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So last week I finally had a string of Thursday evenings off from work and was able to enroll my 4-month-old dobie boy in puppy class. His breeder warned - "be ready for him to be the smartest and most beautiful pup in the class, dobermans always are" well duh! What happened instead was an embarrassment to the doberman breed :devil_2: My boy wouldn't listen, pulled and choked himself on his leash half the time, humped everyone and everything in site, nearly pooped in the circle despite my repeated attempts to take him to go potty (instead everyone enjoyed that view of a doberman's butt when they have to poop - you know what I am talking about) and promptly forgot every single command he already knows. The trainer said I needed to work with him on sit - well he has been sitting like a champ since he was 10 weeks, but obviously not with distractions.

I know what went wrong - 1. he needs more socialization. I haven't introduced him to nearly enough new people and situations. The other pups so excited him, there was no way anything productive was going to happen. and 2. I played fetch in the yard with him before class, but next week I will be off all day leading up to class and boy is he gonna get a work out before school!

I know he will do better next week :praying:
 

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Be carful working him out before school...to much mental stimulation before you want him to focus will cause him not to focus...One tip that you might think about is to feed him a light breakfast and not feed him lunch or dinner before class that way he is extra motivated with some very good treats. (and make sure that they are really good quality treats no dog biscuits from walmart)
 

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I used to Take zac out for about a half hour run before we went to agility and depending on the time of the classes either feed him his breakfast as treats during the class or only a light breakfast so that he will want to work for food. I also brought a tug toy but thats for agility too..It worked well for the most part. Some days the other dogs were just too exciting though and we did not get a lot done...On those days I tended to work alone in a corner and just do focus tricks and work on getting him to pay attention to me not the other dogs.
 

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lol that doesnt sound like a disaster at all! I was expecting to read about some kind of horrible injury or traumatic event. Ok, maybe there was a traumatic event, just not for the dog.

So make sure the puppy relieves himself before class. Don’t worry about him sitting or listening to commands the first class (or two, or three…). Just work on him paying attention to you. Everytime he looks at you, say good, give him food. Overall, less commands, more rewards. Bring him to class a bit hungry too.

Dont forget to have fun either :)
 

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Good tip on keeping him hungry before class. I actually fed him dinner about 30 minutes prior. I think my expectations were too high and I worry about what others in the class think of this big guy. I sense a little leeriness from the dog trainer about him and I am eager for him to disprove people's misconceptions about the breed and owners who have cropped dogs.
 

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nothing that occured was a diaster, you have a very young puppy and this was the first class. Potty your puppy before class and remember if you are nervous your puppy is feeling it; relax and have a good time.

The one issues I see with owners is that they expect results immediately, take a deep breathe and remind yourself this is a puppy and even with the most trainable dogs...Goldens, Shepherds and Dobes it takes time and consistency.

Good Luck and remember have a good time and enjoy your puppy!!!
 

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I sense a little leeriness from the dog trainer about him and I am eager for him to disprove people's misconceptions about the breed and owners who have cropped dogs.
I have just one response to this quote

Find a new trainer!!!!
 

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Not too much of a disaster, its your first class so never mind! :) What’s why we go to classes, right?

I like chrisgrimes2186 suggestion of feeding a light before the class, I find it makes Rupert much more receptive in his classes as he is quite food motivated. I use nice smelly treats like chopped frankfurter or liver too keep him interested. In my opinion, its important to reward alot in the beginning to make sure he enjoys going to classes.
 

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I have just one response to this quote

Find a new trainer!!!!
Mebbe... mebbe not. The OP sounds frustrated and embarrassed, and I wonder if the trainer's mindset was being interpretted through that filter. I would give it a chance, unless there is something else...

Some of my Week #1's are awful... loud and out-of-control and... well... just AWFUL! For some dogs, I assign homework to go SOMEWHERE every day until Week #2... usually, this is just overexcitement and overstimulation and such... no big deal, but it does need to be addressed.

Yes, puppy should be hungry (not throwing-up-yellow-stuff hungry, but wanting food) and puppy should be exercised (but not exhausted) for class. Keep expectations real... it is quite possible for a puppy to understand "Sit!" as meaning "Sit in the kitchen"... broadening definitions is part of what class is for.

My one comment is regarding the puppy trying to hump other puppies in class. I am assuming that a leash was attached to the puppy, and I am wondering why this was permitted.
 

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and promptly forgot every single command he already knows. The trainer said I needed to work with him on sit - well he has been sitting like a champ since he was 10 weeks, but obviously not with distractions.
ah, "fun" puppy times. All that is relatively normal. Also please remember sit at home without distractions is not the same as sit at class with all this FUN AROUND.

Hang in there. It will get better. I agree not to tire him out before class. Instead, I'd focus on teaching how to focus with distractions. Start slow. go for walks. Maybe go to a pet store and see if you can get seconds of attention.

a tired dog, can be a cranky dog just like kids. He may be worse if he's over tired.

And really what you have is a very normal (although frustrting :) ) puppy!
 

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I know Elka is hesitant to sit if she has to poop. But if there are too many interesting things, she forgets that she has to poop. Etc.

Maybe a combination of what others have said, for the next class? Feed him lightly earlier in the day, have AWESOME TREATS, make sure he relieves himself before you go in to class, and exercise him earlier in the day. I know Elka is more focused on a walk if I run her around with a ball out back first, but our walks aren't really obedience class (Though our walks do have more obedience facets at the beginning than once we get to the park)

Keep trucking! Sometimes my dog acts like she doesn't have a brain in her head, and others she's right on. The rest of the classes have to get better, right? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
"My one comment is regarding the puppy trying to hump other puppies in class. I am assuming that a leash was attached to the puppy, and I am wondering why this was permitted."

