How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19828
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
2361900
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

my ***** ***** is 4 years old .I was given him 2 yrs ago and

Resolved Question:

my ***** ***** is 4 years old .I was given him 2 yrs ago and I have been taking him dog training for just over a year now his behaviour is a lot better now and I am very proud of him.but he has become very nervous in class and its stopping him from doing his class work...its very frustrating for me because I know he can do things but he wont do them in class which seems to be holding him back..is there any way I can give him the confidence he needs to be able to work in class without him being a bundle of nerves.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
.
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .
.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
.
Has any of the dogs in class had altercations with each other?
How well behaved are the other dogs?
What size are the other dogs in class?
How often do you work him at home on obedience?
Does he obey immediately at home?
Do you work him around other animals and people at home?
What else have you tried?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. there was a fight between 2 dogs in one of the other classes.nothing serious but it sounded bad.since then harry has been very nervious in class...2 there are a lot of bigger dogs in our class and only 2 small dogs..3.the other dogs are very calm in class.at home I try and practice with my dog and he will do as I ask .I have even got him to play with his toy when we are out on our walks..but in class he wont even look at his toy. 4 we do not work him around anyone else or any other animals.its just me and my dog..5 he goes to classes every week and he has done really well since I have been taking him but his nerves are letting him down

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Elaine,
.
It is hard for smaller dogs when they see other dogs fight in a class situation. In a training class, an instructor should work hard to prevent altercations to avoid upsetting the dogs in the class. We use obedience class to teach a dog to have self confidence. That is hard to do if your dog has to worry about possibly being attacked.
One of the best things about obedience class is that all the dogs should be under the control of their owners and not able to get into altercations. The dogs should be able to learn that they are safe from other dogs and people in the class atmosphere since every person is concentrating on their own dog and not yours and as I mentioned, the dogs should be under control.
I'm sorry your dog had a bad experience in class and lost his confidence in that training area. That can definitely set him back in his obedience training and his self confidence around other dogs. This is one reason that I don't normally recommend dog parks to my clients as it is too easy for a dog fight to occur and it can really affect a dog for some time if they should be involved in a fight or witness one.
In addition, I'm sure the altercation affected you as well and you may inadvertently be holding the leash a little tighter or be less confident around those larger dogs as a result. Your dog will pick up on those feelings.
What I would suggest you do is see if you can find a different training group that meets somewhere other than your present location. See about getting into a class with smaller dogs if possible. Just changing the location may be all he needs but you can also get him a DAP collar. The DAP collar uses pheromones similar to the ones a mother dog produces to calm her pups. That might help ease his anxiety as well.
If you have some friends with dogs, perhaps you can enlist their help to act as a fake class so he relearns to be confident and obey your commands around the distraction of other dogs. Instead of rewarding him with his toy, try training when he is hungry and reward with tiny liver slivers or vienna sausage slices. Use these special treats only when he is training around other dogs.
.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you