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I have been thinking of taking Holly to an obedience class but im not sure wether we should or not as she can be quite nervous and the one which i would take her too has quite alot of dogs and people at it and i think it might be too much for her.


What do you think? Should i take her along anyway and see how she copes or maybe wait a while and see if she gains more confidence first?

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I'd go for a socialization session first, talk to the trainers. My school had an evaluation session, yours may too.


One of the puppies in our puppy obedience class just sat in a little ball for the entire first class. Next class it wasn't there so we inquired.


The owners and trainer decided that it was best to do one one one sessions with the trainer for a while. My guess is that it was the owners who made the call, not the trainer. But that is just as important.

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As a trainer I agree with Meg's mum.. I always suggest for a shy or insecure dog, for the people to just come in a sit with their dog. I will do what I can to help ease the dog into socializing with people first.. then start with quiet personality & friendly, dogs etc. If the class is too big I just have them sit a distance away from the class where the dog seems "ok". We move in closer gradually over a period of time (to be determined by me),and I off and on walk in the vicinity of dog and handler several times during the class and toss treats to her/him, getting a little closer as dog seems comfy with me. I have recently had 2 very shy dogs that started out hiding under their persons chair for 4 weeks, then gradually edged out to grab the treat I tossed and run back under the chair. By the end of our 8 wk. class, this one little dog was coming out and taking the treat from my hand as I sat on the floor with my side to the dog. The other dog, did the same and eventually went on to Advanced training with me and all his new made doggy friends! It takes ALOT of patience and time but if you do it correctly, it will pay off in the long run.

You could also start by just taking your dog places that were fairly quiet, with some people and dogs... like a Pet Smart or Petco store during the week during the day. It is usually quiet then. Praise and reward for appropriate behavior (not acting afraid or acting crazy) Maybe a local park: take a chair and your pups favorite toy, get a long (about 20 ft) leash. Sit whatever distance away that your dog feels comfy with what ever activity is going on, and toss toy, gradually going further and further to end of leash... (this allows your dog to move forward toward the people or pets, or what/whomever is in area on her/his own, building confidence).

The absolute key, is NEVER force your dog to say hi, or be approached or petted by anyone if they back away. You don't ever want to tell your dog, that "it's OK.. the nice woman won't hurt you, it's ok",... no no no! By doing that you are telling your dog, that the behavior she/he is exhibiting AT THAT VERY MOMENT, is...ok! essentially condoning the behavior.

If this happens, just tell the person immediately, sorry... we are in training.. and turn and walk away, and say to your dog... let's go this way in an upbeat voice...get a safe distance (what your dog thinks is a safe distance!) away, turn around... have dog sit and if acting calm treat and praise.

This is a very slow process sometimes. It took me a little over 2 months to get my Phoenix boy "desensitized", to his fear of my truck. It can be very frustrating but like I said if you take your time and use your patience, it will pay off.. hopefully in the not so long run.

Good Luck.

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PinkSheep24... I have 2 rabbits also, both dwarfs Thumper and Pika. 2 tanks of fish with one fish being a solid white Koi about 10" long with fins that look like mother of pearl he/she (?) is huge. We also have 3 dogs, Mirra Dobie mix 12, Sitka Akita mix 8, and my whackey BC boy Phoenix 18 mos., 1 bird-Peppy and a box turtle we rescued and have raised for over 20 yrs now.

Whew, keeps me young and very busy!!! haha!

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My BC Brodie was very unsocialized from 8-14 weeks, and when we picked her up at 14 weeks, we started taking her out. But she was always shy, then learned to bark at everyone. We took her to a one on one meeting with a trainer, then that day she suggested doing obedience class. We started six weeks ago, and today is her graduation from Dog Manners 1. We start Dog Manners 2 next week, for six weeks. Then move onto Rally O, and then into a beginners Agility class, which I cant wait for!!!


Anyways, the first six weeks, we have already noticed a huge improvement with Brodie. We had 5 other dogs in this class. However, next week, the class size is going to be doubled. But im confident that Brodie will do just fine. Getting them out to meet other dogs, and other people has really helped Brodie become more friendly.

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