Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

I could not go as I just had surgery last week so my husband and little girl took Lexi to her first class. Apparently she was scared to death of the other dogs and kept trying to get on DH's lap, LOL! Then the instructor wanted all the dogs to walk around in a circle on their leash but Lexi wouldn't move so DH had to keep carrying her, LOL!!!

She's such a big brave dog when she's in our fenced in back yard, she barks and growls at people and cars and squirrels, but you take her out in the real world and she turns chicken!

Oh well, she's only 5 months old so hopefully she get better with time. I will be able to go next week so we'll she how she does with mommy - and NO WAY am I carrying her!!!!

Very Proud Mommy to Maddie (human) Lexi (German Shepherd) and Bella (cat)!!!!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:29 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

My Schatzi was like that in class too. They had a game called, "Pass the Puppy," where everyone passed their dog to the person on the left.

Well, Schatzi didn't like that game AT ALL. The first time, she got so scared, she actually peed on the floor.

They called her the "glue dog." But, as we kept going, she began to relax more and more. And people that saw her in the beginning were just amazed at how much she progressed in just a few short weeks.

Keep at it. She'll soon become more comfortable.

Jennifer


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:32 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

has Lexi been around a lot of dogs before obedience
class?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:32 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

Quote:
Originally Posted By: bethandglenShe's such a big brave dog when she's in our fenced in back yard, she barks and growls at people and cars and squirrels, but you take her out in the real world and she turns chicken!
You REALLY need to take her out into the 'real world' more.

A fearful puppy can grow into a fear-aggressive dog and that is nothing to laugh at.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:38 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

She needs her world expanded, but you don't want to over stress the lessons as it will be harmful and not helpful.

I hope the instructor does some thing different besides have you hubby carry the pup around, that only reinforces her fears in her head. I would have a pup like this sit off to the side and work on getting the pup to relax and then move closer to the group.

Forcing a fearful pup is like taking a child who is afraid on the water and tossing them in. Also you hubby carrying the pup is telling the pup, yep I was right that is a scary world and my dad is sheltering me from the worl. You want to protect you pup, but without exposure to new and strange things it will never get any more secure feeling.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:39 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

To add, often a "big bad puppy" at home, is really fearful and is barking to try to scare people/things off. And if a person or thing actually came to face her she would run away (explains her behavior actually facing new things/people/dogs at class and being scared). I agree with Lauri that she needs more interaction with new people and lots of visits to new places ASAP or this could really become a difficult situation.
Maybe you could talk to the trainer about additional socializing help. I think that you are in a class is a great start! Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

she's been around my mom's and dad's dogs on a regular basis. We actually thought she'd be a little aggressive towards the dogs in class because of the way she acts when she sees a strange dog from our yard. With my parents dogs she plays and is very submissive (which is weird, because in everything else she is very dominant!)

I guess her bark is worse than her bite!

Very Proud Mommy to Maddie (human) Lexi (German Shepherd) and Bella (cat)!!!!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

I was taking her more places initially, like I would take her with me to pick up my daughter at school so she could be around the kids and she loved that. But the problem is her jumping up and nipping at faces, the bigger she got the less I could control her and so I stopped taking her until we could do obedience class. She IS getting better at not jumping up but I just worry about somebody suing us if their kid gets a little nip. Once the weather warms up a little I am planning on more walks and I'd like to do more classes with her too besides this one.

Very Proud Mommy to Maddie (human) Lexi (German Shepherd) and Bella (cat)!!!!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 01:54 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

Just to be clear, from what you're describing what you're seeing is fear and not dominance. Addressing that is the most important thing you can do right now. You want to slowly build her confidence. You can start by working with her at home. Classes are great but you have to do a lot of work at home too for it all to work. You may have to take a different approach in her class. Do not force her to do anything but instead work on small steps and reward her for every success, no matter how tiny.

Get some really good treats (like real chicken or something smelly and very appealing) and teach her to sit and focus on you when you are inside without any distractions. Then, once she's got that down, move her out into the yard with a leash on. Start out there without any distractions and then slowly introduce distractions. When she sits and focuses on you instead of barking or charging at something, praise her a lot and give her a big handful of the treats.

I adopted a fear aggressive dog and when we went to the first obedience class he was terrified the entire time. We often did things a little different from other people, keeping everything positive, giving lots of rewards and making sure that he always felt secure and that we weren't flooding him with new experiences because once they get to a certain point they shut down and you actually can do more harm than good. We progressed very slowly but he eventually passed advanced obedience and got his CGC.

Keep asking questions! There are a lot of people on here who have experience with dogs like yours!

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 01:15 PM
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Re: Poor Lexi had a rough first day of obedience class

She still young and itís a slow process for her to socialize but I think is worst to not do it, you could end with a very aggressive dog, the walking every morning will help to improve, you donít have to take her every morning to drop the kids at school, in fact I donít think is good idea, just walk her around the block, the people she sees every morning and the open environment will bring more and more confidence on her.

Good Luck.

Frank
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