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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Piper and I had our first beginner training class today. There are two other dogs in the class, both older and much calmer than Piper. Piper is turning five months old this weekend, which puts her at the cutoff to be in the regular beginner class instead of the puppy class. The two other dogs are both over a year old.

I spent so much of the class just trying to keep Piper under any kind of control that trying to teach anything just seemed to go out the window. I had even taken her out to play before the class so that she would burn off some energy, but apparently that didn't work. Today we mostly just did some introduction, worked on training the dogs to relate the clicker to meaning good, and worked on "watch me" to get the dog's attention. Piper couldn't care less about clickers or watching me if there's anything else going on. And with some balls on the floor and a small child running around, there is ALWAYS something more interesting going on!

I am exhausted, but I don't think Piper expended even a notable bit of her energy!
 

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Don't give up! It will get better. Is Piper food motivated? Did she at least make the connection that click meant treat? When I put Sky in her first class it wasn't a puppy class either and it is a little frustrating when the other dogs are getting it and yours doesn't. I remember literally having to lay down on top of Sky to get her into a down. She could not be lulled down with a treat or the leash - nothing seemed to work. And then one day she just did :laugh: And now she has one of the best down stays around!
 

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Sharon is right, it WILL get better! I think we all have been there one time or another, when it seems like everyone else seems to have nicely behaved dogs, and our own littl elabbies seem bent on everything else BUT what we are asking of them. Keep at the training at home everyday and it will amaze you with the progress you and Piper make by the classes end.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wouldn't really say that Piper is "food" motivated, but she is definitely "treat" motivated. Unlike most labs, she will rarely finish off her food for meals and sometimes will skip meals entirely. But she LOVES her treats.

She does not seem to connect the clicker with the treats at all. I'll keep working on that. She does seem to respond to "Piper, watch me" at home, where the distractions are minimized. I'll keep working on this, too.
 
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