We went to puppy’s first training class last night, and it was not good!
We checked the place out last week, without Zoey, and it seemed great. There were six other dogs there, four of which were puppies under 5 months of age. The trainer was PR and pretty much left people to do their own thing, unless they needed guidance. The class begun with a 10 minute walk-about where all the dogs got to say hi and have a bit of a play with each other.
Yesterday was VERY different! We got there early and it was just the trainers’ two dogs and Zoey. One was huge, very gentle with Zoey and playful, and Zoey loved her! 🙂 The other was nervy with people and other dogs, but Zoey got a few quick sniffs in! The first five minutes were great, Zoey got fuss from the trainer, the dogs, explored the hall and followed some practice tricks brilliantly.
Then the other two dogs arrived pretty much simultaneously. They both exploded with barking and growling, which Zoey was really freaked out by. I knelt down and gathered her onto my lap and fussed and treated while the ruckus went on. One of the new dogs was obviously DA (dog aggressive) – we kept away from that dog.
Of course the dog’s owner didn’t say her dog might be snappy, despite this being a 14 week old puppy we were dealing with here – wtf?!
The other dog was a little snarly and unsure, but quickly befriended Zoey. Too much. The dog would bark, whine and howl constantly when they were apart, which Zoey really wasn’t sure about. I let Zoey go say hi to all the dogs when she wanted to, other than the DA one, and rewarded her for any interactions.
Soon the other dog started humping Zoey at every opportunity, and would latch on so hard that Zoey couldn’t get away! What annoyed me was that the other dogs’ owners didn’t get their dog off, even though Zoey couldn’t get away and wasn’t enjoying herself, so I had to juggle my dogs’ lead, treats and their dog!!!
So the entire time we were there we had the humpy dog (!) barking and howling at Zoey, the DA dog that we had to keep away from, and the trainers’ two dogs tethered in the corner. Not a good situation at all – we will not be going back!
Despite how terrible it all was, Zoey was fantastic. I was really worried about what impact the dogs would have on her socialisation (pups under 16 weeks shouldn’t have any scary situations with strange dogs), but I’m not as concerned after today’s walk. She saw a beautiful American Bulldog type cross called Buster, he was 18 months old and so gentle with the puppy – AMAZING! 🙂
She saw another three dogs on the walk, including the huge bouncy GSD cross she has met before. We actually saw more dogs than we did at the class haha, so I don’t think we need the class for socialisation, which was the only reason we were going! 🙂