Do pure positive dog Obedience classes normally kick out the bad/aggressive dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Do pure positive dog Obedience classes normally kick out the bad/aggressive dogs?

I have a good trainer (decorated protection background) for my GSD but he is far and I already commute Mon-Fri for work.

Really need a trainer for my lab but I don't want to add a 7th commute for the week. My lab is terrible around other dogs. It is not a fear thing he is the most confident dog I've met and he wants to control the situation and create order around other dogs. Most of you would not believe a lab could act like this. Of course an angel around all humans, even infants.

Noticed all the local area trainers (socal, reseda, encino, northridge) use pure positive methods and many state "no aggressive dogs".

Is it pretty much a given that pure positive Obdnce classes will kick out aggressive dogs?

I was always curious about this. What happens when a dog goes into fight drive in the middle of class that advocates pure positive techniques?

Should I even try to enroll my dog in a local class or would it be a waste of time?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 05:54 PM
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Our obedience training club would not- there's one trainer that teaches the class but there are other trainers that help and give individualized help when needed. I was one of them! All dogs are welcome and accommodated- if that means they need to work on the side, need training equipment like a prong collar, they work with you. It's an all positive training atmosphere, dogs are encouraged to interact and play before and after class and participate to the level they can. I'd encourage you to look for an obedience training club in your area and definitely go to class!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 05:55 PM
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Is it pretty much a given that pure positive Obdnce classes will kick out aggressive dogs?
Not necessarily. It depends on the skillset of the trainer and also how well set up the facility is to accomodate such dogs.

When we had Cassidy years ago, in her first class (we did not get her until she was 20 weeks old and started an obedience class a few days later), there only 6 dogs enrolled, including her. Often 1 or 2 other dogs weren't there, so we had a trainer and one or two assistants in a large room with very few dogs. She was scary smart and did quite well in class, but it was clear that she was already leash reactive.

It was not usually a problem because we had lots of distance from the other dogs in the class and could face her away from them while we worked, but in her next class (same trainer, same location) there were twice as many dogs, and it was very difficult - stressful for us, stressful for Cassidy, and also highly disruptive for everyone else in the class. The trainer had previously worked at the Marin Humane Society, assisting with classes before going out on her own. MHS had recently started doing "Difficult Dog" classes for reactive dogs. About 2/3 of the way through the course we were taking she suggested that we might want to drop out of her class and take a DD class at MHS, which were being taught by Trish King, who ran the Behavior and Training department there and was also our trainer's mentor.

We could have stayed and finished out the last few weeks if we wanted to, but frankly we were relieved, and the DD class turned out to be great, a much better and less stressful environment for all of us and we learned a lot. That trainer BTW, has a private training business specializing in aggressive dogs, so she was definitely capable of working with us and our leash reactive girl.

The last class I took at MHS was with Halo a year ago, and it was Family Dog 2. In that class there was a highly leash reactive dog who spent the entire 6 weeks inside a "condo" of barriers to block his view. The trainer for our class also taught DD classes, so she was equipped to deal with this dog, and the facility was too. Keefer's last class there a couple of years ago had a reactive dog too, although not as bad as the one in Halo's class, and they just set up barriers to block the view of dogs on either side, and whenever we were working in the middle of the room, doing recalls and such, they'd put a barrier in front too.

It all depends on the facility and their policies, but it can work if there's a competent, experienced trainer on board who is willing to work with you. Personally though, if he's really bad I'd look for a special class for reactive dogs. You'll probably get a lot more out if a class that's designed to tackle the exact problems you're having.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 05:58 PM
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I would try to get in a class for reactive dogs. It deters from the others training when one is constantly acting up, and the reactive dog needs more one on one type training. But it can and should still be positively based.
I'd contact the training center and ask them if they have classes for reactivity, or can recommend one(or private trainer)....they should~ as many dogs have this issue and they are the ones that really benefit from training!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 06:03 PM
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I would try to get in a class for reactive dogs. It deters from the others training when one is constantly acting up, and the reactive dog needs more one on one type training. But it can and should still be positively based.

I'd contact the training center and ask them if they have classes for reactivity, or can recommend one(or private trainer)....they should~ as many dogs have this issue and they are the ones that really benefit from training!
I know that ANY kind of dog classes will pull out a dog for exactly the reason I put in bold above. Reactive and badly behaved dogs can take TONS more time from the instructor so the rest of the class is just standing around most of the time. They paid their money and also deserve some of the time and attention so they can learn and progress.




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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 06:48 AM
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you would be better off starting this dog in private training at this point.....you need individual guidence to learn how to handle this dog..........i honestly wouldn't go into any classes even a reactive class without a foundation and the tools to confidently be able to control things........
Even reactive dog classes aren't equipped space wise to handle certain dogs, in other words some dogs have a greater reactive distance than others....to go into a reactive dog class unprepared as a handler could make things worse and can be extremely frustrating..........why set yourself up for failure.......

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 09:40 AM
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Rorie was having some issues with other dogs when we started our rally class which is purely positive. I contacted them and told them what was happening and they allowed us to attend rally class She has had a few incidents but they worked with us. I am comfortable with her around other dogs and she is really getting along with them for the most part. So I would say contact a class see what they say-and hopefully it will be successful! Its worth a shot
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helpful replies everybody.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 05:18 PM
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Group classes are not really appropriate for out of control, aggressive dogs. Classes are unlikely to really help the aggressive dog's problem (may actually make it worse) and very likely to cause problems for the other people/dogs in class. I would strongly encourage private lessons with someone well versed in working with reactive dogs before attempting to take your dog to a group class.

Of course, this depends on the skill level of handler and just how bad the dog is too. If the dog just has issues with dogs in their space and the handler is skilled in keeping the dog focused on them and watching out for oncoming dogs, group classes can work. If the dog reacts strongly to dogs that are not in their immediate space and/or the handler is not yet skilled in keeping the dog focused and keeping things under control, group classes are not going to work.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 06:55 AM
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i totally agree...........a class setting can make things worse if the owner doesn't have the skills to keep the dog focused, etc.......Privates are definitely the way to go to help build the skills and confidence of the owner......

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