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What Do You Want In Greyhound Only Classes?


krissy
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I'm hoping to offer some greyhound only obedience/manners classes for my adoption group sometime in the near future. I am not a professional dog trainer by any means, and this won't be a class for behaviour issues. This would just be a class to help out new adopters with bonding and teaching the basics to their new dogs. I've only ever taken all-breeds obedience classes, and I guess I'm wondering if there is anything particularly different that those interested in a greyhound only class would like to see... or if the usual things with a little more sighthound understanding/finesse is sufficient.

 

I haven't really started to come up with an agenda yet but some basic thoughts were:

-Basic obedience (sit, down, stay, come), introduction to clicker training

-Manners (not jumping up on people, leaving food, not counter surfing)

-Crate training (I think this will be sort of "need dependent"... if we have adopters who are having some trouble and want to touch on it, we will)

-Maybe some "agility teasers" at the end of each class... learning the tunnel, jumps, etc.

 

What else?

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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  • I'd say exercises to help with guarding (i.e. space, toys, food), since these are some of the most common greyhound quirks. In my first greyhound-only class, we would bring the dog's beds to class and do various desensitization so that they could get used to being approached and handled on their beds. We also did a lot of trading up, with particular attention to the items the triggered a guarding responses from their dogs. We gradually working up to trading up really high-value stuff like people-food and raw bones... and later down the line, more traditional self-control exercises like "leave it" and "drop it. I believe all new adopters should be given the tools to effectively manage guarding situations, purely from a safety aspect.

 

  • We did a lot of handling exercises (i.e. I touch a toe, dog get a treat... I tug on your tail, you get a treat). The idea is to do this over and over again until your dog is as comfortable as possible with having routine things done to different areas of its body. When you establish a positive association early on, it helps mitigate some of the more common handling issues (nail trims, accepting constraint).

 

  • The other component, IMHO a good greyhound-only classes has is a large chunk was dedicated just to socialization. Visual and noise distractions (like opening an umbrella or tossing some metal bowls on the floor), kids tossing a soccer ball across the room, people skipping, other people simulating disabilities with wheelchairs and walkers. At one class, we had an exercise that used agility equipment as a way to getting the dogs to walk on unfamiliar surfaces. It helped the owner's gauge their dog's responses in a safe environment. Then we'd continue to desensitize on an individual basis the things that had a pattern of making the dog anxious or uneasy

 

  • I also think some type of supervised separation (no matter how small) should be done in basic obedience. When my group went through CGC and TDI testing, this was the one thing everyone seemed to have some trouble with. Early on, you want to encourage the dog to function and maintain independence if the owner has to go away. I've seen many wonderful dogs perform perfectly under "their person," but have a meltdown when that person has to step away. Regular supervised separations are extremely important as a training tool, and can help with SA behaviors as well.

 

  • Last, but not least, a reliable RECALL. Using the dog's name and "come" or some other cue working up to more and more distracting circumstances. We started these on 6 feet leashes, then gradually started using 20 foot long-lnes. Traditionally, they want the dog to be in a sit-stay or down-stay before a recall. The most important part though, for practical reasons, is having a dog that will recall to you in any type of situation, including stuff like open gates, dropped leashes, slipped collars, dog attacks, etc.
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Guest Houston1219

 

We did a lot of handling exercises (i.e. I touch a toe, dog get a treat... I tug on your tail, you get a treat). The idea is to do this over and over again until your dog is as comfortable as possible with having routine things done to different areas of its body. When you establish a positive association early on, it helps mitigate some of the more common handling issues (nail trims, accepting constraint).

 

 

THIS. We live in a very small "railroad-style" town house, so every inch of floor space is essentially a walkway. It's like living in a nicely decorated hallway :rotfl So, this was SO valuable to us in the greyhounds only class we took. Like a_daerr said, i tug your tail, you get a treat... I tug on your ear, you get a treat... We went so far as open your mouth and "let me see those teefers", play push you over, etc. I didn't think much of it until i accidentally stepped on Houston laying in his bed, and almost hit the cieling in panic. I REALLY stepped on him, dead asleep. He shot up, looked up and saw me, and sat awaiting a treat and a click. I was floored. A must if you live in tight quarters :rotfl

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So basically a standard puppy class without the play time. That should be easy enough as I'll also be running a handling and restraint class for puppies at work, so most of it will be the same. I have to admit, I didn't really think about making handling and such a major component because I didn't think it would be something most owners would want/need in a retired racer. I was really only going to focus on it if we had specific interest. I've had quite a few fosters and handling has never been an issue, so I figured it wasn't a huge problem with retired racers since most have been made accustomed to this at the track, but perhaps that's because I know how to work up to it. We can definitely incorporate that into the course easily.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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IMO wait (which is different than stay) and recall are the most important things to teach a greyhound from a safety aspect.

http://www.netplaces.com/dog-obedience/the-fine-art-of-stay/the-difference-between-wait-and-stay.htm

 

I've been to GH only classes and all breed classes. I have to say that my dogs seemed to get more out of the all breed classes in large part due to the socialization with other breeds.

