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Old 11-15-2012, 05:23 PM
TahlzK TahlzK is offline
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Default Serenity and her issues. Thoughts?

Since being able to drive I've decided to go to this dog training club with Serenity. I'm working with some one, one on one and I'm also doing basic obedience 1. There are four other people doing the course. Once I explain my concern, I'll ask the question.

My concern is that at this place, Serenity can be a bit reactive at times (though she isn't as bad outside this place) The behaviour she has shown at the place, she has not shown anywhere else (except for wanting to bark at other dogs). I'm not sure what to think about that. Why is she acting this way here but not anywhere else? She hasn't growled at anyone in a long time. The last time she did was around a year ago.

First day there she was afraid but we worked on distracting her, doing heel work and she relaxed. As the trainer and her dog walked up to us, Serenity freaked out but I said 'Enough' and kept her walking, she did great and was fine after towards the trainer and her dog. Serenity did go off when a lady pushing a pram walked on the foot path outside and when some one yelled from across the field. It was easy to distract her and continue working. She also behaved a lot too.

We went Wednesday night and when we first walked in, the Obedience trainer walked up to me. Serenity hopped on her hind feet and started growling (no teeth showing). She didn't do that again. Certain things did set her off such as the trainer moving backwards and clapping, a trainer walking by with a dog (This didn't shock me, I expected that, I tried to stop her before she reacted but didn't get the chance) I was able to get her attention back with little effort once we moved away. Besides the bad stuff, she did sit there, even lay there and rest for a lot of the class. So, she behaved a lot but she also was reactive at times. She was also easily distracted if I worked with her to distract her.

Why is she acting this way here but not outside this place? It's mainly the growling/going off at the trainer that I was shocked with. Her issues with dogs isn't something that bothers me but she reacts worse to dogs here. She behaves while in class around the dogs if she is calm but if she is set off, her behavior is worse towards dogs. I can take her to a pet store with people and dogs and she'll behave. I can take her around people outside this place with distractions and she won't react like she does at this training place.

I want to continue in this course because I do believe it'll help her if given time. The trainer has high hopes for Serenity. I'm very positive with her here. I don't know if it matters but she has been to this place before and we stopped going after she went off at some one, she wouldn't calm down and tried to bite everyone but me. This was when she was around a year old.

And then I have moments and she'll lay down and rest in front of me, back to the group. Other times she'll react/growl.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:34 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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New situation, stressful place, pushing her above her threshold?
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
New situation, stressful place, pushing her above her threshold?
This would be my best guess.

MOST dogs act differently when in training areas. There are lots of other dogs, people, noises, smell..it's a lot. I would give her some more time and plenty of positive experiences there before I would worry
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:37 AM
TahlzK TahlzK is offline
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Thanks for the responses! I'm trying real hard to make this a positive experience. I am considering finding a new place to train. Today while at the creek, people came towards the creek and she reacted really badly and she hasn't done this to people for a long time, over a year. I find it weird she reacts this way after having the same reaction at the dog training place but before this place, I haven't seen that bad reaction for over a year.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:40 AM
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It sounds like she was overstimulated and pushed over her thresh hold, which WILL lower her thresh hold.

Finding a quieter, smaller training facility might help, as would seeing if you could go to the training center during "off hours" where there are no classes/fewer people/fewer stimuli, and work with her then.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:22 AM
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I agree, I would try to get her comfortable with the place while it's empty so that's one less thing she is nervous about. I know a lot of places let people rent rings and it's not very expensive. Then she can run around by herself and get used to the place. Then maybe come during a quieter time, maybe when a small class of some sort is going on, and stand outside the ring/around the perimeter and just let her chill and watch what is going on.


Also, now that you know she is getting upset when people approach try to be proactive when you see people coming. Get her attention, start rewarding with treats, etc. and if the people are coming too close get her out of there so that you can stop a reaction before it happens.
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