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Old 02-09-2013, 09:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Update: Today was the second class, and Dexter did great. We had to stop at the car wash before class, and that was quite stressful, but no biggie - he calmed down pretty quickly. During puppy play, I made sure to call him back frequently, and he came every time. :-) Overall, I felt that he was much more focused on me. When he started to whine a little, I just walked away from the group, did a quick sit and down and returned, and the whining was history.

I guess, the most important thing is to see what works for you and your dog and what doesn't. I also took his tennis ball to class with me, and during the potty break, we played a little "catch".

If anybody is interested, I had to be a little creative to be able to incorporate ball play while he's on leash. (He's not into the ball on the rope yet at all). I tell him to wait and bounce the ball in front of him a few times while he sits. Then I tell him to catch, and he's allowed to go for the ball once I bounce it. Dexter loves the game, for me it's easy to play while he's on leash, and he has to exhibit some self control and watch the ball bounce until I tell him that's ok. We did have to rename fetch to "go get it", so that he doesn't get confused.

After class, we went to the pet store and he got to snuggle with a maybe 8 year old child. He was so sweet and careful with her, and they were hugging and kissing. Really great day - not complaining for a change.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitz&Platz View Post
Wolfydog, how would I give him a break during class? Should I leave the room for a few minutes, when he gets too worked up? Do you think that I should talk with the instructor about my concerns? He did great before we went in. He sat with me and watched all dogs and humans arrive quietly. One guy complimented me on my well behaved puppy and his calm demeanor.
Sorry , haven't seen your post earlier. I would take him outside to play and go potty for about ten minutes. Or sit apart form the rest that are working with their dogs so he can take it in. Reward him with a filled Kong for staying with you or play with him.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Congrats!! I took my maniac to Petsmart today and he acted like...well, a total maniac! So I'm glad you made progress! I'm gonna be fixing my boy's little red wagon..
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Jag, I'm sorry to hear that Grim was being difficult. I noticed that I was pretty tense during our first class, and maybe that contributed to Dexter's antics.

We did this exercise yesterday, where the trainer exchanged dogs, and we had to try to pet them and touch their paws and muzzles briefly. I had separation anxiety during that exercise and kept looking over to Dex. :-) He did great with everybody, and I think that was my big lightbulb moment.

Once I noticed how uneasy I was with the exercise, I had to tell myself to calm down. I don't know about you, but I'm a total type A personality, and when things are not perfect or the way I want them to be, I get frustrated.

You could try to take Grim on another outing, and instead of focusing on his behavior, try to focus on your own attitude instead. I read what you said on your other thread about not correcting Grim and letting him do whatever he wants. This might work for some dogs, but it doesn't work for Dexter. I was trying the all positive thing with him, but it didn't work. He does fine with corrections - they're all verbal or simple body blocks - and he's not a very sensitive dog to begin with. But he's very much in tune with my feelings and can sense when I'm frustrated. Dexter is super smart, and Grim sounds super smart, too.

Another thing that made all the difference is that we started marker training a week ago, and he seems to focus more on the woman with the chicken and cheese - me. :-)
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Thank you! However, Grim and I are both "type A" I guess.. we both frustrate easily, LOL! We'll get it figured out. He's just being a butthead.
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