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Hannah
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Hannah is offline  
Location: Cornwall
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20-06-2006, 09:35 AM

New instuctor at Training class really wrecking my enjoyment of the class!

Im probably being silly or petty or something but Loki and I have been going to a obedience/puppy training class, it was going well we loved it and the improvement in Loki was brilliant every week he was learning new things and clearly enjoying it! Then last week we went to the class as usual and it had all changed because the group had gotten so big and quite a few dogs were now 6 months but not quite ready to move up so they seperated the room and the dogs 6 months up were in one side and the younger ones in the other, now I can see the need for this although I would have liked to be warned of the change (but thats just me not liking change sprung on me ).
Any way since this change it has been a nightmare our trainer said even though Loki is not 6 months yet he is so clever and doing well she wanted him to be in the older group (which was really nice to hear! ) which has a different trainer Loki is so hyped up and just wont listen half the time he wants to get to the other side of the room and play with his friends in the younger class he barks lots which seems to really irritate the instructor who actually got a squirty bottle to squirt Loki last night without even asking me I said to him I wasnt using it and it wouldnt work and he said yes it would I said no he likes being sprayed and actually tries to get me to spray him with our squirty bottle at home and he said if you say so! (I think I know my own dog!!!) The he has some good methods and I have no doubt that he is good at what he does, ive seen him with his own dog which he used for demonstrations, but theres something about him and the way he talks to me that really rubs me up the wrong way and I end up being short with him in return which isnt a good working relationship! I try really hard not to be a b*tch but he just seems to bring it out in me, Loki was really hyped up because a new dog had walked in just as I asked him to sit and he said dont just say sit at him if hes not doing it he doesnt know what you want put him in the sit! Loki has been sitting since 7 weeks old he knows exactly what I want hes just not listening to me because he's more interested in the dog thats just walked in. I dont mind critisim and advice if its well placed!
I have been working really hard trying to stop Loki barking and because he was so hyped up he was really bad with it last night, the trainer told me to say quiet and hold him behind my legs by his collar I tried to explain I had been working on teaching him quiet by treating him for being quiet he said it obviously wasnt working and demonstrated what he wanted me to do and when he barked again said do it til I did, well it didnt stop him and as the other group which he was barking at was behind me I found he just barked more now I think he's just confused and was awful barking last night after the class!
Im so frustrated that a class we both enjoyed and looked forward to is now one I dread and spend the whole time wishing I could just walk out which im sure travels to Loki down the lead making him worse! I had a good working relationship with the other trainer and really wish these classes hadnt changed! At the moment I feel like im throwing my money away and its money I cant really afford any way (the classes arnt expensive but quiet away out of my way so cost abit in fuel every week but was worth it before!)
I spoke to the trainer about him being too hyped up to listen and not being like this at home or before the group was changed and what I could do to get his attention and will be try doing a couple of things differently next week, I know it is benificial for Loki to go to these classes and want him to learn be stimulated but at the moment I jsut feel so frustrated and depressed after these classes where before I was so keen to go home and practise and could wait for next week!

Loki has been worse in general for the last week or so could this be a phase he's going through?

Sorry for such long post!
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Shadowboxer
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20-06-2006, 10:07 AM
Not petty or silly at all

What is the position of this new instructor? Is he experienced or a novice? Is he used to dealing with puppies/young dogs? Some instructors who have their own well trained dogs and teach advanced obedience tend to forget what it was like just starting out with a novice dog/handler. Loki may be going through a phase, but it is up to the instructor to recognize that and deal with it accordingly.

Is your previous instructor the owner/manager of the organization? Feedback, negative or positive, from clients is invaluable. If the owner does not know what is right or wrong then things continue and, if people are not happy, there is deterioration to the point where clients give up leaving the management to scratch their heads in puzzlement.

If the dogs in your present group are older than Loki can you not request to return to the class with the younger dogs? It is not that important that he is continuously learning new exercises in class - consolidation of what he already knows is just as valuable and you can do more advanced stuff at home if you know how to teach it

I would have a quiet word with the original instructor
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DobieGirl
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20-06-2006, 10:16 AM
Hi Hannah SB'c advise is good. And like i've said before I would go and have a chat with your old instrustor and explain the situation to her. I'm sure she can figure something out to help both you and Loki
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Hannah
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20-06-2006, 10:26 AM
Thanks SB!

What is the position of this new instructor? Is your previous instructor the owner/manager of the organization?

Im not sure think the other trainer is the owner/manager and he is employed by her.

If the dogs in your present group are older than Loki can you not request to return to the class with the younger dogs? It is not that important that he is continuously learning new exercises in class - consolidation of what he already knows is just as valuable and you can do more advanced stuff at home if you know how to teach it

Loki will be 6 months by the next class so although youngest in the class technically too old for the other class. I know Loki needs to continue to do old stuff to keep it up but spending alot of time on basics seems to bored him some of the pups in the class dont know sit or down so its very basic showing them how to get there dog to sit and Loki gets borred although this week we did alot more variation in activities incorurating things he already knew which is good although he didnt learn anything new he was kept interested.

