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Thread: Tried a different obedience class this weekend.

  1. #1

    Default Tried a different obedience class this weekend.

    We have a fantastic obedience class / situation. They run a reasonably priced, casual class - come as often or as little as you like. Absolutely not looking to change - I really love the set up and the people. They're great.

    However, our actual class sees me leave the house at 10 on a sunday and by the time I have a coffee on the way home I dont get back til just after 12 - so it eats a lot of my sunday. I'm also about to go back to uni and coming into winter I have been looking for alternatives to our class- other times, other days of the week, evenings, under cover, etc etc - you get the drift.

    So our usual was closed for the long weekend and I took this as a perfect opportunity to try somewhere different... It was a totally horrible experience. Well over 24 hours later - I'm still thinking about it. As we walked in there was a huge dog barking away - tangling its self up and just being a bit menacing - turned out it belonged to one of the instructors. My initial thought was "oh the other people have much better behaved dogs"... I should have gone then. All the instructors where wearing name tags from different places (e.g. from other volunteer jobs they have - which is a huge personal peeve of mine).

    The "trainer" I had was just not my cup of tea - lecturing and dropping in totally pointless anecdotes. When I was asked how old Scott was I responded "Senior" (which is my standard response - as I don't know) and I was pushed to answer. There was 8 of us in the beginners class and I would say 3 of the owner/pet combos were in quite series need of some one on one time but the owner just stood at the front of the class, demonstrating with a bag she had with her ("pretend its a dog") and calling us out one by one to practice the command (e.g. Halt & Sit). I was SOOOOOOO bored, then when it came time to offer a drink to the dogs she also made a huge fuss with one poor owner getting really wet trying to scoop water out of a bucket to her toy poodle x.

    Then there was the poor guy who was taller than me with a Chi x - who was told to never crouch down to his dog because "he's the boss". The poor guy had no idea how to make the dog sit, or to make it stay in sit and she couldn't or wouldn't give him some one on one while the struggled through the class. I really felt for them.


    But the icing on the cake for me was 2 things - being constantly reprimanded for not holding my leash correctly ("hold your dog correctly, darling") and when practicing "stand" (actually halt & stand) - which I have never tried with Scottie I kept stuffing it up and he kept sitting - so she told me to move one hand to his flank to stop him from sitting but I must have scared him because he yelped - not really sure what for or why. But she went bonkers telling me to never use force or physical means to get an animal to do something. It just really rattled me - if you saw Scottie and I "working" together you'd know that the only physical force is him yanking on my heart strings. He does as much as he pleases and when he's done he "cutes out" and we finish (and yes - I know its naughty but its also totally 100% ok with me).

    Anyhow, suffice to say we won't be back to that class. I will freely admit that it was probably just a personality clash on my behalf but I'm so glad I have options.

    As I said, I wasn't shopping for new, just extra or something to help ensure weekly classes can continue when my schedule gets really stupid but it won't be on the list. Also makes me realise just how amazing our current providers are.
    Last edited by Scottsmum; 06-10-2014 at 08:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Gosh what a nasty sounding club

    Your normal club sounds awesome though, you're very lucky

    I'd love to take Koda to obedience classes again, but none of my local clubs would want Koda and I there considering his reactivity issues. I spoke to a trainer at one of them recently... I explained that Koda is reactive towards other dogs, and she's all like "oh yeah thats fine, we'll just use treats to get him used to dogs"... I then explained that its not that simple and if he saw a barking dog from 100m away (let alone a club of them) he'd lose the plot...
    She didn't seem to want anything to do with me after that... understandable... but disappointing.

  3. #3
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    Most of the clubs around Adelaide still use the old school methods. Reward based training is as important for humans as dogs... sigh.

    The one I'm a member of - used to have a fun class for graduates of grade 5 - who didn't really want to do the CCD competition formal obedience class - OMG the reprimands and "you're doing it wrong" stuff I got in that. Yikes.

    The daft thing was - even tho I didn't use their system or their commands - I could get evil hound to do quite a few of the moves required for competition... and quite a few required for competition rally (eg backwards and sideways), better than their dogs... She's never been very good at figure 8s tho. Always wants to say hello to the post people. Similar problem with "stand for exam" but I have managed to explain to her about that one - the game is stand still no matter what...

    You can get the stand command using nose touches - ie you teach your dog a nose touch to the palm of your hand - and then you teach it to follow your hand, then your stand command can look like the nose touch (hand) command - where you put your hand just out of reach so the dog has to stand up to touch...

  4. #4
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    Sounds just awful. And full of contradictions too. So she's into the whole dominance thing with the not crouching down to your dog's level (it's a chi FFS! Even if you'd lie flat on your belly, you're still taller than him!) but then lays into your because she incorrectly thinks you're using physical means to control your dog.

    Glad you have a much better alternative than that!

  5. #5

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    It just wasn't my cup of tea. Cheap ($4 a class plus a yearly ground fee) and it was very well attended. I'd say there would have been 30+ dogs there but yep. Glad its not my only choice.

    The other thing I like (cause I really like getting my own way) is that Scottie will often drop when doing long sit stays - For a while our regular teacher tried to get me to make him sit but she now understands were only in class for bonding / fun / enrichment and she usually lets us get away with being a bit sloppy.

    Thanks for the tip on Stand too Hyacinth... I'll try that out. After all, its not a bad tick to have up our sleeve.

  6. #6
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    I really must make a video of Frosty fun tricks...

    Just for fun things to get her to do... most of the initial training done in front of telly...

    remote sit / drop / stand / sit / pretty

    working on remote roll over, spin, twist (spin the other way)...

    leg weaves - they're fun. until you stop and she head butts your knee in the hope of getting another weave in for another treat...

    heel forwards, backwards, sideways, spin, twist and also heel pirouettes in both directions - you and the dog do a backwards circle with her staying in heel pos, then a forwards circle (else get dizzy)...

    It's also good to have a set of tricks that work on lead and another set that work off lead.

    Can't really do leg weaves on lead - it just doesn't work.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by maddogdodge View Post
    Gosh what a nasty sounding club

    Your normal club sounds awesome though, you're very lucky

    I'd love to take Koda to obedience classes again, but none of my local clubs would want Koda and I there considering his reactivity issues. I spoke to a trainer at one of them recently... I explained that Koda is reactive towards other dogs, and she's all like "oh yeah thats fine, we'll just use treats to get him used to dogs"... I then explained that its not that simple and if he saw a barking dog from 100m away (let alone a club of them) he'd lose the plot...
    She didn't seem to want anything to do with me after that... understandable... but disappointing.
    That is disappointing. I'm fortunate that I think I have stumbled onto the most flexible, relaxed group

    Maybe you're better off just not going along? our old dog certainly wasn't a fan of "dog" activities or really being around other dogs - I'd have never taken her to something like this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsmum View Post
    That is disappointing. I'm fortunate that I think I have stumbled onto the most flexible, relaxed group

    Maybe you're better off just not going along? our old dog certainly wasn't a fan of "dog" activities or really being around other dogs - I'd have never taken her to something like this.
    He looooves hanging out with other dogs once he gets the chance to know them. He just gets so overwhelmed with excitement when first meeting dogs that he just totally loses the plot. He knows a Golden Retriever that he used to react to, but once he got used to her (took a long time) and she wasn't so new and exciting, he was totally fine with her. Now he loves playing with her. I doubt i'll ever get the chance to take him to things like that though anyway, unless the club was willing to let me take him simply for me to stand on the sidelines and do my own training with him from a distance... which most aren't so keen on that idea.

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