Friday, July 15, 2011

Pet Peeves

It's rainy...yuck. And I'm waiting on the electrician to come...which come be anywhere from 8 to I'm a cranky post it is...LMAO!

When you work with other people, eventually there are a certain number of human behaviors that come up that you must deal with or tolerate. I am VERY lucky that I don't have these issues anymore as I pick who I take in for lessons (very grateful for that!). But I got some good ones when I taught classes A LOT.

People have to learn, and I will normally call someone on this (not like HEY YOU JACKA$$ or anything) but I try to change their behavior.

I am almost 100% certain my students could add to this list, as I am sure there are things I have gotten onto them about before that I have forgotten. And please, feel free to add to this list as well! LOL Here's a short list of pet peeves I have when training others.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching...but sometimes I would like something soft and cushy to throw at people...sometimes if that soft and cushy thing was like, for example, a cement block, that would ALSO be useful :)

These are in no particular order :)

Talking to dogs in amazingly compound sentences. Instead of just saying "Rover, COME!"...they have a dissertation "Hello Rover, won't you please come over here and sit next to me so we can run agility and I can give you these treats". All Rover hears is "LALALALALALALALALALALALALA Rover, LALALALALALALALALALALALALALA agility LALALALALALALALALA treats. Dogs don't speak English. I can GUARANTEE YOU THIS. Use words the dog knows.

When people use the word "down" to mean lie down and also when the dog is supposed to get off of them (aka jumping up)...use OFF. Or French Fries, or whatever. But they don't mean the same, so use a different word. MANY people do it...but it bugs me...

People who drive all the way out to my place (and you gotta wanna come out here) and spend their lesson time NOT trying things that I ask them to do. I'm not asking for a kidney or your first born...a front cross here, or there? TRY IT. JUST TRY. If you "no likey", I'm fine, but you drove a LONG way to get here and you won't get much out of it if you don't TRY.

People who, after going to a seminar (which I encourage my students to do) come back and want to change EVERYTHING about their handling, training etc. Yeah...M-Kay.

People who come to class in a really bad mood, treat their dog like crapola and wonder why things are not going as planned. LET IT GO when you pull into my driveway please.

When a person makes a mistake and DOESN'T REWARD THEIR DOG...I get my students broke of this SUPER QUICKLY :) I am sure they will agree.

Telling me that your dog is a "insert breed here" and they will chase things, attack my sheep, run off, kill critters etc etc etc. Not while they are here they won't. That's why we TRAIN them :) 6 BC's, no dogs harassing sheep, or chasing cars...JRT, calls off prey. Training :) Let's focus on that.

Not bringing treats or toys or whatever else motivates your dog, to your lesson...huh? You think you're THAT amazing to keep your dog interested for a solid hour with no payment? You're not.

"My dog has a recall sometimes"'s like being either are, or you are not. Don't tell me that and then take off the leash so your dog can go rampant pissing on all my agility equipment while you attempt to catch them.

Don't let your dog piss on my agility equipment...or I'll piss in your training bag...K Thanks!

If your children are WELL BEHAVED, they are fine to come to lessons. If you're children are NOT WELL BEHAVED, then please....get a babysitter. I don't hate kids, some kids I really REALLY like...but there are some children that I do believe came from the deep bowels of hell....Children must have good recalls, have a sit stay, a NO BARK command and if you have some chew bones to keep them busy that is great as well (video games are great for this). If you spend the entire hour yelling at your kids for being kids and won't get much out of your lesson. However it WILL give me great insight into why your dog is trained the way it is :)

I don't live in the land of excuses, I live in the land of fixing issues and training...excuses do nothing but hold you and your dog back. If you didn't train this week, just fess up and I won't try to increase the difficulty of the skills you are learning. I won't get angry, I won't beat you with sharp objects. The restraining order took care of that YEARS ago ;-)

When, trying a different method (as nothing else has worked)...will try it for....a day, or two days...deem it not working because the dog hasn't even figured out what the hell they are doing changing the rules and try something different...CONSTANTLY changing their approach to the issue or task they want trained. Do you think that MIGHT confuse the dog a "weeeee bit?"

