Being a Dog Mom

Sometimes I think I am being overprotective when it comes to Lu.  I have anxiety and unfortunately this tends to get in the way of me trusting my instincts.  I often think maybe it is my anxiety making the decisions.  It makes me second guess what my gut reaction to certain situations are.  I often check with other people to see if my logic for my reaction is sound.  So here is the situation:

The behaviorist called to check in to see how Lu and I are doing with our training.  She is still recommending the leash aggression class.  I told her (again)that I need to observe this class before I put Lu in it because I don’t understand 1.How you take a bunch of aggressive dogs and put them in a class together and 2. I don’t want everything that we have accomplished to go flying out the door when she is put in this sort of environment.  Her reply was that no one has ever asked to observe the class before putting there dog in it so she would have to email her supervisor to see if I could do this.  She felt that since this was a ‘special case’ (the incident) and that it may be approved.  

 This is where my dog mom alarm goes off. No one has ever asked to observe a class before putting their dog in it? NO ONE? Really?  I know I would never take my dog to a kennel, daycare, or dog sitter without first checking it out.  Why is this different?  I’ve already learned the hard way what happens when I don’t act on what I know is right.  I’m not saying that these trainers are bad or that what happened before will happen again but should it be that big of a deal for a person to observe a class? You would think that they would welcome a person to come and see a class.  

I work with children doing speech therapy.  We have an open door policy when it comes to parents wanting to observe therapy sessions.  They don’t even have to tell me beforehand that they will attend the session.  Granted the child usually acts way different when the parent is there but it is still encouraged that parents come and observe.  Do the trainers in these classes see me observing as a distraction to the dogs and their owners?   

I have read about people putting their dogs in classes like this and for the most part they have been happy with the results.  I just need more information.  I need to see what it looks like.    

I would love to, one day, enroll Lu in agility or nose work classes but for now I just want to get her better at seeing other dogs.  Maybe this class will do wonders for her….but then again maybe not. I just want all the information before I decide. Is that a bad thing?


  Luna with my sister’s dog Yoda.





5 thoughts on “Being a Dog Mom

  1. OhMelvin says:

    I think it’s totally normal to want to observe the class. If you take her to a class you are unsure about, she will feed off your fear/worry. That said, what is probably most important is that you trust your behaviorist. If you don’t have complete faith in her/him then you need to find another. There will be many training techniques that you are not familiar with that they might suggest and I feel like having faith in them and knowing they have Lu’s success as the only goal will help you be open to trying suggestions that might be outside of your comfort zone. I had a behaviorist for Melvin and she would suggest things that I thought he was not ready for and she constantly assured me he was in fact ready. Since I trusted her, we’d leap!

    • alwayslu says:

      Thank you for replying. (I was hoping you would) Did you do private lessons with Melvin? And if so how long? I think your suggestions have made me really think about if this is the right person to help us.

      • OhMelvin says:

        Yes, we did private sessions. I vetted a lot of potential behaviorists before we found the right one for us. Melvin was a disaster when I got him. Luckily he was human friendly but his exuberance bordered on hyperactivity. What I liked about the woman we finally worked with was that she saw Melvin as an individual and she got to know him and we were able to piece together why he was the way he was. Once that breakthrough unfolded, she was great at figuring out how to get him from point A to B to C and she was also really good with training me. The most important thing learned about Melvin was that he didn’t hate other dogs, he just wasn’t interested in them. So where I had wanted a goal to be him able to play with other dogs or be around other dogs, I needed to accept that he didn’t want that for himself. To this day, he tolerates Jake but he does not play with Jake. And that’s ok! I understand him and he trusts me to read his cues when he’s uneasy or needs space. I couldn’t have done that without the behaviorist! If you don’t have complete faith in your trainer, find someone new! It’s a partnership for sure and trust is paramount!

      • alwayslu says:

        After reading this I am not sure this behaviorist is right for us. We have only had two sessions and she has been constantly suggesting the class so that I can save money. (Not sure why she thought that was a selling point.) She has however given good suggestions which I continue to work on. Thanks so much for your comments. 😊

  2. OhMelvin says:

    Oh, and we saw her one on one for about a year (weekly). Jake now see’s a trainer and she gushes about what an awesome dog Melvin is and how he and I have a language between us! Who knew!

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