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Signed up for classes.

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Mad Murphy, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yep I did.

    Now I should say this will be my first time and I am not looking forward to it. Im already beginning to doubt the wisdom of my actions and we are nowhere near the start date.

    Ive always adopted waifs and strays so they were all about a year before I got them. When Oscar came in 2001 I thought about classes so I phoned up and the lady running the classes said
    'puppy classes are for dogs up to 8 months..The second class is for older dogs'
    so I said well can I sign up for those classes?
    'No she said not unless your dog has done puppy classes..'
    'Ok..Well hes just come from a rescue so he hasnt had puppy classes..'
    'Oh well we cant accept him to the next phase then and with a dog like that I doubt theres much point..'

    At the time the kennel club was the only place running classes in our area and I felt so totally let down and brushed off by the snobbery of that woman that I never even considered them again.

    But Murphy has some issues with strangers, he doesnt like people without dogs and he barks at anyone who comes into the house. After about an hour he settles down and he has been great this week with my son, his partner, my two grandchildren, (one of whom has severe autism) and my sister in law.. But it took time and he still isnt good with random people in the street. Then I saw some classes advertised in the paper . They are run by a dog therapist who works for the local shelter she runs very small groups 4 or 5 people and dogs at a time and all the profit goes to the local dog shelter so Ive signed up for the next run of classes starting October.

    I think Murphy will do ok but Im not sure how I will cope.. I dont like dealing with groups of people, even small ones, I always withdraw and end up on my own in a corner somewhere. I know we will all be there to learn and will be focused on our dogs but I cannot get that stupid snobby woman from the kennel club out of my head..
    Tell me it will be ok...Ive got a knot in my stomach just thinking about it :(
     
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  2. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Yep I can feel your pain at the thought! I struggle too with this kind of thing but they are small groups and you are doing this for good reasons, you have nothing to lose, and potentially a lot to gain, by at least taking a deep breath and going to the first class, you may be pleasantly surprised.. and definitely forget that crazy bat from the kennel club!!;):D
     
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  3. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm the classic poster child for introversion and I hate hate hate group events. I've always found the training groups to be very friendly and if you need to make conversation you can always talk about the dogs!

    And yes - forget about that woman. There are a couple of rescue dogs in Harri's class, one is 6 and the other 9. They are never too old to learn.
     
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  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Go along, learn what you can; ignore anything that isn't relevant and keep your eyes on Murphy. If he is gaining from either your learning or his participation that's all that matters?
     
  5. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Had a similar problem with Dudley. He was six months old and I was told he was too old for puppy classes. I then had to wait eight weeks for the course of adult classes.
    We lasted two sessions. He was very good, he would sit and walk properly on the lead, which was actually the start of him using a collar, as they said he couldn't wear a harness.
    On the second session the trainers husband told me to lift him up by his collar so his front feet were not on the ground to stop him planting. I refused to do this and he actually said 'I've never pulled a dogs head off yet'.
    He was already fairly obedient, his recall was good and we would sit and stay so I decided that lessons were not for us. I hate the term, heel. Don't know why so I use the command 'with me' and he walks beautifully by my side.
    I hope Murphy gets on alright with his lessons and you find them helplful.
    Dudley was originally my grandaughter's dog so had been taught the basics.
    Another story from dog training, my friends collie actually failed his Citizen test and the trainer refused to continue with him. He also has good recall, will sit on command and pretty much does as he is told. He is three now and I realise as a collie he is very intelligent. Both him and Dudley have managed well without these expensive lessons.
     
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  6. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's dreadful - I picked a class based on positive reinforcement. I wouldn't have gone back either to that one.

    I don't use "heel" - Harri's command is "stay close"
     
  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    The thing that attracted me to these lessons is that they are positive based .. encourage learning through play and all the profits go to the rescue. As Murphy is two we already have our vocabulary and Im not going to change that. I would love to brush up his basics and work on his social skills and self confidence.
     
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  8. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Same with mine - "fetch" requires them to bring back their toy from a pile. Great fun for the dogs rooting around for the right one.
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    How ignorant! o_O

    Remember that the trainer and the classes are there for your benefit - or rather Murphy's benefit. Jasper went to classes and I rather wish I'd just stayed for the first half-hour of each, because after half an hour he'd started melting down and we spent the whole time trying to address behaviour that he really only did in the training class as he was so worked up. He also on one occasion went on strike after too much sit, down, stand, down, sit... and decided to have a bit of a nap instead. I really can't blame him.

