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Should we take classes?

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by SableLove, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. SableLove

    SableLove Forums Novice

    Jul 12, 2013
    Have any of you taken training classes? Our 14 month old pup Theo does not know how to socialize with or behave around other dogs: once he sees another dog, he goes crazy --nonstop barking, jumping, and running around in circles. And when the dog passes, he pulls forward as if he is chasing the dog, and so much so that he starts to gag and pant heavily. We have a harness and have used a collar before but he doesn't get that pulling hurts. Just today, he is bleeding in between his paw pads and we don't know if this is related to his out-of-control behavior outdoors. How should we fix this?:gaah
  2. Sharon

    Sharon Forums Sage

    Feb 27, 2008
    Southeastern Ct
    Should we take classes

    I think you already know the answer to your own question.Absolutely get him into an obedience class.Training should start the minute you bring a dog into your home at least in my home it does.:biggrin2:
  3. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    Answer: YES

    Rationale: Socialization around dogs, people, team building between dog & owner(s), mental maturation, self control, confidence for dog & owner both.

    It's not so much about sit, down, stay, come, and heel as it is about everything above.

    SO! SO! Worth it.

    Choose a good school with trainers who know their stuff. Not nec. Petsmart/Petco, but a real dog school with a variety of classes.
  4. Judyg

    Judyg Premium Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    Riverside, Ca.
    Training will make a world of difference. We have a 7 year old American Eskimo who had leash aggression issues. We started working with a trainer and although it has not gone completely away he is a different dog now. Much easier to get along with. He mostly listens.

    Our new puppy (once we actually get her) will be working with the trainer once she is old enough.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  5. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    I can tell you amongst trainers at our club the most important part of classes is training the owners how to communicate with their dogs. Trainers don't fix your problem but will give you the tools to fix problems yourself. I think second to this is the environment you train in. Dogs learning to focus and interact with their owners in a higher energy situation, lots of other dogs around, lots of interesting things happening, lots of smells and distractions. I personally think everyone should attend classes, but in particular new dog owners.

    So I think for all those reasons you really should go to classes. It isn't going to solve your problem, but it will teach you how to manage it.
  6. dmeyer123

    dmeyer123 Premium Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eastvale, CA
  7. SableLove

    SableLove Forums Novice

    Jul 12, 2013
    Do you have recommendations for good schools/trainers? Thanks
  8. DonC

    DonC Forums Regular

    Nov 14, 2014
    Spokane, WA
    A little background about Timmy - my 4 year old Sheltie that we've had about a year. He was raised by an older lady that lost her husband who was Timmy's primary parent. Timmy had not really been socialized and was kept indoors all the time - he wasn't even allowed to go outside to do his "business". There were other issues and a year ago she was moved to Spokane to receive full time care. Her cousin that moved her asked our Bible study group if anyone wanted a dog and my wife and I were thinking it was about time to get another dog after losing ours a number of years ago, so we took him. Timmy was so shy, he just hadn't been around people much and had no training at all.
    He and I bonded pretty tight and being an outdoor person, we started hiking and being outside quite a bit. He loved it! But, he wasn't really trained to do obey simple commands like "Come, Stay, Leave it, etc..." We went to the local Petco store where they have a Level 1 training program for basic commands. Timmy responded wonderfully and he seemed to like it. We then went through the Level 2 program and other pet owners in the class thought that he'd been brought in as a "ringer". He is so good and learns so quickly. When we finished that, I noticed they had a AKC Good Citizen training class. That's the one we're in now and again, he's doing great. What he really likes is his homework - where we go to various stores to be around distractions while he practices sitting and staying at a distance, 6 - 20 feet, coming, meeting strangers in a polite manner, etc. We're really enjoying that on these cold winter days and get's so excited when I ask him if wants to go "work on your homework".
    Overall it's been a great experience and if the local stores like Petco have good trainers, it's very much worth it. It's made such a difference in his life to come from a shy fellow that wasn't very well socialized to an outgoing fellow that loves being around people.
    I highly recommend any training - as long as the trainer knows what he/she is doing. It's fun and Timmy has really responded. (and I'm being trained in the process.)
  9. Greenepony

    Greenepony Forums Enthusiast

    Jul 2, 2012
    If I remember correctly, you're in my area. There are quite a few training schools/independent trainers - WOOFS, Cooperative Paws, Mount Vernon Dog Training Club, Fetch, Sit Means Sit, Best Behaved Dogs, Olde Town School for Dogs, Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club... NOVA Dog Magazine has a best of list for the area. I would check them out and see what works subject matter size, price, etc. Frolick just opened this year so you won't see them on any lists yet.

    We go to Frolick on to practice but have taken a one-on-one with Kevin, the owner and were really pleased. They're also reasonably priced. We're signed up for the next cycle of classes with Mount Vernon at his suggestion to get started on AKC Obedience and Rally.

    *edit* A friend went through a Petsmart basic obedience class at I think the Potomac Yards Petsmart. Her dog passed the class but I can't say any of it actually stuck. I would look elsewhere in the area.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  10. ute_fan

    ute_fan Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 23, 2012
    I'd also recommend training too. We put Callie and her sister Shelby in a beginning obedience class (didn't find out about the puppy one until just a little too late), and they really benefited from the experience. I wish we'd gone on with the next classes, but my daughter who owns Shelby was expecting a human baby that conflicted with the next class so we decided to wait -- and even though the baby is now about 18 months old, we never did get back.

    I keep thinking it would really benefit Callie to take another class, but I think it's the humans that need to be trained more than the dog.

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