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I think dogs do get stressed in those training classes.

Sure they do. The question is, what effect does that have on their behavior? And, if stress provokes a bite, how do you keep a dog's life entirely stress-free?
Of my dogs, they've all gotten stressed in class situations. Sam would get more and more wound up (a pretty neat trick, considering his usual activity level) and more and more distracted. But he never bit anyone.

Noah and Duke shut down. Total zone out. Light's on, nobody's home. With continued careful exposure (I'd take them out for a walk around the block when their brain left the building, sometimes 3 or 4 times in a single class), they both discovered that the turbulent class environment was pretty okay. Neither bit because of class stresses.

Ranger wants to be the fun police, so the stressful part is watching other dogs and being unable to "fix" them. He's the likeliest to bite another dog, but I don't give him the opportunity.
...In the training classes, the dogs are in a group with a lot of strange dogs, which causes tension, and being forced to do things they don't want to do.

Too bad, so sad. I'll make obedience as palatable as possible, but it still comes down to "me make rules, you obey rules" in class, around town, or in the home.
One of the things dogs learn in group classes is how to keep their cool when other dogs are losing theirs. This comes in handy if you'd ever like to, say, do a charity dog walk, or take your dog places in public that are similarly hectic.
That was really funny.
long ago and far away, Janet B (Email Removed) did say:
Has anyone come across a Basic level class that interviews dogs before they can enroll?

not for basic, no. all i had to do was show up with shot records, but the trainer i've worked with worked out of her pet shop and had met luce beforehand, so she knew going in that i'd be bringing my newly adopted dog-reactive, dog-aggressive nutcase of a pit bull.

"i wore my doormat face" - rem
http://shattering.org
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Noah and Duke shut down. Total zone out. Light's on, nobody's home. With continued careful exposure (I'd take them out ... a single class), they both discovered that the turbulent class environment was pretty okay. Neither bit because of class stresses.

The Khan who went to class was always so distracted, so worried, so concerned about getting to sniff every dog, at the same time getting away from every human there. Basically, he got over it. He learned that he needs to do as he is told no matter where, and yes, we built up to it much the same way you did. The instructor had no problem with anything we did, and was all for giving the dog a break and then refocusing for more work. None of the dogs in the class bit anyone because of stress.
Too bad, so sad. I'll make obedience as palatable as possible, but it still comes down to "me make rules, you obey rules" in class, around town, or in the home.

Pretty much. Today, Pan attempted to break one of my rules at the dog park, and got a time out as a result. It was basically a Down-Stay, but it never fails to produce a remark or two from others about how well the dogs listen to me (One person even commented that according to CM, all is right in your dog world if you can just leave your dog and walk away and they won't move without your permission).
One of the things dogs learn in group classes is how to keep their cool when other dogs are losing ... ever like to, say, do a charity dog walk, or take your dog places in public that are similarly hectic.

Exactly. My dogs don't live in a vacuum, and I do my best to make sure they're well enough behaved to be out and about. Last weekend, we had a plant swap, and Pan came with me. She mingled among a couple of dozen people and another dog, and even went nose to nose with a very nice horse (Pan's afraid of horses, so this was great). We got a lot of nice comments about how it isn't every day that you come upon a dog who is able to be around that much food (including burgers and hot dogs) without losing it.
Suja
That was really funny.

What was funny about it?
My dog is dog aggressive. She does not like strange dogs, and she will gladly attack them if they invade her personal space. In seven years, she's never been in a fight with a strange dog, because her aggression is easy to predict and simple to control. I can take her to places like my (always crowded) vet's office or charity dog walks or town festivals or even just "my" backyard or walks around town, where there are other leashed dogs, with the assurance that she will mind her manners and behave herself. No one would ever guess that she's dog aggressive, because she is under control and completely ignores strange dogs. Unless someone else's dog is out of control, no one would ever realize Harriet is not dog friendly.
If I had a dog whose aggression I could not predict, or I could not control it, I would not take that dog to places where other dogs might be present.

Shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
Never put granny in a bag.
Eddie Izzard
That was really funny.

