Puppies… When to Start Training?

I was in the checkout line of the grocery store when the subject of puppies came up. Someone was talking about their brand new puppy they just got. So of course, my ears perked right up, just like my Sheltie Dani Joy, anticipating a “treat” of a discussion.
One person in line just got a chocolate lab puppy, the young man bagging my groceries was talking about new Boston Terrier pups and the checker was talking about a poodle/schnauzer mix puppy.
“I love puppies and I love training puppies.” I said enthusiastically.
The checker questioned, “I heard you had to wait until they were 6 months old before taking a class.”
I commented on how you can never start to early for puppy training and that in the right conditions and settings you can actually have puppies begin a puppy class as early as 3-4 months.
Puppies NEED training and socialization as early as possible. However puppies also need protection from sickness and diseases because they haven’t had all their vaccinations yet. So what is a new puppy owner to do?
I would recommend private lessons with a positive reinforcement dog trainer for the puppy who hasn’t had their first two series of vaccinations. There is much you can do to enrich your puppy’s life and build a solid foundation of training and socialization skills.
Then I would recommend a carefully sanitized environment for a puppy class that is just for puppies. In the classes I offer with Cari Bowe, we sterilize the class room as well as require all puppies to be vaccinated with the first two series of vaccinations. We carefully screen our puppies before letting them participate in our class.
Then the fun begins with training, fun, games, puppy playtime and more with the puppies and their proud puppy parents!
I am so looking forward to classes beginning this January 2012. These classes are also part of the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy program. If you are interested in puppy classes, drop me a note for registration forms and information. If your puppy is still too young, consider having a couple of private lessons. Don’t wait until they are 6 months old or even older.
Teach your puppy good manners and get in his socialization skills early. You won’t regret it! Your puppy will go more confidently into the world and love you more for it!
One last thing, whether your pup is 6 months old or 6 years old… they are never too old for training and learning new tricks. I also offer obedience classes for the older dogs which are also beginning this January 2012.

Last Week of April – Update

This last week of April I begin some new Family 1 Dog Classes with Cari Bowe of Shasta Dog Training on Monday and a Rally Obedience Class on Wednesday.
This Saturday is the Love Your Pet Expo and I look forward to offering AKC Canine Good Citizen testing for the public as well as doing a few demos with my dogs and having a booth. So please stop by and visit – Tell your friends – Bring a friend. All donations at the Expo go to local Animal Rescue groups. Visit www.LoveYourPetExpo.com

Spring 2011 Classes… Family Dog Training, Fun, Agility, & More

Family Dog Classes Beginning Monday, April 18th, 2011
Two Class Times to Choose from: 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Classes meet for 1 hour, twice a week, Monday & Thursday, for three weeks.
Click here for   Information Letter for Family Dog Training Class, Registration Form for Family Dog Training Class.
Join us for some Fun Dog Training Classes! This Spring, Cari Bowe and Kathy Dunn, are excited to be able to offer Rally Obedience, “Fun & Games”, AKC Canine Good Citizen Preparation, Canine Freestyle, and Agility Classes. Most Classes begin in just two weeks! Agility Class will begin in May.
Click here for Information Letter for Fun Classes, Registration Form for Fun Classes.
Class Space is Limited, email  ASAP for information & registration.

Dancing with Dani

We finished up our first series of classes… we have learned the rudiments of spins, twists, circles, backing up, coming forward, jumping through a hoop.
We will be starting our next class March 15th… stay tuned for more interesting stuff.
At the present, I need to figure out how to keep all four of Dani’s paws on the floor… she is so happy and excited.
Now, everytime I listen to music I am thinking I wonder if this will work for a routine.

Dancing with My Dog Dani Joy

Last Tuesday evening a few of us with our dogs met at Shasta Dog Training to begin our class learning “Canine Freestyle” also known as “Doggie Dancing”. This is actually a competitive dog sport in which dog and handler work together as a team doing tricks and fancy maneuvers all choreographed to music.
However, Dani Joy and I are just learning so we can have some shared fun times. Last week we went over basic training skills: using a clicker, positive reinforcement and using a target/touch stick. We also learned how to do some spins and having the dog walk towards me in a straight line in front of me.
This week we have added having the dog backing up in front of us in a straight line and circling around us. We also reviewed the “wait” command and how to use it with other commands.
There are five dogs in the class: Toy Aussie, McNab, Scottish Deerhound, Kerry Blue Terrier and my Sheltie.
It is so fun to watch the different personalities of each of these dogs and their own individual learning styles, flares, temperament as well as the varying sizes.
It is so nice to be a student and not be the dog trainer once in awhile, especially when you have a great teacher!
So far, Dani Joy and I are doing quite well. I wouldn’t say we are proficient in any way. We are still learning, but we are having lots of fun. Who knows maybe someday we may do a demo 🙂
In the meantime, in your own community look into signing up for a Canine Freestyle class and learn to dance with your dog too!