PetSmart training & yappy dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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PetSmart training & yappy dogs

I went to a training class at PetSmart last night (I know - not a great idea in the first place). The place I'd like to go didn't have an opening for another 3 weeks and Riggs has already learned some basics (sit, down, leave it, watch me, loose leash walking) started on others (stay, come) and has a few "tricks" under his belt (roll over, shake). I figured it might be good to get into a PetSmart class for the added distractive environment and socialization aspect.

Well.....the class consisted of my nearly 40 pound GSD pup, a chihuahua and a yorkie that weighed about a pound. The chihuahua was calm and submissive but Riggs did very well, giving him a sniff and also a small lick before leaving him alone. The yorkie, on the other hand, was a holy terror! She would not stop yapping for nearly the entire class and would run to the end of her leash toward Riggs barking and barking and barking some more. At first, Riggs reciprocated and barked (which is slighly more intimidating than the yorkie's bark!) and tried to get to the puppy. I had a hold of his leash and there were no big issues, but he was pulling at the end of his leash and barking which I DO NOT want. Riggs grew tired of the shenanigans by about 20 minutes into the class and did no more barking but I was still on "high guard" to make sure he didn't decide he wanted to go "play" with the tiny thing.

The owner of the yorkie exclaimed that their puppy "just pees wherever," "barks all the time," and that her boyfriend "taught it to fight" which, if not comical enough as is, became even more rediculous when the yorkie bit the boyfriend later during the class - drawing blood.

After class I informed the trainer that I would like to move to another class on another night, to which he obliged but asked that I give him one week to assess the dogs in his other classes and determine a good match for Riggs - and during that week to come back to this class one more time. I'm torn. One one hand, I'm thinking "No way." It's stressful to me and my puppy and I don't want to listen to that yorkie yap, yap, yap for another hour of my life. On the other hand, I'm wondering if it is a good exercise to take Riggs into that environment to help him learn to leave these tiny dogs alone and ignore their antics. Like I mentioned before, after about 20 minutes of the yorkie barking and lunging, he was disinterested for the most part and responded to the commands I gave (sit, down, stay, watch me, etc.). I'd like him to learn that these tiny dogs are just that...tiny dogs...and not a prey object that he can chase if we run into one outside!

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Should I continue for one more week or should I attempt to get a refund of the class cost?

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Riggs - GSD - Black & Tan - 10/12/11
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting Update:

I took Riggs on our afternoon walk today. We passed a house with an open gate with three dogs in the yard, two of which were chihuahuas. As we passed, Riggs did well with the "ignore" command but when we were about 10-15 feet past the yard I turned around to see the two chihuahuas chasing after us and barking. Riggs kept his composure. He was very interested in the two dogs and was watching them intently; however, he never barked or lunged. We walked a few more feet at a quick pace and the chihuahuas were still following so I turned around and yelled at them to go home. They finally turned around and left.

But.........I took this as a good sign that Riggs' tolerance for yappy little dogs is increasing.

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Riggs - GSD - Black & Tan - 10/12/11
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