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Old 04-09-2014, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
anitram
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Question Questioning value of puppy school

To be specific, our puppy class that we've been attending.

I chose this class because it is run by a really well-organized obedience club which also does a ton of classes in agility, flyball, etc which are things I'd like to explore when Hans is older.

The trainer is ok...a bit disorganized and has asked that we don't bring the clicker to the class but instead mark with "Yes" which if fine, though annoying to my husband who has really taken to the clicker.

The issue is the other dogs in the class. Hans is the youngest (14 weeks) and smallest. The other dogs are essentially in one way or another older puppies or young adults who are becoming problem dogs. The rundown:

1. A 17-week-old Sheltie female who is TERRIFIED of everything. This puppy trembles when a person or another puppy approaches her. She hides under benches or chairs with her tail between her legs and poor thing looks completely stressed out to be there.

2. A 6-month-old Doberman female who is probably the best of the rest, but whose owner is totally in over her head and has had her on a prong collar since she was under 5-months old saying that's she's otherwise unmanageable. The puppy seems like she has a really low drive to me and doesn't appear at all motivated by food so she's a slow learner.

3. A 9-month-old yellow Lab who is pardon my language, crazy, haha. Unbelievable amount of energy, dog jumps straight up, literally off the ground like it's a yoyo, 3-4 feet in the air. Owned by an elderly couple who themselves are very slow moving and could not be a worse match. Has to be muzzled because otherwise it would bark continuously for the entire hour-long class. When she plays with other dogs, she jumps up in the air, lands on their back and basically sits on top of them on the ground until they freak out. She is also already overweight.

4. A 14-month-old mini Australian shepherd, just a pretty bad temperament IMO. In the first class, it bit the trainer. If you approach it, it growls, then bites. The owners are a nice couple but either irresponsible or dishonest with other people about their dog's temperament. In the first class, Hans tried to approach it (I held him back so he only got within about 5 feet of her) and she went ballistic, growling, baring her teeth, straining on the leash to bite, etc. He kind of took a step back, didn't seem particularly bothered by it but in the second class when he saw her, he barked immediately. Otherwise he interacts just fine with other dogs.

We've done a lot of clicker training with him at home and he's unbelievably smart and trainable. I like going to the class so that he can be in a room with other dogs, be trained when there are major distractions and so I can get some tips from the trainer. I'm just concerned that he's not really benefiting from socialization here because apart from maybe the Doberman the other three don't have temperaments which are sound and if I knew them personally outside of class I'd never let Hans interact with them.

What would you do?
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Rough Collies - King (01/1994-01/2002) and Samson (2/14/2002-3/30/2014) - too good for this world
GSD - Hans (12/31/2013)

Last edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN; 04-13-2014 at 08:22 AM. Reason: language
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