Raising A Creative Canine

The introduction of a new puppy into a reactive multi-dog household

Beginning to Work!

Puppy Agility Class No Comments »

Tonight was Austyn’s first puppy agility class! Greg, my husband, is taking him since I still cannot train my dogs because of my surgery last week.

We had a ball! Shannon, the puppy’s wonderful breeder, is taking the class with Khouri, Austyn’s sister. Both puppies learned how to run on each side (left and right) with their handler as well as confidently going through the tire and tunnel. They are also learning to ignore the other puppies in the room, even in the case of highly distracting puppy siblings! Both Goldens were focused intently on their person even at the age of 13 weeks! (Love the work ethic!)

The one thing here that I wanted to mention is that one must always be aware of one’s surroundings, no matter where you are, even in a well-run classroom setting.
Agility work begins
There was a young girl there with a dog that was reactive. Now, please know that my heart has a place for reactive dogs (heck I own yet another one!) however it made me cringe watching the two interact. He would growl as dogs came close to him and she would grab him by the muzzle and hold on tightly. Now I know what the intent was, but I wanted to take her aside and explain that what she was doing was only making the behavior worse. This is where I have to watch my step. My “behavior hat” cannot always be on, especially when someone else is teaching the class. This girl wasn’t even in our class. She had taken the class before ours.

A couple of times that Greg was going to send Austyn through the tunnel, I told him to wait because the girl (and her dog) had migrated from one end of the room to the other. They were standing very close to where the opening of the tunnel was. All I could picture is Austyn seeing the dog, and innocently running over to him to be corrected, or worse, bitten! People would think that I am being paranoid however I have counseled many families whose puppies have been through such a scenario only to be aggressive with dogs in the future.

We must always protect our dogs no matter where we are. When Austyn is older, I will teach him a handful of Emergency Foundation behaviors that I can use to diffuse, and protect him, from a potentially dangerous situation.