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Thread: Having someone else train a dog for you?

  1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #1

    Having someone else train a dog for you?

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    My parents are planning on buying a puppy towards the end of the fall. They are getting a Bichon Frise, they've had the breed before and they really liked our old dog (she passed away a few years ago at 16 y/o!).

    They told me they want a calm dog that is already house trained and knows manners. To me that basically screams "Adopt an older (3-4 y/o) shelter dog," but my mom is insistent on getting a puppy. She thinks older dogs are a money sink (which makes no sense to me, because don't puppies turn into old dogs??). All my efforts to convince them to go a shelter fell by the wayside. I haven't looked into where they're getting the dog from but I'm going to assume BYB.

    Anyway, they have an arrangement with the breeder where after the dog is weaned, it will go to a trainer to be taught basic dog manners, leash manners, potty training, etc. I'm always leery of programs like that because first of all, IMO training a dog is just as much about teaching the human what to do as the dog, and secondly ... eh. Just have a weird feeling, I guess. Anyway, if anyone has had a dog "pre-trained" like this, do you have any tips or did everything go smoothly? I just want to make sure my parents are as prepared as possible because I don't want them deciding the training wasn't "good enough" or something, and then rehoming the dog.
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    #2
    I agree with you that it is super important to "train" the owners. It's important to keep up with the training and I feel like the only way to do that is to be the one who trained the dog in the first place.

    It's unfortunate that some people don't understand the importance of adopting rather than buying but it's hard to explain to people that already have their mind made up! I don't have any input because I've never actually heard about that but I hope that it works out for them. I would just make sure that they talk with the instructor to let them know exactly what they expect from the dog and also to learn ways to continue training throughout the dog's life.
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    #3
    It can be a good solid foundation for the dog, but unless the keep up with it and make sure the dog know that those rules apply with them as well, it isn't going to do anything. Even if the dog is 95% trained when they get him, he's going to revert back to 50% (as an example) with them and need to figure it out again with his new pack.
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    #4
    I've only heard of this with hunting dogs. My mom & almost-step-dad have a hunting dog & they've mentioned that the breeder he came from offered a training program, but you wouldn't get your dog until it was 1 year old. They were trained to not be afraid of guns, hand signals, chase only the right prey, etc. I'm not sure how it would work with just a pet dog.

    Are there any Bichon rescues? Maybe that way they could get the breed they want without supporting BYBs and have a somewhat trained dog.
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  5. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Are there any Bichon rescues? Maybe that way they could get the breed they want without supporting BYBs and have a somewhat trained dog.
    That is the kind of frustrating part. There are definitely Bichon rescues, and my aunt is really active in the rescue community and has found several dogs that would be good choices for my parents to look at (older, well trained, purebred, etc.). But my mom is insisting on getting a puppy from a breeder. I tried to help her pick a good breeder but I didn't really get anywhere (my aunt tried too). Unfortunately she is probably going to buy from a BYB again.

    That's the other frustrating part, our old dog was in many ways a money sink (she blew out both knees, had digestive issues and required prescription food, etc.). I tried to explain to her that a dog from a reputable breeder will have better conformation, if she has her heart set on a puppy, but she wants to do things her way.
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    #6
    Heard of it, not into it. I just read a study the other day on how dogs are the only animals that learn how to react to people's individual facial characteristics like other humans do. The trainer that I went to with my dog talks a lot about "kitchen tricks"—the idea that if a voice says "sit", your dogs sits—vs. being trained, which is the entire theory and capability of reacting properly to an owner. I want my dog to react to me personally, not just to a command, kwim?
    For example, if my dog is being nutso and doesn't feel like listening, all I have to do is put on a serious face and he'll immediately do whatever the command was that he ignored a minute ago. He knows when mom's getting serious, basically Having someone else train my dog would not forge that connection, IMO.

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