Obedience class...VENT!!!!
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Thread: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

  1. #1
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    DefaultObedience class...VENT!!!!

    Haley just started obedience classes, she's 6 1/2 months. Lucky for me she seems to be the only dog in the class who has never had any formal training, which is perfect since it is beginner level. To add to the fun we're NOT having all the other dogs are all small ones about 15 or 20lbs. The trainer who talks so soft I can hardly hear her, after 2 classes I am still not even sure of her name. Drives me nuts. I think maybe she is just to serious for me, she acts like we're training these dogs for world class dog shows. I just want to be able to walk her around the block, fetch and drop a ball and possibly not drag me down the sidewalk when we head for the car. I can't stand the fact that the trainer makes everyone keep their dog on the left of their body, considering my dog is 55lbs and I am right handed this is very hard for me to do. Do all trainers make the dog stay on a specific side?? She said the reason is because when hunters would take the dog with them they carried their gun in the right hand. Since I buy all my meat at the grocery store and don't carry a rifle around my neighborhood I don't think this should apply. Also the dogs must sit at perfect attention while not walking, they must be right on your side directly next to your left foot. If Haley lays down, "mean trainer" makes me pick her back up to just sit while she talks in her quite voice that no one can hear.

    I don't want Haley to be a Doggie School drop out, I could use some words of encouragement. I hope I am not the only one that has had the worst dog in a class. HAHAHA......

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  3. #2
    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    Yes, you always heel your dog on the left side. If you didn't want formal obedience training, you probably should have looked for a more pet oriented course, such as the ones Super Petz offers. I'm sorry you are not enjoying it. I love obedience and showing. A lot of people do think it's too "strict" or not fun, but to me it's tons of fun and not strict at all because I'm not a perfectionist and I tend to have fun with my dogs no matter what I'm training them to do

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    Oh dear... sounds like our "session" with the Obedience Nazi when Henry was between puppy classes and beginner. We lasted three weeks in a class that was clearly wrong for us... she was training dogs to compete and win in obedience, and I, like you, just wanted a well-behaved pet dog.

    I'm happy if I ask Henry to sit and he plops his butt down. I don't mind that he's not perfectly square and not perfectly in heel position. That's not important to me. Sometimes he sits cockeyed with one leg sticking out, sometimes he's out at 45 degrees. That's why we compete in rally... it's a little more forgiving!!* However, I do expect that he does what I ask him to... so if I ask him to sit, and he lays down, I'll make him sit up.

    I *think* traditionally dogs are taught to heel on your left. I think that when you compete in obedience, your dog has to be to your left. I'm not sure how it is with agility, but in rally you can heel your dog on either side, as long as he stays on that side for the entire run.

    I'm right handed and Henry heels on my left. He always has. I hold the majority of the leash in my right hand, and use my left as backup. Does that make sense? I don't know really how to describe it...

    It's important to find a trainer that you like and that you have fun with! We've been lucky that, with exception of the Obedience Nazi, we've had great trainers! Oh, and if we were in your class? We would have been the ones in the corner with the dunce caps on! LOL! Henery is an obedience school flunkie... he managed to flunk advanced not once... but twice! LOL! We finally passed on the 3rd time through. But you know what? We had fun despite, and that's important!*

    Don't feel too bad, Haley is young still. Maybe find a trainer you feel more comfortable with?


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  6. #4
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    you're paying for the course, so take what you want from the lessons. If you really want to heel your dog on the right, and have no intention on competition, then put your dog on the right.

    However, if you have asked your dog to sit and she lays down, make her get up. Once she starts thinking "oh, mom doesn't mind if I lay down." its a short step to "oh, she probably won't mind if I just walk over here and sniff for a few minutes before I sit" or "maybe I'll run over next door and visit with their poodle instead of waiting for mom to load me in the car"

    Best of luck with the classes. And don't be afraid to ask the instructor to repeat things (either directly or privately afterwards), and try to position yourself close enough to hear. The instructor won't know you're having trouble if you don't say anything

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    I walk Cinnamon on my right side and told the instructor in her class I wouldn't consider doing other wise end of discussion.
    I had a car accident and tore out my left shoulder six surgeries later I will not take the chance she will pull on my left side.
    I never had an instructor that had a problem with it. All the wanted is you to be consistant.

    Try looking for a more pet structured class.

  8. #6
    Kathryn Guest

    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    My Maggie is a doggie class drop out...* I felt so bad..* The class was STUPID! all we did was walk around the trees outside.* (she walks well on a leash* lol) We never got anything else from the class.* My uncle helped me along with some reading to finish her training..
    Dakota on the other hand just graduated puppy K class with a local lady here who runs a home sitter thing and also works the agility here..* I ended up talking to her about putting Dakota on my right side because I have Maggie on my left..* I couldn't see me walking 2 large dogs on one side being right handed.

