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Hi all,

So my baby has gone from "star pupil" at obedience class to "devil in a red collar". She's just past 8 months old, and her attention has been heading south for the past 6 - 8 weeks (or more). I'm almost at my wits end, wondering why I'm bothering with these classes when she's so much better when not at them. I know I'm only going for the socialisation aspect and to get her used to distractions, but it doesn't seem to be helping, and only making my stress levels higher!

As already mentioned, she loses attention very easily now and wants to pull me to the other side to greet other dogs (and she does it well, I don't have the strength behind me not to get pulled along for the ride!), she also just wants to keep sniffing and eating at the ground during heel work and her down-stays. She also gets WAAAAY too excited when the trainer comes past to pet the dogs, she is still mouthing at strangers at 8 months old for crying out loud! Oh and forget about a stranger feeding her a treat, it's just too "pee-in-your-pants-exciting" for her to contain herself, her body wiggles out of control, won't stay in a sit position then almost takes a few fingers with the treat. With me, she's (mostly) fine.

She was such a star pupil, picking up things in no time and obeying, to the point that both her and I were bored with what we were doing at obedience class. But now at 8 months, pfft, forget about it :roll:

When does it end?! Does it even end?! Is there anything extra I can do to speed up the process? Graduation is in 3 weeks and I don't see us passing. Which is a major pain in the heart for me after attending every single class weekly, rain or shine (and the majority of them have been in pelting rain and freezing weather), since 3 months of age and her exceeding every time. As well as daily walks that include offlead runs, training sessions in between at the park, short training sessions at home going over the basics, etc etc. I feel like a failure when I have put SO much work into her :cry: :cry: :cry:

I'd love some advice on what to do, or even just some encouraging words that it does get better (if it DOES get better, I don't want false hope! :lol:) Please share your stories if you've been through the same hell I'm now facing!

Thanks for reading this long post :)
 
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It sounds as if you have maybe gone a bit too far too fast and now she is getting rebellious. In her mind she has seen it and done it and is bored, so is making her own amusement.

I would stop going to your class for a month or two...give her a complete break...Let her body catch up with her brain, after all she is still only really young. If you keep taking her to the classes you will be feeling so tense anyway, she will act up even more, feeding off your tension.

Has she had her season yet???? I know these girls can sometime be a right pain in the bum, either just before or just after a season. Some go really quiet and disinterested, some get grumpy, whereas others get all over-excited. A lot of her new behaviour could be hormone related.

I personally would just stick to your normal house rules, making sure she isn't getting away with anything (I know we all let things slip from time to time) and find her something new to do...something fun...For example, games of Find the Ball (hidden in one of a few upside down flower pots)...or teach her a new trick....nothing difficult just something that you can both easily achieve (nothing like getting something right for making you both feel better :wink: ). Basically, have fun together...you have the rest of her life for doing anything serious. :wink:

Then in a 4-8 weeks go back to the class if you can (or if you want to) and you'll probably see a big difference. She won't have forgotten her early lessons, but she maybe just feeling a bit burnt out at the moment.

All dogs are different....Some want to learn all the time or are happy repeating things over and over...some get bored easily and so you have to be a little more inventive with them... some just need you to cut them some slack and let them grow up a bit. It's all trial and error really.

You haven't failed...you just need to rethink a bit. :wink:
 

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awww - good post Jules Ruby was a pain in the rear at 7 months old - she use to do tigger impressions when out on lead walks mouthing me and I just wanted to cry!!!!!!!

It passes very quickly - Ruby is now two and a total joy not pain in the bum puppy anymore!!! (why oh why when the one you have got gets over being a pup do you add another eh eh eh your post is making me remember alll the puppy nasties :wink: )
 

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Thankyou so much Jules for opening my eyes. Perhaps I have done too much too soon. I have lived my life with small breed dogs untrained and getting away with murder, so when I finally got my first lab I wanted to do it right, and from the word go. Her 2nd day home she was straight into puppy pre-school for 4 weeks, then 2 weeks after that ended she was into obedience and has been in it every week since 3 and a half months. So that's about 5 months now, with only a 2 week break for the school holidays. To top it off, we also go once a week to do basic agility, she loves the tunnel and the jumps (which are just the poles lying on the ground! I don't let her do the "big girl" stuff :lol: It's more for handling and surroundings). She doesn't get as many of those 5 minute sessions at home like she used to with the usual "sit - stay - drop - yada yada" but I still make sure I do some, and I don't let her get away with anything.

The reason I got her was to give me something to enjoy, and I thought ensuring she was a well-behaved dog through obedience would provide that, but it's doing the opposite. I am very stressed at her classes and I'm being a cranky mum with her because of her behaviour there (I swear nobody else in the class wants to come near me in case I bite THEIR head off! :oops:)

A part of me wants to give it a rest for a bit, but an even bigger part of me does not want to admit defeat and give up. I have spoken one on one with some trainers at the club and they keep telling me the same thing, keep working at it and don't give up. I'm torn :? She may pay a bit more attention after having a break, but I don't see her main trouble of getting over-excited by other dogs and people disappearing any time soon.

