Kronos has been attending an advanced manners dog training class. This last week was his fourth week in the class. The class has a ton of different dogs which is great for him to get used to being around different breeds and sizes of dogs. He’s mostly been around other Heelers his whole life though he loves playing with his smaller cousin who is a Chihuahua and Papillion Mix. We saw a Bedlington Terrier (I’ve never seen that breed in person before) at the end of class and Kronos’s expression was shocked and confused looking at the dog even though I assured him it was indeed a dog.
Kronos is the more shy pup in the family. He’s a total goof and character at home with me, but very unsure out in public and in general. He had attended a few dogs events and dog outings as a pup, but it was definitely not enough and I never realized how shy he was as a pup. Five out of six of his siblings are the same way. His sister is a little bolder than the boys, but she’s not too thrilled with kids and only wants to be touched on her terms. Kronos’s one brother (who is the biggest of the litter and the most well-adjusted) lives with a kid which has helped him get used to lots of strange things, and this is incredible because his foster said a dog trainer told her that this pup had the potential to be a fear biter.
The class focuses on advanced manners and obedience and then at the end of the class the dogs are introduced to Agility equipment and get to play on it. Most of the equipment is small, but it’s great to get dogs exposed to it initially. It’s great distraction training and exposure in a controlled environment. Here dogs aren’t allowed to run up another unsuspecting dog’s rear end or rush at their faces to sniff them. The people don’t rush up and just pet your dog without asking or really give any attention to each other’s dogs. For awhile Kronos would woof and try to hide when a person came up and talked to us because he knew that generally meant the person would just try to touch him or reach over his head or just stare into his beautiful eyes. Once I stopped that and asked the people to just give him a treat instead, he became more comfortable. We will work up to directed and accepted petting, although at the last class he actually accepted petting from both instructors with me kneeling nearby and him pressing his flank against me.
The dogs have to walk around each other in class and learn to focus on their person even with all the activity. One of the people who was there for the next class commented on how well behaved Kronos was. He asked why we were taking the class since Kronos seemed so well trained. I thanked him, but let him know Kronos isn’t entirely comfortable around people and dogs just yet and is a little shy so he needs the experience. This was after Kronos had seen the guy’s dark red Chow and growled uncomfortably about its hard stare. I am using treats (and mainly Kronos’s breakfast kibble) pretty profusely in class right now with Kronos to keep his attention even though the class is prep for the CGC test and there are no treats allowed on the test. That has helped him succeed and keep him focused in the training class environment. He is also becoming more relaxed in class and even had a great recovery from a scare when walking by a lady and she loudly and sharply reprimanded her dog with a “Eh-eh!”
The second class session both of his aunties attended and one of them played with Kronos a bit on the Agility tunnel. This was great for him to begin to learn how to work with another person even though I was there. During this class one of the other dogs got away from his handler and went after the Rhodesian who subsequently defended himself. There was definite teeth on skin contact. During the class last weekend the dog again pulled his handler forward and attacked the Siberian who seemed to be minding its own business weaving in and out of all the other dogs in a circle with its person. This happened right behind us so Kronos and I booked it out of our spot away from the dog. Kronos woofed, not even sure what was going on. The dog is wearing a head halter and the handler tries to maintain her distance (she was outside of the circle when the second incident happened), but since her dog is clearly uncomfortable and acting out and she can’t control him because of his size and weight, then I really think he maybe should be wearing a muzzle in a class environment and learn to be comfortable wearing one.
Overall, though Kronos is doing good in the class and we’re having a lot of fun in it. Next we’re looking to take the Tricks class that Bella and I took together.
Have you taken a class with your dog? Or are you currently taking a class? Do you enjoy it? Share with us in the comments-we’d love to hear your dog training class experiences-good, bad, and the ugly!