First (different) puppy class

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First (different) puppy class

This is a discussion on First (different) puppy class within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; So in the interest of getting Cobber out and socialized as much as possible, I took a friend's advice (she's a trainer and pet sitter) ...

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Old 06-12-2013, 08:32 PM
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First (different) puppy class

So in the interest of getting Cobber out and socialized as much as possible, I took a friend's advice (she's a trainer and pet sitter) and signed up for a different puppy class than the Petco one we go to on Saturdays.

This is put on by the local dog training club and is apparently considered the best of the local classes available. So tonight was the first class.

Cobber wasn't the worst behaved puppy there, but close to it - the rest were willing to sit calmly or play a little at their owner's feet. Cobber was pulling and pulling and wanted desperately to meet everyone, explore everything. The trainer pegged him right away as a Terrier and that's what we heard all class: "The terrier knows everything already because Terriers know everything." and "The Terrier is an earth dog so he's going to dig to China..." while he was doing just that instead of lying on his mat (and not because I wasn't trying to get him on the mat). And finally, "Oh, he's going to be a pistol." *cringe*

It's not that Cobber didn't know anything - he did great with marker word, his name, sit, down, and walking from one dog's mat to another's, but if I wasn't keeping him glued to me with treats and my foot on his leash to keep him right there with me, he was off getting in trouble everywhere.

I had a phone call with Cobber's trainer a few weeks ago when I was so upset about everything, and she was adamant that I not label him and his potential issues "terrier." She said Aussies are a bit of a work dog, a bit of a terrier, but mostly fun, happy dogs, and I shouldn't restrict him by thinking "terrier," and now the trainer of the puppy class is determined to put Cobber in the Terrier box. Oh well, maybe it'll motivate me to work harder with him to prove otherwise.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:48 PM
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? I love "terriers", their intelligence, inquisitiveness, energy, happy demeanor, friendliness, excitability, social nature, and the list goes on and on....why is that trainer "labeling" a breed as being "bad" or "work"....? If anything, your dog could be a model for a dog that is not "shut down" or pacified by treats...time to flip the trainer's attitude around quick or leave that class...you don't have anything to prove to her!!!!! Sheesh....SHE needs to brush up on her teaching/training skills instead of castigating your dog!!!

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:39 AM
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Well my terrier was head of the class. I had signed up w a guy but got a refund. He said terriers were "thick". Found a lady who has national obedience titles. My dog did awesome and the last class he was the only student so she gave me hard things to work on by myself. She even showed what her obedience dog was learning for competition and my baby learned it right away which she said hers was working on.

Long story short, build the bond and teach him how to learn and you will be able to teach cobber whatever you want. Well, except maybe off leash recall LOL
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:49 AM
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Thanks!

I feel bad (this is totally off-topic to the class last night) that Cobber's crated alone at home today. The doggy daycare -- and a lot of other places in our town -- lost power in the big-ass storm that came through this morning. I drove Cobber over there only to be turned away. So I had little choice but to put him in his "cage" (bigger than his crate with room for food and water and toys) at home until I can get back there for lunch. If he were older, I wouldn't feel so bad, but somehow I didn't foresee daycare weather-related problems until this winter. Silly me!

Anyway, thank you for the Terrier posts -- I will keep working with him; so far, he's absolutely wonderful!

For the record, I agree that Terriers are *not* thick at all. My favorite dog of all time was a Terrier, and he wanted nothing more than to please us (the ex and me). He was extremely smart, too. I'm hoping Cobber works out to be as wonderful a dog at Merlie was, but so far Cobber isn't showing the same level of interest in what I want vs. what he wants Consistency and diligence are key.

Last edited by CobbersMom; 06-13-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:43 PM
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I think my trainer has a similar attitude. Tessa barks (though slowly getting better) and pulls during class to meet the others and just won't focus on me during class (unless I pacify her with hot dogs).

I'm continuing to go just because it is the only other class other than petsmart and a doggy boot camp style place. I just wish I didn't feel so defeated when I come home from the classes. Here I am facing my issues taking her there in the first case (I haven't had a panick attack about class yet, and I'm darn proud of myself for it!) I just wish I didn't feel like the trainer is disappointed in us since all the other puppies are all able to be focused, yet most don't know the commands that Tessa picks up right away (Is it bad to admit sometimes I hope all those puppies are psycho hellons when they get home?).

