View Full Version : Is 6 mos too old for puppy class? LONG

25th February 2007, 06:53 PM
I had a bad experience with Lily yesterday. We were outside and our neighbors were walking their little 4 mo old min. beagle. Lily went nuts and started barking and growling at the puppy who is way smaller than her. I was horrified. She has never exhibited this kind of behavior, and she is usually the one who cowers when around other dogs. She was fine with the owners licking them and wagging her tail, but every time we tried to put her nose to nose with the puppy, she would growl and bark. She is extremely attached to me, as I am with her all day. She only sees a few people, all famiy, besides me and hubby, but when she does she loves them. She has started barking at the neighbors too when she is on the deck.

I called yesterday to get her in a training class. The trainer said because she is so small, she could put her in puppy class, or put her in a beginner class. The beginner class will have dogs of all sizes, and I think this will freak her out, but I don't want her to be aggressive to the puppy's in the other class. She also said she would see what dogs are signed up for beginners, if any are too large she recommends puppy class. I could just kick myself for not getting her in a puppy class when she was little. The trainer said we need to nip this behavior in the bud. I am so upset, I don't know where my sweet little baby has gone. She is still very sweet with humans, but I can't have her doing this to little puppies. What should I do? Puppy class or beginners?

25th February 2007, 09:02 PM
hi shay

don't beat yourself up! it sounds like lily has turned out to be a wonderful little girl even without a puppy class ;) this new behaviour might also be a stage....indy went through a stage where he was 'too independent' to sit in our laps and broke our hearts for about 3 weeks until he moved on :roll: i'm sure that the training classes will sort any issues out!

lily probably just needs a bit of socialization and she'll be greeting other dogs with smother hugs. i'd recommend going with the trainer's recommendation. they will best be able to judge by the size and type of dogs in each class which one lily would best fit into. sometimes even the puppy classes have big dogs---indy was almost flipped over by a 4 month-old rottweiler after one of our training classes and that was friendly play!

are there any doggie day cares near you? you could also take lily there for a day or two a week to get her used to being around other dogs. we have the opposite problem---indy gets so overcome with excitement that he runs to make friends with agressive growling dogs.

good luck and let us know what you decide!


25th February 2007, 09:37 PM
Hey Shay

Im going through the same issues as you. A lot of the times when I take Ellie out for a walk she ends up growling at people she sees. Many of them will try to pet her and she growls and hides behind me. I contacted some trainers and schools in my area and even though she is almost 7 months old they all say she can join in on their puppy classes. Im still trying to decide which one is the best for us. Good luck and don't worry about it. I think puppies go through a fear stage right around this time (this is what I was told by many) and its just something they have to work through Let me know what happens with Lily

Cathy Moon
25th February 2007, 09:41 PM
If it were up to me, I would put her in the puppy class. Usually in puppy class there is off lead socialization, which is what she needs! She is still a puppy herself, and she is a 'softer' breed. I think you'll be surprised how well she'll do once she is off her leash with the other puppies. :)

Our training center let both India and Geordie into a puppy class even though they were past the age of the other puppies. Their decision was based on the fact that they are cavaliers.

26th February 2007, 12:12 AM
A puppy class will be really good for her Shay. You will be surprised at how quickly she will acclimate with a good trainer and other pups.

26th February 2007, 12:22 AM
Your trainer sounds really good with her suggestions and checking into who is registered in what class for you - so it must feel good to know you've got excellent help. I would wait for her suggestion and perhaps suggest if you could go to a class in session now at the end of it to see how she is with the puppies or older dogs. If that is possible it might help in easing your worry a bit. Depending on how close these classes run together maybe if you start in one and then feel the other the was better choice you could just switch.

26th February 2007, 01:44 AM
I have Mona in puppy class, she was 5 months old when it started. It's a great low key class, and she and you will find it a lot of fun. You can always do another one later when she's older.

26th February 2007, 01:44 AM
Thanks guys for all the help, I need you again please....The trainer called me today to say that she has only one other puppy signed up for puppy class, also a spaniel. We weren't home when she called, so she left a message, and I didn't get to talk to her. She said the class goes on even if just one dog signs up. It starts Thursday. If no other dogs sign up, and it's just Lily and the other dog, do you think she will get enough socialization with just one other dog? Or should I wait for the beginner class that starts in 2 weeks which will probably have more dogs. What should I do?????

