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Obedience Puppy School

September 22nd, 2005, 03:11 PM
As some of you might know I'm having some trouble with my puppy biting and growling. He seems to know now that he shouldn't bite...he will bite lightly then look up at me...expecting a scolding. LOL. I guess that is a good sign though he goes ahead and bites again even when he knows he shouldn't. Last night my brother and his baby came into our house and our puppy growled and barked at them. He was great with the baby later but the growl worried me a little.

What type of formal training should I go for? Does anyone know of a good school or trainer in Calgary (or nearby community) for puppies?

September 22nd, 2005, 03:41 PM
Sorry, I don't know of any trainers in your area, but I can offer you this piece of advice. I'm thinking he didn't know what to make of the baby, which is why he reacted negatively at first, but was ok after spending some time together. You might want to consider socializing your pup a little more. Take him out to the local shopping mall, Wal-Mart or other very busy place where lots of people of all shapes, sizes and gaits converge, and then hang out near the front doors. Expose him to people in wheel chairs, on crutches, with limps, with baby strollers, young kids running past, etc... Have a bag of treats with you, and if anyone approaches to pet the puppy, ask if they'd like to give him a treat. The more you expose him to now, the more he'll regard as "normal" later on in life and won't react to negatively.


September 22nd, 2005, 08:50 PM
Thank you! The Walmart idea is a great one!!! I'm going to try it this weekend although I'm guessing that he will freak out if anyone approaches him. I'm trying to be patient and not force him but he is really still frightened of strangers. He takes the treat from their hand but then runs away. It seems to take about a half day before he will let someone pet him! Actually the only time he lets strangers pet him is when they have a dog with them...then he gets super excited and jumps all over both the dog and owner.

He has spent time with the baby before. I am thinking that he was startled maybe. He has barked at the baby (maybe trying to play) in the past as well but never growled until last night.

My puppy needs a shrink! Now we both need professional help. LOL :crazy: Seriously though, should we maybe go see a trainer instead of puppy classes? Is my puppy maybe a little more challenged than most?

September 23rd, 2005, 08:37 AM
Puppy classes are a good way to start, because they're mostly about socialization. They'll help a lot!

When your puppy runs and hides from people, whatever you do, don't coo at him, comfort him or say, "Aww. It's ok." This is showing him that it's ok for him to be scared. Try to act nonchalant when in these types of situations. If you tense up (even subconciously) because you know he's going to react badly, he'll sense that and think 'Oh gosh! Mom's nervous! Something bad must be going to happen!' Instead, try to stay cool. Act very happy when people approach you. Encourage him to get close to people, praise like the dickens when he does, ignore him when he turns tail and runs.

Don't get discouraged! This takes time, patience and perseverance. He'll come around. When he gets older, continue with obedience classes, and maybe look into agility or some other doggy sport. This will greatly increase his confidence levels.

Good luck! :thumbs up

September 23rd, 2005, 09:03 AM
Seek out positive puppy classes. I have all the puppies in class handled by every human student in class. If your trainer doesn't do this arrive early to class each week and ask the others to do this yourself and schedule outings during the week to do just this.

September 23rd, 2005, 03:22 PM
That could be a really good question to ask...if all people are encouraged to handle each others puppies. If I can't find a school that does this I will try to show up early as suggested.

Any other questions to ask in order to find a good school?

September 23rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
I would ask friends, co workers and family for their suggestions, and why. Once you have found a few go and watch a class to see if you like their methods and see how well the trainers treats his/her human and dog students. Does the trainer instruct and explain things well. Speak with the students in the class. How do the other dogs in class seem to be doing with their training? Speak with the trainer to see what experience he/she has with social and aggression issues. Find out everything that will be covered in class.