Hi I just thought I would give you all an update on the Social Walk classes that I have been taking Mia to. They are like ordinary training classes but they are out in the open in normal walk situations with all the usual distractions that you would encounter on a walk. They are designed for dogs with poor social skills so there are only three dogs in each group and each dog and owner has their own trainer with them who observes the dogs reactions throughout the session and can also tell the owner where they are doing well or missing things etc etc. As we are only on the second week the dogs are never any closer than 200 yards'ish and it is all orchestrated very closely so that the dogs don't go out of their comfort zone with each other. The dogs in each group have been matched too. I think the idea is that as the weeks go on the groups will start to merge to gradually introduce more dogs to each other when they are ready for it until they are all happy with all sorts of dogs. In Mia's group there is a GSD, a Goldie and of course Mia (a GSP). They are all around 2 years old and although they have different problems they all have difficulties with meeting other dogs and the owners are finding walking them an unpleasant experience. So far we have practiced loose lead walking, recall, going through gates and walking past chickens, donkeys and horses. The area we have walked in is farm land with other distractions like pheasant, rabbits and there is also a bird scarer going off close by. This week we stopped half way through the session and were shown some T-touch calming exercises. All three of the dogs in Mia's group were taken to the usual training classes, the other two from puppies (Mia is a rescue so was 16 months before she went) but for whatever reason need extra help when it comes to the outside world with all that goes on out there. I have found these classes really helpful for several reasons. E.g having a third person that is a trainer/behaviourist with me the whole time means that she has been able to point out exactly when I am getting things right and also when my timing is off or I am confusing Mia by using conflicting instructions etc. She has also pointed out lots more body language from Mia that I couldn't interpret before. I am learning to relax and just concentrate on Mia when other dogs are around because I had got myself in the state where I was giving off poor signals to Mia whenever we saw another dog. At the moment I am feeling really positive and will see how the next few weeks and months go.