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  #14  
Old November 8th, 2004, 12:03 PM
PetTrainerMeeko PetTrainerMeeko is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6
The problem I have with a random ratio of treats is that most people don't make it truly random. I have to explain to people that a treat every other time, or every 2 times isn't a random ratio for treats. You have to give treats sometimes and then don't use them at other times. I generally recommend all of my students to go practice in the local dog park, where treats are not allowed, and I try to tell them no to use treats at home.

Some breeds of dogs though, to get them to do even required behaviors will need some motivation, whether it be treats, toys, or just A LOT of praise. These dogs tend to do better on a strict schedule and then weaning them on to a random ratio schedule.

What most people don't understand is that we don't think your dogs should have to do things for treats all the time, unless he needs it. I cant stand to hear these so-called training experts preaching about how clicker training is bad, or treat training is bribery, and that they listen to the needs of their students to judge what collar they should use. Generally these trainers that attack PetsMart, and other such training programs are generally afraid of a little competition.

I am friends with several other training facilities in my area, and sometimes I send dogs their way, or vice versa. It's a good idea to know whats being offered somewhere else and be able to help out your student. Because after all, most trainers in these big PetsMart situations aren't making enough to live. All of our trainers have at least 2 jobs to pay the rent, but we care about our students. That is what keeps me there. And if I have to use treats with a dog I will. It is a good place to start for most dogs.

Most PetsMart trainers to will evaluate your dog, and if he's wearing a harness have you try something else. I personally like Halti's and Gentle Leaders, as long as they are a training tool and not a lifetime use thing. I would much rather have my student try these first over using a Prong or a Choke Chain.

I do tell my students about them all, I've had dogs that have needed prong collars, but it's generally 1 out of every 1000 dogs might need it.

I've also read things about how if you look at our graduation book none of the dogs are sitting perfect and polite, and how their owners have to pin them down. I will tell you this, graduation pictures are the hardest part of our class. I would wiggle and squirm too if I had a silly hat thrown on my head and this flashing thing that keeps going off in front of my eyes.

I like to have fun, and make my classes as rewarding for the students as it is the dogs. If they aren't having fun their dog won't have fun either. Whether it be a simple game, or a prize system , we seem to get results.

As I said in an earlier post I get upset when people discredit PetsMart trainers just because they work for PetsMart. You can find a bad trainer at any training facility. The main thing to do, ask questions, see if you can sit in on a class. Also see if they try to pressure you into a class or signing up on that day. If people want to signup the same day I've spoken to them thats great, a majority though want to think it over. Which is understandable, it's an investment of their time. I generally will tell them to give me a call if they have any questions, and 90 percent of the time the people that go home are in a few days later in a class.

Make sure the trainer is right for you, and that their methods will work for you.
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