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So Jordan, Hubby, and I went to our first puppy class tonight... which wasn't really a puppy class.... she was the youngest there at 14 weeks... the others were between 5 and 7 months and there was one that is 18 months (?)

Anyway... she showed some initial distraction as the dogs came in, mainly because the 2 larger dogs (A golden and a husky) were whining, pulling at their leads, and barking at her and one another. Jordan barked twice, the trainer approached I had her sit, then the trainer introduced the husky and Jordan butt-to-nose. After that she was silent for the next 55 minutes.

The things we went over in class were "names", "sit", and positive reinforcement word (or for us a clicker). By the end of the hour I had a headache, I was so bored, and Jordan had been repeating the things she knows (sit, down, sit up, stand up, here, left (of chair), etc) during the training sessions because what we were training on she knew.

I mentioned my concern at the end of class about her knowing everything... he had me tell him a run down of what we have worked on (here, leave it, sit, down, paws up, off, wait, take it, gentle, drop it, bring it + potty training and walking with hubby on a loose lead and me on a tight lead with the chair). After that I said we were concerned about her leave it and her call back ...and that I know she needs much more work on those 2 commands.

He said she was ready for the intermediate class... that they dont get to the come command in puppy obedience until class 4 but in intermediate they work on leave it, wait, and come in the 1st class!

I am proud of her and us for working so hard but I am also hesitant... I am worried she isnt mature enough for a more advanced class. I guess we will find out Saturday!

Anyway, has anyone else had a pup skip puppy class? If so do you regret not taking the puppy course?



-Jess
 

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My 4 month old GSD just started Puppy classes this past Sunday. Texas already knows how to sit, stay, wait, watch me, recall, leave it, and bow. However, I felt that puppy classes would be essential for mastering these tricks with distractions and allowing her to build up on her socialization. Even though I can walk around Petsmart socializing her and encouraging her to do tricks for others in the store, its not the same with a class. Also, I feel much more comfortable allowing Texas to socialize with these dogs since I know they are vaccinated.

I personally think your girl will do fine in intermediate, though, I do think puppy classes could be helpful in the distraction arena. It will allow you to fine tune your skills. For instance, Texas already knows the command watch me, though in class, she was easily distracted and our watch me would only last about 3 to 5 seconds. At home, she watches me for a complete 20 seconds. So we are now working up to it, next meeting she has to have mastered 15 seconds with distractions. It just makes the basics a bit more challenging.

Its all up to you in the end. Whatever makes you and your puppy feel comfortable. I wish you both the best. =)
 

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i personally wouldnt regret it. You obviously have one smart cookie there and are already ahead of the rest of them. I know if one of my furkids (this is if we took classes) was able to skip a class i'd be thrilled. I guess it would be similar to if my kids got to skip a grade when they start school. go with the flow. your pup already knows way more than most her age so you're doing something right. give it a shot. At least you'll know how to better train later.
 

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If she is ready then go for it. A bored dog in class is the worst and you will gain nothing except a lighter wallet!
 

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Congrats on being such a good trainer that your kid can skip a grade! (I suspect that magical tool the clicker helped) Not to anthropomorphize too much, but I wonder if the same concerns would come up with your puppy as would come up with a child skipping a grade?

What is your goal for your puppy? Do you want OB titling? Are you going into agility or another sport and want to get her started asap? I guess if you are eager to get her trained and into her line of "work", then it might make sense to skip her onto the next set of classes, especially since she seems to be cool and at ease in a very distracted situation (room full of new dogs and people).

But if you just want a well-behaved family pet, and have the money to spare for the rest of the classes, if can't hurt to let her finish the class. At least you know you'll graduate at the top of the class. (And maybe steal the syllabus for the next class so you can work on those skill ahead so Jordan doesn't get bored training at home)
 

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I think it depends on what you want to do with your pup, and is the intermediate class still going to give him the distractions of a "puppy type" class, if some of those distractions are still there I would go for it and dont' worry about the age difference.

Frank went to puppy class starting at 14 weeks, he did really well, and like yours it wasnt so much a "puppy" class but a beggining obed. class, at the place I train at everyone takes that beg. class, the dogs are more unrulely and even if your dog knows what they are doing the distractions of the other dogs really help reinforce what you tell them to do, that said he didn't go to the itermediate class, but went straight to the AKC Novice level training class, where he was 5 months, the next youngest dog (another gsd) was 10 months and the rest were well over a year. it's also a continous class you graduate when you get your title, so some of the dogs have been going to the class for a while, He does just as well as the other dogs in the class, the trainer I go to is really good at handling dogs at slightly different stages in one class.
 

