Multiple Trainers

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RatDog
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Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:07 am



This is my little dude Tubbs. Got him at 8 weeks, he’s like 12 weeks now. He is crate trained and 90% house trained with the occasional accident. My wife and kiddos and I have been focused on showing him lots of love and getting him socialized with other pups, people and kids. We’ve been doing puppy play dates 3 times a week with other dogs and taking him places like the ranch co-op, hard ware store, ski hill. Doing the drag line and some low key discipline stuff; stand, spin/twirl, down. Throwing a treat out the door and when he starts coming back saying come and rewarding him. Fetch games with tennis balls and rope toys. The standing still on a table thing. Most of all just trying to reward calm and stillness and ignore spazzing out.

I work in the oil patch in ND but I live in SW MT. I work for 20 days then I’m home for 10. My wife is gracious enough to help some but not going to participate in the bird dog training. I’ve got a trainer in E MT that’s kinda sorta on the way back and forth. Starting next hitch I’m leaving Tubbs with him. He’s going to show me stuff when I drop him off and pick him up. I’ll take him home with me for the 10 days I’m off and do what the trainer tells me to. I was planning on doing that until he’s finished, however long that takes.

My grandfather very generously said he would pay for this really well known trainer to work with my dog as a gift starting this summer or fall. My intuition is that, that would be problematic. Different training styles confusing the dog or something. I think I should give my local guy the opportunity to train start to finish.

Am I mistaken? Is it just like a semester abroad and would be good?Image


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Featherfinder
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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:13 pm

So what is problematic for your grandfather to support your dog being trained by a reputable trainer?
What is your affiliation with the local guy?
Do you think being local makes a trainer competent? I don't know either the local guy or the one your grandfather is in favor of but if my grandfather was considerate enough to offer his support, I would have enough respect for him to send the dog with the reputable trainer.
Trust me, your dog will not be offended if he ends up with a "good trainer", regardless of how close/far he lives from you.
What's this about different training "styles"? I want to know how the trainer gets results, how long and what those results will be summarily.....period.
On second thought, I think you should send your dog to the local trainer. Your grandpa should step back and let you pay for it too. Sounds fair to me.

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:04 pm

Question was pretty simple, is it wise to send your dog to more than one trainer? I’m starting him with the local guy and wondering if it would be a problem to send him to the guy my grandfather recommends later. I don’t have any affiliation to either. The local trainer was recommended by the breeder I bought the dog from and another acquaintance. I don’t have a problem with paying for either one I’m just wondering what would be best for the dog.


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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by shags » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:12 am

Plan A sounds pretty complicated. What is a trainer going to do with such a young pup? What's the point of the 10 day breaks? And if you're worried about different training styles, why switch between the trainer and yourself so often? Even when the trainer shows you stuff, you're going to have your own spin on it - it's inevitable.

Plan B is more traditional. Let the pup mature some, send him off, and get him back when he's completed the course. That all depends on what level of training you want to go to.

You can do some more research on both trainers to help you decide. What kind of operations do they run. How many dogs do they take at a time? Do they compete, or do they work only with personal gun dogs? Is there video available, or can you visit in order to observe their methods and how their dogs react to them? What are their goals for young dogs like yours? What are their facilities like, and what are their overall routines as far as how much training each dog gets daily?

That's some grandpa you've got there. No matter which way you go, give him a hug and start making plans for your first hunt together over Tubbs.

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by cjhills » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:55 am

My thinking would be to leave him with the local guy for obedience and some kind of puppy program, birds and gun introduction and things of that nature. This would take your wife off the hook for all of his care and obedience training while you are gone. Puppies can be a handful and time consuming for one person especially if you have a young family and she has a job. Later if you want to send him to the reputable trainer for finishing you could do that. Seems like perfect situation to me. The puppy would be ready for finished training and the trainer would not have to spend his
time on obedience.
One consideration might be to make sure your Grampa's trainer has built his reputation by training the type of finished dog that you want in the end. The best trial trainer in the world might be the worst trainer for what you want.
In any event it sure looks like Tubbs won the lottery. Enjoy...…...Cj

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:21 am

Thanks very much for the helpful responses. I see your point Shags about it being a little convoluted. I’m using the trainer here to board the dog while I’m gone, teach me some stuff and try not to piss off my wife by leaving her with two boys and a puppy to deal with while I’m at work. I really like the book “The Best Way to Train Your Gun Dog” about Delmar Smith. He says to wait a year but my understanding is that, that notion is dated and the norm now is to start much earlier. Talking to the trainer in Montana he said to wait until the puppy was at least 12 weeks and then he would take it and do some foundational work introduce birds etc.

