Gryff's first day of school - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Gryff's first day of school

Gryff had his first class in basic obedience and manners today. He was a very good student. In this class, the dogs aren't allowed to socialize which in Gryff's case is a good thing. He is very shy with other dogs until he gets to know them. He was the second smallest dog in the class (the other being a Cairn Terrier). There was a Wheaton (what an adorable dog), a German Shepherd, a Black Lab, an Australian Shepherd, a St. Bernard, and a Mastiff/Pit Bull mix. Gryff is in with the big boys. He came out from under his chair and did very well. At the end of class we ran into our neighbor down the street with her dog (Gryff's main squeeze, Maggie the Sheltie) and he went nuts! He absolutely loves her.

I need to work with him on this growling thing. It is the only thing keeping him from being perfect in my eyes. I really don't understand it. He loves playing with Alec. He freaks out every time Alec gets off the bus. Every command he takes from me he will take from Alec and yet when Alec goes to pet him, he growls. This has been going on from almost day one and I'm really clueless.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 11:33 AM
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This is a tough one because once they learn it, they keep it up. My oldest daughter, 9, plays a lot with MeMe and now all MeMe wants to do is play bark and growl. So I instituted a rule that she's only allowed to do a quick pet and otherwise has to ignore her. This has helped a lot and MeMe goes to her frequently now for loves. It takes a lot of work and we have set backs because it's hard for kids not to want to love them all the time.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 12:39 PM
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Sounds like the class is well balanced! It is good for dogs to have exposure to all sizes to build confidence. Dora to this day loves BMDs after having one in her puppy class. She thinks they are sweet and loving and fun like Tempo!

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 03:32 PM
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It sounds like obedience class agrees with Gryff. I had fun taking McKenna to her classes.
Odd about the growling. Does Alec try to pet him on the head? I think I read that a person's hand should come from below and scratch the chin before petting a dog's head if the dog has any issues with being pet.

Susan

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've taught him to always go under the chin. I am really baffled.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 03:22 PM
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Hi Ivy patience is a virtue. Do not try to inhibit the growling. It is a dogs means of telling you or another dog that he is not comfortable with something. Dogs that are reprimanded for growling learn to suppress it but it is there for a purpose. Dogs where this is suppressed are dogs that BITE WITHOUT WARNING. Tell Alec to lay on the floor with some REAL treats and slowly lure the dog . Lure him in with a treat in a closed hand a let the dog sniff. Gradually open it up and reward . After getting more comfortable with him Alec scratch under the chin or chest. Take it slow and gain the dogs trust. Do not stare at Griff and face the dog at an angle. A lot of dogs take longer to socialize with men and children. Be patient and reward for good behaviour. Is there any reason why the dogs did not socialize the first class?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 03:36 PM
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Good going, Gryff! I'll bet it's cute seeing all those pups. there are some good suggestions about Alec and Gryff, so hopefully those will help.

Keep us posted as to how Gryff enjoys his classes.




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 04:25 PM
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Congrats on your first day of school Gryff, sounds like you are going to do great.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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Ivy, have fun with Gryff at class. Maybe the instructor will have some suggestions for you on the growling if you have time for questions before or after class.

Could you take Alec with you? We worked on allowing strangers to come up and greet our dogs. I know Alec isn't a stranger but it's the same skill.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Dave,

In this class, they don't let the dogs socialize at all. There is a park right outside and I am hoping that as the weather turns nicer Gryff will be able to play with some of the smaller dogs.

That was really good growling advice. I've never gotten that schpiel before. I will definitely try that with Gryff and Alec.

Jan - I can take Alec, but the class is during the day when he's at school. I do plan on talking to the instructors about the growling thing.

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