Natalie and I have Co written this article together NK9 Dog Training & Behaviour Specialist
There is alot of pressure surrounding having a dog to socialise them or to take them to a group class. There is also the financial aspect of classes working out cheaper than one to one's.
However not all Dogs are suitable for classes. Dog body language is misread all the time. People think a wagging tail means a happy dog. People think a dog destroying the car on the way to Daycare is a dog who cant wait to get in. It is thought that a dog pulling and barking on the end of the lead just wants to say hello to another dog. However the wagging tail can also be a sign of stress, it can be a sign of anxiety. Ever seen dogs fighting? You may see the tails are wagging.
The dog who chews the car isn't impatient to get into Daycare. This can be frustration, being over threshold, fear, anxiety or pain within the movement of the car. This maybe another reason your Trainer or Behaviourist asks for medical details first or recommends a visit to the Vets or a Canine Chiropracter.
The dog who is barking and lunging at the end of the lead isn't trying to be friendly or wanting to make friends. In a lot of cases they are nervous, anxious or over threshold. Some dogs may be excitable at the idea of meeting other Dogs but this can also be intimidating to the recipient dog.
When making an enquiry about Training or behaviour don't jump to conclusions about what your dog needs. Allow the Trainer or Behaviourist to tell you based on an assessment of what your Dog needs.
Classes are great for dogs which are comfortable being there and are set up to succeed. Pushing a dog who is anxious or over threshold to be in a class is more stressful for both them and the other Dogs.
For some dogs socialisation is daunting and can make them anxious and we need to ensure we know there body language and when they are uncomfortable and when it is too much for them pushing them to far can have damaging effects long term on there behaviour
Not all dogs are the same just like humans we don’t all like to go to the party some of us like to go to the library 📚 and we need to embrace that and not force our dogs into uncomfortable situations.
So please don't be offended if your Trainer or Behaviourist asks for more information first. Asks to do an assessment or asks for a Consultation first.
It can also be unethical in some cases for us to give out bog standard non individualised advice over the Internet or phone which is why either an online or in person Consultation is needed.
This is for the best interests of your individual dog, their emotions and well being on the best form of Training for them.