The other day at Petsmart when Grim was barking and vocalizing the entire time, I had no idea what was up with him. I thought at the end that it was him needing to go poo because he'd had diarrhea. Well, not so! We missed class last week (which would have been the first time he was there), so today was his first arrival there. Well, he started all the barking and vocalizing as soon as we got out of the van. I tried to walk him around and get some energy out and have him go potty before we went in. He was being so obnoxious that the trainer (who was shoveling snow out front) said if he didn't stop when he came inside, we'd have to 'figure something out'. Well, he didn't stop. He wanted to meet all the dogs and people... which never happened. Some acted afraid of him, or like he'd hurt their dogs.
He was staring at some of them, but not in a mean way. He never met a dog he didn't like! The trainer asked what I did for correction for the barking. I said nothing, because this was all new. We spent the whole class away from everyone else, with him blocked behind a plastic curtain most of the time.
He didn't pay attention to me at all. He wasn't focused at all. Heck, when it was his turn to come to me when called across the room, he didn't even acknowledge that I was over there calling him almost every time!
I had his favorite thing (cheese) and that didn't work. The trainer gave me a piece of hot dog which worked a little better. I also had a lick stick that I just bought that he loves. It didn't matter. He looked at me a few times, but not enough. He was totally tuning me out 90% of the time. Now I've had him out to Petsmart, etc. for months and months. I've made him sit, etc. when we're there, too. He was SO amped up... and no other dog there was acting like this!
I spent most of the time 'hushing' him. I think that if he'd been allowed to greet the other dogs, he'd have done better. However, he can't always have what he wants.
The very worst thing, though, was when I was putting on my coat and hat, etc. to leave. An older woman came in for the next class with a female shepherd. Grim was watching her... but not doing a thing. The instructor said "don't let him stare like that".... and the old woman said "Yes, he's giving her the evil eye." THAT made me mad!! He doesn't have an 'evil eye'. He's freaking 6 months old and loves every dog and person he sees!!!!
I had to get him to potty before we left, and I kept wanting to go back in and tell the old lady that I was offended by her comment. I didn't, but it was all I could do to not say anything. How can you make a judgement like that about a dog you don't know?? He's a PUPPY!!!! Of course he's going to watch other dogs!
I guess I'll be getting up REALLY early next week to take him on a very long walk before we drive up there. The only thing is, he'll have two hours to sleep on the way there and will probably be full of energy again when we get there. I tried to get there a half hour early today to walk some of it off, but the weather turned really crappy and I lost most of my extra time. He's so very high drive and energy that it takes a lot to burn it off. It's not something that can be done fast. I know he may look intimidating, but he's just a baby. He wasn't trying to 'stare down' any dog. He just wanted to play. Should I really be correcting him every time he looks at another dog? Somehow I've got to figure out how to get his attention around other dogs. This is new... all the barking and vocalizing. He's also never blown me off this bad. First day of class with him there.... and I already feel like I've failed as his handler. I don't understand this sudden change in him. I swear, he's not being aggressive. I don't know why he's barking, whining, and nearly howling all the time now when we're out of the house and around other people.