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Help! Niuniu's first puppy school class is a disaster...

March 27th, 2008, 09:45 AM
Niuniu is a 6-month-old golden retriever and she has always been a "overly happy" dog if you know what I mean. Last night was her first puppy school class - the Family Dog program. There are altogether 4 other dogs, a one year old yellow lab and a four month husky and two other small breed with fluffy hair. My Niuniu is the most wild one during the whole one hour class, she keeps romping towards other dogs, panting, not paying attention to me. Last night the instructor taught heel and sit and attention. When teaching attetion, she borrowed Niuniu as an example. Niuniu responded to her calling very well, on the 3rd time the instructor called her name she would look at her instantly and got a reward. But when it's my turn, her attention was on other dogs again. She didn't even turn when I lured her with treats!!! And when instructor asked us to line up and do a heel, she always run ahead of me! The instructor asked me to keep a bit loose leash but no matter how further leash i gave her she will bolt. In short: it's so EMBARRASSING!!! All other 4 dogs responded to their owner better, they look at them like they are their whole world....But mine....sigh.....

To make me feel better, the instructor told me that this is typical golden retriever behaviour, and the training is doable....

I don't know what I should do. She can be attentiive when home alone with me. The frenzy happens only when there are other ppl or dogs around. She is my first dog and I got a golden retriever because I heard they are nice dogs....and now.....Can anyone help me?:confused:

Jim Hall
March 27th, 2008, 09:58 AM
patience and consisitency she will come around goldies are wonderfull dogs but they are very easilydistracted the trainong will work it just takes longer sometimed

March 27th, 2008, 10:00 AM
They are nice dogs, but very excitable as youngsters as most dogs are. You're doing the right thing having her in puppy class, lots of classes and lots of loving, patient, training homework and she'll come around.


March 27th, 2008, 10:09 AM
Ha! thats too funny! I can sooo relate! My boy who is 8 now was the example in every class! Puppy class is hard too because they are learning socialization so its a treat! Your pooch will be okay! It takes a few classes for them to realise what is required of them! But dont worry at least you dog didnt scare away 15 puppies in a puppy class! Winston did! he scared them all away by being rambunctious and hyper!

Good Luck

P.,S My boy is a choc lab and he didnt mature until he was 3! :laughing:


March 27th, 2008, 10:11 AM
one class does NOT equal disaster. it takes TIME to learn, for the dog AND for you too!

It took me a year to train my dog - a basenji-mix. and let me tell you, I had MANY embarrassing classes! he pulled & choked himself when trying to walk in a heel; when all the dogs did a sit/stay he decided to turn around, lay down and make faces; he thought the smaller dogs in class were chew-toys, when learning meet & greets he initially TACKLED another dog; when learning leave it w/ a stuffed toy... well, let's just say that stuffed toy was nearly DOOMED... but I persisted. We persisted. We went to each class faithfully. we practiced at home. out in public. on walks. etc... we brought him to class after a really long hard play session so he was "tired" for class. we got creative w/ treats to hold his attention - chicken, hotdogs, liver biscotti, freeze dried clam pieces, cheerios....

and in the end, we graduated every obedience level (1, 2 and 3). he earned his Canine Good Citizenship. He became a VERY well behaved, well trained, good natured dog. but the end result was a WORLD of difference from his first day in class. Don't give up, it DOES get easier.

March 27th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Oh I so know where you are coming from on this one. Our puppy training was a girl (elkhound/chow mix) was zooming around disrupting everyone, absolutely had no desire to listen,liked bossing all the other dogs around and chasing them under chairs making them cry, found all the smells more interesting than me and to top it all off she was not treat/food motivated! She had better things to do. I was so embarrased I almost quit, I so figured it was a lost cause. She was the only dog in the class that was behaving that way to the extreme.

I put in lots and lots of work at home and still when we attended class she was the fool. I didn't get it, at home she did wonderful, even with distractions.....I so wanted to cry and hide. Then on the sixth week....and it was the last graduating class ( I so expected to be reattending puppy school) it was like a light bulb went on. She nailed everything, we ended up graduating with ribbons for most-improved dog:D (which by the way she ate on our drive home!!!), second place for performance and I got best handler. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Just keep plugging away, lots of work, loads of patience and you will get there. Good luck!

