Question, if you were looking for a trainer would you choose someone who was a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, or someone who was actively competing and putting titles on their dog?
I looked at the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) as well as someone who was active in showing.* For the most part, NADOI is a little more strick with their criteria for those they endorse.
Depends. For competition skills, I'll go to someone who has titled their dogs. But if someone asks me for a basic manners class, I'll send them to any number of trainers, most of which haven't titled their dogs.
Just curious as there is a trainer in town and I know someone who is taking lessons from him and loves his methods but she wants to compete, and I've watched what she's learning, and to be honest it ain't gonna cut it in the ring. I tried, nicely, to tell her this person (the APDT trainer) was not showing. She claims he is. Trust me, I've been showing for five years now. I would have run into this trainer somewhere. And, on his website there is no mention that he competes or shows.
I don't get spending money for something that isn't the "real deal".
Susan, the association I'm talking about is not the one you are talking about. I think to be a member of the APDT all you need do is pay your dues, but don't quote me 100% on that
Basically, Linda you are correct--just pay the dues. I think a number of trainers who work at one of the big pet chains are members of APDT. Not to say our program is so great but people coming out of their advanced training cannot even pass our beginner's course! And they end up paying a whole lot more in the long run for a lot less. Linda, I have run into the same thing, as you can well imagine. That is why Lew thinks it is so important that I do things like the All-Star Performance Chamionship and that F&F ad stuff--for those who want to compete to see that people like you and I are out there and doing a half way decent job of it, too. That is why he puts our achievements on our web site, too. I have been rather embarassed by it, but even Linda MacDonald told me that you need to let people know what you have done. That person might have competed but maybe only to a CD. Hey, a lot of people think the CGC is a title rather than just an award. Again, that is why Lew wanted me to get that certificate--so it can be hung up at the building. If you ever end up with a building of your own, that is the type of stuff to hang up along with your pictures and certificates of your titles. Hey, listen to me--a building of your own!!!
To become a CPDT through APDT, you have to have a certain amount of experience and take a test. But it is not hard. Hell, I think I could pass it.
All I think it tells you is that someone uses generally reward-based methods and has basic competence to teach a manners/good citizen class. And for many people, that's better than nothing, or getting stuch in some jerk-n-choke class.
I've met people who are CPDTs who have OTCH and MH dogs, and I've met some who in my opinion are just barely competent.
Nathan, I'm sorry but I object to the term jerk-n-choke. I use a method where I give a quick snap to the training collar. It tightens and immediately releases it's pressure. I neither jerk nor choke my dog, nor do I teach my students to jerk or choke their dogs. Just because any of us don't agree with a particular method does not make it a bad method.
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Even with food motivation there needs to be a type of correction for a choice of not following direction. We have them--if we choose to speed we can get a ticket. A check, pop, whatever you call it, used correctly with food is an exteremely affective method. We use food first to teach a new exercises but reserve a correction for when the exercise is learned but the dog does not follow.
Yes, they are much looser with their endorsements, or whatever they call them. I know of someone who wanted to be a trainer but did not make it at many of the local clubs and training facilities. She is now a trainer and a member of this organization.
Monnie, I was not at all referring to the use of a well-timed correction. I said exactly what I meant and didn't mean to imply anything more. An example of what I meant: In Pittsburgh we used to have a guy who advertised himself as a "K-9 trainer," you know, dressed in camo, the whole nine yards. He would begin his *puppy* classes with a lecture about how "dogs live in a world of pain and fear. They inflict it on each other, and you need to get over it if you don't want your dog to walk over you." (I swear I'm not making this up.) Things went downhill from there. His "method" literally was jerk, choke, force down, yell, etc. A friend of mine who had never had a dog took his class--after a few classes the poor puppy started hiding from her when she brought out the leash. They dropped that and found a good balanced trainer and the dog is doing amazingly.Originally Posted by buddysmom
Unfortunately I think there are more classes like this out there than we realize. All I was saying was that if you're clueless and find an APDT trainer, at worst you're going to get somebody who's ineffectual. But you're very unlikely to get someone who'll actually screw your dog up.
BTW, I'm not at all opposed to corrections. I only have two objections in my own training at this point: (1) my timing and speed on the correction is not that good (oddly, I am pretty good at timing a reward marker); (2) Theo is so damn hard that he doesn't really react much to corrections.
As for what happens when a command isn't obeyed: we can add something unpleasant (positive punishment), or we can withhold an expected reward (negative punishment). We're not at the open level yet, so maybe my perspective will change, but right now Theo seems to hate not getting a reward more than he hates getting an aversive.