1st Class...fingers and toes crossed!

Well, we are going to our first obedience class in about 15 minutes! I am so nervous!!! What about you might ask? Well, I will tell you....

1. Our wiggle-butt doesn't listen.
2. Maggie likes to introduce herself to other dogs with a firm right- or left-hook.
3. She doesn't listen very well when she has "distractions."
4. We want her to do well so that we can possibly move her on to therapy and/or crisis response training.
5. She SO has the doggie equivalent of ADHD. I work with kids that can't seem to control it, how can I expect my dog to listen? 8O
6. This HAS TO WORK! Being in public education, we cannot afford private training.

Do I seem nervous?
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Aww good luck! I'm sure Maggie will do her best to make you proud :)
you'll be fine the real reason to go to training is to buil a good relationship with your dog - and maybe teach them control their impulses (like knocking out the little dogs with a right/left hook)
So what's your question? What you just listed is WHY people take their dogs to obedience classes! Go with the intention of developing a working relationship with your dog. Don't worry about how everyone else & their dogs are doing. What is important is that you can see you & your dog progressing! Good luck & more than anything ENJOY training with your dog!
How did your class go???
And, where are you taking her?
wendycz23 wrote:
6. This HAS TO WORK! Being in public education, we cannot afford private training. 8O

In my opinion, private training is good for the handler but I feel a group or classroom setting is better for the dog. The dog needs to learn to listen to & respond to the handler under less than ideal circumstances aka distractions. And there is no better distraction for a dog than other dogs & people doing things in the same room!
how did the class go?

I use private training when a dog is too anxious to relax in a class situation. and it is really most useful for the trainer. one of th ebest things dogs learn in a class setting is that the other dogs are not always playtoys :lol:
Yes the classroom situation teaches the dog that it is time to listen and behave - there is time for that other nonsense at home. Of course you want them to listen to you all the time but Harry really has a sense about what "collar" he is wearing and therefore the behavior that is expected of him.

We are anxious to hear what happened at class.
Well, we were a half-an-hour early (they told me 6:30, but it was at 7), so we got to chat for a bit. The instructor was a former teacher so we had LOTS to chat about.

He never told us his name, but my referral to Paws and Claws in Hudson, Wisconsin, said that he was trainer and he shows dogs. When we started the class, he explained some things and got on all fours to get to know the doggies....ie, he pretty much let them sniff his butt! Ok, not really, but kinda, he used that opportunity to teach us about dog behavior and what it is they are doing. He also talked about collars and harness, and let us know what he generally thinks works best, but we could use whatever we felt more comfortable with . You could tell he was a teacher. I guess inner-city education experience can help in many different areas of life!

Anyways, we mainly learned how to "correct" our dogs, walk, stop, and sit. That was pretty much it, but it was very informative and enjoyable.

What I am concerned about, and he said it is ok, but we always had Maggie in a harness because when she pulls on the leash, she chokes herself. I get that she needs to have some "discomfort" in order to learn what is correct or not, but this morning, I had her on the leash and collar and a car went by and she choked....to the point where she "coughed" up white foam. Is this ok or should I be concerned? She has responded to the collar-correction, but I don't want to do her any harm.

Overall, I think she will be the star of the class! There are only 3 dogs in the class, and she is the oldest my over a year, but hey, we'll take what we can get! Oh, and she didn't punch any of the other dogs!!! YEAH!!! :D
can you explain the correction?

I disagree they need to feel some discomfort to know to stop -its also not an overnight thing. they need to learn they control the walk to some degree. that si sthe point of stopping when they pull - no pull and that person over there moves. I pull and they stand still HMMMM
The correction is simply saying "no" or "no pull" and tug on the leash. Nothing violent, just a "reminder" tug. He did say, along with our vet, that she has a sensitive throat. They both also said that they understand why we use the harness, but the instructor said that it won't really "teach" her to not do it because there isn't a negative reinforcement with it.

It totally makes sense. I have thought about a prong-collar.....but maybe I just need to chat with my vet.

Maggie pulls and does the same thing when the vet takes her in the back and he ALWAYS comes out with her saying something on the lines of, "She really pulls! I know why you use the harness! Hopefully training will help."

But, she has never "barfed" in front of the vet either when she pulls. :oops:
she can learn the same things with the collar, the harness , the gentle leader etc etc. they are all just tools and like all tools depend on how they are used. the real goal is after all to get her to stay with you voluntarilly right?

focus on the positive reinforcements and she will progress further - that said I have nothing against saying no - and even a gently tug is fine her choking - not agood thing (as I am sure you know). use whatever allows her to learn without being hurt and you'll be fine - and don't forget - even the teachers don't have all the answers :oops:
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