Marley is 11 months old now. She attended puppy kindergarten when she was three months old. Before we even started class she knew sit, down, stay, heel, etc.
1st Class: She's frantic. Trying to run out the side door. Won't let anyone touch her. Runs from other dogs near her. Treats don't work. Barks if any other dog in facility barks. Ignores me completely when giving commands. Bad, Bad night.
2nd Class: I go 1/2 hour early to just sit and relax with her. Buy cold cuts for treats. SPAZZZZ....She is worse tonight. Drags me off my feet twice. Hands are rug burned from holding on to leash. When heeling around circle she darts for the door and knocks over the fence surrounding arena. I cry.
Specifics on class:
7 dogs. 4 are 6-8 mo old, 1 is 11 months old with Marley, 1 is 1 1/2 years old. All are smaller than her by far except for the Labradoodle who is same age as her.
Instructor seems knowledgeable. Insists I not push Marley and just let her get acclimated the first night. Keeps me after to ask specific questions.
1. Are these new behaviors? YES...usually so focused on me she excludes everything else.
2. Was she raised or socialized around other dogs? YES...we have two other dogs and she goes to my mom's and friends houses weekly for play dates.
3. Is she used to being out of the house with me? YES...usually leaves house with me 7 days a week till December when it went down to about 4 times a week.
4. Has she been around other people much? YES...Softball to Cheerleading, to Soccer, to Cheerleading again. She attends all events with me and has since she was brought home at 8 weeks. Practices and games. Walks around park with me. Goes to my friends houses with me.
I am at a loss. The instructor seems to think it is a fear period and says they are common in shepherds of this age. Should I keep going? How can I make this better for her?