View Full Version : scary training class

23rd February 2007, 05:30 AM
today was my second lesson in my class. the first class only had me and a sweet JRT. now, another person has made up the first class and joined today. this dog is a pitbull/beagle mix. she is unsocialized and is 3 years old and came from a shelter. she seems sweet towards people and the owner but other dogs so barks growls and cries. i'm not sure if she's scared of the other dogs in the class or if she's trying to be mean. we all traded dogs for a while in the class and pet them and such and she did fine with that. i'm not sure what the issue is, but i'm a little scared for brady and in this class with a dog that might be aggressive.

i'm also wondering if any of you have had a training class where there was a not so friendly dog and how that was dealt with.


23rd February 2007, 03:55 PM
If the dog is a shelter dog then it definitely isn't socialized, but the owner is taking the right steps by getting it into training classes.

I have had experience with unfriendly dogs in training, mostly because it was my dog :lol: Stewie (my shih tzu) hated going to the classes and figured if he embarrassed me enough by acting out (growling at the trainer, barking his head off, refusing any form of affection or treats), we would stop going. :roll: I put him through two more 8 week sessions so that idea went out the window. He ended up being the best one in the class and was used as a success story :D

With time the mix will do better, it's just scared at this point. I understand your concern because a beagel/pit mix is a lot more intimidating than an irrate shih tzu, but hang in there, just keep your distance until the dog is more comfortable.

24th February 2007, 12:02 AM
A good trainer will be able to assess whether a dog is aggressive or just nervous or poorly behaved. There's a balance -- it's good to get a dog that isn't well socialised around other dogs to meet more dogs in a safe setting. But likewise you need a trainer able to assess and read the dog's body language, who can make responsible decisions on whether a dog is safe for a class.

If you are concerned, you should have a quiet talk with the trainer before or after your next class.

A shelter dog can be quite sociable depending on the background it has come from -- remember, many are stray or surrendered former family dogs -- but many dogs end up in shelters in the first place because they are unruly and poorly socialised and therefore not easy to handle. And the more time they spend in a kennel environment the more unruly they can become, as most shelters don't take the time -- or have the staff or training -- to work to socialise them to prepare them for rehoming. It sounds like this dog wasn't very well socialised to other dogs but you really need an expert trainer to judge whether it's also aggressive or just overexcited.