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Guest normaandburrell

I think less emphasis on sit. Some greys have a lot of trouble with this, and the time might be better spent on other issues. My grey learned sit, but with difficulty, and I know at least one other grey owner who dropped out of classes because her dog never learned it. Greys can master the stand/stay better than other breeds.

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I think less emphasis on sit.

Yes! When we got into more advanced classes and rally, it got so focused on sitting as a default behavior. Loose leash heeling... stop and sit. Greeting another dog... stop and sit. Like 30 times per class! My dogs both *can* sit, but it takes a bit of effort. It's not quick and fluid like other breeds.

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here's my addition to the list:

focus- dog learns to focus on owner,:eye contact , get steady and ready for a command

 

how to hold a leash and use it. i see way too many greyhound owners who have the leash wrapped around their wrist- if the dog jerks- the wrist can easily be injured. also, folding a leash while walking and how to lenghten it when necessary. also what is a good easy to use lead and fitting a collar properly.( i find cotton webbed leashes the cheapest and easiest to use- for a more $$ leash 5/8" leather)

 

wait/stay- a basic command used all the time which is easy to teach. a good safety measure for the car as well as when one is walking and needs to clean up after their dog, opening a garden gate, leaving a door. included is how to exit a building w/ your dog. most schools teach person first- i made my trainer aware of the greyhounds tail and we modified this activity. we also did tethering your dog and leaving the room, not that we are going to leave our dogs tied up, but it really worked on seperation anxiety and stand/stay.

 

RECALL!!

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The key things I would like to see are wait/stay, resource guarding, and recall. None of these are really greyhound specific in themselves, but I think maybe more emphasis on these for greyhounds over some other breeds (or mixes). And skip the sit! Some of my greys could/can sit, but only one did it comfortably :)

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Some of my greys could/can sit, but only one did it comfortably :)

I had a couple that would sit on one hip like a doxie and Buck would just go sit in the yard when it was nice. He would sit way back on his butt with his back legs forward on either side of his front ones. Hard to explain but he looked like a rocking chair and was perfectly comfortable.

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Yes! When we got into more advanced classes and rally, it got so focused on sitting as a default behavior. Loose leash heeling... stop and sit. Greeting another dog... stop and sit. Like 30 times per class! My dogs both *can* sit, but it takes a bit of effort. It's not quick and fluid like other breeds.

Right, but to be fair you have to expect that if you are taking a higher level obedience or rally course. That's not the fault of the instructor... that's the sport. If you're just doing it for fun you could decide your default is a down instead. In rally trials they will actually make that exception for dogs who medically can no longer sit, they may make it for a greyhound... but then maybe not because there are enough greyhounds out there who have competed and done the sitting components without issue. But if it's just for fun then default to a down.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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So a lot of what I'm hearing is what makes up a puppy class. Most people adopting a retired racer have possibly never had a puppy before, and therefore haven't had the benefit of a puppy class. That's where you really get the handling, separation training, crating, resource guarding information, and socialization. Once you move up to obedience with the older dogs it is typically truly about obedience. Retired racers are like puppies in respect to some of the things they have/haven't learned, so running a puppy class for them makes sense.

 

As far as the obedience stuff though, that's all standard fair. I've never taken an obedience class that didn't cover focus, wait, leave it, and recall extremely thoroughly. I doubt that Greyhounds having poor recall is a fault of not being covered in classes, and more likely a lack of continued training and proofing in other situations.

 

Sounds like a standard obedience class with aspects of puppy class infused in is probably the best bet!

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest DogNewbie

I think if I could do it again with Wiley, I would want more "social" time. When we did the Pet Smart training (beginner & intermediate) it was quite fast paced. Wiley needed time just to walk around, smell the room, meet the hounds and their people then take a break. He would get stressed & overwhelmed very easily and then shut down. He still does get overwhelmed but not as badly- I think he is just a nervous hound.

 

Also, how to sit greyhound style, how to teach a greyhound (specifically) how to sit- I think the process is different?

