Tonight was our first class w/ dogs. The first was a teen intervention class and the second was a Basic Adult. There were 5 dogs in the first class and the last to come in was a wild 7 mo pit/lab mix. His owner was visably uncomfortable and a bit shakey. The dog was flailing around, got out his collar & ran straight up to a pitX. Annette managaed to corral him and we took him out side to get him secure. The poor girl started crying and although she mentioned that she was upset over something else, the dog wasn't helping. I explained to her that she's upset & frustrated and those emotions were running right down the leash. She couldn't possibly have an effective class being so upset & gave her the option of hanging out outside & calming down or going home and coming back next week. She chose the latter. I really hope she comes back next week b/c she & the dog both need help.
It reminded me so much of my first class w/ Sherman. I had no idea what I was doing & he was SO bad. I just kept getting more & more frustrated and he kept being more & more of a punk. That was 3 years & at least a dozen classes ago. What a difference between then & now. He is far from perfect, but I'm able to work w/ him w/ out wanting to kill him now.
The next class had the guy who never gave his dog treats. OK...I'll admit it, I was wrong. He didn't use any treats, but he also didn't use any leash corrections either. He was calm, confident and clearly in charge. She adored him & worked just fine for praise. That's one of the greatest things about assisting in these classes...I'm learning every dog is different and there is no one way to train them. I've b/c more openminded and while I still prefer to work my dogs MY way, that's not the only way.