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Thanks :) I have another question - Do you think it's best to stay with one trainer, or is it ok to try two different trainers? I can see pros and cons to each.

 

I have an opportunity to spend a week up north with a different trainer in the spring, but I'd also like to continue with the trainer we're currently working with. I need to decide what I'm going to do! I don't want to confuse Juno with different approaches, but on the other hand I feel like we could learn a lot more with input and instruction from two different people.

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As a trainer myself (horses) and an amateur (dogs) :) , I advise my clients to do some clinics but to trust me to eliminate some or recommend others. For no other reason than to maintain some sort similar direction in the overall training. Especially in the beginning.

I also stick to this as the one going to lessons myself. Works for me and my clients.

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Good question and you pointed out the caveat, IMO.

 

I have a trainer that I consistantly go to for "lessons". But I trust him to provide me with opinions on clinicians that come to the area. I also check with my fellow handlers for their input on clinicians.

 

IMO, having a "regular" trainer that you and your dog like and trust is important. And I would hope that your regular trainer would be able to advise if another trainer or clinician follows a similar training style and would be suitable for your level of training so far, etc.

 

I would think that experiencing different types of training at your current level of expeience would be confusing. I know I would have found it confusing at a similar point in my journey! (Just to note, I think that being open to trying new things is important, but maybe just not when you are quite so new.)

 

So perhaps you could talk to your current trainer about it and see what he/she thinks? You ultimately get to make the decision, either way. :)

 

So, I agree with G. Festerling's post, too.

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I'd consider the week up north as more of a clinic vs. going to two trainers. Certainly find out if the week-long situation is compatible with what you're doing now, but that said, it's possible that the spring opportunity might be something that could expand your horizons when it comes to training (and handling/reading sheep, or whatever stock is being used), even if the style isn't the exact same as your trainer's. For one thing, if you're really spending a week working dogs, then you're getting a lot of concentrated work, and that could help both you and Juno progress by leaps and bounds. You might learn some things that your current trainer doesn't do, for whatever reason, but that suit your own training style or abilities.

 

The best advice I can give is that you don't want to run from trainer to trainer; that's not generally productive. But taking time off from your regular trainer to go to clinics, sheep camps, etc., can certainly add to your and Juno's overall learning experience. My caveat would be to be sure you're prepared to step in and advocate for your dog if you encounter a training situation that makes you uncomfortable. Go ahead and ask your regular trainer what she thinks of the situation, or you can PM some of the working folks here if you don't want to name the opportunity publicly, and get some additional opinions about the situation before you commit.

 

J.

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One other thing is to feel out your current trainer's feelings about working for a week/clinic/trip with another trainer, and who that trainer is. Some trainers are very adamant about *not* wanting any of their students to work with *anyone* else (either because they feel that they don't want their approach muddied with a different approach or sometimes, sadly, because they are guarding their students from exposure to other, perhaps more experienced and/or suitable and/or capable, trainers).

 

I find that any worthwhile person I have worked with has never had an issue with me taking a dog to another trainer or a clinic or taking advantage of an opportunity. Some of them have even been excited to have me "report back" with any ideas or new approaches so they could try something new that worked with my dog.

 

I'd suggest you give it a try, as long as both trainers are compatible in approach - as someone said, be your dog's advocate and step in if you think something is going to be counterproductive or go against how you feel your dog should be handled. And be open and honest with your first trainer about what you are doing, what you do, and what you can share.

 

Generally, I think, a trainer that is negative about your experiencing someone else, may not be a good trainer in the first place, so I think your current trainer will have no objections.

 

Enjoy!

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