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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

Tonight was Smudge's first training class and we're really proud of him!

It was so funny when we first arrived in the car park - all the puppies were labs! lol! Oh, and they were all so gorgeous! I couldn't take my eyes off them all!

We started with trying to calm the dogs down as naturally they were all excited. We said a part of their body and then touched it so we said 'paw' and then touched his paw. Then ear, teeth, tail etc.

Then one by one we let the dog off the lead and then had to act so excited that they would concentrate on us (and not their new friends!) and walk with us. Then when they did, we used our clicker and rewarded them. That worked pretty well, I was sure Smudge would run off after the others!

Next was getting them to sit. We held their treats a little higher and their bums seemed to go down naturally as they kind of stretched up! Next was 'down', which we achieved by getting them to sit and then moving the treat along the floor away from them. This didn't work very well with Smudge at first, but then the trainer suggested that I kind of raised my leg so that there was a space underneath it and held the treat the other side so he had to get down to get under my leg (looked pretty funny I can tell you!). Next was 'stand' which we did by walking back with the treat so that they had to get up to walk towards it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and can't wait for next week. It was lovely to meet other puppies as well as Smudge goes for his walks quite late and doesn't always see other dogs.

Oh, and we had some problems with the harness we got him but our trainer has lent us another one this week (slightly different type) and he took to it straight away!

Sorry to rattle on, but just wanted to share this experience.

All the best,
Nicola.
 

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That sounds like a blast! Oh man.... I'm really missing those puppy days! Looking forward to hearing about the next class. Have fun!!
 

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Hi Nicola & Little Smudge,

You clever little boy Smudge, you sound like you did brilliantly at your first class! Well done.

Sounds like good fun Nicola, and also very good for him - i wish we could have been able to take Bradley to training classes as i think they are so beneficial to any pup/dog, i have heard and read so much about them.

How long do the courses take from start to finish?

Maybe it would be a good idea to set up a database on labforums, where we can put together a list of recommended trainers, i.e. names & addresses of centres where they hold these classes, and where they are located in the UK. I get alot of admin questions from people asking where they can enrol their pups/older dogs in classes. I'll put in on my 'to do' list! :D

Anyway, look forward to hearing how Smudge gets on next time, thanks for sharing. :wink:

Bye for now,

Julie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think a database on training would be great! I looked for ages to find a class for Smudge. I emailed our local animal shelter as I knew they used to run them. They were kind enough to email back with some contacts. I still have the email so would be able to provide a little bit of info for this area.

Smudge's actual classes take about an hour and this course lasts for 7 weeks. I think he can then go on to another class if we want to take his training further. I think we will do this because it's a great way for him to interact with his 'peers'!

Next class tomorrow evening! We have been doing some 'homework' with him and we are pleased with him - he's so fascinated with the clicker though! His little head goes to the side when he hears it and he looks soooo cute! (No change there then!).

I'll let you know how we get on tomorrow.

All the best,
Nicola.
 

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Molly has just had her 2nd week of training, and it's going really well (I think) they concentrated on stopping her jumping up, and I'm amazed it's already having an effect, you can see her thinking about whether to do it or not!
(basically if she jumps up, you quickly turn around with your arms folded, then turn back...and repeat until she stays on the floor...then click and treat!).

we were also told that it's important to let them off the lead before they get too old, as they lose their dependence on you, and will be less willing to return if they haven't experienced "freedom" before...
so we're off to a nearby Arboretum (not arbortorium as I kept reading it as!) on the weekend as it's a very safe environment

:p
 
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I used to take my Ollie to training classes once a week from a puppy to the age of 5 not because he was so naughty but we moved from the Midlands to Yorkshire and found it difficult to find another training club like the one back in the Midlands. In my experience you do find that most of the other pupils are labs or golden retrievers with the odd dotty dalmation or GSD thrown in. I found that taking my dog every week was an excellent way of socialising him with other dogs even though he knew his stuff with the basics it did him no harm to go over it all once in a while. The club I belonged to also arranged talks and demonstrations and organised shows and parties for the dogs which was great especially when it wasn't my Ollie pinching the buffet. I found that the puppies he went to puppy classes with initially stuck with the club and also attended as adults and it was nice to socialise and get advice from other owners when needed and having the dogs still socialising together as adults was very important as well I felt.
After moving to Yorkshire I found it very difficult to find a training club like the one back home and I booked Ollie into various 10 week courses here and there but I do feel he was missing his old club and friends. He made new lab friends up here but not at training he was very anti the dogs there and was very Kevin like and it took a lot of hard work to get him to settle into the classes but he was excellent with his lab friends out of training! Funny little chap my Ollie was.
Let us know more about your training classes with Smudge it brings back very funny memories for me hearing about his antics.

Michaela
 

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Took Duke to his training lessons last night
this is his 3rd time, he loves it
last night he did some agility training, thought the fabric tunnel was fun.
only problem was he saw another choc lab go pooh so he decide to copy
very embarrassing :oops:
lessons start at 7 we feed him at 3 so next week we'll feed him at 12
and see if this helps
He mixes OK with the other dogs which are all ages & sizes
only £2 a lesson so good value
 

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Nicola
How old is Smudge ,I want to take Jenson to training classes as soon as he's old enough
I'm surprised how much Jenson has learned in a week of having him he now sits when told and plays fetch he doesn't drop the ball into my hand as jet but were working on it.
I've also had him on the lead in the house and he will walk with me if he's not distracted.


Jason....
 
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