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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What do you guys expect a Puppy Kindergarten class to do?

I researched puppy classes in my area, and went with a well-reviewed one. So far, I'm less than impressed :( I work so hard during the days with Callie- teaching her basic obedience, boundaries, etc. This class feels like a joke to me. I'm so disappointed. Its 30min long, puppies 8weeks to 16weeks.. and she wanted our puppies to do a mini agility course, with jumping. I was under the impression that young puppies should not be jumping? I politely declined. She lets all the puppies jump up on people, snap and bite at hands for treats, shes just so lax about everything... which seems lame, because I've worked so hard (hours a day split into 15min chunks) on foundation work with Cals (using threads here and kikopup youtube) . The only actual activity we did was trading leashes and playing with a dffferent puppy. The guy who got Callie was using his hand as a tug toy! like.. reinforcing biting :( and some guy brings in a 65lb mountain dog.. who proceeded to literally kick Callies butt all over the place! he picked her up by her collar and shook her. At least the trainer finally stepped in and told the BMD's owner to keep him leashed. This is NOT what I thought I was signing up for :( Is puppy kindergarten just a tiny dog park? I thought this would be my first step towards CGC, but it feels like an unstructured mess.. maybe I'm just an elitist ass? I really want this to work, because I know how vital early socialization is but I'm totally open to whatever you guys suggest.

Thanks for the vent.. its just frustrating when the idea in my head was so far from reality. :(
 

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Wow, I wouldn't be involved in that class. Especially not with puppies jumping! eep!

To give an idea of what the puppy class I go to does (and I don't think it's the best around)

Puppies play off-lead in groups (big, bolshy puppies play separately to small & timid puppies)
We do some training
Mat work while the trainer talks
Puppies play off-lead in groups again
More training

The training we do in class is loose-lead walking, recalls, sit & down, go to a mat and "give". Very basic and I do a lot more stuff at home and at my agility club, but Elsie enjoys it and it's nice to have a structured lesson to go to once a week.
 

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I am surprised a training facility would allow puppies that young in class. I thought they weren't fully protected/vaccinated until 12 weeks!
 

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My last dog was in puppy kindergarten until we realized it was unnecessary with our knowledge.

That being said ours did have free play, but there was basic learning as well. Your right that class sounds like a joke, kindergarten is for learning and play not play and act like terrible ill behaved puppies. I'm also appauled she let the bmd ever get that rough in the first place! Not all dogs can play with all dogs, things should be grouped accordingly! It stinks of someone who doesn't know what they're doing/what to watch out for, especially with letting them jump too!
My advice is find somewhere else to go for socialization and a basic/puppy manners class versus kindergarten.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
It doesn't help that Callie is SO SHY and timid.. shes just so fearful, and I try so hard to reinforce her being confident (click and treat!) and the trainer told me to put my clicker away? :( blah. there is no actual work there... just puppies outta control, and my shy gal sits on my feet overwhelmed. I really, really need to make sure she gets socialized, so the once in a class that she goes out and sniffs another dog almost feels worth it? Small steps are still progress kwim? My only other real option seems like petsmart or a guy that wanted puppies to have chokers. Wonderful, eh? The doberman club in my area seems to have shut down (as has our rescue, oddly) and the agi club wont take us until shes older (or so I read)
 

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If i was told to put a training tool that i chose to use away, i'd have walked out, my dog learns how she learns and I'm not missing pointing out a good moment to her. I have sat and been talking to someone at a class(not mabels, but she taged along) and clicked right in the middle of their sentence, it threw them off, but oh well, she's learning and did something right that needed to be reinforced. But since it seems like theirs no learning there....:(

Good luck finding somewhere else! Try just taking her out on walks and to pet stores to walk around just so she has the experience to see new places, things, and pets and become more confident, click treating all the way ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm thinking 30minutes of walking around petsmart might have just the same effect.. minus building fear towards other dogs. I love my clicker! Its on a cord around my neck, and my pouch of treats is always near.. I'm not missing out on shaping good behaviors, she needs them at this age!
 
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I'm thinking 30minutes of walking around petsmart might have just the same effect.. minus building fear towards other dogs. I love my clicker! Its on a cord around my neck, and my pouch of treats is always near.. I'm not missing out on shaping good behaviors, she needs them at this age!
Exactly! You obviously know what's right for your pup, and the petsmart plan sounds brilliant. I do the same with mabel since she's basically having to be resocialiazed. It's either 30 min at petco observing people and pets, or working in one ring at the training club my mom teaches/members at while there's a class and people in another ring and the building in general.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, I wouldn't be involved in that class. Especially not with puppies jumping! eep!