    When asked why we dropped out of Maggie's class I explained the classes didn't go as I expected. I also explained she is my dog and as long as I have her under control and can deal with her actions then we are a good family

  9. #7
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    Buckyball is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    hehe...yeah normally for show purposes and other competitions and I think to get your CGCC (not sure about this one) you want your dog to heel on your left. My trainer said if we weren't planning to do anything of the sorts it's up to us to use whichever side we wish. I walk buck on my left side but I am right handed. I only started doing this because I can't control him hold the leash with just one hand...so I hold most of it in my right hand and use the left hand for corrections...anywho...your nazi trainer has a good point about asking you to make sure your pup sits when asked and doesnt do something else. Other than that she needs to chill a bit...Buck and I have lots of fun at our training class...Maybe you want to look into finding a less serious class...
    Basically my trainer works with us according to what our individual goal is. If we want to get a CGC certificate or do agility or just walk down the block without having our arm pulled out of our socket she makes sure we learn the appropriate things. I hope you find someone like that.
    In the mean time try to laugh it off and have a good time with your puppy
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

  10. #8
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    I remember a girl in one of the classes I assisted. She said much the same as you just did...she just wanted her dog to walk nicely, be socialized, stop being afraid (heavy on the fear issues), etc. The instructor is a great obedience competitor, and corrected them a lot for their sits, which were wide and at 90 degrees. She was getting so frustrated, and looked up at me one night and sighed, "Does it REALLY matter?"

    My answer was no, it does not. Don't sweat it! If you're not going to compete, perfection is really not necessary. That's my opinion.

    But, on the other hand, as kaytris said, it is very important that if you give a command, you get that response. You have to be very stubborn about this sometimes, more stubborn than they are. I always make darn sure that I never issue a command that isn't obeyed. If there is no way I can enforce the command, if I know there's no chance to make it successful, I don't give it to begin with. Very careful about this. It is conditioning them to 100% compliance. It may not be perfect, and very often it is not pretty, but doggone it, you will do what I say one way or the other. To have a dog under your control is so important in so many ways, too many to even begin to list. It doesn't matter if it's a sloppy sit, but if you say sit, sit is what should happen.

    I probably sound like a nazi! :P Trust me, I'm not. But, here's a story about my last dog, Crash, that illustrates my point about the importance of obedience:

    One day Crash was in the front yard with me while I was gardening. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a cat appears and darts by Crash and into the road. Crash was not a big fan of cats, and immediately gave chase. Headed RIGHT FOR THE ROAD.

    My heart skipped a beat. He was several feet away from me in a matter of two or three seconds, so all I had was my voice. Hoping and praying that would be enough, I leaped to my feet and yelled the only thing I could think: "CRASH, NO!"

    Bless that sweet boy's heart, he stopped. He was quivering all over and whimpering like I had just inflicted the world's worst torture by stopping him from his gleeful pursuit, but he stopped and let me come and get him. I was shaking all over.

    This story would be a lot more exciting if there had been a car coming. Thank goodness there wasn't. But there certainly could have been.

    Crash knew that when I said No, it meant No. 100% compliance. Even when presented with a cat.

    If I had allowed him to sometimes sit and sometimes not, would he have gotten the idea that what I said was the law? I mean, I didn't go around drilling him all the time...far from it! But I did make sure he always followed directions. I was very, very grateful for his obedience that day.

    Now...on a lighter note...you do not have the worst dog in the history of obedience classes. I do. His name is Angus. He has a mind all his own, that Angus. He has jumped on instructors, bitten CGC evaluator's arms (in play, but still!), butt-tucked around the ring with the long line in his mouth, rolled around on his back flailing his legs while I tried to put on his leash, etc.. Oh, I have been subjected to all manner of humiliation in obedience classes with Mr. Angus.

    Patience patience patience. That's what it takes. 6 1/2 months is a baby! Please stick with it. I promise it gets better. We are on our way to competing for a CD, and I know if Angus can do it Haley can too! I mean, not that you *have* to compete. Just hang in and get as much from the classes as you can. Will you be able to take from different instructors at this school? Some instructors have absolutely sucked for us, and some have been just phenomenal. But you know, even from the ones who "sucked," I always learned something in the class. Every little thing helps.

    Good luck!


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  11. #9
    Mia&Buddy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    Well, I wish that they had classes for people like us who just want to help their pet become a good companion. The closest that Buddy will ever get to the show ring is watching the Eukanuba TOC on Animal Planet. I want my dog to walk without pulling, come when he is called, not jump on people, and lay quietly underneath the outside table at Starbucks while I am having my coffee on Friday morning. He's doing well at nearly all of those "life skills", with the exception of the jumping (and even that is getting better).

    I'd say that it's time to call it quits with this trainer. You two have entirely different objectives for this class. (Unless you can just go along with it, but it sounds like it is frustrating you.) Just my humble opinion.*

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Obedience class...VENT!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Haley144
    Since I buy all my meat at the grocery store and don't carry a rifle around my neighborhood I don't think this should apply.
    I have been having a really bad day and this just finally cracked me up!! LOL LOL and thanks.

    Anyway no good advise, there are always some good things to take away from a course. We have the same kind of situation and
    I just smile and say yep we will work on that at home..

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