I have not had to start from scratch with a dog for a long time, so I am doubting everything I thought I knew, and I also have forgotten a lot...
Last night George, BF and I started a beginner obedience class. Description of class was that we'd be taught positive methods and learn how to motivate the dog.
First lesson was a long series of commands (sit...stay...stand...stay...down...stay...sit), taught by physically putting the dog into positions. Praise at the end of the series, not for each step (when I asked why, the trainer said "mini praise" for each step was okay, but that we want the dog to learn that what we want is the whole series).
It seems to me like we're asking awful lot of these dogs who, presumably, have had no previous training. If a dog doesn't even know sit, can s/he really learn that long sequence?
Also, I was kinda icked out by physically putting the dog into position. Sit was taught by holding the collar while sweeping an arm under the dogs knees, Stay by holding one hand on the collar and the other hand on the rump, Down by taking the front paws...
I have previously only trained using treats to lour the dog into position. So...that's new to me. It was done gently, but still I have an aversion to the idea of physical force no matter how gentle...won't we be getting into physical battle at some point?
And I know one-on-one training would be better, but money is really tight right now.
Thanks for any advice! :)