We are working with her, but it's not something she's going to get fixed in a week. I think we're doing pretty well. On our walks she comes to me when she begins to pull, she sits when I stop to scoop the poop, she still barks when she is coming up to strange people and dogs but once I explain her situation everyone is pleasant and willing to give her a cookie. She also gets over anxious and attacks my shoes/arms while on the walks, which would be nice for her to get over quickly. I just don't think our trainer gets that Tessa has some fear anxiety (ironic that she wound up with a huuman that also has a fear based anxiety disorder); plus the class is taught in a doggy daycare centre so there are all those other smells to compete with too.

This is going to get better for us Cobbersmom! and just think of the amazing dogs we'll have once we just get through puppyhood (I think I'm going to need a new wardrobe after puppyhood is over, how about you?)
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:22 PM
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This is going to get better for us Cobbersmom! and just think of the amazing dogs we'll have once we just get through puppyhood
That's certainly my expectation!!


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(I think I'm going to need a new wardrobe after puppyhood is over, how about you?)
Seriously!
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:57 PM
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Oh, ugh!

First of all, if you're willing to bring your dog to training, and pay for it, you get a lot of respect from me, and you should get respect from the trainer. (You know, the person you're paying? )

Secondly, "he's a terrier/aussie/GSD/lab" just pisses me off. Like there have never been busy/excited/digging/unfocused dogs of other breeds. I've seen retrievers that won't retrieve and beagles win at obedience. Breed isn't everything.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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Your describing "puppy" from what I'm reading. Not "terrier" ::shrug:::

I find many terriers are reactive, but are really easy to train. I personally do my best to avoid using breed to explain behavior to people unless its som'thing specific. Insuating that a dog is going to be harder based on being a terrier is silly. Its all individuals and most importantly. The owner!

For those of you that have focus issue in class. Read the reactivity thread. The same games fix those issues. Particularly the LAT game. Make sure the rewards are placed on the ground and in a place that breaks the dogs gaze (behind them). Once the dog learns its OK to look at the other dog they will stop trying so hard to get to them. . Reinforce looking, not lunging, because rewarding neither and demanding focus just flat out wont work and trainers who insist on the dog robotically watching the owner wont accomplish much. Ramble ramble.



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Old 06-14-2013, 03:13 PM
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Seriously!
Yup a new wardrobe will be purchased the second tessa has given up the I must gnaaw on anything that smells like mom. She's so far gnawed her way through a whole package of socks, a pair of runners, 4 pairs of yoga pants, and 3 hoodies (I don't dare leave my arms naked or the damaged would be done to them)

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention, I just emailed my trainer for a few answers to some concerns I have for Tessa's attention problem in class and her new behaviour of attacking my arm while on walks; do you know what she said? It's to be expected from a Border collie mix.... She said that she has no qualms with my working with her, but BC's are just barky and hard to train and that's to be expected of a herder since she probably thinks she needs to herd the puppies and people (note: Tessa knows the commands, it's just the focus we need to work on; I've just started the LAT game). I should also mention, when I do get her to focus and 'perform' the task, Tessa gets bored with sitting 100 times while waiting for the other puppies to get how to.

She also said that the others in class are 'more willing' because they are pure bred labs or pure bred rhodesian ridgebacks, which are known to be more willing to please their masters...once again

I'm sort of stuck for training classes, since nothing else is offered and I can't get a refund...so we'll just continue and do our own thing I guess...
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:39 PM
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She also said that the others in class are 'more willing' because they are pure bred labs or pure bred rhodesian ridgebacks, which are known to be more willing to please their masters...once again

I'm sort of stuck for training classes, since nothing else is offered and I can't get a refund...so we'll just continue and do our own thing I guess...

Does she not realize that BCs are usually known for their extreme focus on their handlers (shepherds, agility, etc.)?

As for the being bored in class while the other puppies try to "get it," I had Quest do tricks (high-five, over, round, etc.) and various other commands while waiting He hated doing sit and down over and over while the others wrapped up their first couple sits. By keeping things interesting you are also building focus on you.
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