Because they're two with longstanding proven results of fixing dogs and known nation wide.
If you're going to pay for a consult, at least go straight to the best
I agree with Nekhbet...
Need to sort the problems chasing little dogs before going to an obedience dog club (and try to find one of those that is reward based training not yank and crank on the choke chain). And I've seen those two trainers recommended many times by people whose opinions I respect.
Main thing with pulling on lead is to spend some time "not walking" - eg my dog gets to the end of the lead and starts pulling - I stop walking and wait until she comes backs to me or at least lets the tension off, and then I tell her she's a good dog and start walking again. Repeat as often as necessary to get a loose lead. The first couple of days - you're not going to get far, but as long as you are completely consistent (no giving in) - your dog figures it out.
My dog has also recently started lunging after poodle cross dogs when she's on lead, and sometimes she yells at it like she wants to kill it. I've let the lead go a couple of times, all she does when she gets to the other dog is sniff. So somehow I've trained her to do that - cos she never used to. And I think it has something to do with an "opposition reflex" ie pulling to get at something is rewarding to a dog - I don't get why, just that the more they pull the more they want to pull.
So I've started blocking my dog's view of the exciting distraction (poodle x), and waiting until she calms down before proceeding. If I can, I ask for her to be in a drop and step out of the other dog's way. It's worst when we're on footpaths so there's not much room to get out of the way. I figure - she's picked up on the fact that I don't like poodle x much either, and they're always pulling on their leads too. If I can't sort it, I may have to get a behaviourist in too. I've stopped trying to reward calm behaviour with food in these situations because I suspect the sneaky hound has backchained ie if I act really grumpy at the other dog / cat / lawnmower man, then I act calm and well behaved - I get really good treats... so I'm going to act really grumpy... to get my treat... Who ever said dogs can't lie - doesn't know mine.
Thanks for the steer in the right direction. I will have a chat to the trainers you've recommended.
Hopefully in a few weeks/months I can post again with good news!
I ended up enrolling Nelson and myself in the Val Bonnie school over at the Gap.
We are currently 2.5 weeks through an 8 week group program and the results are speaking for themselves!
Nelson is noticably calmer around other dogs and is almost to the stage where he will walk on a completely loose lead albeit at a brisk pace.
Excellent update - 'Dave_281' !
Keep up the good work and continue to tell us how you are going.
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