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Hi everyone,
I started taking Xerxes to puppy training class at Petsmart when he was 10 weeks. It was nice and he had fun with other puppies. Today, he started the intermediate class and the other dogs in the class are completely grownup (totally 5 dogs) and two of them were barking nonstop... now I’m thinking maybe it’s too early for intermediate class (he is 15 weeks). Should I cancel his intermediate class and do it when he gets a little bit older?
Thank you!
 

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I would wait, or take another puppy class. Contact with kind, well-socialised adult dogs would be excellent, but harum scarum adolescents and adults, as these sound to be, risk making him anxious rather than building his confidence and helping him learn.
 

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Yes, you're right to think this is not a good fit. It's wonderful that the puppy class was a success, but do you have any non-Petsmart options to try out moving forward?

I found our trainer by asking for advice online, on our local Nextdoor forum. She met with us one-on-one to assess Peggy, then matched her with a few puppies for a supervised play session before inviting us to join a class. I really appreciate the care she takes to ensure each session is a good fit for everyone, and that each class is a positive experience. It's not the one-size-fits-all approach you're likely to get from trainers who are employed by big chains.
 

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I would not stay in the intermediate class if the other dogs are really unruly, but I also would not go back to a puppy class since he is very close to outgrowing puppy class. My club has an upper age limit of 18 weeks for starting a puppy only class. If you can find a performance oriented obedience club you should be able to find a beginner class with instructors and dogs that will be good to be around.
 

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Lily cd re is right. We took classes at a performance oriented training center. They were great. Their puppy class was more of a puppy foundations class and the age limit was 6 months. But there was no free play. Something like that would be good.
 

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I agree with looking for a performance club where they offer several levels of basic obedience classes. They may offer and AKC Star puppy training program, or classes that will lead to AKC Canine Good Citizenship (CGC)

I always recommend training your dog to the level of AKC GCG class because that takes you through a good solid foundation of obedience and how to control your dog when you are outside.
 

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Based on experience with friends and family who scoff at the idea of formal obedience training, I will offer up an alternative perspective: There's a middle-ground.

Without diminishing their importance, I can personally attest to the value of non-performance-oriented classes, too. The camaraderie alone is worth its weight in gold for new dog owners.

I've known lots of people (too many people) who say "But I don't want a perfect dog!" and use that as justification to avoid obedience training.

Reality check: You're never going to have a perfect dog. But you do want one that's functional in society.

So find a class that you'll feel comfortable attending weekly, where your questions get answered, you're regularly learning new things that you can apply in real life, and your puppy is engaged and learning to focus on you—not cowering in the corner or obsessing over other dogs and picking up bad habits.

It's very easy, especially through adolescence, to start leaving your dog at home because it's "easier."

But de-socializing your dog is much, much harder in the long-run.

So find the class that's right for YOU, that will motivate you to keep getting out there and working with your dog through the challenging bits. :)
 

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Sarah, if you've paid for the class and it can't be refunded, you might go again. It's possible that the barky dogs won't be there. Can you talk with the instructor about your concerns? If he seems unconcerned, then it's not a good fit.

We started Normie in an adult class of three when he was just four and a half months old. The instructor knew him from puppy play and said he was calm and mature enough for it. It's worked out, but none of the dogs are disruptive.
 

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Peggy as an FYI there are always people who come to my novice obedience class who are coming for the socialization and have no intention of competing in anything (including my mom).
 
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Peggy as an FYI there are always people who come to my novice obedience class who are coming for the socialization and have no intention of competing in anything (including my mom).
Of course! I just know folks who are scared off by the idea of formal obedience training. I'm sure we all do.

I'd personally love to work towards Peggy's CGC. She's up for the challenge, for sure. And I'm getting there.... Slowly. :)
 

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I wish you were close. You could come to my next CGC class!

Of course! I just know folks who are scared off by the idea of formal obedience training. I'm sure we all do.

I'd personally love to work towards Peggy's CGC. She's up for the challenge, for sure. And I'm getting there.... Slowly. :)
 
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Well I would love to see the Olympic Peninsula. I've been to Mt. Saint Helens, but since BF and I were staying near Portland and we only had one car I couldn't go so far that I would have needed to ditch him overnight. If you invite me for a vacay maybe we could do a private CGC course.
 
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Well I would love to see the Olympic Peninsula. I've been to Mt. Saint Helens, but since BF and I were staying near Portland and we only had one car I couldn't go so far that I would have needed to ditch him overnight. If you invite me for a vacay maybe we could do a private CGC course.
You are (and I'm not just saying this!) truly welcome any time! We love visitors!

We've got a lovely guest bedroom and are within easy driving distance of some quintessential Olympic Peninsula sights, such as Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent. You could even take the ferry over to Victoria, BC.
 

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Many years ago my mom and I spent time in Vancouver BC and we took the ferry to Victoria. It was wonderful and I still vividly can see Buchart Gardens in my mind's eye. But I was really craving Olympic and Mr. Ranier when BF and I were in SW Washington. I did get to drive the Columbia River gorge and spent time in and around Portland while BF and his buddies were having a national 1/5th scare radio controlled racing tournament. The last day we were out there we went to Seaside Oregon. I've always enjoyed my various trips out west.
 

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University of Victoria is where I went to school. I love it there (to VISIT! I love living in boreal forest in the north) My daughter loves whales so we go to Victoria to see them. We're thinking of staying on Mayne Island to watch whales this year--theres a nice B&B there

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I'm a vegan but even I have to go to Red Fish Blue Fish when we're there, on fisherman's wharf :)

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The local obedience club where I go, has both formal and regular classes. Two levels of puppy classes, and two (I think) levels of regular classes before you get to the formal stuff.
It seems crazy to me that after a quickie 4 week session of puppy classes, the next step is an all-ages intermediate! At least around here, the PetSmart classes are not good for much anyways. I hope you can find something suitable around you!
I would definitely recommend watching a class before you start if possible to make sure the instructor is a good fit for your style.
 

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The local obedience club where I go, has both formal and regular classes. Two levels of puppy classes, and two (I think) levels of regular classes before you get to the formal stuff.
It seems crazy to me that after a quickie 4 week session of puppy classes, the next step is an all-ages intermediate! At least around here, the PetSmart classes are not good for much anyways. I hope you can find something suitable around you!
I would definitely recommend watching a class before you start if possible to make sure the instructor is a good fit for your style.
exactly, there’s several classes that build on each other and are just basic every day obedience and information that a good dog owner should know or will find useful. In my AKC club after all those basic classes there’s one more class to prepare you for the competition classes. People who aren’t interested don’t take the class leading to competition classes. Its hard to get into those classes in my club they are so pop. People travel from quite far to take classes. I wish everyone had access and took classes like these.
 
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