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Dog trainer recommendations in Toronto

100%doglover
December 30th, 2005, 10:20 AM
I'm hoping to find a good dog trainer in the Toronto area that provide in-home services. Any recommendations? I found www.animalbehaviour.ca in Dogs Annual, but they're a little pricey.....

We had a baby in the summer who is now beginning to be more mobile. Our shepherd has exceeded my expectations and handled the change so well (you leave me alone and I'll leave you alone!), but when babies get mobile it's an entirely different situation. Our baby is of course not allowed to bother our dog at all, it's more a matter of our dog reacting and approaching our daughter when we're trying to "walk" with her (never mind when she starts to crawl). She's jealous and we have to instantly pick up our baby as it's too uncomfortable of a situation and we just can't risk it.

Our shepherd has never been comfortable around children and has been our "only" child for 11 years so I don't know exactly how much we can reasonably expect from her, but we want to try everything we can! :fingerscr

SnowDancer
December 30th, 2005, 11:17 AM
I would suggest you ask you vet for recommendations. He/she will know your dog and most likely several trainers - each trainer having his/her own methods - some of which you will like and others you won't. I have an Eskimo and if a trainer yells well, that would be the end of that. If you have your dog professionally groomed, your groomer may know of someone as well. But it will be pricey, that is for sure. What area of Toronto are you located in as that sometimes is reflected in the price - as will be the home visits. The lady who walks my dog once a week at socialization knows some very good people but if trainer has to travel a long distance to your house, well it would get pricey.

100%doglover
December 30th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Thanks for the tip! I did call my vet who gave me a trainers name, the trainer in turn suggested that an animal behaviouralist would be better suited to deal with the situation and directed me to the animalbehaviour.ca people! So I'm back where I started lol! Well I've made the call, they are pricey but hopefully well worth it.

StaceyB
December 30th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Did you ask them what your visit will consist of. I had a student that was dealing with some stuff and her vet had also given her a couple of names to try. When she called they said that with one 3 hr visit they could guarantee that her dog would be sound for life, the dog was having issues with aggression. That is great if it could be guaranteed. The cost was more than someone who would meet with them several times and continue to work through the issues. It sounded a bit unusual to them and does to me. Make sure you are going to get what you need and what you are going to pay for.

Lucky Rescue
December 30th, 2005, 02:07 PM
Make sure every time the dog and baby are in the same room, it's a positive experience for your dog. Toss really good treats at him, so he'll be thinking "Wow, everytime this funny looking noisy creature is around, I get something good!" Make the treat something fabulous that he ONLY gets when baby is near and he is behaving.

You can also check out this link. Tons of great info on kids and dogs!
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/kids.htm

StaceyB
December 30th, 2005, 02:18 PM
You definitely need to take precautions when it comes to your baby and the dog but if you get nervous and snatch the baby up every time the dog comes near he may start to think there is something wrong. The idea of supplying good things when he is near the baby is a good thing.

SnowDancer
December 30th, 2005, 03:37 PM
Hope the trainer works out for you - pricey I know. I do know that the lady who walks my Eskimo and boards him when we go away does know someone who is very good at obedience training - beyond the normal taught in group classes. I someday expect my little devil Eskimo who turns 21 months on Sunday to avail himself of these services. Just have to get name.

mona_b
December 30th, 2005, 10:46 PM
You can give Deena a call and talk to her.


http://www.deenaspeaksdog.com/

How much preparing did you do with him before the baby came?

My first GSD was 4 when I had my daughter.And lets just say he thought HE was the mom at times...LOL

SnowDancer
December 31st, 2005, 12:03 AM
I have heard good things about Deena as well.

100%doglover
December 31st, 2005, 07:39 AM
According to the animalbehaviour website (their message said they call back the next business day so that would be Monday), they provide a 2 hour in home evaluation and then you have free consultation with them weekly for the next year. Will have to talk to them a little further before making the final decision but I did get a good feeling about them.

As far as having our dog around the baby, we provide tons of positive reinforcement and ample opportunity for sniffing and for the baby to be investigated. I do consider myself to be a very knowledgable when it comes to dog behaviour and have approached each new situation in a way that (at least in my humble opinion, lol :) ) has encouraged good behaviour. It seems to make a huge difference for our dog though when our baby is at her level (walking for example). Also I worry about when our baby starts to crawl as I fear that we can't help but to separate the two (baby gates) and that would understandibly contribute to the problem as our dog would feel excluded.

We don't pick our baby up EVERY time either, but we have to ensure that my hubby and I are both there to deal with the situation so that we can pat our dog, encourage her, distract her if need be without a scene and keep her at a more comfortable distance. Doing it by yourself when you have a baby's face close to a dog that's whining and circling around looking nervous is just not an option.

And yes we did prepare our dog quite a bit for our baby's arrival! I even went as far as ordering a "preparing Fido for baby" CD so that the baby cries wouldn't be as foreign to her (didn't do too much though, lol). We put up the baby gates months ahead of time and changed around anything in the house well before the arrival so that there wouldn't be too many new things to deal with at once (and any of it being the baby's fault). I even walked with an empty stroller with our dog once or twice down the street much to the amusement of our neighbours!