Great news. If I can help further just email
Thanks everyone for their encouragement and advice. I can happily report that the rottweiler and her owner are going to be working one-on-one with an experienced rottie rescue foster/owner. They'll have private sessions at our kennel club training facility, and I will observe the lessons so that someone else is there to lock up and to learn more about the breed and its issues.
(Of course, the training coordinator is aware of the change and thinks its a great idea!)
Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), & Holly (ruby)
For you, as a companion dog trainer I imagine these situations in a class arent presented very often. I had to sympathize for you when you described your region as having limited resources to handle it. Not easy!Originally Posted by Moviedust
It's nice it worked out for the owner to get private help from a breed specific trainer. It's nice the other class members can now be more relaxed and have the fun they thought it would be. But its nice (in a backwards way) that you now get to experience by watching how agressive breeds are trained. I'm sure for you as a trainer that would be really interesting to learn.
Wow, so glad this worked out! And a great opportunity for you to watch them working!
India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)
Glad to hear that it worked out too!
Bit of a dicey situation you were put in at first.
At least the rottie owner is also getting help...they *do* need to be trained.
Good outcome, all round!!
Terrific solution for all involved. Great job Cindy!
Molly and Murphy (tri), Katie (ruby), Casey (B/T),Spike the wonder pup (tri), Suzie (tri) and Penny (blen)
I'm happy to report that the second session of my Basic Obedience class was a dream. There were 15 dogs in the class, and I suspect only 2 of them are not puppy class graduates! Last night we introduced stay, and the dogs were even staying while the owners walked around them! Many of them are still working on the loose lead walking, so we spend some time on that. They'll be a class full of overachievers I think!
As far as the rottie issue--everything is working great. Not one single complaint and not one single no-show. Even the cocker came back. (I know a bit more now about why the rottie and cocker may have gotten into it on Day 1--the cocker is very nervous/shy with the other dogs. It isnt fullblown fear aggression yet, so its good she is there now! But with the aggressive rottie, the cocker might not have been completely innocent in the intial conflict. The cocker did growl at one dog in class Monday when it got too close. The rottie may not have accepted a growl last week.)
The rottie DID come after class so the owner could work one-on-one with a volunteer trainer. The trainer owns rotties, and has fostered/rescued rotties before. She has a lot of experience with the breed.
I stayed during the rottie's session so that the trainer wasnt left alone late at night. Cedar was with me, as she came to help demonstrate stuff for the regular class. After her hour of work, Cedar was content to sleep on my lap in the chair area, which is behind a row of tables under which are a bunch of crates. If I felt that there was a great danger, I would have put her safely in one of the crates. But we were safe behind the tables and the dog was under control.
At one point in the session, the rottie owner wasnt paying much attention to her dog while she was listening to the trainer. The rottie was exploring and sniffing at the end of the leash. I was watching closely, as I knew the owner wasnt paying attention. She did have the leash around her wrist and looped several times in her hand. So I knew the dog wouldnt get loose.
I watched as the dog sniffed over to the crates and under the table. She got a sight of Cedar sleeping, and her body language immediately stiffened and she got that look in her eye. I stood up and corrected with a a forceful "no!", which caused the owner to pull back on the dog so it was on the other side of the table. The rottie was still looking though, so I stepped up to the table and said no again. The dog then put its front paws on the table and the trainer shoved her back down and got in front of her.
I never felt in immediate danger from the dog. It didnt growl, and it didnt bark until I said no a second time. It never got progressed to the point of attack, but if no one had done anything it could have. The trainer told the dog to lay down and she did, easily. The trainer told the owner that it should have been HER saying no instead of me. The owner means well, she just has no experience with dogs and she doesnt realize what her dog is 1)capable of, and 2)thinking by watching its body language.
After the exchange I sat down back to my chair. Cedar, who was in my arms the whole time, never moved and just closed her eyes going back to sleep. She wasnt even distrurbed from her rest!!
After the rottie left, the trainer and I chatted. She agreed with my assessment that the dog really isnt all that bad. She's an absolute dream when she's not around other dogs. Even her dog aggression isnt all that extreme. She's giving tons of signals and she'll watch her handler closely when asked. Yes, the dog has the potential to become a killer, but she'd be easily directed in a positive direction if the owner knows what she's doing. At one point, the owner actually said, "I'm sorry" to the dog when she she tugged on the leash and the dog resisted. The tug wouldnt have hurt a cavvie!
I know the trainer could take that dog and have it undercontrol in no time. The dog is not a dominant dog; it always backs down, and seems happy to do so. It's the owner that could be the dog's biggest hurdle.
Anyway, just thought I'd share info about how the new situation worked out. Now that I'm not worried about the cavvie during the class, I'm able to interact a lot more with the other dogs and owners, which is fun and terrific. I'll have to take my camera and post some pics of my first class of basic obedience graduates!
Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), & Holly (ruby)