Small dogs and Training School

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by jenclerm, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. jenclerm Experienced Member

    Hey all,

    I was planning on taking Luke to a training school.. but my mother doesn't not agree with this as she said taking a small breed dog to a training course is a waste of time and money.... and says I am doing fine on my own with him.. I told her it was also for socializing and she said that was a load of crap as well he doesn't need it, as he gets alot of love at home!!! ... ARG!!! Wish I had my divers licence...

    Please tell me who disagress / agress with this


  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    First of all, a training school will not train your dog. They will teach YOU how to train your dog, there is a big difference here. You can learn a lot from the internet, books and videos, but nothing beats hands-on training with an experienced trainer. They'll tell you all the tips that are relevant to YOUR dog. It really doesn't matter whether your dog is small or big, they all learn the same way.

    Socialization is not so the dog is kind and cuddly with humans, it's so your dog learns to get along with other dogs. And if you want to train with distractions, other dogs is the best way to do it.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Socialization is NOT a load of crap. Socialization is key to a healthy, happy, SAFE dog. Granted, some dogs may develop problems despite lots of socialization, but the majority benefit greatly from it. Small breed dogs ESPECIALLY are often not given this opportunity because small breeds are typically considered "purse dogs" and never get to go for walks or spend much time in public. It is extremely important that your dog is well socialized to both people and other dogs. You will not be able to find a structured environment with people and dogs other than a training school. You can go to any dog park in the country, but so many people use this as the only source of exercise for their untrained dogs. An untrained dog may be an ill behaved dog, which is a big problem for your tiny pup.

    I would HIGHLY recommend attending a training school, especially since this is your first dog to have and to train. An experienced trainer can help you through any problems you encounter, whereas if you have problems without the help of a trainer, you have to wait for someone to answer your post here, which may be 3 minutes, 3 days, or 3 weeks. In 3 weeks a big problem could begin. (Understand that I am NOT "badmouthing" the website in any way; just saying that in the case of a first-time dog owner, schools may or may not be the better option.)

    In other words, I would highly recommend you and Luke attend a training school.
  4. CollieMan Experienced Member

    What training classes will do, and it's the reason we still take our Border Collie, Ellie, each week (even though she has already passed all of her KC Good Citizen exams), is accustom your dog to paying attention to you and working with you in the company of other dogs. Try engineering that sort of disciplined and controlled environment at home. It's next to impossible.

    Without classes, you risk ending up with a dog that can become unpredictable around other dogs. Purely because it has never learned how it should behave.

    Even if I knew everything there is to know about dog training, I would always attend classes because of the above benefit. It's also just nice to meet other dog owners, exchange tips, and get feedback on your progress. It sounds to me as though both you and the dog would be missing out if you are unable to go to classes.
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    I think you deserve a huge round of applause and I want to tell you how smart you are to want to take your dog to training and be involved. Most dog owners don't have this level of dedication or responsibility. You are an exceptional puppy owner!! Your mom should be very proud of you and encourage your desire to do something this remarkable.

    Your mom couldn't be MORE wrong. I say this nicely but a little worried because it is the key to your puppy's happiness and confidence throughout his life. And I really want you and your puppy to live happily ever after. :dogrolleyes: Lack of socialization is the single BIGGEST reason most dogs are given to shelters and euthanized in the US. Somewhere they get to be a big enough bother that people give up. Socializing is probably second to food in importance for your dog's happiness and yours. This is like taking a child and locking him in a closet. He wouldn't even know how to stand or speak if you never let him interact with other children. They wouldn't like or play with him and he wouldn't even know how.

    Most breeders, in fact all of the breeders I got puppies from insisted (in my buyer's contract) I attend training classes not only to socialize but to give me the tools to train my dog. It's actually a huge disservice to a small dog not to train them. They are no different from big dogs. Socializing them is the most crucial part of their lives and you have a short window when they are a puppy in which to most successfully do it. Patricia McConnell (certified applied animal behaviorist that has a tv&radio show, and many books) discusses in her book Puppy Primer that it is a weighted risk but strongly recommends carefully socializing puppies before they are fully vaccinated in that crucial window between 6-16 weeks. It's so important that she says it is worth the risk if you are very careful. No dog parks, no on the floor at the vet, or places unknown dogs have been. Safe places like training class where all the dogs are vaccinated and play and training is supervised couldn't be more perfect.