 

 

 

Cleptogrey- Love the leash holding/collar fitting idea. Maybe even having martingale collars for sale there for people who don't know about them, or business cards on where to purchase them

 

Krissy- That's a great idea of an all-greyhound class in Alberta! I don't think are any right now. If we were closer, we would totally go, just for fun :)

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Also, how to sit greyhound style, how to teach a greyhound (specifically) how to sit- I think the process is different?

 

Krissy- That's a great idea of an all-greyhound class in Alberta! I don't think are any right now. If we were closer, we would totally go, just for fun :)

Definitely. My whole point to my class is basically going to be... your dog is different, but your dog is not different. My expectations and goals for my greyhounds are really not any different than if I had a different breed. I expect my dogs to learn how to sit, down, stay, and come reliably. How I go about it is maybe a little different with a greyhound. I absolutely teach greyhounds to lay down in a completely different way than most other breeds. So... they are different, but they are not. What we learn in my class is going to be greatly the same as an all breed class... we're just going to learn some of it in a more greyhound appropriate manner.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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That's awesome! Are you doing this in Edmonton?

 

It will most likely be somewhere in the greater Edmonton area. Looks like maybe Sherwood Park at this point.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Bean_Scotch

I've taught several Greyhounds Only classes, and I regularly do basic obedience classes as well. I do the same thing as a regular obedience class. I may omit potty training if the dogs are doing fine, or the barking portion but it's basically the same thing. They're still dogs. Greyhound or not as a trainer I expect my dogs to sit. Every Greyhound I've owned is capable of sitting. I've failed to understand the big deal around Greyhounds and sitting, but jmho.

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I would not attend clicker training class myself, as I think the clicker is more trouble than it's worth. Praise seems to work just as well and you don't need a free hand for it!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Pretty much a standard obedience class--if one was available we would be taking it because of Leo's fear aggression with non-greyhounds, not for any particular training difference.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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Guest iconsmum

I'm hoping to offer some greyhound only obedience/manners classes for my adoption group sometime in the near future. I am not a professional dog trainer by any means, and this won't be a class for behaviour issues. This would just be a class to help out new adopters with bonding and teaching the basics to their new dogs. I've only ever taken all-breeds obedience classes, and I guess I'm wondering if there is anything particularly different that those interested in a greyhound only class would like to see... or if the usual things with a little more sighthound understanding/finesse is sufficient.

 

I haven't really started to come up with an agenda yet but some basic thoughts were:

-Basic obedience (sit, down, stay, come), introduction to clicker training

-Manners (not jumping up on people, leaving food, not counter surfing)

-Crate training (I think this will be sort of "need dependent"... if we have adopters who are having some trouble and want to touch on it, we will)

-Maybe some "agility teasers" at the end of each class... learning the tunnel, jumps, etc.

 

What else?

 

 

By me that's way too much curriculum for a newish dog. Trust issues would be more to the point, along with hand feeding working up to charging a clicker. No offense but its a trainer's job not a volunteer's. Agility comes after good obedience. They don't belong in the same time frame.

I would not attend clicker training class myself, as I think the clicker is more trouble than it's worth. Praise seems to work just as well and you don't need a free hand for it!

 

 

 

That's more than likely the way you were taught the premise of the clicker. There's a lot of poor teaching in that area too.

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This may all be covered under that "puppy class" heading, but here's my two cents:

 

How to teach a greyhound to learn. It took quite some time for Katie to get the idea that she could influence my actions. Without the greyhound understanding that, training can be frustrating.

 

Canine body language, including why growling is just another form of communication. I see way too many people treating scared dogs as "stubborn", and think that a session on body language and emotional states should be a part of all training classes.

 

As to sitting... I think that a greyhound can learn to sit. I also think that it is unfair to ask them to hold that position for extended times. They just aren't built for it to be comfortable in that position for a long time, and a down or stand can serve many of the same uses as a sit.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Guest iconsmum

This may all be covered under that "puppy class" heading, but here's my two cents:

 

How to teach a greyhound to learn. It took quite some time for Katie to get the idea that she could influence my actions. Without the greyhound understanding that, training can be frustrating.

 

Canine body language, including why growling is just another form of communication. I see way too many people treating scared dogs as "stubborn", and think that a session on body language and emotional states should be a part of all training classes.

 

As to sitting... I think that a greyhound can learn to sit. I also think that it is unfair to ask them to hold that position for extended times. They just aren't built for it to be comfortable in that position for a long time, and a down or stand can serve many of the same uses as a sit.

 

And honestly, who cares if the dog can sit on cue. Just use " stand" in its place.

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