Dog obedience class: week 2

I don't want to talk about it.

The only way it could have gone worse would be if Casey had peed in the training arena or not gotten along with the other dogs. He had been doing so well at home, then proceeded to not show his skills come classtime. About halfway through the class, he decided he was done and kept trying to hide in a corner, which I kept having to drag him out of, while also trying to listen to the instructor and keep up with the rest of the class. It didn't happen. By the end of it all, I was in tears from embarrassment and discouragement and frustration. It was not a good night.

Then, this morning, he could all of a sudden Heel again without a fight. The 30 other dogs and people and all the new smells and noise freaked him out, I think. The poor guy hasn't been socialized, and I didn't take that into account before taking him to class. And, I surely overreacted to the situation. I just, in the moment, couldn't understand why my dog couldn't sit happily by my side while the instructor was speaking, like all the other dogs in the room.

Here's hoping next week goes better. I have to stick with this. We may go visit the place when it's NOT full of people and other dogs, to get him comfortable there, so he'll actually be able to work on obedience, as opposed to not hiding in a corner.


Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

awww... Poor Casey... and poor Joanna! That would be stressful. You should take him somewhere else that has lots of people so he can get used to obeying in that situation.

Dog parks? Um... Where else do you take dogs?

Kacie said...


Anonymous said...

"Group hug for Joanna and Casey"

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

Aww... I'm sorry. :-( How frustrating! I remember Jera peeing in the middle of class one time - I was so embarrassed! I hope future lessons get better. Could you perhaps have a doggy play date with a friend? Start small and gradually add to the number of dogs? I'm not sure if that will do anything, but it might be worth the consideration.

Joanna said...

Beth- It has been suggested we go to PetSmart- where there are dogs, people, and lots of distractions. Also, I hope to get him back to the obedience place when it's quiet, so he can be at least comfortable with the environment.

Ashley - He likes other dogs, one on one. He wants to play with them. The overwhelmingness of the very large class and all the people just shut him down, I think.

Everyone else- thanks for your support! I'll report back next week!

Beckie said...

Just remember when he acts like that that is not a reflection on your relationship with him. It is a glaring example of how his previous owners failed him. The pet store idea sounds great. You may want to consider asking the instructor if he has a smaller class that you could attend. Maybe next time just work on keeping him comfortable and not so much the obedience training untill he settles in better.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I know the instructor said they are not little kids, but boy he sounds like our forever furry toddlers! I would be scared too and I don't blame you for being frustrated. When we were learning our ABC's, the boys didn't always want to show their skills for others. Then, we'd come home and they wouldn't stop singing them. I'd say the important thing is if Casey learns to do what you need him to do at home, then you should be satisfied. I know it is a tired saying, but anything worth achieving in life doesn't come without alot of effort. Good luck and hang in there!


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