LOL . We had one of those "first ever" classes that left my head spinning and I just need to babble a moment here to let it all out.
We got to class and I was the only one who brought a crate for my pup.
The instructor (nice lady) told me I wouldn't need the crate. I chuckled and commented that it was there in case I needed it.
And as it happened, it was a VERY good idea I had the crate because class technically started a half hour after we got there. I put Bertie in the crate and sat back to wait.
There were 15 dogs there - WAY TOO MANY!!!!
When you have 15 dogs handled by experienced trainers, you don't notice the size of the class really. Because the people have control over their dogs and they are respectful of other people's training space.
This class is a pet class - which means it was chaos.
Dogs barking and whining nonstop.
When we were up and moving, I was constantly shifting Bertie over to an open space FAR FAR away from the other people, because dogs were lunging and jumping into each other space. People were training in "clumps". Some people looked like they were letting their dogs visit each other on the floor when they were supposed to be training.
When given the opportunity to switch to a smaller class (I think 5 dogs?), I hopped to it right away. I am mainly using the facilities for training my puppy. And for the purpose of what I'm doing, there needs to be more space and few dogs there. So Bert has to wait 2 weeks before we try this again.
Training itself - that's where the PLOP comes from.
Because I've never trained Bertie with distractions swarming in the 6 foot radius of training space around us, I was not prepared for how distracted he was while I trained with him.
OMG. He was actually jumping and lunging towards some of the other dogs if I didn't move away from them. You never realize how calm, trained, and wonderful your older dogs are until you deal with your first ever puppy class with a new puppy.
Though the quality of his work was low because of the distractions and lack of space.... Bertie did the prancing next to me. He did his sits. He did his comes. <- I waited for everyone to pitter out the door at the end of class and I pulled treats out and did a few retrieves and treat toss comes. And I even got him around to do some touch work at the gate.
The instructor told me that he was a really great dog and stated (didn't ask) that I would be showing him in obedience. <- I of course made a face and talked to her about how poorly I thought he did compared to what I'm used to at home.
I told her I was thinking about not taking him to class with Jacks on Monday, but it's a sure thing that I DEFINITELY WILL now I've seen what he's like. The little social busybody! You'd think he's a golden or something. Monday's class usually is very experienced trainers and I can probably get there early enough to set up Berts crate and get him settled in so he won't bark.
The huge positive though is that he was all confidence and completely fearless there at class with all the chaos and noise - it's what I was hoping for when I brought him home the first time.