He does better in our daily sessions at home but he’s giving a little attitude here too.
I was wider awake the second time reading this and this line stands out a bit different right now.
Typically people find their dogs are super GLUED IN at home and completely different dogs at class. This is primarily due to the owners never challenging their dogs while training. Except once a week when you go to class.
If it were just that, my further suggestion would be keep a big bubble around you and your dog and use high value treats to motivate with. A lot of people get "quiet" at class and it's difficult for them to motivate the same way in class that they do at home. Which my take is it means they are having to work too hard motivating at home with a dog who should be past that.
Can you describe a home training session?
How long are you training per session?
Are you using marker type stuff in your training (marking when your dog is right and instantly rewarding)?
I'm not an expert by any means, but I'll give an example of what I'm doing with my 8 month old.
We train every night after supper (including the dogs supper).
Things I'm working on are heeling (off leash), recalls, drops on recalls, position changes, stays (stand stay in particular, but sits and downs too). And stacking for conformation (I really want a nice free stack).
Heeling - problem areas are positioning, primarily. I want him glued to my left knee/thigh and heads up. We literally go from one side of our big rec room and back and work on focus and positioning while going straight, about turns, and halts. I will go up and down 1-3 times, that's it. We aren't attempting to heel for 10-15 minutes.
Recalls - I'm working on positioning and trying to get the focus on my face vs my hands (which will help positioning). We do 1-2 recalls that's it.
Drops - I primarily do one formal drop on recall, but the rest are treat tosses and getting my dog to drop wherever when he gets the call. Usually I time the drop calls after he's gone back to grab a treat and semi-before he's turned around to come back to me.
Stays - I'm working on him holding his position while a partner goes up and does the tap-tap-tap on his head, shoulders, and back. This is me hovering and going in to reward at the same time.
And basically the other things we do are either dumbbell hold/practice or go-out touches or position changes or stays.
I keep things brief and try to mix in little motivating bits and pieces to keep my dog really excited about training.
Treat toss drops or position changes (you can do treat toss sits) are useful down the road if you do stick to obedience with your dog (and you have a gorgeous pup and I guarantee you will get through this rough patch with him if you stick to it).
Treat toss drops and position changes are FUN for the dogs. They get really amped up and excited.
Go out touches - one of the things I do with my pup to make it more REWARDING, I use a vacuum hose attachment (a little one) that I duct tape to a door at the end of our upstairs hall, making sure it's loose enough for the dog to flip with just a nose touch. I put cereal in there, letting Jojo (held in a stay at the other end of the hall) see me load the attachment. <= I go back and do a "mark-READY" and send him as soon as I see him dip his head and lean forward pointing his nose at that attachment. The go-touch is rewarded remotely because he's rewarding himself as soon as he bumps that hose attachment. We do this every night - he LOVES it.
Dumbbell work - was the only area where I had to get serious and correct him. I'm soft handed generally and even with correcting him, I still was soft handed. My goals were getting him to solidly GRAB that dumbbell from my hands and want it in his mouth, getting him to sit on command with the dumbbell in his mouth, placing the dumbbell in his mouth (while he's doing a sit/wait) and having him come to me while carrying the dumbbell, then same thing with a sit at the end of the come, and then finally getting him to fetch a tossed dumbbell. <= He HATED THIS starting off - especially since I was determined to make a breakthrough in as few early sessions as possible. So 1-2 days we worked like 30-40 minute sessions and stopped when I reasonably felt the lightbulb was going on.
Currently dumbbell retrieves are what we do last because he LOVES it. I have 2 dogs competing with each other for turns at fetching the dumbbell.
Heeling you can mix in motivation/excitement by encouraging him to get amped up when heeling. With Jovi, we may do a couple minutes of just heeling starts where I'm taking 1-2 big steps and I want him just twitching and excited to go. I can bring that back down by the time we start competing, but currently I want to see him super EXCITED and amped up. This is motivated and reinforced by rewarding the behavior I want.
Other games to play would be scoot halt heeling, scoot fronts, pivots, front games (sideways scoot fronts - with the dog in front of you and moving laterally with you).
All of these things if you are training every day at a certain time (or when your dog wants the most attention - if you come home from work and that's when he's bopping around you the most, that can be training time) + high value rewards (don't just use kibble or other invisible treats) - will help build more focus and attachment from your dog while training.
In class - I'd try to build a big bubble around me while training.
With Jojo - I go to class early and let him sit and acclimate to our surroundings for at least 10-15 minutes before I begin working with him. There's no point in asking anything of a dog whose head is spinning. High value rewards in class will be a huge deal in building focus there at class - equal to what you get at home.
So I might use plain bread or croutons (my dogs love them) or cheezits at home while training.
At class I would use cheese or even cooked meat. <= I wouldn't use this every day with a dog because dairy or meat, it will upset their stomachs if they get too much too often.
And aside from training sessions - I would add in mini training opportunities whenever you can.
NILF (nothing in life is free) is something that a lot of people do. And it sounds "mean" but it actually is just doing something a little different with a dog. Before my guys get any treats or their breakfast or supper, they have to do something.
Most people just have their dogs do spins or other tricks. Which I do too.
It doesn't have to be formal training - though some people do.
If I sent my dogs out for potty, and I'm going to give them treats anyway when they come back in the house - I will make them work for it. I hide the treats in the house, leaving a trail (touching the treats to the floor or shuffling my feet) and I turn them loose when they come in. They go nuts. <= This exercise builds into articles down the road. It's training the dogs to hunt using their nose.
Mixing it up and having fun training your dog - it will help make a huge difference.
In another thread I mentioned Janice Gunn and other people - they have videos on youtube where you can pick up training ideas.
A lot of basic obedience classes do not adequately use what our dogs have to offer. So I've seen people working on loose lead walking for basic obedience, but focus is not adequately reinforced and taught. This doesn't mean you are in the wrong place with your dog or should feel discouraged. I'm just saying you might want to do more stuff on your own while training along with class. It means your dog may instead of being the class clown, become the dog that is way ahead of everyone else.
I used to train with somebody who put us through 2 sessions of novice obedience before she let us walk more than 10 steps of heeling practice in class. Many weeks we just did heeling starts (1-3 steps). Or we worked 1-3 steps and turns. This was based on the fact that most people lose their dogs focus after only a couple steps. And it gets reinforced from there.
With pet level classes - they do the opposite. They have people as a group going around and around and around and rewarding their dogs when they come back to heel. Which is fine, except some dogs never come back. And there is no motivation or foundation building going on.
I'd suggest working on extra things at home and carve our a little time before or after class to do a little extra.
Always - have fun with the dogs. Motivate.