Looks like you are from Minnesota CJ so you might know of the guy my grandfather is friends with, his name is Steve Grossman. I’ve decided I’ll definitely be taking him up on that and driving Tubbs over there around the 6mo mark and leaving him for 3-4 months. I know Steve does a lot of heavy cover ruffed grouse and Woodcock around you but he also has a place in South Dakota where he guides and trains on Huns and sharpies. I’m hoping he can train more for the open prairie type of stuff I do most of the time. I know he’s a big advocate of pointing dead instead of retrieving. I don’t know enough to argue the point but I like the idea of retrieving to hand. I figure I can do force fetch or something on my own later if I want to.

That’s kind of what I’m shooting for, get him started and then send him off to finishing school when he is old enough. I’m taking him home on my 10 days off so I can learn and practice and we can get to know one another. Certainly not perfect but I figure you just do the best you can.


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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:16 am

Thanks for clarifying Ratdog. I just looked at the pic of your pup and didn't figure on 2 trainers already. My bad......
As a trainer I do not appreciate getting a dog from someone else. Too often it ends up being remedial training or overcoming an issue that was seeded or could not be resolved by the previous trainer whom by-the-way, couldn't care less now because....it's not going to be his problem anymore, is it? Trainer #2 now owns the issue!
Yes, I have taken dogs from other trainers. Some were well along. Some were toast. The odds are typically: 5% well along - 95 % messed up, in one way or another.
Further to this, some of the "typical" training concepts of yesteryear and still today promote a young dog be allowed to run, chase, etc. ("untraining" as I have coined it). That right there means I will be faced with remedial training.
Pups/young dogs are like sponges. Those early formative experiences can make a significant contribution towards what you end up with. As they mature, they are can become more strong minded, especially some breeds/breedings. Man, have you got your work cut out then! Some folk end up with a dog that is a royal pain in the asterisk and then want to say, "That's just who he has always been." Maybe....maybe not. The difference in philosophies alone - never mind processes - can be substantial!
Make the call and stay with either trainer A or trainer B. That's my counsel. Should you have any concerns, you know where to direct them. Otherwise you could end up with one trainer blaming the other. At that juncture, it hardly matters who screwed up. It's YOUR problem now.
All the best with that handsome pup!

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by cjhills » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:00 am

Ratdog:
A couple of points That makes FF,s post questionable at best.
Most dogs have multiple trainers in their lives and do quite nicely. Your pup will have you as a trainer when you are home, your wife when you are not and eventually another trainer or maybe two. Nothing wrong with that. It is how it usually works with most dogs. You can't just put them on hold until they go to a trainer. Many puppies go through a puppy program at one kennel and finishing at another. I like getting dogs with the obedience work done.
Plus, if you wait until late summer or fall the pup is 9 or 10 months old and as no birds and gun intro or other basic training.
I guess I would consider it a bit of a stretch to say 95% Of trainers that aren't me screwup the dogs they train. They don't.
There is almost nothing a trainer can do to a dog that I can't undo. With the possible exception of gun shy and collar shy...…..Cj

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:16 am

In any given home, there typically is a father, mother and children. Bring up a pup in that environment and you learn that the dog has a somewhat diverse relationship with each and everyone of them but they can make it work, at least regarding the rules/obedience in that home. Sometimes, it is nothing short of havoc too!
Having an IDEAL situation where everyone is on the exact same page increases the odds of a dog that does what is expected IN THAT HOME. That's great! To assume this will automatically translate into a finished high class bird dog in the field is a stretch, at best.
Now, you need to either do the field training yourself, send it to a trainer OR simply go with what you have.
I assumed that Ratdog was asking about getting his dog field trained - to be a bird dog. I might have gotten that wrong too?!?
Think about it CJ, how many healthy people admit themselves into emergency? There is a reason why 95% of the dogs that come to me from other trainers need remedial training.
I understand/respect that this might not be your experience.

