1. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Thanks, Ambergirl - I understand what you're saying.  I don't have any negativity that I associate with a low IQ score (they have canine versions!), so I forget how it might sound.  Intrinsic intelligence is the least important trait of a dog, I think, unless it is destined to be a rescue or other type of work dog.

    I'm thrilled to see so many new folks here, too, and I hope everyone becomes more regular with posting.  The pictures are awesome, and we can always all help each other be the best "parents" we can be.

    On a random note, I just took Gracie to Pooch in Leominster, a self-serve dog wash (they also will wash for you).  It was awesome!  They were so helpful that I was sure I'd be charged as if they had provided the service (although, I spent as long as I wanted with Gracie by myself, too).  They didn't hurry me or scold us when Gracie jumped out of the bath bin, soaking wet, as soon as I unhooked her to get her to turn around.  She saw an opportunity and...  Anyway, they brought the stairs back and coaxed her back up and in.  She smells fabulous.  Her bedding and collar are in the drier, now, so she's one clean dog.  Oh, and it included teeth wipes, ear wipes, and blow dryer station.  $18 for self serve.  We don't go too much so it was worth it, I think.  I hope DH agrees.  She is VERY clean and smells like "Mango Tango." :)
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from revdani. Show revdani's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Agility is the best thing I've ever done for my dogs. I've now trained two in Agility and both of them absolutely loved it.  It's good for me too, getting me up and running (and I do mean running!) The other wonderful thing about on-going classes for your dog is the people you meet. I now have a group of friends that are special people whom I never would have met without these classes. So, the socialization goes both ways.....for the dog and for the handler. RevDani
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Kar, you are brave indeed to do a self serve dog wash!  I am cracking up picturing Gracie jumping out of the tub!  Who was more wet, you or her?  LOL!  Amber has to go to the groomer every 6 weeks, more for the haircut or I would do it myself.  Don't they smell awesome when they are groomed! Too bad it doesn't last : (   I pay $45 for a groom, so great deal you got!!  Keep Gracie's stories coming, she is a love!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    revdan, that was Gracie's and my favorite part of puppy kindergarten!  I had to run, too - she has 4 long legs and seemed to think the faster the better. ;)

    Ambergirl, it was pretty funny in a "Help me, please!" kind of way.  I wasn't wet at all; they have lovely rubber aprons.  Labs, with their short hair, truly just need to be washed and dried, not exactly "groomed," so it's not bad to do it yourself.  If I had a dog that needed actual grooming, I'd be sure to let someone else have that pleasure, too.

    I wish I had the camera, now, actually.  She could be in an L. L. Bean ad; she's curled up on my Bean's down parka I'd tossed by the back door after bringing her inside.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from HoldUp. Show HoldUp's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Wow, you're all so helpful! I can't wait to get started with the classes. It's so exciting when you work on a trick or command and they get it; they look so proud of themselves, and I know that I get a little proud myself!

    The obedience part is really important to us, of course, but the socialization is also a big part of it. We want to make sure that he's always comfortable around people and other pets and that he keeps the friendly personality that he has now.

    Again, thank you all for your tips and advice! I'm sure I'll be back with rediculous stories from our classes. The pup is such a clown sometimes, he cracks me up!

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    About socialization, many unexpected places allow dogs.  I took Gracie everywhere within 20 miles of our home that allowed them...including our local bank, strangely enough.  She's been a super star there since she was 12 weeks old.  It takes longer to do anything with her in tow, but it's worth it.  She also learns "leave it" that way, too, not being allowed to grab things off shelves.  Actually, our kindergarten homework was to find out what stores allowed dogs and take them there!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from tibird. Show tibird's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Hi Holdup,
     We took our dogs to the Animal Rescue League in the South End (Tremont St.) for training. They also do puppy classes & agility.  Lanie was a Great instructor! Just thought I'd give you another option to look into, plus I like to support the shelters whenever possible.

