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Finnie starts obedience class tonight

Discussion in 'Sheltie Training' started by Piper's mom, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I've been doing obedience with Finnie since he was a pup and have had him in a class with my private trainer and with multiple dogs many times but I've never had him in a formal obedience class with lots of dogs (9-10). Finnie is a very good boy and quite more advanced than Piper was at this age but he needs the distractions! Get him in a room with lots of dogs and the nervousness comes out.
    I've entered him in a class (it's going to be a level 1...we'll be a bit advanced) I took with Piper when he was 7 months old. She's a good trainer (has done some competitive obedience) but mainly does Rally and conformation and she does clicker training (I've done clicker training here and there with Finnie but I much prefer a marker word...it's hard to manage the clicker, leash and treat!)
    It'll be interesting to see how he improves over the next 6 weeks (I'll take the next class too), I haven't told my trainer we're taking this class, she's opposed to it, thinks you can do distraction training in stores and other places but she's never had a nervous Sheltie with issues around strangers.
    As far as Finnie has come in his training I'll never get him in the ring if I can't get him to build his confidence (and I think this is his biggest issue...a lack of confidence).
    I'm only sorry I didn't do this months ago but I didn't want to upset my trainer (fortunately we were on the outs, or at least I was with her for a month), now I don't care about her 'feelings' but rather I care about my dog more.
    Don't listen to what others tell you, do what's best for your dog!
     
    Sandy in CT, Sharon7, Ann and 3 others like this.
  2. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    I agree- my dogs have all taken multiple classes and usually not to learn what is being taught but to learn some focus....
    Destin took basic obedience 3 times- he can get distracted by other dog/handlers/cookies.....
     
    ghggp and Piper's mom like this.
  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I took level 2 with Piper 3 times:ROFLMAO:! And then a competitive class for a year straight (until that trainer retired)! My mom kept asking me when was Piper going to graduate lol.
    She doesn't ask me anymore...she knows better now!
     
    Calliesmom likes this.
  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Doing what is best for the dog is all that matters!

    Finnie will build confidence in each class! Sometimes I noticed when they are in a class they can start focusing more on you for guidance since it is all so new to them! Hope that will be the case this time!
     
  5. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I'm just worried that beyond distractions we won't get much benefit from this class as we're so advanced (we're actually starting him on his off leash heeling)...my trainer took a video today to show me what Finnie does when we're heeling, he turns his tail so it's behind and almost touching the backs of my legs and he keeps it there as we're heeling...kinda like feelers. He's a VERY smart boy!

    I'm going to talk to the trainer tonight and see if we should move up to level 2 (at least it's still the same night, just an hour later) as we'd get much more benefit from that one. Then we'd be doing things like more heeling, fronts, finishes etc as opposed to the very beginning basics.
     
    Calliesmom likes this.
  6. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    So we had our first class and while many of the exercises we did are very beginner ones Finnie had great focus and quite surprising absolutely no fear! There were at least 7-8 other dogs (and not a very big space) and yet when we were on the floor working he was always focused on me.
    I really think this class and being on his own without his big brother Piper to support him will help to build his confidence and make him stronger!
    I'm so proud of my boy, he behaved much better than I had thought he would...aside from a bit of whining (he had a poop as soon as we got home so that could've been the reason) he was a very good boy!
     
  7. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Sounds like you and Finnie are off to a great start! Lots to be proud of. Eli had a good report today from obedience - my hubby takes him since I play softball Monday nights. It's just so rewarding to see them do well and feel confident. Glad you had a good experience with the class.
     
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  8. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    Thank you Sharon! While Finnie is quite advanced for this class (he'd be advanced even for the level 2 which unfortunately isn't starting until April) at least working him on the focus exercises will help.
    I am finding at our regular advanced class (we do competitive obedience) when my trainer stands really close when we're getting ready to do a heeling pattern (judges do that, he has to get used to it) it's hard to get him to watch me, not her so this class will help with that. I do however find it quite boring when we're teaching the basics like sits and downs and the start of heeling so I'll often do something else with him. Plus this is clicker training, I think I used it 5 times last night lol. I really don't care for clicker training...helps a dog learn a new task but I think a dog learns better when they hear the positive affirmation in the tone of your voice.
     
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  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Not big on clickers myself..... and I found out the hard way I had to train Faith on agility WITHOUT treats because she would NOT FOCUS otherwise on what the obstacle in front of her was! She'd just be looking at my hand where the treat was and run right into the jump or whatever....:gaah But she does work well for praise and pats, so that's what we do!!
     
  10. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    A typical Sheltie lol....they do love their food!
    When Piper was young he was very fussy until I stopped free feeding him. Now he eats everything (even caught him with his nose in my baggie of Shea butter...now I put it well out of reach:ROFLMAO:)!
     

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