Majorly mixed feelings....

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Dreeza, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    ok, so, we had a behaviorist come evaluate oakley today...


    the verdict:

    something needs to be done now, before he learns to use biting as a 'tool', and seriously hurt someone.

    Apparently he has something like emotional reactivity, where once he is excited past a certain threshold, he has no control over himself and will attack anything that is stopping him from getting what he wants...despite that he like NEVER gets it anyways, since this usually occurs on leash...which happens to be a perfect diagnosis...


    so anyways...what can be done...


    he takes oakley away for 4-8 WEEKS...gone, away from us, no visiting, and then there are 4-5 transition days, where he transfers us as the superiors or whatever, and yay, good doggie, who still has his spunk and cockyness (he isnt gonna turn him into some submissive, wimp dog)...but he will listen to every command, right away...


    it is INSANELY expensive...but my mom is willing to pay...i think she is jumping on this way to quick...i mean...taking him away? the guy seems really nice, and he has 3 acres for oakley to play on...and he does NOT beat dogs...he specifically told us doing so makes aggressive animals more aggressive...so he obviously isnt gonna go beating him...

    his method...

    he uses the shock collar...and basically tricks oakley into thinking that he will avoid getting shocked if he follows our commands...so therefore, we are cool, cuz we are helping him out, by telling him how to prevent a shock...and therefore he becomes our subordinate...something along those lines...


    thoughts?
     
  2. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Thoughts? All negative. All my instincts say no.
     
  3. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    yeah...

    although, i do want to add...i was googling him...he seems like he has a good background in this stuff...

    his name is James F. Lessenberry....he is listed under Jim as well...and is located in MI (just to be sure you got the right guy)
     
  4. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Thoughts?

    Yes this may improve his behavior but Oakley will most likely never work happily for you because he LIKES it. He will be a dog that will work for you because, if he doesn't, he'll get zapped by a collar. Think of how you would feel towards someone if every time you didn't do what they said, they shocked you. Then think of how you'd feel if every time you -did- do what they said, they gave you $10.
    I'd be wary of this guy's methods, I don't see it 'curing' Oakley in any way.

    I would find a different trainer. Jmo.
     
  5. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    i know exactly what you mean...

    although, his method is more like...the zap comes a split second before the command( i think...or maybe during)...and oakley, by following what he has been told...turns it off...

    so according to him, he doesnt use it as a punishment...oakley is never supposed to know the shock is coming from the collar (although, he does...cuz we have a shock collar, that we use in our backyard on him)


    i dunno, its hard...i feel on one hand, it most likely will work...and if it means we get to keep oakley...its worth it...

    he is completely uncontrollable when he is throwing his temper tantrums...and if he does learn that he can use his teeth as a 'tool'...then what...he bites the wrong person...we can say bye bye to him...if he bites one of us bad enough...we can say bye bye to him too...
     
  6. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    actually, i dont have much of a say on this...my mom is pretty determined to put him through this...

    what i want to do, is ask the behaviorist some questions...

    one being...why does he use that method, and not a positive reinforcement method?

    if there are any other questions that you guys have thought of about this situation, let me know...cuz if he is gonna go through this, then i want to know more details...i am just having trouble thinking of the right questions
     
  7. bridey_01

    bridey_01 Kelpiefied

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    Find a REAL behaviourist. Look for one that uses respected postive methods and read up on some testimonials of their clients. Watch their dog work and see if they are working happily or with their tails dragging. This guy is misleading you terribly, I think you will get back a quivering mess.
     
  8. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    If you can find a good, reputable trainer that could accomplish your goal positively, great! That should always be the first choice. But if you find a good, reputable trainer who reccomends using corrective methods (notice I said corrective, not cruel), like a chain collar, pinch collar, etc., along with reward, please don't hesitate.

    Think of it through your dogs eyes: Would your dog rather go through some reformative training with correction, or be euthanized for aggression, since he will be considered non-adoptable? Kind of a simple choice there, I think.

    The behaviorist you talked to may be right with your dog's diagnosis, but his methods are cruel. It doesn't matter that he doesn't beat his dogs. Down to bare bones, his "training" idea seems to be to keep the dogs in pain until they obey. There is no real correction for bad behavior, and I certainly don't consider the lack of pain to be a reward! The idea of correction isn't to punish the dog for doing wrong, but to let him know when he's doing something you don't approve of. Giving the dog an electric shock, without him even doing anything wrong, does absolutely nothing to help the dog understand what you're wanting.

    It horrifies me that he thinks correcting a dog DOING an undesirable behavior is "punishment", but correcting the dog while doing absolutely NOTHING is all right.

    Keep away from this guy!
     
  9. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    yeah, thats why i am so confused about him...

    he is a 'real behaviorist"...he belongs to all those organizations...and there are NO others around us...he is the only one...


    i know it sounds like i am defending him, but, i guess i kinda want to see the best out of this, becuase my mom has basically made up her mind...its either that, or get rid of him...

    and doing it is the better choice...


    so far the questions i am asking him are gonna be:

    why this method?

    will oakley be good when we arent around....(i.e. if we leave him in the kitchen with food out, will he obey when we arent in there...because as far as i know, a well-trained dog can be left with a steak on the floor, and wont eat it if he is told not to)

    will we have to continue to use the shock collar (cuz he said he will have to keep wearing it for about a year)...and if we are inconsistent, will it ruin his training?

    im also gonna ask for numbers of people who have gone through it...and a number of a person whose dog 'failed' (he said he gets about one a year...but the failure is through misdiagnoses, and he was misjudging the dogs reasons for acting the way he was)


    any more?

    i mean...if it is this, or give oakley to a humane society...which is basically a death sentence...isnt this the better option?

    i also want to make a list of things that oakley does that are 'bad', that we want fixed
     
  10. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    Hmm, I think I need to tread lightly on this reply...

    Yes, training your dog is a better option. If the trainer helps Oakley, even though his methods are cruel, then I guess it's for the better. It's only a few weeks, I suppose. I sympathize with your mother: If Oakley is dangerous and uncontrollable during his tantrums, she has to do what's necessary to be sure her children and family are safe.

    But with this trainer, you run the risk of his methods ruining your dog. Many dogs have been traumatized and ruined by their trainers; I know, I've met a few. In that case, you end up with an unmanagable, violent, dog, and is put to sleep anway. Or, a scared, quivering wreck who pees on himself whenever he sees you get upset. And, you lose a lot of money and take on a lot of heartache in the process.

    I recommend that, if you do choose to try this guy, do a LOT of research on his previous clients. And ask not only for the phone numbers for his success stories, but of his failures. For the failures, ask them: what methods did he resort to when he found out his wasn't working? Did he try different methods, or does he know only one way? Did he ever get upset, frustrated or violent towards the dog? When did he decide the dog was a "failure", and what made him decide that?

    Since your mom seems to be willing to spend a lot of money to help Oakley, which is definately admirable, why don't you see if there are any trainers further away who are better-suited to helping with your problem? If the original plan was to keep Oakley with a trainer for a few weeks anyway, it won't really cost you much more to go with one further away.
     
  11. joce

    joce Active Member

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    I didn't read all of this but I say to go for it. My grandmas firest pei was acting out like that and a " real" behaviorist didn't want to deal with her. Sjhe came home from the guys place a perfect angel. She still wasn't the best around strangers but she no longer challenged my grandparents and listened perfectly. Ask for numbers of people he has worked for before and ask them wha tthey think and how there dog turned out.
     
  12. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    i am def going to talk to others who have gone through it...

    thanks for the input, i appreciate it :)
     

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