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Tonight Brody had his first group class tonight! He actually wasn't the most reactive dog in class and was able to hang out calmly either in his crate or laying at my feet around all of the other dogs and people (9 dogs 11 people including the trainer) while we waited for our turn in the ring. When we were learning some of the more complicated things like pivots and finishes, he was working alongside other teams of dogs and people and he stayed extremely focused on me and very relaxed. The trainer had an area set aside for us just in case he became upset, and we never had to use it. She was very impressed with how well Brody and I are connected.

Now for the question. They have tie out stations along one wall where you can hook your dogs while you help set up or take down signs or walk the course. I tried tethering Brody at one of these stations while helping to set up, gave him a down-stay command and went about my business. He started crying and howling very loudly, but didn't get up. I put him in his crate and he was fine until a dog walked by his crate and growled at him. Brody jumped up and lunged at the other dog. After that incident, he would growl at any dogs walking by. We put a blanket over his crate and the crying started again. Do you have any suggestions as to how to get him to calmly stay at one of the stations and/or not become defensive while he's in his crate? I have Susan Garrett's crate games DVD and Brody is generally WONDERFUL in his crate and loves his crate thanks to this DVD. I was wondering if you have any suggestions on how to help him feel like the crate is a safe place again and/or how to get him to relax at the tie out station.
 

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Oops.. I meant to put this in the training forum.. can anyone move it?
 

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A reactive dog in an Obedience/Rally class? Never heard of such a thing.

I'm kidding, of course.

A crate is a LOT better than a tie-out. Putting a dog on a tie-out is a good way to INCREASE his reactivirty to a situation.

You are going to have to work on this behavior if you expect to show him so try this. I'm assuming you're bringing his own crate to the the class. Realize that some dogs can get very territorial about their crate. You'll need the cooperation of the other teams in the class and at least one other crate. Have a team warm -up close to Brody's crate. If he stays quiet, praise and reward him. If he reacts, immediately remove him from his crate and put him in the other one. No talking - no reprimands - no sound from you at all - just move him and totally ignore him once he is moved. If he quiets down in the time-out crate, he can go back to his own crate. Otherwise, no.
 
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