We are happy with the one we found. It starts at 10am, its in the city (many are in some field out there- hard for us to get there on a bike...) and of course, positive reinforcement!
On Saturday it was our 4th lesson, and we have 2 more to go! We are lucky that it's only Tjido, a Jack Russel and a Spanish water dog. So there are enough distractions but not too many! Our teacher is there with her cute dog Roef, a Friese Stabij, and he keeps a check on the little ones ;) one bark and they're back in their place haha.
I'm glad we can ask her tons of questions. She gives good tips, thing to read and ideas. The behaviors that the dogs have to learn are for us quite easy (not arrogant intended!) because since day 1 we have been doing our best to systematically train Tjido on obedience 3 times a day. This is because when we decided to get a puppy, we got all nerdy and started researching about everything haha. And well the famous videos of Kikopup are just very motivating!!! (What? You haven't seen them?! GO NOW)
But even though Tjido can do them, being there in a garden with more dogs makes it a new challenge! Yes, the first 2 times he barked and whined to no end in order to play, but now he doesn't bark so much and calms down easier.
In the subject of barking, I am happy to report that barking to other dogs on the street has diminished to acceptable levels: only barking when he hears other barking dogs, but no longer "tunnel-vision".
About the barking in the house before me or my boyfriend leaves: after some tips and ideas, I decided to give him a tasty-tasty chewy thing as I left, and even Joost went out the door. Tjido did-not-care! Yeah! We have decided this week to try it out with a Kong, both of us leaving at the same time and record him (I'm curious what he will do when he finishes the Kong and we're not there...) So thanks for the supporting comments on this issue. We are working on it! It's just hard when you hear millions of different versions of the "right" way to do it.
To end this post and not make it longer, I have subscribed to the "Icelandic Sheepdog Fans" on facebook :) And found an aunt and a cousin of our dog haha. Hope to see your comments on puppy classes and barking!