March 27th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Haha! Thank you all for your posting! It's very encouragin! Looks like I am not alone in this world!!! Now I feel much better! And I shall carry on!:thumbs up

March 27th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Goldens think they were put on this earth to greet everyone they meet. :laughing:
I have had a couple that were very calm and others that were extremely hyper. One of my own dogs is on the hyper side and I remember the first few classes we attended and how embarrassed I was. It was so bad that the trainer had trouble getting her under control. She dragged into the building and then at the end out of the building. While trying to get her to heel she would drag me around the room. At the end of the class the dogs were allowed to socialize and she would steal the ball and then all the other dogs chased her. We went through the 6 week course but needless say didn't pass. I worked with her myself daily and eventually she caught on to what I wanted from her. Five years later because of other problems she was having I decided to try obedience classes again and with a different trainer. The results were incredible. The trainer told me that she was a dream dog and that anyone involved in competitive obedience would die to have a dog like her because she focused so well.
Don't give up hope.

March 27th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Thank you Copperbella! This is even more promising! Maybe I will have a dream dog just like yours......:crazy:

March 27th, 2008, 02:28 PM
honestly DON'T worry about it, the same thing happened with me, for almost all of my 8 classes:o, but by the last few i could get him to pay attention when i called his name. he would do it perfectly for the instructor, but not for me, trust me, i know how embassasing it is. With lots of time and tons of practice your dog will be just as good if not better then the other 4. the instructors are a special type of person, they dont let a little mess up bother them, which i think it does with alot of people trying to train there dogs (me included) and they have had many, many years of expirence training them, so just keep at it and keep it positive, that will make it easier for you dog to learn. also you have to remeber that the older dog are more likely going to listen better then a puppy ( not always...thats for sure) as they have been with their owners longer. Try and fit 4-5, 10-15 mins training sessions in each day and i garuntee you, you will see a great improvement in just a week. keep us updated on how the classes are going, also somethign else you could try is a gentle leader head halter, we got enzo one of those at the 3 or 4th lessons and it just calmed him right down, and after everyone say how calm he was they sold anotehr 3-4. another thing to help your dog focus is give it lots of exercise before you go to training class, not enough to make it was to fall asleep, but enough to drain all of its excess energy and then some. sorry this may be a little jumbled :o if you have any questions you can pm me, hope this helped :)

Ford Girl
March 27th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Me too me too! I got a crazy golden! She was a devil at the age yours is at...I found a short fast paced walk befere class helped, burn some of the energy off before you expect her to pay attention.

Your pup will get it, it will will see progress, we promise! :laughing:

Don't give up, be consistant and stay positive, never train while frustrated, and always end the training session on a success! :thumbs up Keep it fun and simple! Keep us updated!

Ford Girl
March 27th, 2008, 02:52 PM
Haha! Thank you all for your posting! It's very encouragin! Looks like I am not alone in this world!!! Now I feel much better! And I shall carry on!:thumbs up

You are not alone, no matter how frustrating and trying the puppy stages are, we've all been thru it, and we've all been there, done that...just educate yourself, do the best you can, and keep at it! If something doesn't work, try another method... :grouphug:

Elizabeth Ann
March 27th, 2008, 03:00 PM
Oh man this brings back memories of Gizmo and I at obedience classes. One time he embarrassed me so badly that I started sweating.

I would tell Gizmo to sit and he would, he totally got that one. But the “down” command was a totally different story. One of the instructors said that small dogs don’t like the down command because they think that they are already so close to the ground so why should they bother. One time when everyone was looking I gave Gizmo a big “DOWN”. Instead of going down he sat and proceeded to lick himself. I am thinking it was to dog equivalent of giving me the finger.

We ended up dropping out and I have regretted it ever since. What I should have done was paid a little extra $$ to get some one-on-one classes and then joined a group class.

Gizmo has an “I’m better then you” problem and I am really lucky he is a smaller dog or I am sure he would have eaten me by now.