What was funny about it? My dog is dog aggressive. She does not like strange dogs, and she will gladly ... present. Shelly http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship) http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther) Never put granny in a bag. Eddie Izzard

==
You didn't see any humor in the way she told her story? I can take my dog any place too and do. I take here everywhere and she never gets into a fight.
Part of responsible dog training is helping the dog understand and deal with stress, making things that are initially stressful less so.
I felt at that time
that my dog was. I felt that she became very stubborn when in the class, and didn't respond to commands as easily as she did when she was home;

Dogs aren't "stubborn." She could have been stressed, overstimulated, bored, distracted, but she wasn't stubborn.
In the training
classes, the dogs are in a group with a lot of strange dogs, which causes tension, and being forced to do things they don't want to do.

They are in a group with a lot of strange dogs, which is a situation they will often face in life unless they sit at home all the time, which is pretty damn boring to the dog. As for being forced to do things they don't want to do my job as a trainer is to make training something my dog LOVES to do. Our dogs drag us to the training field and don't want to leave. Sounds like you had a crappy trainer to me.
There was a lady with a young lab, and she let her pup loose and
the pup ran around the outside of the large circle two or three times. As we were all standing around the circle with our dogs at a sit on a loose leash.

Well that was pretty stoopid of her.
Has anyone come across a Basic level class that interviews dogs before they can enroll?

Agility, not obedience.
I do the registration, so get to ask all the profiling questions. Breed, sex, neutered, spayed, background, age, current vaccinations, other dogs in household, kids, obedience training...
I often ask if they'd like to observe a current training session. Only once have I had to ask someone and her dog to meet me independently. Profile: APBT, unsocialised, gotten with a sibling from a rescue at 4 or 5 weeks old. (Sorry, Eva, but I profiled this dog and wanted to see her in person.)

To answer your question, though: No. But I can sometimes tell over the phone when someone and/or somedog needs further followup.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
I would just like to say a few words about this, and I am not trying to place any blame or criticism. I just hope this sort of thing does not happen again, and any information that could help prevent it should be discussed.
My friend "H", who originally rescued Muttley, said that his behavior may be in part due to the way he had to survive. He probably preyed on small animals for food, hopefully only rats, but possibly cats, squirrels, etc. He seems to be a very intelligent animal, but also fairly lacking in emotion. He may have used his "poker face" to allow his prey to get close enough to catch, without tipping his paw as to his intentions.

From the first, he was noted to be very cat aggressive, and the woman who first attempted to take him in had 30 or more rescued cats in her house, so Muttley and his Rottie girlfriend were locked in a garage. Somehow he went through the F.A.R.M. rescue group to get his shots and castration at Jarrettsville, but they were not directly involved in any subsequent events.Since I took him in at the end of February, he met several new people, and also some dogs, with no obvious signs of aggression. He even got close enough to sniff one or two very stoic cats at the vets. He seemed to stiffen up and stared intently, but made no move, and I was able to direct him elsewhere without incident. He continued to act aggressively toward my cat. One night, while Muttley was sleeping in bed with me, Photon jumped on the bed. I held his collar, and he wanted to chase her when she realized he was also there, but it was not a disaster.

Before the training classes, I took him on the NCRR trail, where he met and interacted normally with several dogs, and also a young couple with a small child. He basically acted aloof. I also took him on a Sierra Club hike where he met maybe a dozen new people, and on the trail (along Stoney Run) he interacted with other people and several dogs. Only once did I sense an aggressive response, and that seemed to be in reaction to the other dog's growl.

I had him on a short chain (ouch) and we went on our separate ways.

So, this was about 4 or 5 months with no sign of any problem. The single incident with my handyman friend George seemed to me the result of unintended provocation and improper socialization caused by inexperience. Nobody I talked to saw any major cause for alarm, and since then George has been able to pet Muttley without the previous fear reaction.
I'm not making excuses for Muttley, and I don't plan to change my decision to have him euthanized in the next day or two. However, maybe there are some clues in my observations that could be valuable if a similar case should be encountered. The whole situation has been beaten to death in the other post, and I don't intend to start or participate in any arguments here. I appreciate Janet's kind offer to help, and somehow it backfired. I seem to notice that Muttley is being more aggressive (or assertive) with me lately, and he is almost starting to scare me.

He "paws" me fairly forcibly when he want to go out, or to have a bone or rawhide chew. Speaking of which, I think he may use them as an outlet for his pent up energy or aggression, judging from his intensity while rapidly chomping it into small pieces. Maybe he is sensing my unease about this whole situation. It's a done deal. I will be saddened but relieved when it is finally over.

I hope this helps.
Paul
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