I think some of you may have the wrong idea about me, Tad, and these behavior problems and why I'm looking into a trainer. So, I want to clear this up...
Tad is a very good dog. He sits, stays, lays down (if you're lucky), and knows 'no'. He doesn't require a leash, and comes to me when he's called. However, when he is excited...he loses it. It's understandable, I get that. That's not the issue. The issue is his protective instincts. Yes, he has every right to be protective, however, I refuse to have an unpredictable dog. I am far more responsible than that. He gets incredibly vicious when he gets into protective mode, and I absolutely will not have that. THAT is why I am looking for a behaviorist/trainer. I don't need someone to teach me how to teach him to sit and stay as PetSmart would do. I can do that myself, and I have. The issue lies with this certain vicious behavior that I want curbed before something happens and it becomes out of my hands because the state has stepped in or a lawyer. Yeah, that's a worst case scenario...but, honestly...I see that in Tad's future, and that's why I'm desperately trying to find someone who I feel is capable and who I am comfortable with their training methods.
The three of us, here at the clinic, have consistency. They know the rules I want Tad to have, and they know the commands I use. I am very slowly seeing a difference, but it is still a long road. A client yesterday told us that Tad has the same problem her dog has, 'Greeting Disorder'. :) It's true...definitely true. But, we're working on it. Whenever the bell rings because the door has opened, I hold Tad's collar and he has to sit until he's calm. When he's calm, we slowly walk to the front of the hospital. If he gets out of hand, he is ordered to sit again until he's calm. Then, we round the corner and he sees the people or their dog, and he is excited again, and so we sit. When he's calm, we move forward. We'll get there. As I said, I can already see an improvement, so that's good.
He is a very, very smart dog...in fact, he's smarter than the other two...and it's the smart one's you have to watch out for. ;)
So far I've contacted two well-known trainers for our area. Neither of them have bothered to contact me in return. I am pretty...erm, irate at that. How do you expect to run a business if you don't return messages? Either way, I'm still looking.
We have a client here at the clinic, and she's done agility with her border collies for as long as I can remember. She gave me some pointers, and also talked to me about putting Tad in agility, just for fun. It would definitely stimulate his mind and give him a 'job'. I definitely agree that every dog needs a 'job'...or something special they can contribute to the family/pack. It would also help with his energy levels, but first...he needs 100% obedience...or pretty darn close to it.
I am definitely considering this for him; he is very high energy. I feel like this is part of the problem we're having here at the clinic. He is high energy and it goes over the top when he gets excited while he's here.
He is not a BAD dog. I see far worse dogs every day, however...he is not as well behaved as he needs to be for the lifestyle that my dogs and I live.
I hope that this has cleared up a few concerns that have been expressed on Tad's Facebook Page regarding the training and behavior posts.