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aka Sam =)
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I just signed Enzo and I up for our first "real" training class. We did the Petsmart beginner obedience and, while we had a GREAT trainer, the setting and surroundings didn't make for a great experience. There just wasn't enough room there for me to distance my playful boy from the cute little shih tzu next to us, so half of the class was spent with me trying to get Enzo off of his back (the stance he takes with most tiny dogs lol) or getting his nose out of the person next to us' open treat pouch. Anyway! lol We're all signed up to start a "fundamentals" class with Adele Yunck at Northfield Dog Training in Ann Arbor, MI that starts October 18th. I've heard great things about this facility from fellow GRF'ers and I've seen great things online about Adele, so I'm extremely excited. This is the description for the class: "Learn how to: properly use conditioned reinforcers; teach an exercise; use fair corrections. The dogs learn attention, heeling with distractions, quick position changes (sit, down, stand), backing up, and recall games." At the same time, I'm terrified. Enzo was perfect in his Petsmart class, but it was just that...a Petsmart class. What if we get to a "real" class and he totally bombs?? Also, his Petsmart class didn't cover heeling. It only covered loose leash walking. I hope that's okay and they don't mind starting at square one with us on that one. One last thing I'm nervous about is the "fair corrections". We've only ever trained Enzo with positive reinforcement, so I'm not quite sure how he'll do with that one. I hope it doesn't make me feel guilty if (when) I have to correct him. Wish us luck!
 

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Adele uses very minimal corrections in her training, I wouldn't be too concerned. She has some great training books out - I own two of them (and Flip ate one of them!)
 

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I'm sure both of you will do fine. He's older than your first class and probably more focused.

I wouldn't worry about corrections. Good trainers want to motivate dogs and not shut them down. They should determine the corrections that works for your dog if one is neccesary. When I was training Jake to pick up the dumbell from the floor, all I had to do was to jingle his leash ever so slightly. The noise annoyed him enough that he picked it up.
 

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Kate
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Cool<:

Training at NDT is going to seem like heaven for you compared to those little training floors they use at Petsmart. :D

From what I've seen (we've only had her in novice practice), I don't think Adele is going to push you to use a lot of corrections.
 

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aka Sam =)
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Discussion Starter #7
Cool<:

Training at NDT is going to seem like heaven for you compared to those little training floors they use at Petsmart. :D

From what I've seen (we've only had her in novice practice), I don't think Adele is going to push you to use a lot of corrections.
You should take a step back just for funsies and do the fundamentals class with me. lol
 

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aka Sam =)
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Discussion Starter #9
*laughs* It would be tempting to put Mr-Break-Stays back in fundys. But I'm already at class at one place on Monday and the other on Wednesday. Don't want people thinking I'm too crazy....
One more class won't hurt! lol
 

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That's Penny's Alma Mater!! I love Adele, you'll have a great time and learn so much! We took 6 or 8 successive classes, right up to the ones that begin to prepare for competition. I'm pea green with envy!
 

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aka Sam =)
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Discussion Starter #11
Do you guys think we'll be okay going into fundamentals without knowing how to heel?? Or is this something I should try to learn and teach him in the next 2 weeks until the class starts?? I'm not sure if me trying would do more harm than good.
 

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Dexter's Mom aka Kristin
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Beginner classes at PetSmart only cover the basics. The further you go, the more in depth they are. Intermediate taught heeling. Our trainer is excellent. She shows BCs in obedience amongst other things, so PetSmart has been an excellent experience for me and we are doing advanced in December. Looking forward to it :)

I do wish I could do another type of class though, just to see other methods. Maybe something that JUST focused on goldens. That'd be neat. Good luck!
 

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Ummm, hopefully Enzo will be better than Danny when it comes to class and new dogs. We are in an off-leash dependability class right now (class number 8 or 10 for him, I am a dog training class junkie and Danny can always use some sort of training), he's going to be 5 flipping years old this month and he still goes ballistic with excitement when he sees a new dog. LOL

I am sure you will have a great time!
 

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Ummm, hopefully Enzo will be better than Danny when it comes to class and new dogs. We are in an off-leash dependability class right now (class number 8 or 10 for him, I am a dog training class junkie and Danny can always use some sort of training), he's going to be 5 flipping years old this month and he still goes ballistic with excitement when he sees a new dog. LOL

I am sure you will have a great time!
Your Danny sounds a lot like my Darby. He takes Rally classes and getting in and out of class is always a trial, he has to say hi to every dog. He will be 5 this month.... and my trainer wants me to enter him in a trial.... yeah right!! He should be fine AFTER he says hi to every dog there.... :doh:

Hang tough, it's a lot of fun and when they focus and do well, it's the best feeling ever!! :)
 

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Loose leash walking is an accomplishment!!
 
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Enzo will do fine. There is no "bombing" in obedience class. It just means you have more to learn. With Tucker, we repeated the beginner's class a couple of times simply because he was not mature enough to move on. No focus. Try not to have any expectations going in on where Enzo is, just let it happen and enjoy the class!
 

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aka Sam =)
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Discussion Starter #18
I'm glad that us not knowing how to heel shouldn't be a problem. Funnily enough (is that a word?? lol), Enzo and I went to the nature preserve today and after he'd been running on his 50 ft. lead for a bit, he came back to me and started walking in the heel position for a good half mile or so, without me even trying to get him to. lol Would've been nice had I not been tripping over the lead. The more I think about it, the more excited I get....but I'm still nervous. It's been almost a year since his last class. We've got some brushing up to do!
 

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Your Danny sounds a lot like my Darby. He takes Rally classes and getting in and out of class is always a trial, he has to say hi to every dog. He will be 5 this month.... and my trainer wants me to enter him in a trial.... yeah right!! He should be fine AFTER he says hi to every dog there.... :doh:

Hang tough, it's a lot of fun and when they focus and do well, it's the best feeling ever!! :)
Exactly. That's why I didn't pursue agility with him after 3 classes. When he ran the course, he'd do fantastic, then he'd see a dog that he just HAD to go say hi to. Everyone in the class thought it was the cutest thing. I would have, too, if he'd just have completed one total course without running off to see dogs. Just one. LOL

I know Enzo will do wonderfully!
 

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I am so excited for you! Are you considering competing in rally or obedience at all? If so, then the "heeling" you will want to work on will be different from a typical pet owner's definition of heeling (which is basically just loose leash walking by my side). Pet style heeling is easy enough to work on your own. If you want to try competition style heeling I would wait.
 
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