'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Reedyford Training Class 12/04.

Before we went in to the class (we get there early to kill some of Ro's energy with fetch before class - otherwise she'd be a maniac), the trainer approached us and said that I should think about moving her to the Bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme class.

And I pretty soon agreed with her. There was a new pup in the class, a 'miniature daschund', and my god it would not shut up. At all. It barked at Lola, it barked at the docile border collie, it barked at the labrador, it barked, it barked, it barked.

I was about ready to throttle the dog halfway through the class.

At one point I accidentally dropped Lola's lead--I was fumbling with treats, her lead and my bag--and she took off, overstimulated by the daschund's yapping, right for it. The woman swept the pup into the air, even though the trainer shouted not to (she was at the other side of the room), because she 'didn't want my dog to get bitten!' Yeah, no, my puppy is not going to bite your dog. Relax, lady!

So... as of next week we're no longer going to be in the Puppy Foundation class, but we're going to be doing Bronze class. And I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the plus side, there'll be less barking dogs (as Bronze KC dogs tend to be a little older), and on the negative side... I saw quite a lot of aversives used on the 'Starters' dogs (the class after PF, for dogs over a year that have had little-no training), and I really hope the Bronze class is more in-line with Puppy Foundation than Starters.


Sara said...

I hope you like your new class. I guess all you can do is take the good parts of the class, and leave the bad parts behind.

Sophie said...

I'm just going to use next week as a 'test run'. If they use dominance theory or too many aversives, I won't put Lola through it - I'll just leave. I learned my lesson the hard way with the last classes, and I'd rather protect her and work on getting her KC GSC awards when we have access to somewhere that doesn't punish.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

You are really smart about the classes! When I first started training Ricky I made a lot of mistakes by staying in classes where I didn't agree with what was going on. So good for you! Oh, I hate barking dogs in class too!

Sophie said...

Ricky, we had to deal before with idiots in the class at Trinity Training, and it very nearly resulted in Lola being treated aggressively by one of the trainers there because she didn't understand what was expected of her.

I won't let that happen again - since I'm not relying on a lift to get there now, I'll just walk out, period, if anything happens at this one!