Obedience classes?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from HoldUp. Show HoldUp's posts

    Obedience classes?

    Hello! We are interested in enrolling in some obedience classes with our 5-month old lab. Does anyone have any experience with classes around the Boston area?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Great idea!  We have a lab, and it was a great thing to take her.  But, just a word to the wise, don't expect them to be "all trained" when you come out.  What you get in Obedience Classes are the TOOLS to train your own dog long after the classes are over.  I was pretty disappointed from having had totally unrealistic expectations that I based on episodes of the dog whisperer.  I thought professional trainer = essentially instantly trained dog.  Laugh if you want to (I can HEAR you), but really, it took about a year for us to have what I consider to be a pretty well trained dog.  Labs are headstrong, too.

    Anyway, I live out in the Worcester hills near the Quabbin so too far away to recommend our place, but just wanted to throw that info out there.  I WISH I had gone in expecting more realistic results, but I'm VERY GLAD we did it, anyway.  It was invaluable.  But, if I'd know what to expect I wouldn't have left every class crying and with a pounding headache...I would have actually enjoyed it a lot if I'd known it wasn't an instant thing.

    So, please, no matter how frustrating it seems in the middle of training classes try to enjoy yourself and cut your pup some developmental slack along the way (not being soft, mind you, just have realistic expectations).
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Ditto what Kar said.  Training is an on-going process.  We still work at it every day. Classes are great though to learn the techniques. 

    We went to the PetSmart in Woburn for puppy obedience and are enrolled there for intermediate as well.  Tameka is the trainer there that we have worked with for classes and she is incredible.  We shop there to and the trainers are always willing to answer questions if you just drop in.

    I have also heard good things from other dog park parents about GoPlay in Arlington.  I haven't been there yet myself, but am going to check it out soon since they have agility classes that I think would be fun for me and puppy to get into.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Nov, remember when I used to post so frustrated with Gracie's "progress?"  And, how DH used to ask when I got home if she were the best in the class and I'd break down in tears saying, "Noooooooo, she wasn't."  Now, she's the best dog we could ever hope or ask for, and I can't believe I had such unrealistic expectations.  I thought she'd be housebroken in a week or two tops, too.  3 months later (when it finally seemed like she had it) I found out that it was totally normal for an 8 week old puppy who doesn't have a strong mind/body connection yet to take that long.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Try The Pawsitive Dog in Boston.  They are located near the Boston Medical center.  They are a little pricey, but they know their stuff.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I do remember.  But your patience, persistance and consistency paid off!  She sounds absolutely delightful!

    I remember on our first day of obedience the trainer asked if puppy knew sit I answered "yes."  "Does he do it everytime?" she asked.  "No."  Response - then he doesn't "know" sit.  I was heartbroken. 

    What a learning curve these pups have pulled us through!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    DWL, good advice on getting what you pay for.  You don't want to have to go there AFTER going to one that's not so good.

    Nov, that's so cute.  I was deflated on a constant basis during puppy kindergarten...except when she was the star of the agility track. :)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Knowing I can take him places and not have to worry about his manners and the compliments I get on his behavior now make up for it.  I'm sure you feel the same.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Absolutely.  You did a great job, too, Nov with your pup.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from HoldUp. Show HoldUp's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Thank you for your advice! I'll definitely check all of these places out. We had tried to sign up at the PetSmart near us, but their beginner classes were full until January, and I would like to get started earlier than that.

    Thank you for the words of wisdom, Kargiver and Novembride! I would have gone in with unrealistic expectations, for sure. I'm convinced that our pup is brilliant because he seems to pick up on things quickly, but it's not consistent; he's be a champ at sitting at home, but it's a whole different story when there are distractions. He's a great puppy, we just need to work on his manners a little (a lot), especially before he gets bigger and his puppy quirks aren't quite as cute. Laughing 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Good luck HoldUp.  Let us know how things go - and post pictures!!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Yes, good luck! 

    I'm glad we let you in on the "secret" that it's not a one stop training deal wherever you go.  Our dog is very smart, too, but, ironically enough, I've read (and experienced) that the smarter breeds are actually harder to train because they do too much thinking/deciding on their own, not as pliable.  So, those with the smart breeds have to be consistent 100% of the time, diligent, and realistic.  Dumb dogs can be taught basic commands and don't really put up much fuss in the process.

    Just know that with patience, persistence, and consistency (most important) that your pup will grow into a wonderful lab.  Also, if you are not a single parent, you should have your partner in puppy raising participate in classes if possible, and if not, be sure to let him/her in on all the same command words and methods you are learning. 