    So only do what you're comfortable with. You're not back in school where you have to do what you're told, and you know your dog and what he needs.
     
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  10. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    Agree with the above, the classes are or at least should be for you as a pair. If I was told to do anything I was not happy with I wouldn't try it. As to Jasper, my experience is sight hounds get bored quickly. And repeating the same things over and over just leads to them switching off fully. That said with very sensitive training they can do well.
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sure - training is a bit like sculpture. A lump of marble and a lump of clay can both be sculpted into something beautiful, but if you try to use a chisel on soft clay or mould marble with your hands, you're not going to get great results. So you really need to know what works with what you are trying to shape.
     
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  12. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Once we start I will let everyone know how it goes.
    I just have to cope with my dislike of being around people.
    It seems to be the done thing these days to attend classes almost like sending children to school.
     
  13. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    OK first class this Thursday evening.. the list said bring a towel or blanket sounds like yoga class ! Bring treats Murphy likes that idea. A normal lead no flexi and your vaccination or titre certificate..

    We are all set..
     
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  14. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hope it goes well:) Just remember, you don't have to do, or make Murphy deal with, anything you're not comfortable with. In retrospect, I should have only stayed for the first half-hour of each class, or sat out the second half and worked on 'settle down and watch the other dogs quietly' rather than in effect honing his kangaroo skills.
     
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  15. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Good luck! Harri loves his classes.
     
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  16. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thanks, it all sounds ok, in the email the trainer mentions not letting your dog run up to or jump on other dogs as they might not like it and to be respectful of each others personal space and that no dog is allowed to run lose unless the trainer says so..
    To be honest my main worry is me.. Im not good in groups so I hope that being as the focus is on the dogs I wont be expected to do too much socialising.. Never felt more alone than once when I did a charity walk with Remy.. halfway through I wanted to turn tail and run..:( This I have to stick at for 10 weeks !
     
  17. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I know someone else who had a problem interacting with other people but not only was she able to cope with training lessons, she ended up working as a trainer! She found that because she and the other people there were all focused on the dogs, and dog training was her passion, she was suddenly able to communicate with them in a way that she couldn't in other groups.

    The dogs were all on lead (apart from recall training) and separate from other dogs in J's training class too, but he just got too stimulated, his brain fried, and he'd jump up on me or OH. Funnily enough, when the trainer tried to get him to jump up on him so he could demonstrate how to deal with it, J wouldn't jump up at all!

    Focus on Murphy and the training - and do let us know how it goes:)
     
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  18. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ok so we had the first lesson and thankyou all for putting my mind at rest it did help.

    The group is tiny just Murphy and 3 other dogs , one east European rescue (Layla) who seemed very good but she is reactive to other dogs, one small furry thing about the size of a rabbit and I couldnt tell which end was which..The other is every dog owners nightmare owner.I think Ive met this lady before she has a small terrier mix, body like a large JRT but with corgi legs and a shih tzu face. It runs to the end of its lead yapping and she has a whole great conversations with it... Now dont do that ,,yes I know you just wanna play dont you, hey, dont you... maybe later darling, yes playing with the big doggys yes ..Then to the others 'hes so friendly he just wants to play' I was very proud that Murphy didn't react at all..

    The trainer quickly gave the lady a task to do and that shut her up!
    The training ..I know they said positive but this was more treats than Murphy gets in a week.. But she explained we want to always set them up to succeed and reward the smallest triumph at this stage. Everything was a game designed to encourage attention to the owner and following instructions while being rewarded for compliance.

    There were one or two games that Murphy didnt 'get' why would he take his eyes off the prize to look at me? The idea was instead of them looking at where you obviously have treats they look at you and when eye contact is made (however brief) they get the reward. Forget it, he knew where the treats were and he wasnt taking his eyes off them!! All in all it went well although I did leave straight after and didnt hang around for chit chat..
     
  19. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Now you know why Harri loves his classes! Tuna cake by the tonne.

    Sounds like it went very well. It took Harri a while to understand what he was meant to do in some of the tasks but after a couple of weeks the pennies started to drop.
     
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  20. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Good work- we've done puppy classes with out delinquent- they really seemed to help him listen and concentrate (though we were starting from a very low level!). We found one who was very realistic about cockers! Our boy has matured as well so the two things have combined. As for some dog trainers, don't get me started. Some seem to combine very little scientific training with massive self-belief. And in one case I'm sure a borderline personality disorder. You have to be so selective and if one of them gives off bad vibes trust your own perception.
     
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