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Absolutely dejected!

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by ghggp, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    Liam had his first obedience class today and it was a total disaster!

    It didn’t help that we had terrible thunderstorms with lightning and high winds. Blew down huge trees.

    The drive there was no too bad. When we got to the class which is in a huge wearhouse the rain and thunder reverberated through the building. They had us go into a smaller room where there were loud and older puppies barking. Scared the crap out of Liam as he dove under a chair to hide! Liam the terrible became Liam the meek!

    I did not want to reinforce his fear so I just let him sit on the floor asking for various sits, comes, and watch me commands. I did this to keep him occupied while the trainer showed us with her dogs what was expected.

    Then they moved us into the large room where the wearhouse was divided up with two sections. One side had our puppy class and the other side had the large dogs.

    Liam became totally unhinged! He shut down! Would not take a treat, respond to command or react in any other way than total fear! I was so surprised as he did great at home and he even seemed to adjust to the smaller room.

    I hope he does better next week. Not sure what to do. The trainers were very understanding and said not to push him.

    Gezz, I am really sad about it! He seems so outgoing and bold. It was like he was a totally different dog!!!
     
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  2. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it Gloria, it was a totally new experience for Liam...he's probably never experienced that amount of dogs/barking plus I'm sure the weather didn't help. How old is he now? When Finnie was younger (3-4 months) he was afraid of everything when we went for a walk (cars, people, barking dogs, loud music)...now these things don't phase him. It's a big noisy world to a puppy that's used to the safety,of their own yard and home.
     
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  3. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

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    We did a private puppy kindergarten with Layla. I think she would have had a hard time with those conditions, too.
     
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  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Thanks for the moral support Lisa! Did you end up exposing Finnie to more even after he was scared or did you back off a bit?

    He gets his final shots tomorrow so I can walk him and expose him to more.
    He is 16 weeks now. I keep reading to expose them to more and more things as early as possible.

    I have him enrolled in another 6-week obedience right after this puppy class. I went to the facility and it is much smaller. I believe he will like it better. That class did not start until the middle of September so I did not want to wait that long to begin training. I really wanted to introduce him to other dogs as early as possible!

    Fingers crossed...
     
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  5. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    OH yes Gloria, I continued...very important to expose them to as much as possible. If you have any stores in the area that allow dogs I'd take him or anywhere and everywhere lol. Finnie is afraid of kids and it's because he wasn't exposed to them much. Any dog shows in your area? I'd definitely enter him exhibition only (I was taking Finnie to obedience matches when he was 3 months old...really helped him adjust to the louder noises).
    P.s. It takes about a week for the last set of shots to make the puppy immune to parvovirus so I'd wait to take him for his first walk.
    He'll do fine at his class...just reward often. Make sure you take some VERY high value treats with you (the treats you use at home may not be enticing enough)...try some small pieces of cheese or hot dogs or kubassa. If you can get him to take a treat when your at class next week when there are noises and such that scare him it'll help to settle him and relax him. It may take time (the first match Finnie went to with me he was shaking when I held him and walked around but he gradually got used to it), now at 6 months (and all the handling classes we've taken) he's not at all bothered by other dogs...in fact he wants to play with all of them lol.
     
  6. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Gosh, thanks about the info on the final shots!!! I would have taken him out the same day had you not told me!!!!

    I am so relieved to hear Finnie was the same way! Breathing a sigh of relief here! I have a elementary school right around the corner so I will walk him by when the kids are out!

    Will wait a week and get him out more! Thanks so much for your guidance!
     
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  7. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    Hi Gloria, I can't really give you any advice here, but I can tell you that at Skylar's first puppy class she hid under a chair the whole time too. And now she's my social butterfly who is so outgoing that she's training to be a therapy dog. She loves everyone - other dogs, people, children, etc. So I wouldn't worry too much that this is an indicator of things to come.
     
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  8. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    Don't feel to bad Spitfire in his zone rules all, in a strange area he hides behind me. He used to hide under Sca (who was totally not pleased with that, very undignified LOL). I am sure Liam will do better once he gets more time out and about.
     
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  9. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    So very relieved to hear so many of you experienced this issue of fearfulness. I was getting so worried as he is such an outgoing puppy up until the class light night!
    Hoping for better results next time!
     
  10. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    That's too funny....Finnie would've hidden under Piper if he could've on his first walk...his tail was between his legs! Now of course he loves his walks and is afraid of nothing!
     
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