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Teddy has his first, of many, training class coming up. I went to the only human meeting and while there the trainer had everyone say the breed of dog and age. Most of the dogs were pit bulls or pit mixes. There might have been another dog Teddy’s age..6 months. He said the dogs r to not socialize. But I’m gonna b totally honest..I’m scared! The class is mainly pits! I have a very expensive poodle puppy who thinks all dogs love him. He knows no boundaries. I overheard a couple talking to the trainer about how bad their dog was..aggressive bad. Another woman described her dog as hard to control. I feel like I would be a bad owner putting my puppy in this environment and expecting him to succeed. Am I wrong? Am I being over protective?
 

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I would also be concerned about the aggressive classmate.

I like that our trainer assembles classes of dogs that complement each other. She also doesn't allow aggressive dogs in her regular classes.

She took a chance by putting an undersocialized "covid puppy" in our most recent session, and after only two one-hour classes where that dog barked (and barked and barked and barked) I saw a real difference in Peggy. Not good. Would never subject her to that again.

Do you like the trainer? If so, talk to him or her about your concerns. Teddy's at an impressionable age. It's okay to want to keep all his experiences positive.
 

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I would call and ask what the plan is if the dogs bark, growl, etc. How far apart are people working? Is there any off leash work? Etc.

One thing I like about our current trainer is she a) meets with all the dogs individually prior to the first class to make sure they are a good fit, and then b) makes people seperate and back off if their dog is having issues. she says she has run a class where one dog has had to work for most of the classes not even in the building, outside in the field so that all the dogs could work under threshold (and slowly moved the dog closer to the building, then inside by last class) with a helper running out to convey instructions.

I passed on intro classes at one place after hearing the dogs in the class cry,call, bark and carry on (among other things). Annie is a sensitive soul, and that would not have been helpful for either of us!

Annie is similarly in love with all dogs- and after a few nasty episodes with off leash dogs and dogs in the dog park, now breed recognizes and hates pits and pit mixes. I didnt have any opinion on pits until I met a few, and every single one was dog aggressive.

I would be concerned as well, honestly.
 

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I would definitely talk with the trainer and I totally agree you want his experiences positive. You definitely have a valid concern. The place we train at has separate classes for the more reactive dogs. We have been in classes were there were what I call snarky dogs and the trainers have them stay in their own area. There are also portable dividers that can be used for those who need them. We used the divider with Obedience Level 1 because Bobby was young and had a hard time focusing. He just wanted to watch everything and play. The divider really helped a lot. The dogs that needed them because of reactive issues did better with the dividers as they couldn’t look at the other dogs. Do they have anything like that where you train? Really wanting your little a Teddy to have fun during training class. Keep us posted.
 

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Aggressive dogs don't belong in regular dog classes. They should be seen in private consultations with trainers who have the skills to deal with them.

I belong to two dog training clubs both will not allow aggressive dogs in the classes. There have been aggressive dogs show up in classes - the owners are asked nicely to leave and not bring the dog back. We have a name of a private trainer who will work with aggressive dogs that we provide them.

Now it's possible that what they called "aggressive" behavior may just be annoying puppy behavior or a very "reactive" dog? I would speak to the trainer and get it clarified. If this truly is an aggressive dog, I would look elsewhere for classes.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
That’s my plan is to call and have a conversation with the trainer. He’s an older fella who has great reviews in our community. Been training dogs for 40 years. Started out as a police dog trainer. Worked in prison systems and for animal cruelty. He has a heart for dogs that’s very obvious! He definitely tells u like it is. I know he’s smart cause when he asked what breed I had he said standard poodle he will b easy. So at least he knows my boy is smart!😁
 

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First my disclaimer that I don't like pits and certain other guarding dog breeds myself and don't understand why people want to keep them. However just because they are pits they should not be assumed to be bad dogs. Think of it this way, their people care enough to train them with a well regarded trainer and are therefore probably a cut above many such assumed to be aggressive types of dogs. That doesn't mean I would be happy to have a class of 4 novice dogs with half or more being pitties if I hadn't met them before or didn't know the handlers reasonably well.

I would call and be honest with the instructor and ask questions about how he handles a mix of dogs of different ages (would not mean much to me unless it was billed as a puppy class where I do allow some play time) and of different temperaments and histories. For dogs that are known to be ill tempered what the instructor should be able to do is put together a small number of such dogs in a growl class where separation of the dogs is possible while they can still see each other and where you know the handlers are competent to take instructions very carefully.

Remember also that the more nervous you are the more nervous all of the dogs (especially yours) will be and that will only make things worse. Talk to the instructor.
 
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First my disclaimer that I don't like pits and certain other guarding dog breeds myself and don't understand why people want to keep them. However just because they are pits they should not be assumed to be bad dogs. Think of it this way, their people care enough to train them with a well regarded trainer and are therefore probably a cut above many such assumed to be aggressive types of dogs. That doesn't mean I would be happy to have a class of 4 novice dogs with half or more being pitties if I hadn't met them before or didn't know the handlers reasonably well.

I would call and be honest with the instructor and ask questions about how he handles a mix of dogs of different ages (would not mean much to me unless it was billed as a puppy class where I do allow some play time) and of different temperaments and histories. For dogs that are known to be ill tempered what the instructor should be able to do is put together a small number of such dogs in a growl class where separation of the dogs is possible while they can still see each other and where you know the handlers are competent to take instructions very carefully.

Remember also that the more nervous you are the more nervous all of the dogs (especially yours) will be and that will only make things worse. Talk to the instructor.
I definitely don’t want my issues to b Teddys issues. I will call him and discuss my thoughts.
 
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