Just after some advice here regarding our puppy school. It's held at our local vet, it's the only one in our area without having to drive about 1/2 hour to get to, which is a bit much for me.
Anyway, the first week was great. Harper was easily the most trained dog there, he already has his basic commands, so we're just going mostly to learn a little more about dog behaviour and to socialise him. He was a little tentative on the first visit last week, but eventually came out of his shell and played a little with the other pups. We were put in the "small" dog room because Harper is gentle, and the "big" dog room was full. The vet nurse who ran the course told us all about her history with dog behaviour, and also child care - she can control the little ones! Haha.
But last night was a totally different story. The usual vet nurse had a family emergency, so we had a different girl, much younger and less confident. She did give us LOTS of valuable information about ticks and fleas and worms, and also showed us some good commands (down and stay). But it was the other puppy parents that were bothering me.
One lady who has a little Shih tzu called Boots actually SMACKED her dog a few times. He's a little yapper who loves to play with the other dogs and he loves rolling around on the floor with the other dogs. Well, she clearly doesn't like this and actually smacked him. I glued my eyes to the floor because I knew that I would have gone right off at her, and my husband looked at me expecting me to say something, but I didn't think it was my place, I thought it would be the instructors place to say something. Then the same lady started on about how her puppy won't come to her!! I wonder why!! Also, she was talking about how she had the dog groomed - but I could have sworn she just said the last week that she had him groomed. I dunno, I just think that's a bit too much grooming for a little puppy to endure. I mean, he's not my dog, but I just worry for him, you know?
Also, there is another Lab there who is 10 weeks old, a black fella called Jet. Last week he came with his dad, and a boy and girl. This week he came with his mum and just the girl. The girl was off playing with my son and all the other dogs, and not really paying attention. Then the mother said something which worried me, and that was that her dog was far from toilet trained and he pooed and weed all over the house. I'm thinking "how come your dog has full run of the house if he's not toilet trained", but I didn't say it. Then she started on about how when he goes inside she gets mad at him and puts him outside ... What the??????
How can these people not have a basic understanding of dogs and their behaviour?? I know that not everyone will raise dogs like I do, but shouldn't the instructor be giving better guidelines in this situation? We left last night actually feeling dirty, my husband is annoyed that we've paid money for this, and we really aren't learning anything we don't already know, but Harper has fun running around with the other pups.
Sorry this has turned into a massive rant but I just wanted to get an opinion on what others would do in this situation. Should I call and discuss my concerns and hope it improves next week, should I wait and speak to the regular instructor in private so she can give some advice to the owners on a more personal level? Or is it even my place to say??
I can just see that these dogs are going to be chucked into the backyard and forgotten about, and I don't want that to happen.
Katie & Harper
Soccorullus Corey Boy, our "Harper" 31.08.09
I would call the vet's office and ask for who is in charge of puppy training, then tell them they ought to teach that you never hit a dog, especially a puppy or small dog who can be easily injured physically not to mention emotionally. Housebreaking methods should also be covered for puppies.
If they don't address these very basic subjects on day one, you should ask for your money back.
Yup, I agree. In my puppy class, we were taught about positive reinforcement.. they told us about never hitting your dog, etc. I would call and talk to someone because it sounds like a bunch of morons are in the classes and the people running it aren't "all there" if you know what I mean.