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Old 24.07.2015, 10:23
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GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

I still have to do a practical SKN course. I didn't have good experience with my first dog (the course was very basic and shallow) and was wondering if I should do it to tick it off the to-do list or maybe look better this time and find a good trainer...

It seems my dog has found an answer. She started chewing on things. I don't think it's a separation anxiety, as this happens when I'm home. I think it's her way to bring my attention or she is just bored (if it's the latter, she has right to be: with the heat wave both she and I have no energy to play and train). So far, it's been just wall corners, but today I've found a phone charging cable chewed to pieces. No harm done, it was connected to a computer, but what if the next thing she likes is something connected to 220 V?

As you can see, this is a priority now. I need a good SKN trainer, who will be able to work with us on all the issues. I don't want any generic stuff (what a clicker is and how to sit) anymore. I am willing to travel (within reasonable distance ). I am even willing to speak German. I just need good professional advice.
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Old 24.07.2015, 12:26
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

Heksita, where in ZH are you?

If anywhere on the left side near the SZ border, I highly recommend my trainer, Jeanette Schuler Ponte, in Wollerau SZ:

http://www.kurse-fuer-hunde.ch/index2.html

Jeanette is a lot of fun to work with, she is not only a highly skilled dog trainer but she also knows how to share her knowledge and experience in a way that is practical, sensible, and entertaining. I have been training with her for 9 years and four dogs now.

(Classes are in German, although Jeanette puts up with my mistake-laden and often nonsensical patter.)

Bear in mind, though, that it is generally recommended to do the SKN courses in your canton of residence, as there will be canton-specific topics discussed. So it might be best to stick to canton ZH for the mandatory course.

But beyond the SKN, you could also consider other courses to address the behavior - from Familienhund to the various dog sports. A good trainer knows that every activity is really about strengthening the bond and shaping everyday behavior.

Hopefully some of the Zürich contingent will be along with suggestions for a trainer in ZH.

All the best to you and your pup...
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Old 24.07.2015, 12:57
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

Thanks for the recommendation. Jeanette is 1 hr away, it is doable if necessary.

One question has just popped up in my mind: does bitches' behavior change after fixing? Maybe it's hormones? First heat coming soon (she is 7,5 months old now)?
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Old 24.07.2015, 13:11
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

Someone recommended www.fairtrain.ch to me. Does anyone know them?
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Old 24.07.2015, 13:30
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

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(she is 7,5 months old now)?
Welcome to the teenage yob phase...

Just as with humans, puberty can be an unsettling time for dogs as well. Often a well-grounded pup with a good training start suddenly develops 'Flausen im Kopf' when the teenage phase hits. Skills that the pup had mastered suddenly are forgotten by a giddy teenager.

(Hooligan - who wasn't well grounded to start with, went through a 'Kevin' phase that made for... interesting times. Interesting as in the Chinese curse, that is.)

Hormones do play a role in behavior, and the drop in hormone levels following spaying/neutering can have consequences.

BUT BUT BUT I am always wary of viewing neutering as a magic bullet to correct behavior or as the cause of bad behavior - there is so much more going on. One needs to look at the dog as a whole, understand what is hormone driven and what is not, what is nature and what is nurture, and work from there. This is where a good trainer, someone who can observe what is going on, who can offer supportive advice, can be a godsend.

A dog coming into estrus will often exhibit behaviors that are new - for better or for worse. Do you know when your pup's mother first came into heat, or whether any of her siblings have? If you are in contact with her breeder you might want to ask.

It's helpful to know how early/late her relatives first came into estrus as, while not necessarily predictive it at least gives you an idea as you are thinking about scheduling the surgery. If you plan to do it after the first estrus, do remember that most vets prefer to do the surgery at the mid-point of the cycle, that is about 3 months after the first estrus.

But be of good cheer - the teenage phase does not last forever.

In the mean time: Brain training. I found brain-training games the most effective way to deal with Hooligan's 'Kevin' behavior. Intelligent, independent breeds - like corgies - benefit so much from mental stimulation, perhaps more so than from physical.

All the best.
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Old 24.07.2015, 13:38
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

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Someone recommended www.fairtrain.ch to me. Does anyone know them?
I don't know them, but I like what I read on their website.

Why not ask if you can come along to observe their classes, or do a trial lesson? Many trainers offer this, as it's important to determine if the 'fit' between the program and you/your dog is a good one before making a commitment.
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Old 24.07.2015, 14:17
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

When I was looking for a school I did a lot of Internet searching, found 3 I thought might be OK then wrote to them all asking if I could come and visit to see one of their lessons. Two wrote back almost immediately and said yes by all means just let us know when you are coming and the third eventually came back asking why I wanted to visit first! The third I didn't bother with but went to visit the other two and decided that I liked the way Pascal Groner at Dog Balance conducted her lesson, an adult one but still.
She was very calm, had already organised the field as she needed it, knew the skills and limitations of the 3 dogs in the lesson and gave them work accordingly. At the end everyone had a drink and a chat in the car park where they could ask any questions and discuss any problems they might be having. Eicke and I joined this group for 2 lessons as she was a little wary of older, bigger dogs and we thought it would be good socialisation for her. We were due to start the next Junghund group but unfortunately we have to wait as Eicke has possibly torn a cruciate ligament.
Brain training ideas welcome as we are both bored of just sit, stay, lie and wait.
Good luck!
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Old 24.07.2015, 14:59
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

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We were due to start the next Junghund group but unfortunately we have to wait as Eicke has possibly torn a cruciate ligament.
Brain training ideas welcome as we are both bored of just sit, stay, lie and wait.
Aww... poor Eicke. We'll all keep our paws crossed for a quick recovery.

I know how frustrating enforced rest can be, especially for a young pup. Here is where brain-training games are goldwert.

My favorite 'brain-training' website:
http://www.spass-mit-hund.de

The website is full of ideas for games you can play with your dog, most made our of everyday stuff you likely already have laying around the house. I turn to this anytime one of mine is on restricted exercise - and any rainy day, anytime my oldie looks a bit bored, anytime I need my younger whirlwinds to take it down a notch. Most games are easily adaptable to any dog's age, temperament, and abilities.

The site authors have several books out - one of which, 'Das Grosse Spielbuch für Hunde' has been translated into English, 'Playtime For Your Dog:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playtime-You...e+for+your+dog


Give little Eicke a big cuddle from me - hope she feels better soon.
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Old 24.07.2015, 15:35
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

Thank you MC, I knew you had mentioned this site before but couldn't find the reference. It looks great and we can certainly use a fair few of them.
Pascal had also mentioned the book, but the German edition. I was considering trying it in German but am not sure mine is good enough.
Just to mention Heksita, I sent my mail to the schools in German, after it had been checked by my teacher and the lessons are in German too, with a bit of sign language when required! 😄
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Old 24.07.2015, 15:37
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Re: GOOD practical SKN course (Zürich)

Oh and Eicke has no idea why she isn't allowed to play, doesn't hurt mum, Honest! Border terriers are renowned for their stoicism so we are playing (pun intended) very safe.
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