I cannot control the weather...if it's thundering and lightening, putting your dog on METAL agility equipment is not a smart move. Please, don't get mad at me if we have to stop during class...I have your dogs best interest in mind...if I could control the weather, Minnesota winters would be GONE. I can guarantee you that!!! So yeah. Sorry...shit happens :)

You will NOT get those contacts retrained a day before the trial...or the WP entries, or fix jumping issues....if it ain't trained yet, it won't get trained the day before. I know this...I really do.

Don't force dogs to do something...tunnels are a HUGE example...when teaching tunnels to dogs, for some reason many humans believe if you SHOVE THE DOG INTO THE TUNNEL, that will be a GREAT and positive experience for the dog. It isn't. Most dogs find that really off-putting. And honestly...if someone tried to force me to do something, they'd probably get bit. Or kicked in the junk...or both. Let the DOG DECIDE...if you have the reward they want, then it will work out!

Bringing ONE--7 pound Milk Bone dog biscuit to the HELL are you going to reward the 17,000 times in an hour your dog does something amazing? And if you CAN carve a piece off that giant corn/soybean meal're gonna be too late to reward what you wanted to reward anyway!

Border Collies do NOT come trained. They are very me almost like an autistic think "Rain Man" can really make them into amazing dogs, or you can end up with a complete moron of an animal, drooling, staring at light beams all day, repeating "Gotta Watch Watpner" over and over and over again. Not joking on this.

Showing up with a "POWER DOG" aka Staffy, Pitbull, GSD, etc etc. and talking about how the world hates your breed of dog, and then in the same breath how your dog will KILL ANYTHING...and you have to have the prong collar on them at ALL TIMES cause they might KILL SOMETHING. Lets try to be a good example of ownership OK? If you want something POWERFUL...get an automobile. Or better yet, some self esteem :-)) Whaaaaaa? I didn't say that, you didn't read that...nope. Nope...

Feel free to add to the list :) I'm sure there are a TON MORE...and I'm not gonna say I have never done most of no judgement here! Just stating the facts! :)

Damn electrician STILL isn't here....Grrrrrrrrrr

Now we will return back to the scheduled program or RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS!!! :) Happiness!!! YAY!!!!!! Clapping :)

PS--I have found something more scary than clowns----Gary Bucey---SHUDDER


Shawn said...

I had a student who while her dog was on leash was peeing on my jump. I asked her to stop him - she shrugged her shoulders and told me he'd always been a 'free pee-er' WTF???

wickydoodle said...

People who tell their dogs to LAY DOWN. Hype's puppy class instructor said that just last night, so when Hype didn't respond I told her that Hype only responds to proper grammar. ;-) If you're confused, just use "down" please.

Deb Stiner said...

OK....laughed at thw rong time....key board full of coffee...GROSS!! Totally WORTH IT!!! I am printing this out and FRAMING this sucker!!!! ALL TOO TRUE!! Except in Ne we have an instructor who screams out DUMB ASS!!! LOVE!!


Sue said...

I do not instruct, I'm a student but watching others in my class, this one bugs me the most: "
People who drive all the way out to my place (and you gotta wanna come out here) and spend their lesson time NOT trying things that I ask them to do. I'm not asking for a kidney or your first born...a front cross here, or there? TRY IT. JUST TRY. If you "no likey", I'm fine, but you drove a LONG way to get here and you won't get much out of it if you don't TRY." Why are they going to class if they don't want to learn something? They are wasting their time, my time and my instructors time if they do not want to hear what she has to say. JMHO

Shawn said...

HaHa - I also had a student who wanted a quick fix for missed contacts. She was telling the dog to touch and couldn't understand why he didn't. I said he had to know what touch meant. She said, "ok, I'll tell him 'bottom' next time"... totally fixed the problem - NOT!!!

(Great topic for a stressed-out Friday, btw!)

Dawn said...

I actually think that if my trainers would throw something at me when I start to do the wrong thing I might learn quicker.

Robin said...

I love it when people come back from a seminar and say stuff, like, "I never knew what a front cross (back cross, blind cross, whatever was!" Yeah, like we haven't been working on those for the past just needed to hear it from a big hat trainer, cuz obviously only Mecklinburg/Garrett/Derrett/whoever have any knowledge of agility whatsoever.