    What your puppy learns when he is young will make him able to not only communicate confidently and happily with other dogs but will allow him to politely and properly make friends and have a social life. If he's never exposed to other dogs he won't learn how to do this. We've all seen the out of control dogs pulling and lunging on leashes barking and just freaking out. They are unsocialized and untrained dogs. Little dogs launching, screaming, barking, biting, get awww how cute from a lot of people. That's not cute, that dog isn't happy. The only thing keeping this from being dangerous is that the human just jerks the dog along and can easily out power it.

    If I had a dollar for every little dog I saw that was rude, misbehaving, and starting fights at the dog park I'd be rich. Are these little dogs dangerous? YES! What if they attack a German Shepherd and the Shepherd bites them? They are dangerous to themselves. On a small dog that would be a life threatening wound. If a Pit Bull behaved that way everyone would get angry and scared and ask the owner and dog to leave. The animal could be deemed dangerous, confiscated, and euthanized. There is no difference in my mind if an animal behaves in a rude, aggressive, out of control way if it weighs 3 pounds or 103 pounds.

    Little dogs are no less capable of learning than big dogs. Why would you want an untrained unsocialized dog whether little or big? Little dogs are quite intelligent and because of that they can be hard to train if you don't start early because they figure out how to do things the way they want quickly. If you don't train them or any dog from puppy hood many dogs become difficult to live with or teach things later in life. Is Luke a doxie? Doxie's are historically hard to train. All Doxie breeders suggest you start from a puppyhood exposing him to training and other dogs and all will be easier in the long run.

    What happens when you go out of town, puppy will have to go to the kennel, maybe stay at the vet overnight when he's neutered. If he's never seen any other dogs or been around other buildings and people imagine how scary this will be. Your mom took you out when you were a baby and child to see all kinds of stuff so you could learn and grow into a confident happy adult. The same should go for this puppy. Experiences that are positive in puppyhood allow him to be self-confident, social, and able to handle things calmly.

    Google your "breed state club" and find the nearest local or national breed club. There will be a wealth of information on when and how to train and they will ALL suggest early training and socialization. You can email and talk to breed club people and breeders and find out the facts from people that love and are devoted to the breed of dog you have.

    I urge you to let your mom read this post. Go to the breed sites and clubs and talk to your vet and local trainers. I don't think a single one of those people would ever say that a training class is a bad idea. Ever. I only wish someone told me this at your age before I got a dog and didn't socialize it. I forever had to watch her and could rarely take her out because she tried to attack all dogs and kids. That was 22 years ago and every dog I've had since then I've taken to classes and socialized. Take it from someone that made the mistake. You're right. Best of luck and hugs to your puppy from mine.
  6. jenclerm Experienced Member

    thanks guys.... I knew I was right about this..... but I have no way of getting to a centre .. I need my licence..
  7. snooks Experienced Member

    I have a trainer that comes to my house. Is that possible?? Could you get your mom to read this and take you? Maybe even phone up the school and ask if there is anyone that comes from your area that might be able to give you a ride. Sometimes taxis will take you if they aren't to much $$ if your dog is crated and you ask in advance. Other thoughts local dog clubs might have some type of way to help you out if you google and find them.

    :) And yes U R Right.
  8. jenclerm Experienced Member

    I thought about having my mother read this, but somehow I think I would back fire in my face..I could have a traininer come to my home, but that takes the fun out of meeting other people and dogs.... :(

    I think my boss is going to try to take me.. :) She said she will think of somthing...she sees my point of view and feels bad

    Also my mother does not want to waste the only day a week she has to do whatever she needs to do....
  9. snooks Experienced Member

    My mom would probably do the same. Sigh!! I hope it works out with your boss taking you. I used to live in Houston and there were two Golden Retriever rescue clubs. They often did things that involved transport and help for people with dogs that didn't drive. If you were able to donate any time in helping babysit, bathe, groom, or train rescue dogs yourself it might be worth volunteering an hour or so a week for a ride to training.

