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    1. #1
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      When You're the "bad dog" at puppy class :(

      We took Bubba to his first puppy class this weekend and he was quickly identified as the "bad dog". There were only two other dogs there, a golden doodle and a little chihuahua mix. Bubba was definitely the most exuberant, and also the youngest there. They made us keep him on the leash during all the play times while the other dogs were off leash. He's loved all the dogs he's met so he's not overly aggressive with biting, he was more just running over the chihuahua out of excitement and lack of body control. He has a super short attention span and isn't very food or treat driven so it is hard to get him to obey commands outside of our home and we spent most of the time just trying to hold him in our area.

      Feeling a little discourage because this was not what we were hoping for out of our first class.

    2. #2
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      Any puppy class "trainer" that labels one of his or her clients as a "bad dog" would not be getting my business. I would find one that understands puppies are exuberant. And love to play, And run around. And that they don't come trained.

      Seriously, you paid money for this?
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      ​Decisions, decisions, decisions


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      “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

      Cheryl Zuccaro

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    4. #3
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      I should clarify that they didn't explicitly say he was a bad dog, but he was the one who needed to have special treatment and keep an eye on him and everything, with the unruly dog connotation. It was definitely frustrating!

    5. #4
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      The only puppy class I ever attended was with Danny (for socialization purposes only) and there was no off-leash play time at all. Everyone stayed leashed, there wasn't a break, and the class lasted about an hour. After/before class socializing was encouraged. The class was held in the waiting room of a closed vet practice by the man who owned the business.

      It sounds like that might be a better environment for sweet normal Bubba than one where dogs of various sizes are allowed to play off-leash as part of the class.

      Dan would not have done well with....eight or nine....other dogs of various ages and temperaments even when he was four months old. Even with dogs leashed, there was a lot of commotion.
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    6. #5
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      You have a happy, playful puppy. Class is exactly where he needs to be to learn and to socialize. Give it time and have tons of patience. He's not being bad, he's being a puppy.
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    7. #6
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      Reassurance first: That IS frustrating! Kimber was definitely not the star pupil in puppy kindergarten. Back in human school, I was an A+ student and have an advanced degree, and it was really weird to not be at the top of the class, LOL. I remember one time we were supposed to be practicing "watch me" and all the other puppies were obediently gazing at their owners while Kimber threw a temper tantrum because she wanted to play with those other puppies, dang it! She barked and cried and got all tangled up in her leash and it was not pretty.

      Hope next: But we stuck with it. We did the homework and practiced regularly in between classes. She was never the star (a very bright Aussie pup had that honor), but she improved. And we kept practicing and taking classes and eventually, at about age 4 (lol), she was the one that other owners stared at with awe.

      Suggesions last: For training, you'll need to figure out Bubba's currency. It could be that you haven't found the right treat yet- have you tried cheese, liver treats, or hot dogs? Those are usually very high value. If Bubba is truly not food-motivated, try different toys. And it's possible that in puppy K, anything won't be as alluring as other pups. We found giving Kimber a good play session right before class made her more focused in class. And as was said above, adjust your expectations for class. It should be for him to start learning how to behave in public- anything beyond that is gravy!
      Miss Kimber, CGC, birthdate 6/15/2005

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    9. #7
      Real Retriever
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      I feel your pain. Sunshine was... not really the bad puppy... but... she just had too much energy to be in an enclosed area with other puppies. They were all terrified of her.

      I did take her to the lake for an hour, two, or more as needed before class. The second part of class I had some control and she did pretty good after a few classes. Just be persistent and constant. I considered ANY little obedience in class a major hurdle.

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by kimbersmom View Post
      Suggesions last: For training, you'll need to figure out Bubba's currency. It could be that you haven't found the right treat yet- have you tried cheese, liver treats, or hot dogs? Those are usually very high value. If Bubba is truly not food-motivated, try different toys. And it's possible that in puppy K, anything won't be as alluring as other pups. We found giving Kimber a good play session right before class made her more focused in class. And as was said above, adjust your expectations for class. It should be for him to start learning how to behave in public- anything beyond that is gravy!
      When I read this, I had an image of you holding up the little chihuahua mix as a treat. "Look at me and you get to play with the puppy". Hope this makes you laugh.

      This is your first class. It will get better. Continue to work with him and he will get better.

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    12. #9
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      Sounds like a Lab puppy to me! The trainer should have reassured you that, being a Lab, they are exuberant and don't know their own weight/strength. Most Labs need to be taught and part of puppy k is learning about interactions and how to deal with that. And, the first day at school is always hard -- new place, new people, new dogs, and usually they have only been home for a couple weeks and the connection is just not that strong. As they get used to it, and working under distractions, it gets easier.

      What do you expect? And what does your trainer expect? It might be worth thinking about that yourself and asking your trainer. Your expectations may be too high or unrealistic and your trainer may very well have zero experience with Labs. Or perhaps you are just taking things hard because the puppy is great at home and you were disappointed that it did not carry over in class? The bottom line is that he is a baby. He's been alive for what, 10 weeks? He is learning, exploring, and class probably blew his mind. All completely normal. If your Lab puppy stood back and was fearful or overly shy, I'd be concerned.

      Your puppy has a LOT to learn. It will happen quickly, but you need to be patient and fair and understand where he is in his development.

    13. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by CraftHer View Post
      When I read this, I had an image of you holding up the little chihuahua mix as a treat. "Look at me and you get to play with the puppy". Hope this makes you laugh.

      This is your first class. It will get better. Continue to work with him and he will get better.
      Ha! We lucked out a bit in puppy kindergarten in that the class was so big they decided to split us into two groups: pocket dogs and bigger breeds. In our group was the aussie, a couple of retrievers, and a boxer mix. If we'd stayed in the class with the little terriers and mini-pin, I think Kimber's exuberance would've scared them to death.

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