To give an idea of what the puppy class I go to does (and I don't think it's the best around)

Puppies play off-lead in groups (big, bolshy puppies play separately to small & timid puppies)
We do some training
Mat work while the trainer talks
Puppies play off-lead in groups again
More training

The training we do in class is loose-lead walking, recalls, sit & down, go to a mat and "give". Very basic and I do a lot more stuff at home and at my agility club, but Elsie enjoys it and it's nice to have a structured lesson to go to once a week.
THIS is what I wanted. I'll come to yours, thanks.. lol
 

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What do you guys expect a Puppy Kindergarten class to do?

I researched puppy classes in my area, and went with a well-reviewed one. So far, I'm less than impressed :( I work so hard during the days with Callie- teaching her basic obedience, boundaries, etc. This class feels like a joke to me. I'm so disappointed. Its 30min long, puppies 8weeks to 16weeks.. and she wanted our puppies to do a mini agility course, with jumping. I was under the impression that young puppies should not be jumping? I politely declined. She lets all the puppies jump up on people, snap and bite at hands for treats, shes just so lax about everything... which seems lame, because I've worked so hard (hours a day split into 15min chunks) on foundation work with Cals (using threads here and kikopup youtube) . The only actual activity we did was trading leashes and playing with a dffferent puppy. The guy who got Callie was using his hand as a tug toy! like.. reinforcing biting :( and some guy brings in a 65lb mountain dog.. who proceeded to literally kick Callies butt all over the place! he picked her up by her collar and shook her. At least the trainer finally stepped in and told the BMD's owner to keep him leashed. This is NOT what I thought I was signing up for :( Is puppy kindergarten just a tiny dog park? I thought this would be my first step towards CGC, but it feels like an unstructured mess.. maybe I'm just an elitist ass? I really want this to work, because I know how vital early socialization is but I'm totally open to whatever you guys suggest.

Thanks for the vent.. its just frustrating when the idea in my head was so far from reality. :(
Run / Run / Run...and ask for some money back, if possible.
Puppy Kindergarten...I never did it and generally just a free-4-all bum sniff exercise, at best.
I would never give someone my dogs leash, while I am training.
Errors need to be corrected in <1.5 seconds...or the bad habit is reinforced and could take 1000x to fix.

Your Callie is shy, but being pushed into a group of disorderly and some larger pups, is not advantageous to building any confidence.
- just the opposite

If you can play tug-of-war with a toy (frequently every day) and let her win...her confidence will start to soar.
- socialize with people and places more
After which time, introducing Callie to safe dogs will then work.

Seek a formal OB class in on-leash (to start), with older dogs.
My girl was trained with a choke chain, so if you learn to use it as a soft correction, it can be most effective and an easy training tool.

My Amy lacked confidence when she was 8 weeks old.
Through rough housing, basic command work, bonding, voice training, etc. and introduced to many new things...solved this problem.
She didn't play with other dogs much, until later...then she had the skills to defend herself, if needed.
- once nipped at a 150 lb. male that wanted to mount her and protected my wife from a 100 lb. dog bite attack
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Beaumont. Your posts are always so uplifting! I'm home all day just doing online college courses.. so I spend a huge amount of time working with her :) I'll for sure work on some confidence boosters.

I think there is a small dogs socialization group that meets by my house.. maybe I can ask if they'd allow my super mild doberbaby in for a week or two? (after this next round of shots) I'm sure they wouldn't hurt her.

Thank you guys- all of you :) I'm glad I dont NEED to go to puppy kindergarten! I think I'll skip the rest and just enroll in REAL OB classes (they enroll at 16 weeks) and keep heading towards our goal of CGC, and possibly agility!
 

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longshot4me - I pulled this video, off the net...this is the best single training task, you can possibly do, for any smart puppy.
- the exercise is so perfect on my fronts / full eye focus, verbal direction, drive & pure fun bonding...key to early development
(practices frequently & often...working without treats)

DOBERMANS ARE SMART!
DOBERMANS ARE SMART! - YouTube

Now an example of loving voice pitch, that works...more fun and motivating.
DOBERMAN TAKES HIS BATH II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r08FWSA9W5A&feature=related
 

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It doesn't help that Callie is SO SHY and timid.. shes just so fearful, and I try so hard to reinforce her being confident (click and treat!) and the trainer told me to put my clicker away? :( blah.
I just wanted to recommend Leslie McDevitt's new "Control Unleashed Puppy" book. It's a wonderful book on using clickers and especially for fearful and timid puppies. I think you'd really get a lot out of it!
 