    Tell them what you are able to do and how much time you can spend. Even if it's only an hour helping another volunteer drive around and help take dogs to foster homes it might be worth it. Many of the drivers for Houston had to handle 5-6 dogs at a time and take them to the vet and handle them alone. Helping with little things or more might just get you a ride to class and if you were able assist a trainer you might pick up a lot of free pointers for your pup.

    Just random thoughts that might spark ideas. Sometimes help comes from where you least expect it. Volunteering at the SPCA or a shelter near your house might also give you a great chance to get your pup into their training classes and socialization programs. Some shelters have top notch training facilities.

    Keep the faith. Good luck.
  10. jenclerm Experienced Member

    She realized how much this meant to me last night, but still thinks it's stupid.... she's really stubborn and its hard to change her mind..... but I think she is thinking more about it...
  11. jenclerm Experienced Member

    YES!! I won the argument!!! She is going to take me!!
    Thanks for all of your support, gave me some really good points to use!! *hugs*
  12. Jean Cote Administrator

    Good luck! School is always a challenge, but if you stick to your training you'll be grateful that you did it (so will your dog). :dogsmile:
  13. jenclerm Experienced Member

    Thanks Jean! I am really excited, I know its going to be tought..the first couse is puppy kindergarden.. :)

    I did my a co-op at this centre for my last credit in high school... this is the place that started my love for dogs! :)
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Yay! Congrats!!! Enjoy the classes, and stick to it! Good luck to you and Luke.
  15. snooks Experienced Member

    OH yay! I somehow missed this post. I'm so glad that you're going to class. Maybe teaching a few neat little things to show mom will help convince her that this is a wonderful thing. I'm so happy for you. Patricia McConnell's Puppy Primer is a short cheap little book that explains how important socialization is. Maybe get is and suggest she take a look or leave it open/bookmarked at the sociaization part. :dogtongue2:

    If little dogs can't be trained then what happened here. this is so much fun



  16. jenclerm Experienced Member

    thanks Snooks!! Great videos!! I will look into that book you recommentd as well. Luke first class is saturday, I am really looking forward to it! :)
  17. snooks Experienced Member

    There were 4 big dogs in my agility class, my two Goldens, another Golden, and a Lab. The rest were Corgis, Papillion’s, Pugs, Shelties, Tollers, some small mixes. So class was mostly small dogs and they ran circles around the bigger dogs who take longer to cool down after a run. So while the big dogs were resting between runs the little guys just went over and over. They were no less intelligent than the bigger dogs.

    All the dogs in my class now are small, much smaller than my girl. She gets down low and plays with them at the end of class. The best trained one is a very small border terrier. Have fun, let us know how the class goes. :dogsmile:
  18. samualjack New Member

    Dog Training

    I have 4 mastiffs and 2 terriers. I am also an active dog trainer. I have worked with several breeds of dogs that all train on different levels. As it may be assumed that bully breeds are harder to train, its just not true. All dogs have brains and need training to their specific situations. It is that simple.

    :dognowink:These training school will not going to train your dog rather they will train you and you can learn all that stuff at your own no need of these training school .:dogblink:

    Quick thought on house training::dogbiggrin:
    Dogs that are not house broken should not be on teir own in the home. They should not roam free and that is the owners responsibility. Your dog should be a general down stay position where he or she cant use the bathroom. Tell me the last time you saw a dog laying down use the bathroom. Learn their/ create their outside bathroom schedule. Know the basic times and when that time is approaching you make sure you have that dog at your side! Positive reinforcement is a great thing after they handle their business outside. A simple bathroom command should be enforced(hurry up), after they make you praise and return to the home.
  19. ozjen Well-Known Member

    Hi I remember how hard it was to get to dog training when I was younger and didn't have my licence, but I also remember how much I enjoyed being involved in it.
    If mum doesn't have alot of free time herself perhaps you could reach a compromise, could you give her extra help around the house to give her abit more free time and then perhaps in return she could come to some arrangement with you regarding the training. I remember when my boys were young they wanted me to drive them to the beach every weekend but weekends where the only time to catch up with housework, gardening or getting some time to myself as I was a single working parent. We compromised and shared the work which freed me up to take them to the beach each weekend. Mind you they were pretty good at reminding me how healthy it was for them to be outdoors and active rather than getting into drugs etc and I had to agree even though I knew I was being conned.:msnwink:
    Hope you can work something out.

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