What To Do This Summer

So for the foreseeable future, I have taken up residents with my parents in Scranton, PA.  I am job hunting and looking to move back to Philadelphia around August.  Until then, I’m having a training dilemma.  I’ll start by saying that I am only open to using force free trainers.  Anything other than that is out of the question.  So anyone I will mention is going to fall under that category.  I am hoping that I can get some advice or suggestions.  Keep in mind that I would like to be less broke with a better trained dog 😉 Here are my options while I’m here:

I can choose to travel approximately 1 hour & 15 minutes to a reputable, force free trainer.  I can do private sessions or wait for a potential weekday Reactive training class to start up.  

I can travel 1 hour & 45 minutes to a reputable, trusted, and force free trainer.  I can do private sessions or group lessons.

I can use a local trainer who is less experienced but force free.  I can do a private session where she will evaluate Leroy and see if he can be placed in any of her group training class (which I suspect he can’t).  Or I can continue to do private sessions with her.

I can work by myself on practicing what I know in controlled and respectful environments.  I can do “pack walks” with trusted friends.

I have been struggling with this decision and am looking for some help.  I may give the local trainer a try.  But I don’t want to waste my time and money when I have heard she may not be the best for my situation.  I also can’t afford to be driving all summer, paying tolls, and racking up more debt… Leroy doesn’t even have a job 😉  (and I am barely employed!)  But I also want to keep working with him and seeing progress.  With the lack of bicycles in my neighborhood, Leroy has decided to recently lunge after two cars, actively trying to attack them.  This type of “unexpected” behavior is what brought me crying into Dr. Reisner’s office in the first place.  We must not regress!  Ok, I’m trying not to fall apart completely.  I understand I changed his environment.  But common Leroy, you’ve already been beaten by a car once.  Let’s be logical here.  Your mom can only handle so much crazy out of you!

Until Leroy understands my English; help, suggestions, opinions, local trainer recommendations, advice??  It’s all much appreciated!

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3 thoughts on “What To Do This Summer

  1. I can tell you right now that we have gone the route of trying a less experienced local trainer. especially when you were talking about a dog with significant issues, I do not recommend it. Not only is it a waste of money, it could confuse the dog.I would highly recommend that you wait until you can do the classes with the more experienced trainer. You can always get a good book and practice by yourself until you are able to get them with the trainer.

  2. have you tried agility training? my dog sam has many of the problems leroy has. he’s been extensively trained and is very smart, learning all the tricks in his trick class but he is too impatient for everthing else. i started him in agility and its made a world of difference. he’s more sure of himself and its helped his panic attacks and reactiveness. he gets exercise and mom time and he also has friends there. he gets snacks too. giving him a “job” has given him something to look forward to. he can’t wait to get there!

  3. My comments are going to come from two places. 1. the dog I have now and the amount of training I’ve done with him to make him a social, fun companion. 2. my previous dog and all the opportunities I only now know I missed for her because of the work I’m doing with the current dog.

    Most important is that you keep doing the work you’ve been doing with him and doing it consistently. You know that you changed his environment and that dogs don’t generalize well so you’re going to have to go back to training at a previous level with him and work him up to where he was before you moved. The great news is that you’ve done the work before so you can outline a program for the two of you and put in your hours that way. For me it helps to have a session or class to go to regularly because it keeps me accountable for the work I’m doing at home. I want to have made progress (or not) between sessions so I can ask questions and up my game when I’m paying someone to help me.

    With all that in mind my vote for you is to find the most economical way to have regular sessions with a trusted trainer who can teach you how to be a better trainer. You’ll have to do the math on cost of sessions plus cost of commute but with that knowledge I think that even one session once or twice a month could keep your work at home on track and keep you and Leroy moving forward in a great way.

    Good luck!

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