How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class

Posted by: Kimbe's 3

How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/29/17 02:00 PM

Hello in September i rescued this giant wonderful boy named Maximus he will be 1 year in December. I dont know much about his background but he is super smart and so full of energy. Super sweet dog and want to give him the best chances so even though he is my 3rd rescue he is by far the youngest and largest in the pack. I signed us up for K9 buddy classes. When i took him there for our first Manners 1 class he was panting and so nervous. The teacher recognized this and section us off so he could try to calm down. Just trying to find out what i can do to help him calm down i was calm and tried to help him relax he would for a while then get hyped back up when another dog in class made any sounds. We go back in 2 days im hoping to make this a better experience for him. Please any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/29/17 05:38 PM

Whole dog journal's current issue has an article titled something like "Alone in the Group Class?" which you may find helpful.

The only thing I can advise is be happy yourself, carry a highly valuable reward (two of them would be even better). That and give it time.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/30/17 08:32 AM

Hi Kimbe and Maximus,

welcome I am pretty inexperienced, but when I first took our very nervous rescue to classes, the trainer suggested that we come early to let our sweet, shy boy explore the place off-leash without other dogs and people. He also placed us near well-behaved dogs. That all helped.

I imagine more experienced people will have better ideas.

Mary Jane
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/30/17 09:23 AM

OOOps, thought of something else. Since Maximus is very smart, he probably knows some simple things well-maybe watch me or sit or something. In class, ask him to do things he knows and then, as Middle said, reward heavily. I think they call that set him up to succeed. My wonderful Wolf loved to perform in class-I guess it felt good to do something right.

MJ
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/30/17 11:30 AM

I had one dog that I had to exercise before class, otherwise she was all energy and couldn't focus. It took some time to figure out how long to exercise and how long before class to find the sweet spot that she had enough energy but not too much energy.
Posted by: DarkEyes

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 11/30/17 12:11 PM

I agree with the exercise. He might be overthinking or just feeling nervous. Give him a good walk for 30min- to 1 hr before class. My dog would be so anxious I actually had to walk her for an hour (or give her a really good exercise for 30 mins) before I could have her attention and train her.
Posted by: Kimbe's 3

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 12/01/17 09:58 AM

OH wow thank you all so very much for these responses we did our homework from Tuesday at home Wednesday just fine no issues i even took Max on a hike at park across street left work early to beat darkness. We got there for our class last night and there were only 2 other doggies in our class. Its a huge warehouse the walls do not go all the way up so you can hear other classes. The agility course is on other side of wall and lots of yelling and noise so half way in to class Max got very nervous agitated again. There was 1 other shepherd pup in our class which he would not stop trying to get at and barked so loudly. Our teacher had us leave early and said not to bring him back. Said it would make him worse to be there in class setting with noise from other class. I did pay in advance and i want to do this training with my dog he is such a good boy and super smart just very large for his age and very intimidating. She saw how upset she had me so she asked me to email her she will meet up for 5 private classes 30 mins each with just Max and I. Im not giving up on my boy and his training i know we can do this. He is such a good boy he will be 1 year old December 9th.
Posted by: Kimbe's 3

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 12/01/17 10:00 AM

Gee thank you for this idea that place is never empty lol. They seem to always be having some sort of classes there. I wish he could run through but they asked us not come back to class.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 12/01/17 10:06 AM

I'm glad she's giving you some private time with Max. It (class) sounds like an environment for overload on many dogs -- something that would take a bit of time to get used to. Given that, frequenting the place at other than class times might have been a great idea. Too bad the instructor didn't give you more options. But on the other hand, she seemed to be looking out for him and his stress level.

There is a lot you can do on your own or in the company of other people working their dogs. Any clubs near you that might work?

But you will get this with or without classes.
Posted by: DarkEyes

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 12/04/17 05:35 AM

What breed, or assumed breed is Max?
Posted by: BasiaBear

Re: How to keep my GSD Maximus calm at K9 class - 12/04/17 08:43 PM

I agree with Middle. Environmental overload, he is just over stimulated. Just keep at it and don't give up. Take him everywhere with you, walks, parks, stores- and give lots of positive reinforcement (like really good treats). If he is barking or lunging, take smaller baby steps and work outside his threshold. I wouldn't ask for obedience in new settings either, I would just let him experience and take in his surroundings and learn what the outside world is about.