“Oh, my goodness I have forgotten how hard this is…”
Those are words I hear repeated time and time again from my students attending puppy class. So, why is it so hard?
To start, puppies are just so darn cute and irresistible. Coming home after a long day at work they make you feel like sunshine on a cloudy day. The excited barking, the jumping and love nibbles are just their way of saying “I missed you so much!” And then it happens… what was once irresistible, adorable puppy behavior turns into unacceptable behavior. The last straw may be the day you walk into a room, after only being gone for ten minutes, and your puppy latches onto your favorite shoes, or jumps up and tears into your stockings, or clamps onto your pant leg where his needle-like teeth make a nice bite-sized hole... But, all he was saying was “I missed you so much!”
What we know is that puppies learn best with positive reinforcement and frequent repetition, and that it’s often we, the owners, who confuse our pets by not being clear and consistent about what is expected of them. With this in mind, each class is geared to teach owners how to communicate more effectively with their puppies. It’s our job to show you how training your puppy can be FUN AND EFFECTIVE for humans and their highly distractible puppies – remember, if you’re not having fun, neither is your puppy!
To date, we have graduated hundreds of puppies from the Richmond SPCA program. Classes are held weekly at the Children’s Museum in Short Pump – log on to www.richmondspca.org/classes to learn more about each class and register today.
Jackie Laubacker, CPDT-KA, is a behavior and training specialist at the Richmond SPCA. To read the biographies of our regular bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.