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Were you able to get a reference from the trainer I posted? And if this was from her, would you let me know so I don't recommend it again (and if so I apologize). This is her site

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Personally I know how to train so what I want out of puppy class at that age is all socialization andl earning to interact appropriately with other dogs. I would hope they do not reinforce JUMPING up though. And I would expect that not all dogs are thrown together in a shark tank so to speak and dogs are grouped accordingly.

As an FYI - puppy kindergarten is mandatory for any puppy I own. One dog went to 3 classes because he was jumped by a Malamute at an agility event about 11 weeks old or so and he really shut down with other dogs. He learned to be very outgoing and LOVES them again now.

ETA - I do allow puppies mouthing my hand because I want them to learn how hard they are biting. Some people take the alternate approach and never allow teeth on hands, etc. Even with a full grown Dobe, we play bitey hand games with Flirt and she is incredibly gentle.
 

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I agree with Adara I go to keep Kyrah around other dogs on leash in a controlled enviroment. But that one doesnt sound controlled. I would not be going back.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Adara, I wasn't able to get ahold of your contact. This is an independent dog training group- WagandTrain. They had good reviews, and I talked to a few clients after a class (I watched a CGC class because thats what I had time to go to- and figured that was okay) and they liked it, and the class seemed to be going well.

It IS a shark tank. My 9 weeker and a big 'ol bermese mountain dog.. then a pit-husky mix that was just WILD into the mix.

I really just want the interactions with other puppies, as I feel my at-home clicker training is going marvelous, and I'm really pleased with the results so far. They won't issue a refund, just told me to come on a different day? and that the dogs that come vary since puppy classes are run on a 'drop-in' schedule. sigh.

I've been receiving some flak about socializing in petsmart or similar. Is this truly unsafe? I was told by my dobe vet that it was fine as long as she was in the basket. I'm kinda confused with all the conflicting opinions.
 

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Adara, I wasn't able to get ahold of your contact. This is an independent dog training group- WagandTrain. They had good reviews, and I talked to a few clients after a class (I watched a CGC class because thats what I had time to go to- and figured that was okay) and they liked it, and the class seemed to be going well.

It IS a shark tank. My 9 weeker and a big 'ol bermese mountain dog.. then a put husky mix that was just WILD into the mix.

I really just want the interactions with other puppies, as I feel my at-home clicker training is going marvelous, and I'm really pleased with the results so far. They won't issue a refund, just told me to come on a different day? and that the dogs that come vary since puppy classes are run on a 'drop-in' schedule. sigh.

I've been receiving some flak about socializing in petsmart or similar. Is this truly unsafe? I was told by my dobe vet that it was fine as long as she was in the basket. I'm kinda confused with all the conflicting opinions.
I did take Kyrah before her last set of shots out to socialize. She had had two sets then we went out in the world. Mainly to safe places that she could go. Dogs visiting petco/petsmart are suppose to be up to date on shots. Not to say that they all are but most more than likely are. If you are concerned I would put her in the basket for a week or so more.

After owning Lexi (rip) who was reactive to everything and anything I wasnt wasting anytime with Kyrah. Thus we still had issues. :( We have worked thru most of them so YAY!

I would just take a loss on that class rather than expose her to all that chaos!
 

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I won't take mine into pet store until they are closer to 16 weeks. By then the biggest opportunities for socializing have already passed.
 

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My friend who referred me to the lady I sent you info on, sent me this youtube video from one of the Colorado classes. Even if she is too far, I bet she can refer you to someone else who trains like this (if you like what you see).

Owen 4 mos. off leash class - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My friend who referred me to the lady I sent you info on, sent me this youtube video from one of the Colorado classes. Even if she is too far, I bet she can refer you to someone else who trains like this (if you like what you see).

Owen 4 mos. off leash class - YouTube

That is AMAZING! Thats exactly what I wanted. Where is this?! I need to get there ASAP.. haha.

On a total side note, what a wonderful pup! and doing so well so young. I hope I can get myself to the point where I can teach Callie to do that :)
 
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