Overly excited when attending puppy school
Hi I'm new to this forum so bear with me. My pup is 16 weeks old now, and neutered.
He has been attending a GSD only obedience school weekly and in puppy A class (lowest of the class, pups from 8 weeks old).
The commands are sit, drop, come, heel and stay.
He's been quite good with those at home, on a open grass ground with little distractions and sometimes in the off leash park where other dogs are present at a distance. We took him to supermarkets, café, beach and on car ride to vet clinics. Walk him twice a day with play etc.
However, he's started to exhibit a quite unwanted behaviour in class. The class usually lasts 1 hour and we always exercise him before we go and he is on an empty stomach, so that he has a food drive.
He constantly and I mean non stop for the entire 1 hour, jumping and pulling toward other puppies during the class.
He also jumps on our trainer for treats which he never does at home. He knows to wait for feeds and we could easily leave a Kong there for minutes and he won't go for it unless we say okay.
The other puppies some are playful and others just sit there not paying attention to him at all. He always jumps and pulls and to be quite honest, I am quite embarrassed by it.
We tried reprimand by a loud Erh Erh, we tried calling him to come for food. We tried physically put him into a sit or a drop position. He seems to be in an overly excited his own little mind and sometimes he'll come back for food. And the second he sits and gets a reward, he goes back to annoy other dogs. The other puppies some will get excited with him and play for a while, like 1,2,3 seconds like we were taught in class then walk away. Some younger than him ignored him, but he keeps jumping toward their direction relentlessly.
He normally is good with say hello with other dogs. He sometimes gets jumpy and paws out on the other's face but he will just walk on if on leash when encounter another dog.
I am frankly quite embarrassed and don't know what to do here. He is the oldest dog in puppy A class now and he's supposed to graduate to puppy B at his age. All the other dogs do when they demonstrate obeying orders. He's just too distracted with this behaviour and thus we achieved nothing in the last two weeks.
Help is desperately need and any advice is appreciated!Attachment 123010
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Daily exercises are at the bottom of the form. They really do work if you're willing to put in the time. :) (they don't take that long)
My golden puppy is like this. Every week he gets better in class. It's a good time to teach the puppy watch me and leave it. Right now I love those commands.
set up some play dates so he can socialize. do some training
during the play dates. i like taking private lessons in the begining
of training because group classes are tough on a pup. they rather
play with the other dogs than listen to us saying "sit". i like adding
In my classes, when a dog is too distracted by his surroundings where it's like how you're explaining, the instructor puts up a little fence that blocks the dog's view of everything that's distracting him. That usually settles the dog down pretty quickly.
Don't be embarrassed, he's a puppy! I for one would LOVE such a high-energy pup that has such awesome food drive, is so aware of his environment, and WANTS to interact with people and other dogs! So the puppy ins't "bad", it all depends on your point of view!
For one thing, VERY normal for some pups to be this excited and to have little impulse control. It will get better. Really. It will. Since this is only a temporary thing, just have fun with him, and worry less. :)
Some pups have such a high food drive (which is awesome for training), that they do loose their minds when hungry and they know that people around him have treats. You can try feeding him a bit before class, and don't be afraid to exercise him more. It won't harm him in any way.
I can tell you horror stories about my rescue dog - took some work, but she did calm down and improve tons! Was one of the worst dogs in class (I just laughed it off - even though inside I was embarassed), and ended up being one of the best dogs in class! So don't think that there is anything wrong with your pup, see the potential in him and work with that.
You've had this dog for 8 weeks and he spent a few days out of commission being neutered. He waits for you to let him get his treat-filled kong, he is ok with the commands at home when there are no distractions. You take him to parks where there are other dogs
I think you are asking a lot for an intelligent, energetic, herding puppy. Don't compare him to other dogs at this point. It is apples to oranges.
Be patient, and consistent, pay attention to timing. Do not give him commands that you cannot immediately enforce. (i.e. don't tell him to come if you do not have a line on him.) Don't repeat commands. Give the command, give him a chance to comply, if he doesn't help him get to the position you want, and then praise him. Set him up to succeed and praise him for doing so. Do not give him a command in a situation where the distractions are such that he is unlikely to succeed.
appreciate all the advice!
I constantly correct him in class. For example if I want him to settle and sit, I do say sit, and then put him into position then reward him. It's just once he's done with that command, he'll immediately get up and get to his old usual chasing jumping and harassing other dogs.
I for one can see the other dog owners are quite annoyed and tried to stay away from my dog.
I have to say he normally doesn't do so. It's happened in the last two weeks! Previous classes he behaved like a star pup. And he did play but not that excessively
The instructor told us to use other lure/treats, like ham/turkey. And tried to socialise him more. I feel at lost here, because I do believe I take him out as much as I can. For a typical day, he gets to go to the supermarket in the morning after a walk and play, at noon he gets to go out for another walk and training and go toilet when I'm home for lunch break. After work, he gets to go to an off leash park to walk, training and play, interact with other dogs. On weekends, he goes to the beach and to cafe with us having brunch. He also plays with my mum's bichon frise, once in a while
So when the trainer told us to work on his socialisation and obeying orders. I don't know what else I could do here.
Regarding treats, he's been car sick for the last couple of weeks. The ride to school is 30min. He throws up in the car after class. So we're careful in terms of treats to feed him. We used his normal feed kibbles at the moment. He threw up. We used to use dog sausages in small cubes. He threw up. I drive like a granny on the road, and he threw up. I used a car harness. And I tried holding him still. He threw up on me.
So, what can I do with that if anyone knows? Does he grow out of it? I'm counting on taking him for the road trip when he grows up!
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Stop all the correcting in class. Make yourself much more exciting. Instead of expecting him to sit there while everyone does their thing, do some puppy push ups. Do some come-fronts. Have him do look or watch.
Do not feed him before coming, and switch out treats with a tug toy. And use that, and praise and pets for when he does good.
Usually carsickness is due to anxiety. It sounds like he is getting way anxious in class. I would adjust and put less pressure on the puppy at this point.
Sorry about the car-sickness - not sure what to suggest for that. Most puppies outgrow the car-sickness, so hoping it is the same for you.
Have you worked on focus at home? He sits and has to maintain eye-contact focus on your for X seconds before he gets his reward? In class, once he does what you want and he gets his reward, normal for him to know that the exercise is over. Staying in place, not moving, focusing on you, these are separate exercises to work on, first with no distractions, then gradually with more and more distractions - at first for no more than a sec or two, then gradually increasing the time.
Also, with him being so high energy, you will have to keep him engaged more in class - rapid fire exercises with lots of rewards and praise -the whole thing is non-stop action, but centered on what YOU want from him. A lot of these classes are VERY slow paced for our smart, energetic, active, driven GSDs. When I took classes, I always stayed in an out-of-the-way spot, and quietly lured and rewarded, and worked on focus during lulls in class. Most "normal" puppies can't maintain that kind of intensity and will burn out and shut down, so classes are geared more towards them.
But for your pup, you will need to amp it up.
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