I have an 18 month old rescued black lab. Although my daughter and I have been working with Charlie and he follows some basic commands I have been tossing out the idea of sending him to a trainer. I have been reading some other posts and read the one regarding sending "Buddy" to a trainer. I was hoping this subject could be expanded on. We are working with Charlie daily and exercising him regularly with walks, Frisbees, balls, fetching/retrieving and the such. But I have a a lower back problem and the pulling and strain is too much. It seems to me that he follows commands when he chooses to. He lives indoors with us, sleeps in a crate (most nights, it can be a fight some nights), he is housebroken, not food aggressive, playful, and strong. He absolutely love my swimming pool and I would like to break him of swimming at his pleasure, he should wait to be invited in the pool. Thats a little background....ideas and thoughts are appreciated.
A good obedience class will show you the skills that YOU need to teach Charlie to listen to YOU.
A send-away trainer may teach Charlie obedience, but there is no guarantee that it will transfer - plus I always wonder about what goes on behind closed doors. The one board-and-train'er I know is VERY brutal and punitive in her methods.
You can look for a local trainer here: http://www.apdt.com
Do you have any obedience clubs in your area? That's a good place to start.
I'd start with looking for obedience classes too.
Ditto.A good obedience class will show you the skills that YOU need to teach Charlie to listen to YOU.
Sending your dog away for training should be a last resort. Finding a class is a much better option especially if its just for basic obedience.
Unless the training you want is highly specialized (hunt/field - where the dog's got to get used to gunfire, etc. that isn't exactly doable in a suburban setting. OR SAR training that isn't doable in a suburban setting, either), I do not recommend send-away training.
Obed classes are all about the bond you build w/your dog and the things you learn together. There's no substitute for that experience, in my book.
I wouldn't send the dog away either.
I would find a local place to train you how to train the dog and with your back condition, you can still easily train your dog. They say that you can effectively do a training session in 10 minutes a day.
Most of the times, the dogs KNOW the commands but choose to ignore you because of the relationship and they know they can. Me and Maddy went through that when we started training for competetive obedience. It took awhile to reestablish that she needed to listen to me. It was really frustrating watching her do exercises with my trainer perfectly and with me she was acting like a nut. So in my opinion, that's why YOU need to do the training, and not use a send away place. That bonding is essential.
I agree with the rest of the posters. A trainer can train but you still need to learn how to do it and your dog will still need to learn to respond to your commands. They won't look or sound precisely the same coming from you.