We quit our dog obedience class!!!
It was just too much, Lexi was MISERABLE the entire time. She whined and cried, had her ears down, cowered down on the floor, I was just about in tears! This was the worst she's ever been there, she was clearly UNHAPPY and I had had enough! I told my husband we couldn't do this to her anymore and he agreed. The instructor was upsetting me so much, she kept going up to the dogs, yanking the leash from their owner and jerking the leash HARD with both hands when the dogs "misbehaved" (normal dog behavior in my opinion, I'm sure most of them were just protesting the treatment they were receiving!) She even had this little tiny dog, like a little rat terrier with a prong collar on! He was a little growly but I don't think a prong collar was necessary!
Then at one point in the class I got so upset I just told my husband to please take Lexi and the instructor then said to the whole class "Sometimes your spouse can handle your dog better than you can because you aren't the one working with them"!!!! Was I ever pissed! Uh, excuse me, but I AM the one with her all day, I AM the one working with her ALL THE TIME and the reason she's not cooperating is that she hates YOUR class! Argggh! It was humiliating to be called out in front of all these strangers and made to feel so stupid.
Once we left Lexi was like a different dog, she practically skipped out of there and to the car, was very happy to get out of there. When we got home I did a few tricks with her and she performed beautifully. So we will be doing our training at home while continuing to look for opportunities to socialize her with other dogs and people. And I'm going to check into the classes her breeder offers in the Spring. I'm also going to see if anyone in a 50 mile radius offers any kind of puppy socialization class, I know she's a BIG puppy, but she's still a baby and would benefit from a class like this.
Thanks SO MUCH for all the good advice you've all given me, I feel good that I have gone with my gut feeling about what is best for my dog, anything that makes her so unhappy is not good, I want her trained of course but I want her happy too!
Very Proud Mommy to Maddie (human) Lexi (German Shepherd) and Bella (cat)!!!!