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by cjhills » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:14 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:16 am
In any given home, there typically is a father, mother and children. Bring up a pup in that environment and you learn that the dog has a somewhat diverse relationship with each and everyone of them but they can make it work, at least regarding the rules/obedience in that home. Sometimes, it is nothing short of havoc too!
Having an IDEAL situation where everyone is on the exact same page increases the odds of a dog that does what is expected IN THAT HOME. That's great! To assume this will automatically translate into a finished high class bird dog in the field is a stretch, at best.
Now, you need to either do the field training yourself, send it to a trainer OR simply go with what you have.
I assumed that Ratdog was asking about getting his dog field trained - to be a bird dog. I might have gotten that wrong too?!?
Think about it CJ, how many healthy people admit themselves into emergency? There is a reason why 95% of the dogs that come to me from other trainers need remedial training.
I understand/respect that this might not be your experience.
I don't know

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:57 pm

I guess I’ll just have to take my chances I’m probably not giving the guy here in Montana enough credit. He did an apprenticeship at Ronnie Smith kennels, runs his own dogs in field trials somewhat successfully and has been training dogs professionally for 14 years. The guy I’m sending him to later has been training dogs since 1974, runs a hunt club in MN, is an Orvis endorsed guide, does his own training seminars etc. Between the two of them I’m optimistic I’ll end up with more than enough bird dog to suit my needs assuming I don’t screw things up too bad once I get him back


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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by cjhills » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:19 am

Good choice. He will do fine. Maybe you will like what Montana guy does so much you won't have to send him out here......Cj

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:31 am

You can't lose Ratdog. Well, maybe just some cash. Then again, maybe not if Grandpa covers trainer #2. I just glad I'm not that second guy....just sayin'.
How about this: Let's see what trainer #2 has to say when he gets your dog. Perhaps you could share that with us verbatim at that time?
Just to be clear, I didn't say the second guy CAN'T train your dog. I AM saying he will need to realign/fix and then get your dog on the program he uses. He might also bill you/Grandpa accordingly.
Consider this: Is trainer #1 charging you weekly/monthly? Is trainer #2 charging you weekly/monthly? OR, is there a set price for "started dog" (from trainer #1 and the clear definition) followed by a finished dog from trainer #2? So, you will have paid trainer #1 $$$$? and then you/Grandpa pay trainer #2 $$$$?. I'd be interested in that sum cost versus using one trainer? Interesting isn't it....?
Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you going forward Sir.

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by polmaise » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:08 pm

RatDog wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:07 am
This is my little dude Tubbs. Got him at 8 weeks, he’s like 12 weeks now. He is crate trained and 90% house trained with the occasional accident. My wife and kiddos and I have been focused on showing him lots of love and getting him socialized with other pups, people and kids. We’ve been doing puppy play dates 3 times a week with other dogs and taking him places like the ranch co-op, hard ware store, ski hill. Doing the drag line and some low key discipline stuff; stand, spin/twirl, down. Throwing a treat out the door and when he starts coming back saying come and rewarding him. Fetch games with tennis balls and rope toys. The standing still on a table thing. Most of all just trying to reward calm and stillness and ignore spazzing out.
Considering these little critters don't open their eyes until 10-14 days , and all they have in the world is the buddies next to them who have as much sense of the world as them ,and hanging on to a teet from mom for 4-6 weeks when a human introduces some solid food a few times a day ,Life must be a little Fuzzy at 8 weeks old when it is removed from the only world it knows and has hardly had time to focus on much else , 4 weeks later . Puppy play dates ,must be like the first 8 weeks it had ?? rather than anu forming of Human bonding (just sticking up for the wee guy ,place full of strangers and all' ) . Drag line and discipline ? ..When I was a 3 year kid I was eating worms and 'spazzing out was fun' :lol:
.....
Best Trainer to send this little bundle of joy to is the home it will hopefully be in for the next 15+ years ...for the first 6-9 months and Training may be required by the family more than the dog ..before any aspirations of 'Bird dog training ' by any pro, non pro , or whoever ..(imo) .Too many books spoil the dog , almost always the dog don't read em.

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Sharon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:19 pm

Excellent post.

and that explains a lot! "When I was a 3 year kid I was eating worms and 'spazzing out was fun." You know I'm just having fun with you. :wink:
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:29 pm

It’s not all serious Image For the most part he’s just being a puppy. Biggest thing we’ve been trying to do is expose him to as many different positive experiences as possible. Different dogs, people, places etc. I wish I could keep him home but it’s not practical. My better half has a lot on her plate and sadly I’m gone 2/3 of the time. Seems like the opinions on how to handle the first year vary pretty drastically.


