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    1. #1
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      Criteria for choosing a trainer

      I'm in the process of finding a new trainer since I haven't heard back from the one we had a session with.

      Aside from being certified and using positive reinforcement techniques, what else should I look for? Ideally, I wanted someone with experience dealing with Spaniels but not sure if that's gonna happen. I'm guessing length of experience in training should play a factor. Anything else?

      TIA

    2. #2
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      I did ask around for you and did not receive feedback. Sorry. I could try again. I feel like I asked then they promptly came down with pneumonia. How close are you to Chester County?

      The certification thing, I would be flexible on. Behaviorists, yes. Trainers, maybe. I'd be interested in their continuing education (what seminars, training "camps", Clicker Expo, etc.?). Length of experience depends on the person. There are some exceptional younger trainers (Hannah Brannigan and Sarah Stremming come to mind). I find there are a lot of fixed mindsets in the dog training world and a person whose been using the same methods since 1985 and claims that if it's not broke, why fix it might not be on the same page as you. I'd ask them who their favorite trainers are. Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell, Susan Clothier and Bob Bailey should be on their list. Instead of looking for a spaniel specific trainer, you might broaden that up to sporting dogs.

      Might be worth reaching out to your local obedience club, breed club and your breeder for suggestions, if you haven't already.

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I did ask around for you and did not receive feedback. Sorry. I could try again. I feel like I asked then they promptly came down with pneumonia. How close are you to Chester County?

      The certification thing, I would be flexible on. Behaviorists, yes. Trainers, maybe. I'd be interested in their continuing education (what seminars, training "camps", Clicker Expo, etc.?). Length of experience depends on the person. There are some exceptional younger trainers (Hannah Brannigan and Sarah Stremming come to mind). I find there are a lot of fixed mindsets in the dog training world and a person whose been using the same methods since 1985 and claims that if it's not broke, why fix it might not be on the same page as you. I'd ask them who their favorite trainers are. Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell, Susan Clothier and Bob Bailey should be on their list. Instead of looking for a spaniel specific trainer, you might broaden that up to sporting dogs.

      Might be worth reaching out to your local obedience club, breed club and your breeder for suggestions, if you haven't already.
      I'm in Chester county. I'm communicating with a couple trainers i found through a website. There's one guy, Steve Basht, who says he works with retrievers (field, drug, med. Alert) who looks interesting.

      The last trainer I had was through my training club . I emailed her with an update almost two weeks ago and have not heard back. I mean, the stuff she told me about Archie wasn't anything I didn't already know. I don't feel like i got my money worth. I mean, in a 3 hr session we still didn't address the loose leash walking! Could have at least spent 15 min on it. So trying to find someone new.


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    5. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      I'm in the process of finding a new trainer since I haven't heard back from the one we had a session with.

      Aside from being certified and using positive reinforcement techniques, what else should I look for? Ideally, I wanted someone with experience dealing with Spaniels but not sure if that's gonna happen. I'm guessing length of experience in training should play a factor. Anything else?

      TIA
      The first classes I took were at PetSmart, mainly because I didn't know any better. I found Wilmington Kennel Club, and went and watched a rally class which I signed up for afterwards. Not knowing a whole lot, I thought the class was pretty good, but it didn't take long to figure out these people weren't really serious about training/competing. I did really like everyone in the class and the instructor. A lady I did field training with gave me a recommendation for someone local who did classes. Much high level training, most of the people in the class we actively competing with their dogs. Found another class about an hour from where I live, again recommended to me by a fellow competitor. This class is even better, and I've continued the local class as well as this one. I get different things from each class, so it's worth doing two per week.

      My biggest question for you would be what are your goals, what are you looking for from the training? I can't say that certifications would really matter to me. I would be looking for someone who's been training dogs a long time, and producing the type of results you are looking for.

    6. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      My biggest question for you would be what are your goals, what are you looking for from the training? I can't say that certifications would really matter to me. I would be looking for someone who's been training dogs a long time, and producing the type of results you are looking for.
      ^^^This, completely. And Barry - I’m curious who you’ve been training with? PM is fine .... we are contemplating moving to DE in a few years once our youngest is out of school and finding good training places are a concern.
      Annette

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    7. #6
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      I don't think she is looking for competition trainers at this time. Or are you? Most competition trainers aren't going to help you with LLW or over arousal in your backyard. Though, there are some trainers who train pet dogs and do some problem solving (not at the behaviorist level) and compete themselves, but don't teach competition because maybe they are only partway through their journey (i.e., don't have the titles or students with the titles).

      I like to see the dogs work, not just talk about titles. I want to see the titles, not only from their own dogs, but their students' dogs. There are a few trainers around here whose dogs and students have impressive titles, but watching the dogs in the ring or in the field is just sad. In other words, it all looks good on paper, but when you dig a little deeper, it's not what I am looking for. To each their own, for sure, but point is, there's more to it than titles and certifications. Same goes for problem solving type trainers; you'll want to see how they train not just hear about results. Anyone can shut down a dog and make him "obedient", which is not uncommon with certain popular franchises.

    8. #7
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      Criteria for choosing a trainer

      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I don't think she is looking for competition trainers at this time. Or are you? Most competition trainers aren't going to help you with LLW or over arousal in your backyard.
      No I'm not. My goals are LLW, off leash walking. The latter requires a reliable recall, i know. And a reliable recall requires keeping attention on me. So all that is what I'm looking for.

      I think once i have that then I'll look into obedience or agility.

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    9. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by annkie View Post
      No I'm not. My goals are LLW, off leash walking. The latter requires a reliable recall, i know. And a reliable recall requires keeping attention on me. So all that is what I'm looking for.

      I think once i have that then I'll look into obedience or agility.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      You might look at the recallers program and see if anyone in your area is doing it. Also the control unleashed program. That might lead you in the right direction as trainers who follow these programs are often +R and on the progressive side (YMMV). In my area, there is a certified behaviorist that also does some obedience competition. She teaches recallers, control unleashed and similar classes. It's a good mix for pet people with difficult dogswho might also want to get into sports. That might be an ideal situation for you!

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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      You might look at the recallers program and see if anyone in your area is doing it. Also the control unleashed program. That might lead you in the right direction as trainers who follow these programs are often +R and on the progressive side (YMMV). In my area, there is a certified behaviorist that also does some obedience competition. She teaches recallers, control unleashed and similar classes. It's a good mix for pet people with difficult dogswho might also want to get into sports. That might be an ideal situation for you!
      I will definitely check those out! Thanks.


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    12. #10
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      I emailed save a lab for a friend. They responded in a week with a really good trainer ,behaviourist . Just saying ask a spanial rescue in your local area. They might have someone with spanial experience.

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