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We started obedience classes last night. Rhys was very excited and barked and whined many times during the one hour class. Rhys is a border collie and is somewhere around
15 – 18 months old. Though he is fully grown he is still very much a puppy. I was able to quiet him by telling him quiet and praising him when he stopped. I was thinking what a great learning opportunity for me to teach him quiet. The frequency of him whining and barking did decrease during the hour. Rhys did not get into another dog’s personal space or try to instigate anything and of course was not the only dog that barked.
The instructor told me to bring Rhys’ crate to the next class so that he can go in there to settle down!? Rhys doesn’t have a crate. Crating makes him anxious. Lisa, the director of the rescue I got him from had him at her house. He and several other dogs had run of the house most of the time. All the dogs, including Rhys, were crated at night. Because of his anxiety he was crated with another dog, Jin, and they developed a bond. We wanted two dogs so we adopted both of them. We have adopted from this rescue before so the director knows that we don’t crate. (I’m not against crating, I’ve just never felt a need or desire to crate in the 24 years that I have had dogs) I know Lisa took this into consideration when matching Rhys to our home. Lisa crate trains the rescue dogs because it makes them more adoptable and she was not able to train Rhys to be crated by himself. I told this to the instructor and she told me she will teach me to crate train Rhys.
After thinking about this overnight, I don’t want to crate train Rhys or have him crated during the class. I need to call the instructor and tell her that if Rhys has to be crated during the class we will not be attending.
I just needed to vent. Being told to bring a crate to a basic obedience class to isolate Rhys to settle him down caught me off guard. One of the reasons I’m taking Rhys and Jin to a basic obedience class is to socialize them.
edited to add that Rhys is an amputee (4/3/07). I didn't want anyone thinking I just randomly posted in this forum.
I don't crate lethal whites either. They have enough sensory deprivation and a cage is a horror for them, and perhaps the cause of Possum's severe OCD. She was hospitalized twice and we have no idea what her very early life was like.
Crating is desirable in training, but by no means mandatory. Explain to teacher that you are looking for a way to "SETTLE" which is one of their basic obedience commands, without a crate. If a crate is mandatory, you get your money back and find another class.
The settle command is the 'calm-down' command. when pup gets hyper or jumpy, you put in a sit and down with your hand on the back, firmly but gently repeating the word settle. The longer thepup stays there, the better the reward. Softly say: Good boy, good boy. Not loud and excited, because that will cause him to un-settle.
The Settle command MUST be mastered without a crate for pete's sake, the trainer's expertise must be able to teach a settle. BECAUSE we don't drag our crate around with us, do we?
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
We don’t know anything about Rhys’ history. I do know he doesn’t like small spaces. He will not go into the bathroom, laundry room or walk in closet. For whatever reason, crating causes Rhys great distress.
The instructor shows her dogs so I think her mind set is that a dog must be crate trained. This is true for show dogs. The ironic thing is Rhys was just happy excited but the instructor didn’t notice that our other dog, Jin, was anxious. Doug, my dh, took Jin outside during the class to give her a break. This class/instructor just may not be a good match for us.
i never have, nor never would crate xena. the only time she ever saw the inside of a crate was unavoidable: they wouldn't let dogs loose in the baggage hold
personally...i would train rhys *through* this experience, much in the way that karen has just described...and if it is not successful...i would remove ryhs from the situation until he settles (making sure he didn't get to sniff things or play on his 'time out'), and then return him.
if the teacher is not okay with that method...then i agree...probably not the right teacher for you.
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