Bruce! Puppy School at a Later Age?

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by Chardy17, May 18, 2011.

  1. Chardy17

    Chardy17 New Member

    Hello everyone! I haven't introduced myself yet but I am new here on BernerTalk. We had added our newest member to the fmaily, Bruce, on Christmas Day! Bruce just turned 7 months old the other day. It's amazing how fast they grow up. He's already 25inches at the withers and around 80 pounds.

    We make plenty of time to spend with him including walks, grooming, and fetch. We are a bit of a busier family so we have not had the time to put him in puppy school. He is very well tempered and trained despite the fact he has not received any professional training/school.

    Summer is around the corner and I was wondering if it was normal to put dogs of Bruce's age in a "puppy school" environment. There are still plenty things Bruce could improve such as socialization since he hasn't received much with other dogs besides walks. (Majority of dogs on our route aren't the best trained anyways) He walks well on a leash but goes nuts when he sees someone he doesn't know. He will pull anyone walking him very strongly until he finally meets that person. Being honest I don't think Bruce has had the socialization that my other dog has had and I'm afraid we missed out on the crucial time to do so. Any tips, info, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh and here's a quick picture of Bruce too around 3 months! -

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  2. Barneys Mom

    Barneys Mom New Member

    Aw, Bruce could be Barney's twin brother! That's his worst habit, too. He'll pull on the leash and whine, and sometimes it escalates to yelping and barking.

    I don't think it's because of socialization or puppy classes, because Barney's been socialized since the second week we had him, AND he's in puppy classes. He just gets really excited when he sees new people/dogs, even the people/dogs in his puppy class.

    Do you find Bruce is better some times and worse others? I've noticed that with Barney, and I've tried to keep track of what's happened on the days he's really pulling/whining. Barney's trend seems to be that he does a lot better on days when he gets some playtime right after we get home from work, then dinner, then a bit more playtime before his walk. So he's got his residual energy from being cooped up all day burned off before we even walk out the front door.

    The trainer at puppy classes basically said to not be overly worried, because it's better than him being skittish, but that we can try redirecting him with a treat (but not the everyday treats - something really only used for this) or a toy, turning him away from the people or blocking the people with my body until his attention is back on me, making him sit and going down to dog level to get eye contact, and when none of that works, to take Barney in the opposite direction of what he wants to get at.

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