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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Sharon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:31 pm

"Seems like the opinions on how to handle the first year vary pretty drastically." quote RatDog

They sure do. Some people say almost steady at 7 months ; some say wait a year; some say........What needs to be said is "It depends on the maturity of the dog."
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:19 am

Here is why I posted what I posted. Pup "training" in the home is a given and perhaps that was understated. I reiterate, I was of the assumption Ratdog was asking about the formal field training of his pup. Polmaise and Sharon make great points however as I see it, they have little to do with the Ops question.
I agree that "training" of a pup begins the day you bring it home. Field training, formal field training, bird dog training, training by an individual OTHER than the owner, or whatever you prefer to call it, is in my opinion typically deferred/latent by most trainers today. ("He's not even 1 year old....let him run/explore/build confidence!") This is why Rat dog could take his dog to 5+ trainers that train virtually the same or similarly with little-to-no-negative impact. It also explains the responses from others here-in. OR, he could take that dog from trainer #1 to trainer #2 and trainer #2 would have to overcome the bad habits instilled (the damage done by "He's not even 1 year old.....")
Why play Russian roulette with your dog?!?!? Do the research regarding a competent trainer and have the faith/confidence to LET HIM DO HIS JOB. In the least, there will be a level of consistency. There will be no wondering what the previous trainer did that might have or might not have gone south. Simply introducing a prior trainer brings with it questions....logically.
The sum cost remains yet another dynamic - like it or not.
All I'm doing is answering the question honestly. No-one is disputing that there are "many ways to skin the cat". Some are....better.
Finally, I truly enjoy studying my dogs here AND learning from these dogs. A good trainer is forever learning/improving. It also goes a LONG way towards achieving the target goals as the dogs and I build a rapport. This can reduce the window of time taken to achieve said goals too which means the dog goes home sooner/is ready to take hunting sooner. I think everyone would want that, no?

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by setterpoint » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:15 pm

I think your doing everthing right and your going to give your dog ever chance to susscede
your trainer will tell you how to train while he's away from him if not ask what you need to be doing
I bet your dog turns out great keep up the good work

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:35 pm

setterpoint wrote:I think your doing everthing right and your going to give your dog ever chance to susscede
your trainer will tell you how to train while he's away from him if not ask what you need to be doing
I bet your dog turns out great keep up the good work
Thanks buddy! I figure so long as I’m putting forth a good faith effort and trying to educate myself as I go and doing my due diligence that’s probably the best I can do. He certainly won’t suffer for lack of exposure to wild birds once fall comes around if I have anything to say about it.


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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by cjhills » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:48 am

And that is how you make a bird dog. I still think your pup won the lottery.....Cj

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:51 am

I think Ratdog's dog won the lottery too. As for the multiple trainers....time will tell.
Stay tuned!

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:27 pm

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:27 pm

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Multiple Trainers

Post by RatDog » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:06 pm

Tubbs is at trainer number 1 in E MT. Very nice guy with a beautiful spot out on the prairie. I was pretty jealous when I saw it. I’d live next to a trout stream in a single wide without a neighbor in site if I could help it but my wife would be miserable and if mama ain’t happy then no one is. Really enjoyed spending a couple of hours with him going over what he’d be working on over the course of a two month stay. Basically using a check cord to have him work back and forth staying in front, introduce birds and recall. He said he’ll eventually overlay very low stimulation with the collar and eventually that’ll replace the check cord.

He’s been there for a week and sounds like he’s starting to settle in. Trainer introduced frozen quail the other day and said it went well (pics).
Only hiccup he’s noticed so far is that he’s really “vocal”. I noticed this about a month ago after he spent a week at a dog sitter with several other dogs while we were away on vacation. Thinking ack we were so fixated on him not having accidents, especially in his crate, that we rewarded the bad behavior by letting him out when he got really loud. I’m gonna cut us some slack though because 1. It’s a pain cleaning up dog and kennel in the middle of the night when they’re covered in dookie and 2. We have little kids so if he was really making a racket had to do something to quiet him down.

Have to say I’m super nervous when I get updates from the trainer. I’m trying to keep a level head but it’s worse than I’ve ever been with my kids . Just have to see how it goes. I told the trainer my biggest priority is that he is honest with me. If the dog has problems I want him to tell me and of course likewise if he’s doing well.

I spoke with trainer number 2 to ask if he had a problem with starting the dog elsewhere and he said it should be no worries. He takes him in June in SD.

Keeping my fingers crossed!

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Re: Multiple Trainers

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:44 pm

Thanks for the update Ratdog!

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