If you want to know the longer story, my post is here: https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...ownership.html
For the below, TL;DR: do I continue with classes when they provoke more reactivity than anything else, even though I'm also seeing some progress during class? 8 month old foster pup.
Basically, I'm fostering a GSD who became reactive after a few weeks in my home. He's 8 months old now.
The first few training classes are in the prior thread. Classes 4 and 5 were worse--we were in a closed off room except for free play time. Jett does big circles around the open floor during that time, might run up to a pup who attracts his attention in some way. He's displayed no aggression off leash. In lessons 4 and 5, the instant the leash went back on, he started barking and wouldn't calm until I had closed the door separating our work space from the larger group.
Lesson 6 was pretty different. He was able to stay in the group, on leash, until the other dogs started moving. I'm *only* able to focus on his reactivity and keeping him from barking, not able to get anything more than an occasional "sit" during this time, but letting him watch and look away successfully for a few minutes. Once the other dogs were moving, we ended up in the back room again--door open though. We were able to go through basic commands (mostly sit and follow, some down and stand) repeatedly with relatively little barking (he'd get loud when he saw another dog or person through the door, but responded to redirection and would follow me away).
When we are in the back room, he is still pretty agitated--more panting than the relaxed training state at home in a distraction free environment. I was able to give him more water this time and we did not have post-training potty accidents due to the late training/coming home too thirsty at bedtime.
So, do I sign up for more classes? A behaviorist is coming to the house on 3/25 and I'm really torn. After lessons 4 and 5, I was convinced it was all a huge mistake--too much time over threshold, no progress, blah blah blah. Then lesson 6 and visible progress.
The vet clinic is working with us 1 day/week. Yep, he's over threshold at times during that short training but responsive enough to stop and eat a treat or two that the vet and tech throw him when they walk past (we are working outside the clinic right now).
I'm using the car to socialize him, although we still have to be moving to keep him from reacting.
I'm noticing I can turn him away from barking more at home, in the yard. He still reacts but is more responsive as long as the trigger (people or dogs) are not close. We haven't had long, lunging, growling reactions at home in a while now. It's a low bark or two and then he turns away at my command.
I work really hard to keep him under threshold. Unless we go to class or the vet, he's not acting out much at all. We've just had our thaw, though, so the view from my backyard--which looks out across a nature conservancy to a trail on the other side--will soon become much busier. He saw some dogs this a.m. on that trail and I was able to redirect him but I was a bit disheartened b/c it seems so far away and yet he was starting to react.