Dog Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got a sweet little 5 yr old from the humane society about 2 weeks ago and I'm ready to work on some obedience/training with him. In terms of behavior, the only real issue he has is his timidity with new people who come to the house (he doesn't want to get too near them, but at the same time doesn't run completely away and hide upstairs or anything, so I'm thinking this won't be too huge a problem to resolve). Other than that, I'd like him to learn the basics and socialize him with some other dogs.

I've read the tips on here about choosing a trainer and called around in my area. So far I've ruled one out because he says he uses a prong collar and for a fearful little guy (35 lbs), that doesn't seem right to me.

One person I talked to recommended a few in home lessons to get him comfortable/work on the social issue, then going into her first level obedience group class. That seems like a reasonable approach to me. Her in home lessons were 55/hr and then of course there's the obedience class.

Another person I talked to recommended a 2 hour $175 behavioral evaluation then see what's necessary from there. Maybe I'm interpreting him incorrectly or something, but he almost seemed like he was trying to scare me, talking about problems that will crop up, I have to be prepared, I'll have to change my home environment, all this stuff. Obviously, issues will come up with a rescue when he starts to feel more comfortable, etc., but I just kind of got this vibe that he was trying to project all these worst case scenarios or something. Also, the 175 and then "see where we go from there" seemed pretty steep. He doesn't do classes, just private obedience lessons. I wish money weren't an issue, but unfortunately it is.

I'm waiting for a few others to call me back, too. Any thoughts? Is in home the way to go at first, then classes? Just one or the other? Do I need a 2 hour 175 behavior evaluation? Leo hasn't shown any kind of aggression to other dogs so far and I think it would be good for him to be in a group session. Probably good for me, too, I'd love to take him to the dog park and stuff but just don't feel comfortable doing so until I know how he'll react to things better, if that makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,437 Posts
My gut reaction is to tell you to wait a few more weeks and let Leo get settled. It can take a few months for some dogs. This is a good article on the subject. Three Ways to Confuse a New Dog

I'd go with the trainer who suggested a home visit and then classes. If you like this trainer, that will determine if you continue on with the class. Of course, that's assuming Leo is ready for a class at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,468 Posts
The author of the article Grabby posted, Patricia McConnell, has written a terrific book called "Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home."

I have some experience with rescue dogs, and I've found that it sometimes helps to make the introduction with a house guest in the front yard with the dog on a leash. Then walking into the house together seems to be less threatening than having the guest walk into the dog's space. Also, it's probably a less intimidating if your house guests simply ignore Leo than to approach him and try to interact with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for your responses! I've decided to wait a little while; the trainer I got the best impression from has an obedience class starting in 2 weeks, so my plan is going to be having a private lesson before, then if I like her/if she thinks he's ready starting in the class.

I don't want to rush him, but I do want to get him to know some basic commands, have him around other dogs, etc. in the next few weeks. I teach, so I'm off right now but I start again on Aug 18, and I'd like to have him in doggy daycare a few days a week so he's not alone all day. Before doing that, I'd like him to have a little social time and training, so I think that timeline would work.

Thanks for the tip about introducing him to new people! I'd already heard the ignore advice, but I think I will have him meet people outside on his leash then go in the house together. Like I said, I don't think he's terrified, just a little unsure or uneasy. he's not shaking, crying, or trying to run away, just doesn't want to get too close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
It sounds like he just needs to settle into his new life. Unfortunately, that may not happen on the time schedule you'd like.

Personally, I like trainer no. 2 out of the 3 mentioned. I agree with you about trainer no. 1, using punishments on a withdrawn, fearful dog is the exact opposite of what is needed. Trainer no. 3 could be a great trainer, I just don't like people hard selling me.

Do the in home sessions and see how it goes. If it isn't too much for your dog (it could be at this stage), then try one class. Again, a class might be too much this early in, if it is, wait a month or two and try again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I've decided to go with trainer number 2, we talked and she's coming over next week for an in home session, and we're just going to go from there, seeing if she thinks he needs more 1 on 1 or if he'd be ready to start her class on 8/14 (provided I like her, of course).

Thanks so much for the input, I really need the reminder to just be patient and let my little guy settle in!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top