs, and not anything particularly unique to the breed. What is unique is that a greyhound will usually relax as they get more used to living in a home. Remember, they have never, ever had their food bowl or feeding time interrupted before. With time and patience a greyhound will learn that having a human around their food bowl is OK. Your "trainer" should have suggested feeding your dog by hand to help her get used to you around her food, and to help you bond together.

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One thing that jumped out at me reading your post here and the other one about the fake arm...this so called expert trainer (fake arm poking a dog while eating, really?) was recommended by your adoption group. The group that didn't tell you ahead of time that they thought Ami had "issues". That didn't admit they knew she had issues until you went back to them for help. Hmmm. OK, I am an outsider here, I don't know you, your group, or the trainer, but I would be having some second thoughts about who I trusted at this point. Maybe everyone is innocent and there is just poor communication, but if it were me, I would be looking for a second opinion, i.e., another trainer.

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Guest OPointyDog

We're on trainer #4 with our greyhound. The first trainer was awful and treated him like this poor little track dog and told us incredible misinformation about why his butt is bald, etc. We knew better, and while we finished the class, I never trusted her and our dog learned nothing. Second trainer wasn't much better. Third trainer, whom we did an interview with but not formal training, was just smug and didn't seem to really understand him (he is a complicated dog, but he is a dog...) and kept going on about how greyhounds are perfect and don't need training. That didn't really help us since he does have behavior problems! We've met with #4 and I love to see how she interacts with him. She's actually a specialist in pit bull rescue, but seems to really "get" our guy and we like her, which motivates us to train. We'll start with her in September.

 

So you're not alone and my advice is to find someone who 1) interacts well with and understands your dog, and 2) motivates you, understands you and interacts well with YOU.

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Sorry you are lacking confidence in your 'trainer'.

 

Where in Canada are you located?

There are lots of Canadians on here and maybe one of us can point you in the direction of someone else.

 

PM me if you don't want to divulge your location.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

 

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I agree, too. I have seen this done on a TV programme after an otherwise sweet dog was rescued and rehabilitated following a horrible case of neglect. He'd recovered to the point where they were going to rehome him, but he had to pass their assessment. One was to poke a fake hand at him while he ate. When he growled and turned his head the first time, the stupid woman did it again, and again, until he freaked out and bit that weird thing and all the while she was saying 'See? Awfully sad, but we can't rehome this dog', all the while provoking stronger and stronger reactions (because she was taking ZERO notice of the dog's discomfort and warning signs. This was a dog who'd been starved. Of course he's likely to guard his food! And the poor thing was euthanised on the strength of that.

 

Against that I'll give the the story of a dog I adopted who'd been required to jostle for his food in a bunch of other dogs and was much too thin when I got him. He guarded his food too. I just took it slowly, made sure he had plenty to eat, and time and space to eat and at first he was fed away from our other dog. In time, by touching him AS I was putting his dish down, and holding onto treats for a second or two as he took them from me, and tossing good things into his bowl while he ate, he completely lost all trace of food aggression.

 

I have never stopped feeling sad about that poor 'rescued' dog with the fake hand. To my mind, poking at dogs while they eat only proves one thing: some dislike it more than others and some will do something about it. Oh, yeah, and that some 'trainers' don't have enough brain to listen to what the dog's saying to them before poking weird objects at them that most will never have seen in their life and which probably smell funny. If they aren't washed and disinfected before being used again (unlikely), they probably also smell of the fear and anger of the previous dog that got poked with it. :(

Also, I know dogs aren't people and teaching not to resource guard is important, but I try not to do things to my dogs that would drive me insane if someone did it to me, like repeatedly poking me for no reason while I was eating. I'd snap too.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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My first experience with greys was a greyhound/lab mix and if I knew then what I know now...It's amazing nothing horrible happened. I'm so lucky. I did take her to a trainer and he never ONCE made me feel the way you're feeling. I agree with the others, it's time to start looking for a new trainer. As a teacher, I would never allow a student to feel the way you're feeling and make no mistake, you ARE a student.

 

Please be proud of both Ami's and your accomplishments. While I haven't commented on your posts I have read them and I know how hard you've worked with her. She has come a long way thanks, in no small part, to your love and dedication to her.

 

You will be amazed at the change you see in her over the next month, 6 months, year, 5 years, etc. It will be a joy for you to experience.

 

In the meantime find a trainer that meets your needs and Ami's. If you're not happy and comfortable she won't be either! This is for both of you. :)

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I will second, third, and fourth the idea of finding a new trainer. I have become quite addicted to dog training, because the trainer I work with has the belief that "dog training is fun!" Personal sessions can get pricy, but she as unlimited phone support for students in her group training classes (much cheaper), and I took full advantage of that when I was starting out with Katie. It's been a learning experience for both of us, but mostly it's about me learning from the trainer and then working with Katie. I go to a different trainer for a specialty class, who I am not as thrilled with on a personal level, but I am at a stage where I can take what she teaches and apply it, and don't need to "like" her as much.

 

My personal thought: start interviewing some trainers. See if they will let you sit in on classes to see if you like their training style. Talk to the people in their class, if you can, and see if they would recommend the trainer. If you post your location, some people here may even be able to recommend some for you to go talk to.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Also, since a lot of your discomfort with Ami may just be due to not "getting" the messages she is trying to tell you, I have included some links to videos of canine body language. They may give you a better feel for what your dog is trying to convey. (For example, is she barking at you when the other dogs are around because she is excited, stressed, or fearful? Body language will help clarify that.)

 

These first two are very short over-views:

 

 

And if you are really interested, here is a much more in-depth (45 minute) discussion of canine body language:

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest iconsmum

Here's how I feel about dog training and dog trainers. Take it for what it's worth.

 

You can have the best trainer in the world. They can know everything there is to know. They can have all the right information and all the right techniques. But if they make YOU feel like crap and like you're not a good dog owner then they can't really help YOU help your dog. At the end of the day a dog trainer is just teaching YOU. And YOU are teaching your dog. So how you feel when dealing with your trainer is just as important as the information they are giving you. You need to be always in a happy, confident, optimistic mood when training dogs. Frustration, anger, hurt, sadness... while you may do your best not to portray those feelings, they will still impact your training and be picked up by your dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look in these forums you'll see people who have changed vets because of personality conflicts/poor bedside manner even if the medical knowledge and care was stellar. I would argue the same goes for a dog trainer.

 

 

 

 

 

absolutely

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