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Also, puppy class frustration VENT.

This is a discussion on Also, puppy class frustration VENT. within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Yup, corrections aren't going to help you. They will make it worse. Especially if you have a very drivey dog, which could be the case ...

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:34 PM
  #11
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Yup, corrections aren't going to help you. They will make it worse. Especially if you have a very drivey dog, which could be the case since the dog looks pretty BC. Punishments only suppress behaviors...Suppressing drive won't work. The dog WILL become frustrated and the drive may show through other even less desirable behaviors.

It sounds like the environment was just too charged and he got overstimulated. If that's the way it's going to be, you're not going to benefit from it. Also, please don't be afraid to tell the trainer NO when she wants to do that to your dog. You know whats best for Theo...You know that corrections are no good. Stick to your guns and stand up for him.

The goal of puppy classes isn't really to get the puppies to perform, so I'm sorry you left feeling so poorly and that it didn't turn out to be a good experience . The point is mostly to get them socialized. A lot of higher strung puppies aren't going to be able to focus enough to do commands. That's normal, he's just being a puppy.

I personally never took puppy classes because I can socialize my dog on my own. We work on commands in my room first, then move to the living room, then outside in the backyard, then front yard, then other places like petsmart. By the time he was 5 months old, he was performing tricks in front of a class of 30 children.

Anyway, I know you payed for the class, and you should keep going. But just remember that you're the one in control. You don't have to do anything they're doing. If you need to get up and remove Theo, you can. If you need to stay further away at a distance where Theo does better, you can.

One last thing, will Theo tug? If he tugs, I can help you channel his drive.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:56 PM
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I could have written your post when Maisy was younger. She was SO distractible and obsessed by other dogs in class that I almost quit. Same stuff... whining, pulling, not focusing on me.

I think this is really good advice and it's essentially what I did:

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Originally Posted by kmes View Post
With a puppy like this in my classes I generally first try having the owner and puppy move further away from the others. I have the owner simply click and treat for any behavior he/she likes. Quietly looking at the other puppies and people. Sitting. Making eye contact. Etc. They may spend the entire first class doing nothing but that. However the big thing is that I have them move closer and closer a step or two at a time, working towards a normal working space.

I would move off to the side and quietly work on marking/rewarding eye contact. I didn't ask her for it, and I started by just rewarding turning in my direction at all and gradually increasing to only rewarding eye contact. I spent a lot of class time just not worrying about what we were "supposed" to be doing but practicing getting her to focus on me.

I also did kind of a Look at That game (although I didn't know what LAT was at the time) where if she got really distracted by or focused on another specific dog, I would ask her "What is THAT doggie doing?" and mark/reward when she looked back at me.

One thing with her that I really came to learn over time was that if my attention waned, hers would, too. So say the trainer was explaining something and we weren't actively working with the dogs, her attention would disengage and wander. So I had to learn to stay engaged with her and still be listening to what was going on in class, which just takes a lot of practice.

Good luck! If I could do it with Maisy, you can do it too!
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:14 AM
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thanks for the support sassafras! i am going to move theo to a corner and out of the circle to work with him this week. since this is our second go-around, i think it will be great to work with him on my own and reward his attention, and then incorporate whatever command we're working on in class that day as the class goes on.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:48 PM
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Hi Bigargylesock! I know this is a bit late on the stream but I have been off the forum for a while and am just getting back into it, hallelujah! I just wanted to comment on the mention of yours about bonding issues.

My pup has bonding issues BIG TIME! I not only have her shy personality to deal with but also her breed temperament (Jindo) which is to be independent and aloof. Seriously, my cat is a thousand times more affectionate than my pup

The biggest thing that turned her around and i mean BIG was to start hand feeding her. Yes, all kibble comes directly from mine or my husbands hand every single day. And if she is hungry and wants food? She gets to work for it - all of it. No meals until i get a nice sit and eye contact. Then again between handfuls - sit and eye contact.

We do an exercise that fosters eye contact with out the human asking for it so its not a cue, "hey look at me now" kind of thing but something the pup has to offer unbidden. Basically when pup is hungry get a nice treat or meal ready and let them see/smell it then sit or stand in front of them and simply wait. Once pup looks into your eyes - mark the action and give her a bit. Then again, only if pup looks into your eyes and so on. It can take a few minutes for them to remember/focus/offer eye contact so be patient! I guess the idea is that you don't have to order the dog to pay attention to you, they just do of their own accord after a while. With a BC it should be much easier than my Jindo as BCs are so well known for human bonding and following cues as working dogs. I do this exercise several times a day and its really been paying off!!

As for puppy class - yes just take home what you can and work together in your non-stimulating environment. My Baileymoon totally SPAZZES out in class. Puppy class for us is really just training humans (i.e. ME) how to train their pups at home and in your own environments. Its the work that happens at home that is the important stuff, class is just a part of the guiding experience. I know you said you were already invested in this class but maybe the next one you consider will have a trainer who is experienced or focused with BCs. They seem to have a unique temperament - what being bred to be working dogs and such, perhaps your pup needs a BC approach to training. Just a thought! All the best and what a cutie you have there!!!

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