First Obedience Class with my dog.
I've had Chloe for 3 months now. She is a great dog, learns quickly and is doing well in every way but one. She is terrible on leash around other dogs and since I live in the country we don't see many other dogs so have little opportunity to work on this. I decided to take her to doggie school and there is only one place locally (1/2 hour drive for me). He is a dominance type trainer who says he only uses a flat collar wtih a 6' and 20' leash and NO treats. He doesn't believe in dog parks of which there are none here anyway. My dog was a shelter dog but has been through a few homes and I think I've just found out why. She looks like a retreiver/ridgeback cross ???? and going to be 2 in June. I discovered she is aggresive when on leash towards other dogs and so I by taking her to class I'm hoping we can overcome this. The problem is she is a big dog and I'm having a hard time holding onto her when she decides to lunge at another dog. I already have a weakened shoulder from a previous injury years ago so have walked my dogs on my right side for the last 20 years. Now I have to switch to my weaker left arm and I'm slightly uncoordinated getting used to the dog on my left. I know it is easier to run the class with all dogs on the left. First class we were walking dogs on a 6' circle to the left and our goal was to teach heel and get them walking on a loose leash. The problem was this shepard next to us (Frank) and my dog took a dislike to each other. If Frank just looked at my dog Chloe responded with an all out run at the dog and I'm getting dragged across the arena (and so is Franks owner) for a ways before getting my dog under control. The instructor stood between the dogs with a lunge whip and gave Chloe a tap under chin when she tried to lunge which worked as long as he stood there. Today I'm in pain with my whole left arm and shoulder. I don't know how much damage I've done but it is going to take most of a week I'm sure then I get to go back to doggie school and repeat this mess. My husband doesn't want me to come home battered and in pain from dog obedience class. i have 4 horses to look after and I need to be able to use both arms not to mention we have a business to run. Normally I would use a halti if I felt I would be in a situation around other dogs. It just gives me more control in a much less painful way for both of us. It is hard to get Chloe to concentrate on much with the other dogs around. She gets excited and grabs the leash yanking and growling making it pretty difficult to watch and listen to the instructor. She did the same thing with the trainer but he is a bigger/stronger person than I and got her under control a bit quicker. I despise bad manners and I've worked with horses for years, I am not a pushover or afraid of this dog but in a flat collar I'm not abe to control her without injury to myself. I guess I'm going to have to call the trainer and talk to him but I doubt after the whole speil of no choke collars or treats he will allow me to bring my dog to class in a halti. I was really looking forward to these classes but now I'm not so sure. Would appreciate any insite others may have had with a similar situation. I know this is not an uncommon problem in dogs. Maybe obedience isn't the right class, maybe she needs individual work modifying her behaviour around other dogs with the trainer privately or on my own?