And I own power dogs, have for over 25 years. Many will tell you self-esteem is not a problem for me! I love the way they look and think and yeah, I also love that I can walk through a hotel parking lot late at night and nobody, but nobody, is gonna mess with me. OTOH, it's also a PITA at times; like when people tell me my dog's brane is gonna explode and she's gonna eat me in my sleep...

Jaenne said...

I can't stand being at a lesson and other students are dawdling between excerises (when they should be watching and learning) instead of being ready when its their turn...I can't stand at a trial when someone points out that something is wrong (like a jump height or something) and instead of fixing it themselves, they tell someone expecting them to fix it...UGH!

Catalina said...

hee hee tunnel um, GUILTY! not sure why I thought that was a good idea....but I'm not doing it any more!
I wish there was an opposite clicker for humans - you do something wrong and get clicked or shocked. Most of the time I'm spacing out trying to process all the new stuff. I understand how Tibby feels - well sort of - too much stuff! Brain exploding!

I swear away from agility I'm a nice normal person that can muti-task!

Loretta Mueller said... are not a freak about it. You know who I am talking about in regards to power dogs. People that have them JUST to say they have them. And do nothing with the dogs...and they have HORRIBLE behavior...and the "power dog" excuse is used...hate that :-(((

I'm glad all of you are enjoying my rant :) LOL

Loretta Mueller said...

Oh..and Shawn...that is messed UP. Seriously...LMAO!

Loretta Mueller said...

Oh..and Shawn...that is messed UP. Seriously...LMAO!

Breanna said...

Some of those sound like pretty rotten things to do at a lesson!

I think (from personal experience) the best teachers are those that teach a student what to do, rather than criticize what they do wrong (sounds like you find a good balance between the two). I don't mind a wtf are you doing this, but to have every move analyzed and critiqued all lesson isn't a good learning style for me.

I'm certainly not suggesting this is your style, actually quite the opposite. It sounds like you do a nice job of giving us lesser dog people guidance (and believe me we need all the help we can get ;-D ) Although some of those habits would deem a swift kick in the short I think!

Loretta Mueller said...

Carmala--you are fine, it is something LOTS of people do :) Once they see that the dogs prefer it the other way they are fine :)

Breanna--yeah I don't critique everything, I first give students all the tools they need, setting the foundation. Then, at some point in their training (when I am happy with what they are learning and feel they are ready)I will start turning them loose and let them make mistakes and show them correct ways to help them communicate on course. I am a "guidelines" type of person...not a hard and fast rule maker. So each team develops as they go. But there are some things I really will get onto people about. Mainly not rewarding and being mean to their dogs. I will not stand for that. EVER. Otherwise...I normally just show them what I want, and be patient with them. I think calling out only creates issues. So on those pet peeve items I don't normally say a thing...just work on educating and showing them what will be better. Does that make sense?

Breanna said...

Makes perfect sense! I love teachers that "guide" rather that beat over the head with a stick. Will you please move to Montana? I promise we'd never back talk and be good students! I don't think our winters last quite as long ;)

achieve1dream said...

Have you ever had anyone ask you to bring your agility equipment to them because they don't want to drive all of the way to your house? I would laugh in their face if they did. That's the only other thing I could think of. Or someone who tries to tell you or teach you instead of the other way around?

D said...

You've taught us alot about being fair to our dogs. If they are trying and learning, don't expect perfection.

Also, screw up cookies,are very important. Human handling screw ups should not affect the dog!

Your patience amazes me, especially your ablity to withhold an "I told you so" after a student has refused to try what you want them to. Finally, (weeks later) they DO try it, and miraculously it works. Crazy.

agilityfrk said...

My present pet peeve is students who manage injuries instead of giving the dog the proper time off. Or get pissed off with me for suggesting something may be physically wrong with their dog, when it starts doing weird avoidance behaviors. I didn't call your baby ugly, I'm worried about their well-being.

Kat said...

Love your post! I KNOW I have said ALMOST every single one of those at some point, uhm... last week! :) One of my favorites that I didn't see on your list is the student that asks your opinion. "What do you think about xyz?" You give your opinion and then they proceed to argue with you and tell you why that won't work for them! :) OH! And don't forget the student that says "I know". to everything you ask them to do, but continue to NOT do it! :)

Loretta Mueller said...