    One other tip - make sure that all people in the household go to training with the puppy, for as many sessions as they can make.  It's really important to have all "parents" on the same page with training.  I found myself reinforcing commands not only to the dogs, but to DH!  :)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Me, too.  I told DH I felt like I was training TWO puppies.  Very frustrating. 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CopleysCorner. Show CopleysCorner's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    MSPCA in Boston also has classes.  It seems like their trainers and facilities are great.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    And the saga of unrealistic expectations continues....

    We started intermediate last night, and guess who did down for half of the sits, and wouldn't even look at me when walking, nevermind heel?

    Oh well, at least the other half of the extended sits were good, he did do down on command and waited politely at the door to leave. 

    Did I have fun with puppy at class last night?  Noooooo.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    You know I can relate.  I didn't have fun at ANY of our training classes.  But, I learned a lot every time so I can't really complain.  Did you at least get some new training methods or tips to try?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Oh, yes.  It wasn't the method so much as the level of distraction. First class, new dogs. He just wasn't focused at all because he did much better later on at home when we were showing DH what we worked on. When he did what he was supposed to, he was spot on, but when he didn't WHOA BABY was he way off!  In reality, he did no better and no worse than any of the other dogs. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Same with Gracie - she did as well (or as poorly) as all the other dogs.  It's distraction that gets ya every time.  But, it's distracting out there in the world where it really counts.  I'm looking at leashless dog parks, and they all require "excellent voice command."  Uh, it's excellent AT HOME, but not so great out there.  So, classes like that with dogs they don't know are essential to gain "excellent" control.  Good for you for keeping up with it!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Just a suggestion....

    Once they are able to do the task at home, take them to places where there are more distractions and practice the new task.  Take them to the park and to places like Petco.  Start off in quieter places and then work your way to places with more distractions.

    With my dog, I started getting him to do "stays" in the house.  I progressed to the back yard, quiet places in the park, and finally to sections of the park crawling with squirrels.  I can put him in a down in the middle of a bunch of squirrels, turn around and walk away, wait for a few minutes, and then call him to come.  He won't move until I call him and then he will sprint to me.

    It's good to challenge them as long as they aren't being set up to fail.  And always finish on a high note.  If they can do "looks" really well and you've been working in sits, then finish the session with "looks". 

    One last bit of advice - praise with enthusiasm at least as much as you correct and some dogs need require a lot more praise than corrections.  I have 2 dogs - one dogs gets it very quickly and I can get away with about the same level of praise as corrections when teaching him new stuff.  My other dog needs tons more praise than corrections when learning new stuff. 

    You can never be overly enthusiastic when training.

    Oh, one last suggestion - use extremely high value treats in places where there are a lot of distractions.  You might be able to get his attention at home with regular kibble.  But you may need to use some left over chicken or beef in places where there are lots of distractions.  And training on an empty stomach can be helpful.  A dog with an empty belly is much more likely to pay attention to someone with treats than a dog with a full belly.





     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Great advice, DWL, as usual!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Good luck with your lab! Bosco's trainer said she'd never seen a dog as headstrong as he was (and still is)! The one thing I wish I'd done is have a few one-on-one training sessions before taking her to a group session.

    We went to Petco for both his puppy kindergarten and his socialization playgroup and he tended to think both things were play sessions. I think if I'd done some serious work with his beforehand it might have focused him a little more.

    His trainer from Petco opened up a new grooming place in Watertown - Grateful Dog. I don't think they are doing group training sessions yet, but Maureen or Jess would probably do some one-on-ones if you live in that area.

    As everyone else has said, it's an ongoing process. When Bosco was neutered, the vet wrote the absolute classic line at the bottom of his surgical report - "Keep up with the training - he knows his commands, but sometimes chooses not to listen." I still laugh over that one, as if he was telling me something I didn't know!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I totally lauged at that note from your vet, bigpuppy!!!  (only 'cause I can relate, of course!)  ...still laughing.  So funny!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I knew all Lab owners could relate - I felt like asking the vet "I know you were focused on just one part of him, but you DID notice he was a Lab, right?"!