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In every single class I've taken in the past 6 years with Dena, Keefer, and Halo they've already known most of what was going to be taught in the class before we even started. But for me the point of the class was never that one hour a week anyway, most of our training time was happening between classes, at home or out in public. It was an opportunity to practice our skills and build on them in a more challenging environment with the distraction of other dogs. I've never restricted myself to what was being taught in the class, I constantly challenged myself and my dogs, so there's no reason to be bored or to let the class hold you back.

If the focus of a particular weeks class was something Halo was really good at I spent the the following week mostly practicing other things that she wasn't as strong at yet. I never felt like I was wasting my time, even when I had the class achiever, (which was often), because going to a class wasn't an environment I could easily duplicate. The more new people/places/dogs I could expose her to and have her train around, the better, and in fact, her first 4 classes were at different training facilities.

You have a very smart puppy and have obviously spent a lot of time working with her. Good for you! :thumbup: But she is still quite young, and especially so compared to the dogs who'll be in the intermediate class - she was the youngest even in her puppy class. But it's really up to you whether or not the socialization she'd get by finishing this class is worth it to you. For me, I'd stick it out and continue to add challenges as appropriate. Cassidy was scary smart, we'd have something new introduced in class on Thursday night and she'd have mastered in it our very first training session at home the next day. So I had to use my imagination to think of ways to make it harder, to take it to the next step, or we'd both have been bored stupid!
 

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I guess if I was in your shoes and that was the situation, I could see skipping to the next class. I think it's a bit odd that your training facility had an 18 mo old in the puppy class. Why wouldn't he be in the adult class?

At ours it's puppies only (under 5 1/2 mo) and they work on different things than in novice. Also, there is a lot more socialization and different exercises you do with a puppy vs someone who (for example) adopts an adult and brings it to class.

If they teach the same things in that one vs puppy I'd probably just do the higher level class, but if a lot of those people have been through puppy don't be surprised if their dogs are more "finished" than yours is at this stage. Dante does perform different at home vs in class, though he's still very good in class. But there are a lot more things to look at, hear, etc and just because they do it perfectly at home and you can check it all off the list doesn't mean it will go quite as smoothly in class. Did they have your bring your puppy in to do an eval and see how she does in a different enviornment?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jordan is going to be trained as a service dog, that's our long term goal.

Our short term goal is major socialization and obedience.
With that said... The puppy class doesn't give any socialization time... such as play time. If it did I would stay in it (that's what I thought it'd be)... I thought it would be training and play time... but honestly in an hour a week I'm not sure how I expected it all to be worked in.

I'm not sure why there is an older dog in the class... I too find it odd.

Jordan ignored the other dogs while we trained in class (Which we did do, I just made it a bit more complicated so that she didn't get too bored, by adding in more commands such as down, sit up, down then rewarding).

And yes Jordan did show her stuff in the store, Im not sure if it was an eval. But she can perform most stuff (although it is a bit different) in public.

Thanks for all the replies... we are going to try the class on Saturday and worse case scenario she will go back to puppy classes on Monday lol.

Oh, and the things they go over in the intermediate class are pretty much what they touch on in the puppy class.... with the puppy class though, the pups have 0 training at home or in class, so they dont expect it to be as reliable etc. Jordan is a puppy so she doesnt perform 100% of the time when I say it but she performs at least 80% of the time which is more than the puppies in the class with 0 training. In the puppy class we are working on stuff like potty training!

Anyway I do hope she is ready, and thanks again for all the great replies... I think that this could be great for her... and she will still get to be around other dogs... and train with them.

-Jess
 

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sweet :D i wish i knew where to even start w/ my puppy... i tell him to sit and he does, but i don't know if he sits just cause thats usually the position i give him a treat (i only give a treat if i commanded it) or if he actually knows the command.... so confusing :confused: i have no choice but use petco for basic command help, the AKC here literally has 5 members :rolleyes: and the only dog that looks purebred is a pitbull :cry:
 

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If the puppy class was a true puppy class, I would not want to miss it because it is fun for the puppies and the adults. They play pass the puppy, and we run through the tunnel, we do stuff with hoops, we work on some little commands, but mostly we are geared for a fun and socializing experience with lots of treats and praise.

I think that your pup will be fine in a more advanced class.

I did not do puppy with my current pups as I was not intending to keep them, but at six months I decided to put them in classes. I put Bear in Advanced and Beansy in Basic. Bear is just naturally more confident than Beansy so I did it that way.