26th February 2007, 01:46 AM
Is the class in a facility or a petsmart/ petco? if the latter, definately do it because there will be lots of other dogs to interact with, we are always walking around the store.

26th February 2007, 01:57 AM
Hi Nancy, it is at Petsmart, and I really like the trainer. She plays with Lily every time we go in. She knew the first time I brought her in she was a Cavalier. Well, I guess a trainer would, right . :sl*p:

I do like this trainer a lot better than the other one I talked to a few times. She just seems more outgoing than the other lady.

26th February 2007, 02:10 AM
do it!

26th February 2007, 02:16 AM
Thanks Nancy, I'll do it. Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

26th February 2007, 03:52 AM
When I visited Faith and Sara at their petsmart class I noticed the next class was waiting to come in at the end of hers. So there would be a bit of a chance to socialize and see other dogs for you. Besides, you may choose to go on to the beginner after. I did more than one level with my old dog, its actually fun. The puppy classes will be a nice low key start to take in the new environment. Have fun!

26th February 2007, 02:40 PM
Even if there is only one other dog in the class, it will be really good for her. Plus the trainer will be able to give you lots of helpful advice on how to help her overcome her fears. She will do great and the almost one on one time with the trainer will be terrific.

26th February 2007, 03:16 PM
Thanks Molly....I am really looking forward to the class. It will also get me out of the house too. It is at 11:30 AM every Thurs. for 8 weeks. I probably over reacted about her little growling and barking episode. Because we think she is human :lol: we forget she is after all a dog, and she is going to do doggy stuff. I think becasue of my Lhasa's aggressive behavior, I am hypersensitive about this. I just had visions of Chloe when she did this. Chloe wouldn't even let strangers pet her. I can't ever imagine my sweet little Cav doing this, I know it's not in their nature.

26th February 2007, 04:57 PM
The less chance a dog has to socialise with particular places, people, animals, objects, the more these kinds of problems can emerge -- and they can also be connected to other messages she may be getting entirely without your realsiing it -- they are reading US after all so our own behaviour and actions at home can be steering a dog towards unwanted behaviours as well as the signals we give off when walking them -- it can be really hard sometimes! We have all been there with one behaviour or another at some point! :lol: That's why a class is so great -- really helps to get some guidance. :)

So your trainer is right -- really important to work on this and it will likely reverse very quickly.

Personal example: Jaspar and Leo are terrified of most small children as they had few opportunities to meet kids except very loud active urban kids around here who would try and chase and grab them and think its funny when they doidge away. I am quite firm with them (kids that is) -- a group started doing this yesterday -- but the damage was done when the dogs were younger. I use any opportunity with quiet friendly kids of my friends to try and change those perceptions -- eg give the kids small treats to give the boys. They really like the small kids they knew from early on who were friendly.

Other example: Lily is not very well socialised to other dogs when on the lead (she gets defensive and like some bitches, really doesn't like other female dogs much) but is so good with people that she'd be a good therapy dog. The same group of kids were picking her up and petting her yesterday and she loved every minute and was licking faces all around.

26th February 2007, 05:17 PM
I am so excited about the class. I know some of Lily's behaviors are my fault too. I really do baby her, and she eats it up. I am overly protective too. She is also way too attached to me. It started off that she was more attached to hubby, but that has changed. Probably because he is firmer with her, but she does listen to him more than she listens to me. She still loves him and if I'm not around she sticks to him like glue, but if I'm around, I have to be in her sights at all times. I am trying to leave her more too, she has really bad separation anxiety. I think this will be good for all of us. Lily is just so different than all my other dogs, who were all very independent. This is such a learning experience, I can't wait for the class on Thursday! :*nana:

27th February 2007, 05:16 PM
I was told exactly the same by a local dogschool. Bertie was 'too old' at 21 weeks and made the excuse that he had probabaly learned too many bad habits already. He's only a little, nutty puppy. Anyway, I took no notice and still pushed to enroll him.

I saw the older class as we were leaving the other day. There's no way my pup could be in with those!! The dogs were HUGE!

28th February 2007, 04:50 AM
Lily isn't too old for puppy class, Shay.

When I enquired about classes for Mary Alice, they suggested puppy class even though she's 2 3/4 yrs.

He just asked if she obeyed me all the time....lol Um, NO!! lol :lol:

Apparently, you start with the basics and if you're too advanced, they'll move you up. He did say that most people/doggies move back to the start!