    HoldUp - the biggest thing is to just be patient. Bosco is 19 months and every time I ask another Lab owner at what age they start to calm down and actually listen, they just laugh hysterically.

    I don't know if you are single or not, but if there are going to be multiple people giving the pup commands, it is crucial that everyone use the same ones so that the pup isn't confused. I had started to teach Bosco to sit, stay, etc. before he was able to start kindergarten and I used a couple of different terms than the trainer later did (the biggest one was I used down and she used off for when he jumped up).

    Once you decide on a trainer, I'm sure you'll be able to chat with him or her if you have to wait a little while before the class starts.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    We have a problem with "off" and "down" - DH uses "down" for "lie down on the floor" AND "stop jumping on someone" I've long since given up trying to correct him; it just wasn't sinking in.  The fact is, I think, with two people there will be issues like this, but hopefully very few. :)

    Gracie did have somewhat of a growing up moment at 10 months old if you can believe that.  One day she woke up and LOOKED like herself, but suddenly never grabbed the dish towel off the oven door or another sock (although once in a great while she might for attention).  We could leave shoes lying around whereas before that day we had to put them in the closet and shut the door immediately if we wanted to see them in one piece again.  It was weird, like a switch went off in her brain that she's a "big girl" now - before that day it was a constant battle of "LEAVE IT" and "DROP IT."  However, she's just as energetic and playful as ever.  I don't think labs do ever grow out of that, and my DH would be devastated if she ever did! 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I dream of that day! Bosco's pretty good about the chewing now, but with one big exception - he loves all of the area rugs. I have hardwood floors but all of my area rugs are still rolled up in the basement because he just goes to town on the corners. I've tried the sour apple spray and it has no affect whatsoever.

    The only rug he doesn't chew is his 'safe place' rug - an ugly old remnant I found at Target as a last effort once he'd eaten his 4th dog bed. I'm glad he likes it, but just my luck it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen and now has a place of honor in the living room!

    He does listen to the leave it and drop it command. Cooper will soon learn to hate those - they usually come just when they've found a big goopy mess that's the best smelling thing they've ever come across!

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    We also have wood floors and area rugs, and we taught her to leave those alone with the can of coins.  It totally worked. But, like you say, it requires a constant carrying around of the can, watchful eye, and quick reflexes.  I had it in my hand most of the time at the ready.

    Bitter apple was, indeed, a big joke for us, too.  I sprayed it on the fringe of the rugs, and she still found them intensely appealing.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from SSBride09. Show SSBride09's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Glad to know my Penny is not the only one who thinks Bitter Apple is tasty.  She's chewed up three dog beds and had chewed two collars right off my other dog's neck in the last couple of weeks.  Still looking for something that works.
     
    The good news is she's just about 10 months now so maybe she'll wake up one day like Gracie and decide there's no need to destroy everything in site.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    When Gracie was 10 months old we'd been shaking the can to correct her bad behavior for 8 months.  I think it finally sank in that when she did something like grab and chew things that weren't hers she got punished and it wasn't worth it to her anymore.  I don't think it would have magically just happened at that age if we hadn't been super diligent with the corrections.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from shiplesp. Show shiplesp's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    What do you do if you're not home to give the correction?
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    You must to let it go if you don't catch the dog in the act because they do not have the mental capacity to connect the mess (of whatever sort) with your correction if they aren't actually DOING it right then.  They get away with it.  But, the good news is that they know you didn't SEE them get away with it and let it happen.

    It's the same even if you were just in the other room a few seconds and missed it as it is if you were gone for 3 hours and missed it.  You missed it, you can't correct.  Just clean it up and wait for them to try it when you ARE around to correct.

    Whatever the dog is doing at the time you dish out correction is what they'll think they aren't supposed to do, again.  If your dish towel was clearly torn up while you were away, and your dog is sitting quietly at the window when you find it, if you correct the dog (shaking the dish towel in his face) at that point he'll stop sitting by the window and you'll never know why.
     

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