I might keep going until we have attended graduation, and then decide then whether to take a break for the 10 week class period or push on. I don't like giving up, but I want to start enjoying her more. She gets so many cuddles from me when we're relaxing, but at training time well cranky-pants mum comes out when the devil dog appears!

Question though, if I stop taking her to obedience for the socialisation and distraction aspects, and she has no real chance to be exposed to lots of other dogs, is there any way to get the excitement of other dogs out of her? Owners of dogs we don't know don't want her pouncing all over them (and I don't want her doing that either), and dogs we know well she goes crazy and I wish she wouldn't! I want her to listen to me and play with them on my terms, not hers.

Anyhoo, thanks again Jules, it's nice to have another person's perspective! It's certainly given me something to think about :D
 

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Great to hear the naughty behaviour does pass, Vicky! Ruby is still mouthing at strangers, I'm quite embarrassed by it :(

I know about the 2nd pup thing.... I am having so much trouble with Ruby at the moment that she is reducing me to tears sometimes in front of the trainers, but I am still intent on getting another lab once she has proven she can be a nice, well behaved adult and role model to a younger sibling :lol: So if I do make it to the other side with Ruby, I'm going to have to start all over again with #2 :roll:
 

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Oh I forgot to add, no she hasn't had her season yet. So not sure if that is playing a part or not. I'm praying for the next year to pass and see how much progress we've made! :lol:
 
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bingaling said:
Oh I forgot to add, no she hasn't had her season yet. So not sure if that is playing a part or not. I'm praying for the next year to pass and see how much progress we've made! :lol:
I would say that has a lot to do with it at the moment.....I have known some people think their dog has changed completely after the season cycle has ended. It really can play havoc with their hormones, especially with the run up to their first season.

but I don't see her main trouble of getting over-excited by other dogs and people disappearing any time soon.
That bit will subside with time.

You must remember that Labs take much longer to mature than little dogs...most remaining a bit puppy like until they are at least 2 years old (older if they are male). 8 Months old is really still very young...she probably hasn't hit adolescence yet, she certainly hasn't hit puberty, although I doubt that will be long before it appears. :wink:

If you keep plugging away you are going to have to try to remain firm but calm (Mrs Super-Cool :wink: ) as at the moment you sound as if you dread every lesson.....and she will sense that and play up accordingly.

Have you tried letting the trainer handle her...someone neutral, who knows what they are doing, sometimes makes a big difference (I'm not saying you don't know what you're doing...I just mean a doggy person rather than a friend without any idea :wink: ).

What does your trainer suggest you do when she starts pulling you all over the place too??? Or does he just ignore it or tell you to carry on regardless? As he/she is there to help you solve this problem...after all they must have seen the same thing hundreds of times before.

If you stop going for a while, you certainly haven't admitted defeat...Sometimes *you* need a break just so you can look at the problem with fresh eyes. :wink:
 

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_Jules_ said:
she probably hasn't hit adolescence yet, she certainly hasn't hit puberty, although I doubt that will be long before it appears. :wink:
What?! Are you trying to tell me this isn't adolescence, and I have this 10 times as bad to look forward to???? 8O 8O 8O :cry: :cry: :cry:

_Jules_ said:
at the moment you sound as if you dread every lesson.....and she will sense that and play up accordingly.
Very much so :? I've actually noticed the little dogs can play up as much as Ruby, but of course it isn't as noticeable because with one little tug of the lead they have their dog back at their side. Meanwhile, I'm across the other side of the circle of people trailing a yellow flash. That's what makes it so hard, is her size and strength, and why I take it to heart so much that I can't control it.

_Jules_ said:
What does your trainer suggest you do when she starts pulling you all over the place too??? Or does he just ignore it or tell you to carry on regardless? As he/she is there to help you solve this problem...after all they must have seen the same thing hundreds of times before.
I've been advised to just work on her attention on me by every time she looks a me, click and treat, even if we're not in a training session. This is to get her used to the fact that if she looks at me (hopefully have her undivided attention) she gets food! Works well at home as to be expected, but other doggies are so much more interesting than me and food at training :wink:

Anyway, thanks again Jules! I hope I can crack this sometime soon. I'm very scared though that you mention this isn't even adolescence :? I'm not sure if I will make it through to adulthood with her if that's the case!
 

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Hi I feel your pain, I would like to suggest a martingale collar they are basically a half chocker when adjusted right it wont check her but give her just enough pressure to discharge her from yanking u around I wouldn't let one of my children pull my arm off and certainly not my 8 month old pouch 🐕‍🦺 mine shaw tried and as soon as he darted I held on tight plates my feet and he really felt it so did I he did this on a few time after the birds and cats and dogs then he released he wasnt doing him any good so he gave up but if u would like a gentler approach use a head collar this works almost instantly well after she stops protesting it she wont like losing control 😂 hope this helps
 
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