Sunday, 2 April 2017

Nope, not going again!

We took Betty to her first puppy training class last week.....well, in the words of Craig Revell-Horwood it was 'a disaaaaaster dahhhling'.  We won't be going there again.

Several problems really - the biggest one being that the class was just too big.  About 12 or 14 pups of different breeds, ages and stages of training (it turns out it's an open, just turn up class so how they can work successfully with loads of different pups in various stages of training I don't know), plus about 20 or so owners.  As Betty just loves ALL people and ALL dogs, she was in a state of high excitement the whole time, which meant that she really wasn't interested in taking any notice of us or the trainers, she just wanted to play!  2 or 3 of the pups were quiet and well behaved, the others (including Betty) were just hooligans - all barking excitedly and jumping around, it was pretty much chaos.  And very noisy chaos at that. 

We started off with 5 mins of one to one with one of the 3 trainers, which was just getting Betty to sit for a treat.  Well, she does that very well anyway, doesn't need training for that.  Then it was loose lead walking, in pairs - Betty doesn't do loose lead at all, it's all running and tugging as hard as she can...particularly when she sees other dogs, one of the reasons we wanted to take her to classes.  Well, seeing as there were loads of other dogs there, that wasn't good.  You get just a couple of minutes' worth of training for that, seeing as there were lots of dogs to get through.  Then it was recall, one at a time...amazingly, as there were so many other dogs there, she actually did that quite well, as she could see OH was holding treats (she's totally food governed).  Sadly (and embarrassingly) it ended badly....the idea is you put your dog on the lead when she's come to you and had the treat....well OH did, or at least he tried to, but Betty was too quick for him and was off like a rocket tearing round the hall greeting all the other dogs, zipping in and out of people's legs and under chairs, to much laughter (and cringing from me).  Somebody managed to grab hold of her collar so OH could get her back on the lead....the lady beside me said "I'm not going to laugh, coz I know I'll be just as humiliated when it's my pup's (a spaniel) turn in a minute!".

The other big problem is that the class was only 30 minutes long - how the trainers are supposed to work with so many dogs and teach them anything meaningful in such a short space of time I don't know, I reckon it's impossible.

I've done some googling and found a local trainer who does one to one, at your home or a location near hers, as well as classes....she stresses that her classes are small, no more than 6 dogs at a time.  I think we need a few one to one sessions so Betty can learn without the distraction of loads of other dogs and their humans, and then perhaps a few of the classes.  I've emailed the lady this morning, she has some excellent reviews on her website and on Facebook.

Thank you for the comments on decluttering (I can't wait to get started on it actually) and Betty's antics with the dandelion.  I'll have to get round to putting on some updated pics.


  1. When we had a dog (sadly passed) we took him training and one of the other dogs bit and damaged his ear and it caused permanent damage.

  2. Sounds a complete waste of time for owners and a money spinner for those who are running it. Hope the next one is better, but Betty did sound as if she was having loads of fun.

  3. That sounds dreadful Sooze.
    I am so sorry though....I was howling with laughter at the thought of Betty being a hooligan....I bet she makes a very cute

  4. I think you should put pen to paper and let that class know how you feel, sounds like a money spinner, one to one sounds good then on to a class for some social training keep us updated

  5. All about money as usual! Bruno's classes were in a big field and involved agilty equipment which he loved doing. The classes were also small and the trainer changed our group a couple of times to get the mix right. Bruno did have scooby do moments but it was easily coped with in this environment!

  6. Oh no, I can't imagine big classes working well at all, but it sounds like you've found a good one to try next xx

  7. I guess if you teach the dogs in a large class very slowly you keep them as clients for a long time. I think you're doing the right thing by finding another class x x


Thank you for your comments, I love reading them. I can't promise to always answer your individual comment, but will endeavour to always answer any questions you may have. Nasty comments WILL NOT be published.