    Keep us posted!!  You can't have a struggle we don't relate to, I'm pretty darned sure.  :)

    ~kar
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from revdani. Show revdani's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I suggest Masterpeace in Franklin if that is near you. They have good trainers and a good selection of classes. I train and show in obedience, rally and agility and I'm here to tell you that it's an on-going process. I work with my dog every day 2 or 3 times for about 10 minutes doing all kinds of things. Sometimes it's a simple "sit" other times it's a complicated weave pole exercise. It keeps his mind working. Also, I require some kind of "thank you" for everything...going out, getting dinner.  Usually a sit then down.  Spenser is 3 1/2 and has been in obedience classes since I got him at 11 weeks. Guess what? We still have "issues." Just recently he decided he no longer understood what "front" means! So, good luck, keep working, remember the classes are to train US...then we get to work with our dog forever! BTW....a "sit" on the first command every single time means the dog knows "sit" .... true but a pain!Surprised RevDani
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Yes!  We are still working every day with Gracie, and she is about 18 months old.  I'm coming to learn that she will never be perfect and never "done" learning.  And, don't get me wrong, I think we have a well behaved, trustworthy dog, even quite calm and collected for a Lab under 2 years. 

    How silly I was to think that 7 weeks of puppy kindergarten would be it and suddenly we'd have a Black Lab version of Lassie.  I'm a little embarrassed, but if it helps a new puppy owner, so be it, there it is, out there for everyone to laugh at...me included (now, anyway).
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I must confess I never had a problem training Amber and she is not a dumb dog in the least. I find there are dumb owners and I think all dogs are smart.  IMO.   Amber comes, sits, gives paw, walks by my side etc.  She can be stubborn as Shih Tzu's are, but on the most part, she listens.  Really funny how she knows every one of her toys.  If I tell her to get her pink toy, she does, her ball, she does.  Too cute and it always blows people away when she does it.  I found consistancy was the key. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from zoomingmak. Show zoomingmak's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    City Dog is Somerville is the best.  Our dog takes agility classes there and honestly...saturday mornings are now our favorite time of the week.  They have all kinds of classes for well and ill-behaved dogs.  See there website here:  http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=City+Dog+Somerville
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    just wanted to chime in and say: never get discouraged!
    it took Max almost a whole year to learn "lay down". he got "sit" and "up" almost immediately, but "lay down" took so long. When he finally did it without me having to put my hand on the floor, witht he treat inside it, I thought I would cry!
    He now knows all sorts of things. Like "go sit there" where I gesture to a chair or other place. "In the house" "In the car" "Stop it" "Shush" "Paw" "Give me that" "Look it" "Wait" "Stay" "Speak"
    and there are so many words and phrases he knows, like "almost there" "in a minute" "kitty" "puppy" and of course "food" "hungry" and "eat"- which are the three I really wish he didn't know!

    the more you talk to them, the more they pick up along the way!

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from commuter1. Show commuter1's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Good luck with your classes. The other posters are right - you have to work your dog a lot, outside of the class. And don't give up on the class part way through - so many people do. The trainers have so much good advice to give. Classes are great for socializing your dog, and teaching you how to train.  However, classes can be stressful and embarrassing. My dog and I were always exhausted after a class. Especially for Pets offers some good training classes.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Pink, I use to say the word treat and Amber would go nuts running to the kitchen.  I started spelling it and then one day she ran.....  too funny!!!  Amber knows tons of sentences too, especially Anna's home.  She runs to the door and barks until my daughter comes in.  They are amazing aren't they : )

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    I guess it goes along with consistency, but constant reinforcement will help as well.  I still say "good boy" or "good job" everytime he does what I ask.  Every sit, Every down, when we are walking and he goes a good stretch right by my side "good boy" or " good walk," etc.  I probably sound like a nut out there at 6 am telling him "good pee."
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Yes November reinforcement absolutely helps and I do the same thing.  Good girl for thing she does that I ask.  When I pick her up at the groomers, I ask him if she was good and he always : ) says yes, she was great and I tell her good girl.  As soon as we get home, she goes to the kitchen where I keep the treats and sits there knowing she is getting one for being good at the groomers.  They sure are smart!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Thanks for the tip zooming - will check it out.  I really want to try agility with him.  I think he'd love it.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Ambergirl, please don't confuse my assertion that dumber dogs are easier to train with the converse, if you're dog was easy to train it must be dumb.  They are totally different ideas, and I don't believe if you're dog is easy to train it must be dumb, and my post, imo, doesn't imply that I do.  Amber's eyes give away how smart she is, and I'm sorry if I gave you or any other dog owner the wrong impression.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    Thanks Kar.  I think I just have a problem with the phrases "smarter dogs" and "dumb dogs"  I know there is thinking out there that some breeds are smarter, but I honestly believe some dogs are just stubborn or lazy or both, so are labled dumb. I am probably defensive as small dogs tend to get the "dumb dog" label because of their size.   I appreciate you clarifying your opinion though and no harm done at all.  I love the pet column and nice to see more people on it : )
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Obedience classes?

    amber- they truly are amazing. I hope Max never puts together what "F-O-O-D" means, it's the last food-related phrase I can use!
    and I agree that dogs that are hard to train are usually just stubborn or independently minded. Max is stubborn as all get out, which is why we still have to use the spray bottle sometimes!

    Nov- yes, reinforcement is a must. I often tell Max he's good if I notice he's sitting quietly and nicely, just to remind him. I also give him lots of positive reinforcement when he tattles on the cat! if she jumps on the table or tries to get into anything that's not allowed, he goes nuts. if it wasn't for his bark I'd never know what she was up to until it's too late!
     

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