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Fights in puppy kindergarten :(
  • On this Wednesday my puppy Summer (12.5 weeks) went to the puppy kindergarten (it was his fourth time), and had two fights with another puppy near the end of the class. There were only three puppies that day -- one is his old buddy, a 3 month old goldendoodle, another one is a new blue heeler puppy (9 weeks old). The first fight was when Summer was holding a toy in his mouth and the new puppy tried to get it. They chased a bit and suddenly they started screaming and fighting! The trainer immediately separated them and gave Summer a time out. After a while they continued playing and chasing each other and the two broke out a fight again. We were so shock!! I never saw Summer like this before. The trainer talked to me seriously, said if this continued Summer will have big problems when he grow up. She asked me about Summer's behavior at home and other places and she was surprised that we only took him out for potty. She said we should not lock a puppy in an apartment even he's not fully vaccinated yet. She suggested to enroll an obedient class ASAP. Also take him out to meet different places like markets, bus and parks etc..

    I felt so so bad. Summer is sweet most of the time at home. Sometimes (especially when he is very hyped up) he would bite our hands and attack faces. When I told the trainer about it she said it is a VERY BAD behavior. I think that is normal for a pup especially a shiba? My husband and I are working on it and Summer is slowly improving. We are using the "ouch" and walk away technique. We train and play with him daily to make sure he has plenty of excise. We also let him play a bit on the grass when he is out to potty. We are new to shiba but we are trying our best. Are we doing something wrong? Anyone have similar situations with shiba puppies?
  • Are you sure they were fighting? Shiba play rough. Here is an example of shiba at play:
    https://youtu.be/dirH9fzZjzc
  • @ColtyHan
    Yes. Actually I found a few scratches on his belly and bottom when we got home.

  • I just watched that video. Wow! That's really tough. But I think at kindergarten they were more like fighting. The trainers were very concerned and I feel they were almost ready to kick us out of the class
    Post edited by caroline at 2017-09-23 05:57:14
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1092
    I'm wondering how familiar the trainers are with Shibas haha, cus Shibas definitely do play rough. The hand biting / nipping sounds all too familiar. :)) Dogs sure aren't immune to receiving scratches during playtime. Was the other dog trying to get away? A pretty clear way to tell when it's fighting and when it's play is to separate the two dogs for a short time, then when you reintroduce them, pay attention to whether they both want to approach each other again or if one of them is trying to avoid the other.

    I also used the "ouch" method and would immediately end play when my pup was mouthy. I would kind of have a big reaction, act offended and storm off lol. I learned that he really picked up on my body language.

    It's hard to know without seeing, but the trainers don't sound very experienced if they want to kick a dog out of a training class if they aren't already perfectly mannered. That's kind of the point of taking them to classes and socializing with other puppies. I think obedience classes would be fun and a good experience for anyone. Maybe the trainers of the obedience class have more experience and better management than the trainers of this puppy class. I do agree that you should be out socializing the pup even before all the vaccines. We carried our pup everywhere when he was very young and went to every dog friendly place we could find to get him used to seeing the sights and hearing the sounds while being nice and safe and not overwhelmed.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-09-23 15:50:37
  • Update: we officially got kicked out today :( The trainers said he is "fearful aggressive"in the class (excuse me? On the first day class she said he was "very confidant" and now is fearful?) and puppy kindergarten is simply too much for him. They suggested we keep carrying him around different places and only have one to one play date.
  • Lilikoi said:

    I'm wondering how familiar the trainers are with Shibas haha, cus Shibas definitely do play rough. The hand biting / nipping sounds all too familiar.



    I definitely doubt about their experience of handling a shiba inu. They seemed to know this breed is independent and strong will, but that is all about it.

    Thank you for your reply! That's really helpful. I will definitely carry him around different places more often.

    Here are some clips when he was the kindergarten. I didn't record when the fights happened so these clips are just normal playing.
    https://youtu.be/fuH4ZslthUE
    https://youtu.be/ZfJEZlJv0ho
    Post edited by caroline at 2017-09-23 21:26:16
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 694
    Okay, been watching this thread. Those vids are adorable. Actually, I think the class may be a little too strict on what they consider "appropriate", especially after watching the last vid. The pups were playing well with each other and were relaxed--there was no reason to break them up at all at that time.

    Pups are actually very good at self-managing their play, and they let the other know when it goes too far. Yelps/whines and body language indicating fear or discomfort (calming signals by Turid Rugaas and canine body language by Brenda Aloff go into detail on this) are what you want to watch for. I have had to intervene with my dog because he doesn't pick up on obvious fear/discomfort signals, and I only intervene then. I find most other dog parents here in Japan intervene when it is unnecessary, too, because they are not familiar with dog play (not just Shiba play!)
  • @Anjyil, thank you!
    Japanese in general are very very polite so maybe they want their pets to be "polite" too haha.

    Summer may have a play date with his brother next week. And we also consider trying another puppy play class later on. We will watch out and see how things go :)
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 694
    @caroline you are welcome ^_^ Considering that I see the same attitude in the US as well, I think it is just a human thing. We have very unrealistic expectations of dogs because of years of bad research, and it will take time to overcome that.

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