Puppy play at training problems - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy play at training problems

Hi everyone! Steele is 16 weeks and has just completed his third puppy class. I really like his trainer; she's positive, experienced, and has a slew of training certs I don't even understand. I teach students with emotional impairments, and am very interested him becoming a therapy dog for my school one day. Steele plays with his older sibling, Lily at home. They play chase, and he's typically pretty gentle with her; a little herding now and then, a few bites to each other I think are rough, but never aggressive. No fighting. At class our trainer has the puppies play together for 10 minutes before class starts. At first Steele would just wag his tail, run around, and then come back to me. There's a tiny 9 week old Spaniel, and a 16 weeks old Airedale, as well. The Airedale has been well socialized but when he plays with the little Spaniel, he barks, bites, and tries picking him up by his back. Very high energy. Sometimes Steele barks at the Airedale (like he wants him to leave the pup alone) and sometimes he joins in; even pawing at him, barking, and biting. I feel like I would like to stop it but she says it's puppy play and that the less intervening from humans the better. She's the expert, and I've not gone through training since I was a young girl with my childhood dog. I just want to know if this is going to backfire? Is this something that will teach Steele that this is how dogs play, and if so, is that ok? Am a baby about this issue? :/


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:39 PM
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The way you describe the airdale's behavior sounds like he's prey driven rather than playing.I would keep my puppy out of that situation if it were me.I would rather work on my puppy being calm around the other dogs.Especially if he were being raised as a therapy dog.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:43 PM
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Yes, despite all her credentials it doesn't sound like a great trainer. She is encouraging the Airdale to bully and the others can become dog aggressive later on. It is concerning that she allows that Airdale to pick up a dog by its back. Do not participate in this anymore and politely decline. Puppies are airheads and need to be taught by socially skilled adult dogs not by other little airheads. Your pup needs to learn to focus on you in the presence of other dogs/pups. You are not a baby to be worried but instead I think you have a good gut instinct. Follow it.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! The Airedale is actually her dog. Soooo, I was a little worried since she lets him do it, and aspires for him to be a service dog. I'm nosy going to have to be honest about my concerns in regard to Steele, and leave the other pups out of the discussion. I hope this is the only issue with the trainer. It worries me. I just want the best for him. I agree about wanting him to be calm around other dogs.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Just. Not nosy. Long days at the end of the school year!


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
Yes, despite all her credentials it doesn't sound like a great trainer. She is encouraging the Airdale to bully and the others can become dog aggressive later on. It is concerning that she allows that Airdale to pick up a dog by its back. Do not participate in this anymore and politely decline. Puppies are airheads and need to be taught by socially skilled adult dogs not by other little airheads. Your pup needs to learn to focus on you in the presence of other dogs/pups. You are not a baby to be worried but instead I think you have a good gut instinct. Follow it.


Thank you so much!!! My heart told me it was wrong. I paid in advance for several classes. If there are anymore concerns, I would rather lose the money than have his training go wrong. He's a smart boy and is very eager to learn. I want class to be great for him!


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:50 AM
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SteelesMom, I have attended a few puppy classes like that and passed politely on the free sessions. The trainer (with a lot of acronyms behind her name) knew that I was a trainer as well and as a result she completely ignored me. Even though I kept a low profile there, she probably considered me 'Miss Know-It-All', which was fine with me. After all it is my pup and I am responsible for keeping it sound. The only reason I took him him there was that he learned to work amidst distractions. I finished the class without my pup interacting with the others.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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SteelesMom, I have attended a few puppy classes like that and passed politely on the free sessions. The trainer (with a lot of acronyms behind her name) knew that I was a trainer as well and as a result she completely ignored me. Even though I kept a low profile there, she probably considered me 'Miss Know-It-All', which was fine with me. After all it is my pup and I am responsible for keeping it sound. The only reason I took him him there was that he learned to work amidst distractions. I finished the class without my pup interacting with the others.


Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It helps so much! I like that you brought up the fact that we may continue the class, and it could end positively if I just work with him during the play part of the class. She maybe offended, but I'm a bit offended that this type of behavior is occurring. She made a huge point about how important proper socialization is, but this is not the way I want my dog to behave when he meets other dogs. My plan is to discuss with her how I want his focus during playtime, so we won't engage in play but will continue training with her. If there are anymore red flags, I will look elsewhere. I am so thankful for all of the great advice!


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