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Old 08-13-2014, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Basic obedience class?

Hello guys,
I am interested in taking my adopted GSD Reagan to some training classes to help us bond more and to help her get positive exposure to other dogs. She's 1.5 years old and I adopted her in May. She knows sit, down, stay, come, and walks well on a leash. However, I'm not sure how she is around other dogs she doesn't know. She sometimes barks at dogs that startle her while I'm taking her out to the bathroom or taking her for a walk, but she isn't aggressive. She plays very well with my other two dogs, a male and a female, so I assume she would be ok with other dogs but may bark initially. I would like for her to learn some new commands in the class, but I don't know that I should sign her up for a more advanced class if she may bark/be disruptive to the other dogs in the class. So should I just start with a beginner class even though she knows the basic commands? Any advice would be great!
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would talk to some different trainers you are interested in and get their take. Personally, if I had an older dog come to my classes that could perform their basic commands but just barked a bit at other dogs, it's a pretty easy thing to discourage and redirect. I've had several dogs in classes together that would have barked incessantly, but I just set up the owners redirecting their dogs and practicing removal techniques and we had a very quiet six week course. Long story short, a good trainer will be able to handle some barking at other dogs and show you how to discourage and redirect it to reinforce more positive reactions.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Why not call the place that's holding the class and ask. She may be advanced and can progress to the next level or you may want to stick with the basic. There's never any harm in repeating, especially in a new place with so many distractions They can help you decide what the best fit would be

Delgado's basic class was a mixture of older and younger dogs, some rescues, some with no training, he was one of two puppies that had gone through puppy class. There's usually quite a mix so don't worry about trying to fit in
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice guys! I haven't decided yet where I want to take her so I just wanted to see if anyone on here had an opinion. I think I may stick with the basic class since there will be more distractions than she's used to, but once I decide on a trainer I'll talk to them about it too!


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Old 08-13-2014, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would go with the basics class even tho she knows the basics. You can never learn to much, and sometimes I find, dogs that do great outside of class, like to make fools of us IN class LOL..

Good luck and have fun
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I decided to go with the basic class! However, there was an incident today that has me a little worried. I had Reagan and my other dog up at the tennis courts and there was a dog in another fenced in area about 15 feet away. Reagan kept barking at the other dog and wouldn't stop so I decided to just leave. I hooked her and my other dog on their leashes, opened the gate to the tennis courts, and she took off. She managed to drag me a good 5 feet and into some bushes to get to the fence where the other dog was. Once she got to the other dog, she stopped barking. She normally walks well on a leash, but I'm not a match for her when she pulls (I'm about 120 pounds and not a very muscular woman). I don't think she was being aggressive, just curious, but I'm worried she may try to pull that hard in the training class. Any suggestions for how to get her under control? I'm planning on calling the trainer tomorrow and getting her advice. Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Get a pinch collar. I've also had good results using a Gentle Leader with a rescue, which I said I'd never use. A friend who is a professional service dog trainer showed me how to use it and I was pleasantly surprised. The clasp can pop loose though, with a squirming dog.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
Get a pinch collar. I've also had good results using a Gentle Leader with a rescue, which I said I'd never use. A friend who is a professional service dog trainer showed me how to use it and I was pleasantly surprised. The clasp can pop loose though, with a squirming dog.
I currently use a martingale because if she gets anxious she'll try to back out of her collar. Would a pinch collar let her back out? She does squirm when she tries backing out so I worry about the clasp popping loose.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A pinch collar is hard to get out of. I don't use the quick release type. I tried a Martingale with a foster that chased cars and it wasn't enough of a deterrent. I switched to a pinch and it worked better, although I gave her up before I trained the chase behavior out of her. You can use a divided lead and clip one end to her flat collar and the other to the training collar in case the head collar comes loose. Although I've never had one pop open.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I prefer a gentle leader honestly. Used pinches before, never been very impressed. I like that the gentle leader gives you control over the direction her head goes in, so if you pull her to the side, her head goes to the side and her attention is physically redirected. Plus it is extremely difficult for them to pull full force into. Of course pinch can also help with the pulling, but I like the added redirection that the gentle leader offers. I always recommend this style of head collar -
Amazon.com : Coastal Holt Dog Walking Collar, Black, 3 : Pet Head Harnesses : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Coastal Holt Dog Walking Collar, Black, 3 : Pet Head Harnesses : Pet Supplies
It has neoprene padding to protect the nose and a stabilization strap between the nose and neck part to keep a wiggly or determined dog from slipping it.
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