Neither of them had ANY training. But they are both doing good. I could have gone on to Advanced with Beansy, but I chose to go back to the basic class this time around to give her a better grounding. Bear is moving on to CGC. (I only work on this stuff in class, so it takes us a wee bit longer than some folks.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Montana I use youtube... and this forum ...a lot.

I am subscribed to...
Kikopup YouTube - kikopup's Channel
Tab289 YouTube - tab289's Channel
LunaTube282 YouTube - LUNATUBE282's Channel
JustJesse197 YouTube - JustJesse197's Channel
HunkyMonkeyKaine YouTube - hunkymonkeykaine's Channel


I use these channels for both ideas and tips on training. I train only with poitive reinforcements... so clicker to mark the behavior I want to see, and a treat to reinforce the behavior as "good". I don't scold and if I start to get frustrated we do something very simple (like the name game, say their name once when they look at you you click and treat them!) and then I take a break. I try to never ever leave on a negative note, even if I am frustrated. I think she picks up on my feelings when i start to get annoyed because something is complicated and we just arent getting it, I think thats when things truly go down hill so reverting back to something simple lets me praise and reward her and take a break.

When we first started training I would mark behaviors I liked even if they werent done on command. For example, if I am on the computer and she lays down at my feet, I click and reward, or if she goes to her kennel for a nap I might click and pet her, or even when she ignores hubby leaving the bedroom she gets a pat on the head and told "good girl!!"

I ignore most behaviors I dont care for (example: if she jumps up at me, I remove her paws from my lap and say "off" and then ignore her and go do something else... she has figured out she gets lots of attention if she waits politley to be petted vs trying to jump up on me to make me pay attention).

BTW when I thought she was just sitting for the treat I started to fade the treat out a bit... now she sometimes gets it sometimes she doesnt.

: )


-Jess
 

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All the puppy classes I've seen had as much to do with socialization as with training.
As far as older dogs in the class, I had a foster Shih Tzu who took a puppy class when he was around 10-12 months old (he was a stray so don't know his exact age.) He was neglected and I think he missed out on a lot of socialization and "puppyhood", his behavior was still a lot like a young puppy and we were going through the same sort of issues you do with puppies, so I asked the trainer of a puppy class if we could enter the class and explained the situation, and they said yes. It probably helped that at 9 pounds he weighed less than most of the puppies there... However that was the type of class where a lot is about socialization and acclimating them to different things. Among other things they had a supervised play session near the end of the hour each time.
 

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my dog was in puppy classes at 10 weeks old.
after puppy class we started private lessons
then group. after that i trained him.
 

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my dog was in puppy classes at 10 weeks old.
after puppy class we started private lessons
then group. after that i trained him.
i think thats the route im gonna go... do the petco puppy classes for more of how i should train him and socialization, then private lessons while still going to petco for the "puppy party" every week... by then i should be able to train him myself... but honestly being 10 weeks old he's just a little hyper to be properly trained.. im just going out of my wits trying to potty train him (as soon as he hits the cold garage floor he leaves a trail of pee to the door outside, but he poops outside really well, its been a week since he's gone inside) and then the nipping OMG i just wanna scream... it takes all my energy to not whomp him on the nose... it doesn't hurt MOST the time, but tripping and hurting him on accident has just got me on edge.. usually when he starts doing this i just lure him into his kennel to settle down (not as a punishment, just a time out for me... i always send him to his kennel positively)
i know he's just a puppy, but i think i've complained and annoyed y'all w/ that problem LOL... and HOLY C**P when will he actually go poo outside w/o me watching him for 15 minutes (gettin darn cold here in MT) but at least he holds it untill he's outside...
and on another good note he holds it in his kennel for about 10 hours then i wake up and take him outside... he is doing AMAZINGLY well for 10 weeks IMO :wub:

oh another thing, do any of your dogs have a little tuft of fur on the tip of their tail? scout has one and it drives me nuts looking at it LOL, of course i cant brush him cuz he attacks it, but at least i try to get him used to it...
 

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When we first started training I would mark behaviors I liked even if they werent done on command. For example, if I am on the computer and she lays down at my feet, I click and reward, or if she goes to her kennel for a nap I might click and pet her, or even when she ignores hubby leaving the bedroom she gets a pat on the head and told "good girl!!"
I do TONS of that with a new puppy too (it's called "capturing" when you mark and reward behaviors offered up by the dog without being cued to do anything), it's a great foundation.
 
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