Thursday, July 19, 2012

Puppy Class!

It's hard not to fall in love with those soft, brown eyes, or to coo at the tiny features of a new puppy.  Puppies melt our hearts.  They also bite our hands with their sharp little teeth, jump on our legs as we try to walk, and pee on the floor (oops!) instead of the yard. 

But that's what puppy class is for.  That, and the critical puppy-to-puppy socialization that nothing else (not even playing at home with your other dogs) offers.  We have to protect these little ones who are still on their path to becoming fully-vaccinated adults, so romping off to the dog park is a big no-no (way too many chances for disease, and also a risk of an unfriendly dog doing some serious damage).

Puppy class allows growing dogs (ages 8 to 16 weeks) to learn lots of life skills.  It also gives their owners the opportunity to ask the burning "should he really be doing this?" and "am I handling that right?" questions.  We cover things that puppy parents may not have thought of, with the hope that every graduating puppy is well on his or her way towards becoming a well mannered adult.

Puppy class is a joy, one of the perks of being a dog trainer.  A client once asked me, towards the end of a rollicking play session where 6 adorable puppies were tumbling around on the floor, "you actually get paid to do this?!?" 

Well, yes.  It's not as bad as, say, a leash walk through cold, sleety rain with a ninety-pound dog who wants to take a chunk out of my arm.  But it all comes with the territory.  And I take pride in knowing that my puppy classes are well run.  They are jam-packed with good information, covering all the necessary topics in a fun way.  The play sessions are kept to the right length so puppies don't get too crabby with each other and so we get in plenty of "work" too. Overall, they are a joy not just for the dog trainer, but for the puppies and their owners too.

Now, don't you want to sign up?!

Next Class: Saturday, July 28th at 4:00 PM
Location: Rose City Veterinary Hospital, Portland
Cost: $140 for the 5 week course
Requirements: Puppies must be enrolled and current on their vaccines (at least one DHPP/DAP and one bordatella two weeks before the first class).  Ages 8 to 16 weeks; no more than 8 puppies per class.

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