What ever you do, don’t give up or you will end up with a dog that is ruling your life rather then the other way around.

March 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM
OMG, how well I can relate to this thread:laughing:, Sasha choc Lab, our first obedience class was a hoot:laughing: to say the least, I had a broken index finger that was in a cast on my left hand, Sasha was about 6 months old and all she wanted to do was visit. She did finally catch on and we ended up being the best in the class at the end of 8 weeks. I was so proud of myself:Dand what I learned:D..oh yeah Sasha too:laughing: she is now 3 and is kinda growing up:cool:..keep at it you will be happy in the end. we ended up taking 3 different classes and learned something new each time. pbp

March 28th, 2008, 05:08 AM
lol, skipper is just like that he was doing amazing listening doing the commands I walked in there feeling pretty good, but our last class well that was a different story skipper decided not to listen to me at all, I told the trainer he must be having a bad week and will work on it at home she said yes that sometimes happens, it takes time sometimes they will do it sometimes they won't it was his first class new dogs he will get it.....

March 28th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Oh man this brings back memories of Gizmo and I at obedience classes. One time he embarrassed me so badly that I started sweating.

One time when everyone was looking I gave Gizmo a big “DOWN”. Instead of going down he sat and proceeded to lick himself. I am thinking it was to dog equivalent of giving me the finger.

No kidding....after that the first class, I got a headache!

I like the joke you told about Gizmo's down are funny, haha!

March 28th, 2008, 10:17 AM
[QUOTE=allymack;570012]honestly DON'T worry about it, the same thing happened with me, for almost all of my 8 classes:o, but by the last few i could get him to pay attention when i called his name. he would do it perfectly for the instructor, but not for me, trust me, i know how QUOTE]

Thank you allymack! I sure will try what you suggested here...Yeah, I fed her that night before school, and the trainer said don't fee her next time....I sure wil keep you all update on how Niuniu progress, if there is any, in her class.

No my only concern is how to get her pay attention in class, she is always too busy checking other dogs to listen to any command I give.

April 3rd, 2008, 11:16 AM
Hi all,

Last night was Niuniu's sencond class. Well, first of all it is better than the first time. We didn't feed her b4 the class and took her for a good 30min run. She was still the most hyper one in the class, but comparing with last week, oh it was like heaven. I am smiling!:laughing:

Yesterday we practiced "sit on my left side". She used my dog as an example because I complained that when I call "sit" my dog will come sit in front of me. Niuniu can't stay still even for the trainer. She showed us just by keep positioning her useing "hand's on clip hand's on bum", she did it so many times till Niuniu finally sits still besidde her that she said she is sweating!

We learned stay and turn about yesterday. She did okay with stay because I trained her this command at home. But when I call "let's go", which is my way of saying "heel" she still try to lunge ahead, but when I say "this way" and do the turn about she followed right away.

Now I have a question, in the class the trainer keeps telling me "her leash should never be tight". Well, the thing is: no matter how loose I keep the leash Niuniu will lunge ahead which makes me automatically pulling back the leash, so the more I pull back the more she pulls forward....but if I don't pull back she will just dash ahead....See my delimma here?

April 3rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
i had that problem to, well untill get got him a gentle leader, this is another thing you will have to teach your dog, how to be on a loose leash. to teach Enzo that we put on his leash and would walk around, when he would start to pull or was about to pull (you haave to watch their body language) stop dead in your tracks. and wait untill she lets the leash go slack herself, dont pull back on it, but just stand there and wait. Another way to help this problem is put your dog on umbilical and start running (best to do on a soft area in case you fall :rolleyes:) and start walking, when she starts to get a head of you turn in the opposite direction and run. She will get hung up but this will help to teach her to pay attention to you, and to keep a slack leash in case of sudden direction change, this will also help with her heeling, mind you, you will have to do it every day maybe 2-3 times a day for 20 mins or so, the more you can the better, even if you did that for her walk and do it for a bit more then 20 mins.

glad to hear the second class went better i garuntee you will continue to see improvements in her through every class if you keep working with her! good job!:thumbs up