After a disappointing first Growly Class, we rebounded with tangible progress in our second class. Gianna was able to move from the "outer circle" of misbehaving dogs, to the "inner circle" of on-track dogs! It's like we got called up to the varsity team! We were deflated after that first lesson (and I was sore from getting my shins nipped at), but we put in the work last week with Gianna to improve her behavior. She only bit me once in the thigh early in class out of reaction to a dog she was scared of, but after that her "freak outs" subsided. We got paired up with a couple small dogs as she reacts more to dogs her size or larger, and she behaved reasonably well.
I think overall she's a happier dog because through practice for class we are giving her more "jobs" day-to-day. We're keeping up the practice and not getting too comfortable with progress because the dogs are continuously faced with new challenges in class, such as meeting other dogs or experiencing new environments. I don't expect Gianna will react perfectly in every situation, but we're learning more about what she reacts to and how to anticipate those scenarios so that we minimize her response. Let's hope for more progress in class #3 this week!