Y’all have all met Chewy, our newest family member and a suspected Affenpinscher:
He’s a handsome boy, no doubt, and I’m eternally grateful to his foster mom that this tiny dog came housebroken, but he’s in need of training. Shoot, our whole family is in need of puppy training. So I signed us up for a puppy obedience class. Yes I did.
I’m a big advocate of puppy training. It does several things for a family and puppy:
- The puppy and family bond during training
- The puppy learns the rules for its new family
- The family learns the best way to acclimate the new family member
- Everyone is on the same page concerning how to address issues (potty training, commands, chewing, treats, etc.)
- The family is FAR less likely to rehome a puppy if they’ve invested weeks of time and energy in classes with their new family member
Our first week was minus Chewy. Yes, the puppy trainer asked us to leave the dog home on week one. She went over rules and expectations, as well as what the family was to work on during the week. FYI – our trainer works in a large room in a local feed and pet store, Southern Ag, and her rate for a seven week class is 75 dollars. I don’t know what anyone else charges, but I thought I’d throw that out there, in case you want a base line.
I showed up halfway through the hour class, but Hunny got there on time. The trainer made clear several things:
- We’ll be doing clicker training (I don’t fully understand clicker training, even though she explained it – I’m dense that way)
- Puppy training is for puppies with no fleas and clean faces – she has a thing about clean faces
- Next week we bring the puppy and all its shot records
- No flexi-leashes in class – preferably a four foot fixed leash
- No choke collars
And what are we working on this week? Three things:
- Clicker training the puppy to know its name – Chewy has that down pat, which is awesome, considering we changed his name when we adopted him
- Learning the treat word – we just say treat, and we haven’t been working on that at ALL
- We replace NO with AhAhAh – this is for the women in the class, who typically don’t say no emphatically enough – don’t argue this point – you know there are exceptions, but it’s mostly true
Lemme tell ya, though – Chewy sure as heck knows the power of the treat. As you know, I only give the dogs Jones Natural Chews. Oh, speaking of which, the puppy trainer asked that we bring tiny, soft treats. There are no communal water bowls, and hard treats make a dog thirsty. She suggested fanny packs for the treats, for easy, immediate access.
Jones – Chewy went from popcorn to Jones with no problem. He salivates when the bag is opened. Last night Hunny was upstairs, I was down, and we spent twenty minutes calling the dog. Puppy training at its finest. Chewy was clean worn out when we were done, running up and down the stairs every time we called his name, but he would have kept running up and down the stairs for an hour for Jones chews.
How do we do tiny treats when Jones doesn’t offer tiny treats? That’s the beauty of Jones Natural Chews. I have the Chicken Taffy and the Beef Liver Taffy and they both tear into tiny bits quite easily. With one taffy stick I can treat all three dogs. In fact, one taffy stick lasts for about ten minutes of training the puppy, just tearing off tiny pieces. It’s lovely.
Tune in next Thursday, as well as every Thursday for the next six weeks, and I’ll walk through what we’re learning. I expect we’ll have a grand time together.
Until I write again …