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Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 02, 2011 08:59AM
One thing I had back in Dallas, I'm wondering if there's such a thing here. At Man's Best Friend, they had open group training classes where I can bring my dog and they would take us through a small 30 min training session: walk, heel, sit, down, etc. All the basic training stuff. Then right after, a small portion of us would spit off into rooms for protection training: guard dog training and learning the "out" command.

I'm wondering if there's such group classes here on STT? I think it'll be very beneficial to get my dog back into those types of classes again.
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 02, 2011 06:54PM
I have a dog who really would benefit from training. I have been looking for an obedience class too
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 06, 2011 03:16PM
Hey Guys,

I'm not on the island yet, but I'll be there in December. I've successfully taken one Labrador Retriever through obedience school and I self-trained my two current Pariahs. Maybe we could talk about just getting a group together to share what we know and train our dogs together. I can definitely teach effective methods for sit, down, stay, come, rollover and I've effectively house trained both my dogs. I remember how to teach heal, but it's been a while. As far as guard training, that is totally foreign to me, but I'm sure with all the information on the web and awesome dog training manuals we could get together and figure out how to do it.

If you are at all interested, I'll be there in December and if not, sorry for wasting your time. Cheers!!!

Raj H.
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 06, 2011 05:23PM
I would be very interested. My dog is house trained but the obedience training has been very unsuccessful. He just turned one year old and he is very anxious. He is afraid of everything. So it makes it difficult to take him out. He's a very small dog that I had planned to enjoy in my retirement. So I need help.
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 07, 2011 03:53AM
I would be very interested. My dog is house trained but the obedience training has been very unsuccessful. He just turned one year old and he is very anxious. He is afraid of everything. So it makes it difficult to take him out. He's a very small dog that I had planned to enjoy in my retirement. So I need help.

This is something that you should try to address now while you still have him at home even without obedience classes. What can happen is that with time if he stays fearful of things and people he might eventually become temperamental and aggressive to every person and/or dog he meets. Plus when he is in this state, as I'm sure you already know, it is very hard to train him.

One book I've heard of for this is called "A Guide to Living With and Training Fearful Dogs" by Debbie Jacobs. Also, here a couple of tips you can start putting in to practice.

1. Don't constantly reassure him. Though that is what we would want as a human, dogs take it as meaning there really is something wrong and that's why they are getting all this reassurance from the "pack leader".

2. Make sure he knows you're the boss. Make him work for everything that he likes whether it be a toy or a walk in the yard or even a meal. This means that when you show him a toy or a treat, don't instantly give it to him, but rather put his leash on, make him stand on all fours in front of you (he should be facing sideways with his head facing to the left) and then say "SIT" and gently push his chest towards his backside with your left hand and push the inward bending joints of his back legs towards the left with your right hand. He will have no choice but to sit if this technique is practiced properly. Do it about five to ten times saying "SIT" each time and then give him his treat or toy or meal. This will start to let him know that you are the boss, and the only real fear he should have is of you not being happy with him. Dogs are very intuitive of their owners feelings and when they are treated right by their owners they want nothing more than to please them.

3. Don't look him directly in the eyes to reassure him. Dogs get very uncomfortable with this and take it as a sign that you are unhappy with them and in your case this will only cause more fear in him.

4. Desensitize him to the things he is scared of. If he is scared of walks because of the noise of passing cars and seeing other people, then you just have to show him his treats before the walk, but avoid giving it to him until after he's gone out for a walk. As a matter a fact, only ever give him treats for training sessions and after walks from now on. When he learns that these are the only times he'll get them, then he'll slowly start to get used to the walks just because he knows that when he gets home he has a treat or two waiting for him. And eventually he'll find that he loves going out for walks. The minute you grab the leash he'll go nuts!!! I've seen this in my own dogs.

Well, that's all I have for now. I hope this helps. I'm not a certified dog trainer, but I've read some books and trained my own dogs and I know how tough it can be, but also how rewarding it can be when you get the desired results. Good luck and feel free to PM if you have any other questions.

Raj H.
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 16, 2011 10:33AM
Obedience training is the key to solving anxious dog issues. Right now, because he is not trained, he doesn't understand what he is supposed to be doing at any given time. You have not provided him with proper instruction--all this just compounds his natural anxiety. I have a dog that had terrible anxiety when I first got him--he was abused as a puppy and the previous owners had really done a number on him. He was terrified of people, furniture--everything except my other dog who he got along with. And he (was) is deaf, to make matters harder. To calm him down enough for obedience training, my vet gave him ant-anxiety meds (basically Prozac/Valium for dogs). This helped tremendously and I was able to start training him (with hand signals). Once he knew how to sit, stay, down, go to his place and walk on a leash, he was a totally different dog--so much more confident with himself. After a few months, he was weaned off his meds and was fine. He still is nervous in new situations and wary of new people, but he is a really sweet, loving dog and eager to please. And very well trained! My other dogs all know hand signals mow just from watching me with him.

So I would talk to your vet, see if medication is right for you (it may not be) and then proceed with training. I always use positive reinforcement, never punishing the dog (this is really important for an anxious dog--punishment, yelling will make it worse). You always we'd to be calm with him. I didn't force my love onto the dog, I let him come to me when he was ready to be petted. Before, I could barely touch him, now he loves belly rubs and massages! It tales time--it took us at least 6-8months to get to a good point. Your dog may be different though. You just have to put in the time and be patient.

Good luck!!
Re: Dog training group sessions? (STT)
October 16, 2011 08:24PM
Thanks for all the advice. I am guilty of too much reassurance and looking directly at him. I'll try to "train myself" to eliminate these behaviors.

I have had some success with taking him on more frequent car rides. He no longer barks at "everyone" on the street maybe just one or two people. However, he still is a total cringing wreck if I try to walk him outside of our yard.

stxem, I had just made up my mind to ask the vet about anxiety medication. That is on my agenda for this week.

I'll keep you informed of my progress

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