I am going to see how it goes next week and then speak to the other trainer I have always found her easy to talk to, I want to give this other instructor a chance particually if this is a phase for Loki and he will start listening again soon, I know this is not the instructors fault it is just the way he speaks and looks at us that makes me feel like he's just annoyed at Loki's behaviour and judging me on his behaviour but then I know what Loki is capable of when hes not hyped up and distracted he doesnt!
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Hannah
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20-06-2006, 10:34 AM
Originally Posted by DobieGirl
Hi Hannah SB'c advise is good. And like i've said before I would go and have a chat with your old instrustor and explain the situation to her. I'm sure she can figure something out to help both you and Loki
Thanks will be talking to other instructor after next session want to talk to her about his puppy certificate anyway because she was judging him for this which I think he would have passed by now withouth this recent distruption!

SB when do they start going throught the adolesent phase could he be going through this at the moment with it effecting his behaviour and his attention on me?
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Shadowboxer
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20-06-2006, 10:54 AM
All dogs are individuals and the 'teenager syndrome' period will vary. It usually starts with the onset of puberty - anytime between 6 -12 months of age.

Also, between 4 - 8 months there is a time known as the 'flight instinct period'. This may last only a few days (not the whole 4 months ). The dog will typically ignore recalls and be generally rather distracted.

These periods can be very trying and frustrating, but you just have to work through them with your dog. Patience, consistency, and the use of a long line when/if he gets the 'call of the wild' are the order of the day

Let us know how training goes next week.
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Ramble
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20-06-2006, 12:34 PM
Originally Posted by Shadowboxer
These periods can be very trying and frustrating, but you just have to work through them with your dog. Patience, consistency, and the use of a long line when/if he gets the 'call of the wild' are the order of the day

Let us know how training goes next week.
Hannah, you are not alone.
As SB says, this is a phase ( excellent reponses yet again SB...I live in awe!!!!!)
I don't like the 5-7 month age with a pup very much if I'm honest. It's my least favourite time. I lurve young enthusiastic, eager to please pups, I love older, more sensible 'oh ye I remember to behave' pups, but this age is hard work and not that rewarding!!!! The pups become deaf and more interestedin everything else but you.
An experienced trainer will know that and guide the pups in their group accordingly. We were at class a couple of weeks agao, all the pups were about 5/6 months and they were ALL really naughty and distracted for the first 15 mins, the trainer took things down a peg, we were all walking slowly, talking to the dogs calmly and all the dogs settled and began to respond better, thanks to the way the ( very experienced and sensible and preetty great I have to say) trainer handled the situation.

It sounds like Loki is in a phase. that's fine. As SB said be patient and consistent and he'll soon hit the 'oh ye now I remember' phase. It's hard, but try not to worry, he will get there, you are doing so well with him and from all your posts, you're doing everything right. Don't lose heart. One of my pups was THROWN out of a class at almost 5 months but was fantastic by 12. They're all different but they ALL have these phases. He'll be fine. Even if it is a phase, the instructor should be able to deal with it.

As for the trainer...hmmmm....have to admit I don't like the sound of him. I would talk to your last trainer and explain if things don't improve next week. The trouble is, Loki could end up finding being naughty at class more rewarding than being good....
The thing is, as sooon as another dog makes eye contact as Loki barks, he's being rewarded...it's a tough one, but sounds like the class could be really undermining all your hard work with Loki which is the exact opposite of what you want. Maybe talk to the instructor next week about what you're doing with Loki at home, can you maybe speak to him before the class and discuss your concerns??
Good luck. Sorry I've gone on a bit haven't I???????
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saraUK
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20-06-2006, 01:03 PM
Hi Hannah,

When i had my dogs in obedience classes they used to 'sing' to eachother across the room, if they were on their own they would whine and put on a baby bark. The instructor there told me to spray her with water everytime she did it. Naively i did it but really regret it. Back then i didn't know anything about dogs bhvr and their signals etc. What was actually happeneing was that they were exhibiting signs of stress. I know Loki is a pup but you said he wont do things he previously did, that can also be another sign of stress. Have a look at the thread 'stress in obedience classes'. People gave lots of info on it.

Loki may settle down in the next class, it mat just have been the change in structure that led him to bhv the way he did.

Good luck,
Let us know you both get on.
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Hannah
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20-06-2006, 01:32 PM
Thanks Alisa1 great advice I think he is going through some phase with his behaviour at the moment but is still beter at home then at classes.

Thanks Sara I did think about this when reading that thread although he seems frustrated at not getting to go and play with the other dogs he doesnt seem stressed he seems happy and excited to me and have seen him stressed (mainly over hoover which he doesnt like no mater how many treats 'it' gives him! ) so think I would be able to tell if he's stressed but will make sure I keep a good watch on his bady language next week to be sure.
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Wysiwyg
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22-06-2006, 06:50 AM
Is it possible to get him interested in a stuffed kong or something or do you feel he is too hyped up to take notice of it?

If he is a bit hungry before class, and you then try a stuffed kong, he may be quiet and gnaw at it, which also could be soothing for him as chewing is quite a good calming thing for dogs

It may not work but just a thought.
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