I am glad you raised this because it is an area I am very confused about. I've gotten a lot of mixed messages from trainers on this subject. Folks on this board often post that humping is a sign of dominance and should not be allowed period. One trainer I talked to said ignore it, it's normal, and it will go away. The trainer of this class says re-direct gently, don't scold. The dogs move from leashed to un-leashed time in the class. The humping occurred when he was unleashed. I moved to stop him each time. Mostly the purpose of the un-leashed time is to allow them some socialization time and then we can work on calling them out of play to help them learn better recall. I don't care for the humping, and I won't ignore it, and I would welcome people's thoughts on the best way to address it.

My use of the term "disaster" was intentionally overstated, a little hyperbole if you will.

And it's always nice to hear others have had wild first day of puppy school experiences too!
 

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And it's always nice to hear others have had wild first day of puppy school experiences too!
Just thought I'd comment that my boy is 7 months and has been going to training classes since 12 weeks. My boy is lovely and normally one of the best in the class, but we had an 'off day' last week. He poo'd on the floor, broke a bottle of wine I won AND barked at a puppy because he wanted to play. I think sometimes you just have to try and forget about it, and think next week will be a better week! :)
 

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The first time I took Toby to my friends for a training session you would think he had never been on a leash before, didnt know what the word sit meant or indeed his own name.
By the time we had 3 lessons under his collar he was doing very, very well. Though the stay has taken him until now to get the hang of, in my opinion there is no rush or anything to prove, you and your dog will do things at your own pace and if the trainer cannot adapt to you and yours then he isn't much good at his job.
 

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Mebbe... mebbe not. The OP sounds frustrated and embarrassed, and I wonder if the trainer's mindset was being interpretted through that filter. I would give it a chance, unless there is something else...

/QUOTE]

I agree I took this quote to mean that the trainer was afraid of a 4 month old puppy I probably read into more than was meant.
 
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Lots of good encouragement here. I'd like to add that different dogs are stars at different things--some develop a lovely heel giving lots of attention; some are great at the stay; some learn fast but keep make mistakes from time to time; others take a while to get it but are rock solid once something is learned--just work on enjoying yourself, concentrate on making class and learning fun for your pup, and stop the comparisons with other dogs and owners--there will always be a pupper who is better and then one who is worse at any given thing.

It seems that some dogs take a delight in embarrassing their owners. Especially the smart ones--it makes their lives more entertaining! LOL Maybe you just have a budding genius.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
nice suggestions everyone. Ok - so I plan to skip dinner, do some moderate exercise before class but nothing over the top, take some extra yummy smelling treats with us for class, and keep a focus on he and I having fun together and not being stressed out. I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

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nice suggestions everyone. Ok - so I plan to skip dinner, do some moderate exercise before class but nothing over the top, take some extra yummy smelling treats with us for class, and keep a focus on he and I having fun together and not being stressed out. I'll let you all know how it goes.
You have it figured out. Your next class will be better. Get the puppy out to lots of places (make sure ALL shots are current before you do this). I question only the off leash. I don't agree that a puppy should be "off" until it has basics down pat.
 

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nice suggestions everyone. Ok - so I plan to skip dinner, do some moderate exercise before class but nothing over the top, take some extra yummy smelling treats with us for class, and keep a focus on he and I having fun together and not being stressed out. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Sounds great.

I'd add one more thing to all the above, and that is to remember that you know your puppy best and (hopefully) can read him well--if not, ask for help on that.

So, be his advocate, in that class. Do what you think best for him, at all times, while also doing your best to comply with class rules and respect your instructor.

If you felt you wanted to redirect him from the humping, do so. If you feel he's about to be "all done with that" on a certain exercise, give him a break *before* he gets bored with it and mix it up some, go to a corner and without disturbing others, work quickly on something easy and fun for him. You get the idea.

In class settings, I often find smart Dobers get tired of practicing and drilling much more quickly than many other breeds do--it will be your job to keep him engaged and focused, and/or to teach him a default behavior to use during his "down time."

Having a quiet chat for a few minutes, when instructor isn't busy, about all this is always a good idea. A good instructor will back you on this, and even offer other suggestions for you two.
 

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I don't really have anything beneficial to add to this thread, other than to say you're certainly not alone. Keira was a nightmare and a complete embarrassment at puppy class. Just awful. So awful I was scared to ever, ever take her to another set of classes ever again. She was super distracted, whiney, pulled constantly, screeched when she didn't get her way, never failed to get diarrhea during every class just due to stress despite the fact that we didn't feed her before hand and we made her go to the bathroom ahead of time, etc. And this was a puppy who I really could work with pretty much everywhere else, and is a puppy that grew into a great dog that I can literally take anywhere without fear of ever being embarrassed. But wow... puppy class with her was enough to make me fear puppy class with any other dog ever again, LOL. I of course continued to go, but I just dreaded every class with her. As did my mom, who handled her during puppy classes and took the brunt of the embarrassment, but we both knew the trainer well and so we were both horrified at the events Keira caused. We tried not to feel downhearted or stressed for Keira's sake, as that likely would've made things worse, but it was a tough go. I thoroughly enjoyed every other puppy class we've ever taken... but Keira was something else.
 
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