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Old 02-17-2014, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default opinions on crated dog during puppy class

I took DD to the first puppy session and "found" barking crated dogs in the room that scared DD (13 weeks old). The crated dogs were in a far corner of the room, which makes it even harder for a pup to figure out what was going on. They had just started day care and I didn't know this nor was I notified about the changed situation. On top of that the trainer was working with a reactive dog at the time of the start of the class. I left. I was "surprised" that day care dogs were crated early in the morning and that they would expose a young pup to something scary and expect him to be able to learn.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I took Varik to his puppy class. It was in a large building that had the puppy class at one end, another obedience class (large number of dogs) in the middle, and people sitting at the other end watching. There were dogs also crated in that area (some of the club members' dogs or trainer's dogs I imagine). It was chaotic, particularly the first night when everyone is trying to get signed up at one end. My pup didn't even notice except that there were DOGS(!!!!!!) that he might could play with. I think it depends on the pup as to how much it will bother them.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hard to say without being there, because was DD really overwhelmed, or would he have adjusted to the commotion? My puppy manners class was held in a public park. There was so much going on, so many people and so much noise - but my pup was 16 weeks then, a little older than yours. I'd had him since he was 8 weeks and he was accustomed to being taken around, so it didn't phase him. You'd be the best judge of whether or not DD should have stayed - if you opted out of the class, then I trust your judgement.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think its a good distraction for training. Once Midnite showed signs of not being reactive, I looked to be near dogs that might be an issue. I never had to move or remove him, he learned how to handle it like a pro and just made him more solid.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As for puppies all of mine that were trained as puppies trained in places with people and dogs everywhere. Both my older golden and female GSD were in the middle if a down stay when another dog broke their stay and were jumping all over my dogs, my dogs didn't budge. I think that all the distractions up to that point helped them with their training.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We have crated dogs in a separate room from training, but they are still a distraction if they bark. We practice a lot off leash too, and the trainers always try and distract our dogs with toys, food, people, conflicting commands, and other dogs. I think it's a big help actually. Non-stop barking would be annoying though, so if that's the case I'm not sure I'd like it. Obedience in the midst of distraction is a great thing to practice with a dog though


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Old 02-17-2014, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When my pup was 9/10 weeks old he got introduced to our club and all the club dogs (didn't actually meet the dogs, just was in the same area). During practice the dogs are all crated, some in the garage, some in cars. First time my pup went into the garage there were 7 or 8, large, Rottweilers in crates. They started barking (very loudly in an echoey garage) when I opened the door. He startled at first, but after a few seconds ventured in, the dogs were told to knock it off, complied, and that was that....soon he was playing tug and taking treats in the middle of the garage while every now and again a dog or two would start barking, didn't phase him after the initial "what the heck was that?"

After that first startle, he didn't react at all, he'd never been in the garage before, never been on the property before....but he prances into that garage every time afterwords, dogs lighting up or not. I think it's great to expose them to controlled chaos. Of course, it depends on the pup, sounds like yours was a little overwhelmed. I guess I'm saying, I would rather train in a somewhat loud/distracting environment from the get go then a sterile one, unless it's what the dog requires. If you're freaking out, the pups freaking out, and it's just a mess, then don't do it.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Distractions during training actually do help the younger dogs learn to pay attention. It sounds like there may have been a little too much for your first time. Try again a different time or a different class. It sounds like the person running a day care and trying to train at the same time has their hands full. Working a reactive dog while just beginning a puppy class is probably not all that smart for the trainer unless they were just killing time until everyone arrived. You can work eye attention at home using a clicker and treats and when you are in a situation like the one you encountered your dog will look to you with eye attention for a cue as to what is happening. Maybe take a short time (a couple weeks) to work on eye attention and then try again, if not at the same place possibly a different one. I always train the same command in several different places and from several different positions. Once in class our trainer had us all sit in folding chairs and give the commands while sitting. Once everyone had conquered that some of us gave lying on the floor and giving commands a try. It was great fun. The dogs enjoyed it and we got several kisses (from our own dogs) while lying on the floor. The dogs learn that the command means the same thing where ever you are and what ever position you are in.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As a trainer, I would not allow any extra distractions the first few classes, they are chaotic enough as it is!

My own dogs come as demo dogs, but they are trained to be tied out and remain quiet throughout the class. If I am boarding a dog, and they can't be tied out and trusted to be quiet, then they don't come.

I don't see a problem with adding distractions later on, but for the first puppy classes I want the puppies, the owners and I to be able to work together on focus and engagement before working on distractions.

It does sound like this class may not work for you and your pup, but I would go back to 2-3 classes, as the first class is always the most hectic, at least for me. Give it a fair chance, then make your decision.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I wouldn't have had any problems if this would have been the second or xxxth class but this was all new for him and then the reactive dog there and I didn't like the excuses, which I won't get into for confidentiality reasons. I have found another class.
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