Class Follow Up
What to Expect – Puppy & Foundations Classes
Now that you’ve read what to bring to class, let me take a minute to share with you what to expect when you arrive. As you can imagine with a bunch of puppies (Puppy class) or older dogs with little previous formal training (Foundations class) things will seem chaotic at first.
Stash Your Stuff. When you arrive you will see a few chairs against the wall where you can stash your purse, bag, jacket or other items so they won’t be in your way. All you will need on the training floor is your dog (connected to you via leash) and a pocket full of treats!
The Way it Works. The structure of this six-week series is that you enroll and start on the first available Wednesday night that works for your schedule, then continue to attend for five more consecutive weeks. Each week is a separate stand alone topic (with the exception of Week D which builds upon Week C). So on your first night of class there will be dogs in attendance that have been coming for a few weeks and later in your series new dogs will be starting. This allows us to introduce your dog to new people and new distractions!
Dogs Know Sit! Because some of the other students have been coming to class for a while, you may observe them working with their dogs in ways you have not yet learned. Don’t worry about this, you aren’t behind, and you’ll eventually get the same instruction. That said, it would be beneficial if your dog knows how to SIT before the first class. Many people have already taught this to their dog, but if you’re having trouble with this let me know and I’ll help you.
Keep in mind our goal for these six weeks in to help you develop a healthy relationship with your dog, The first night of class might be overwhelming for your dog, so you will want to monitor their reaction and be there to support them. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t participate much or are a bit unresponsive. If they have not gotten out much since you brought them home or they've just joined your family, class might be a lot to take in (new smells, new sights, new noises, etc). But make sure you pay attention, because the stuff we discuss can be applied when you get home and that’s where it’s most important that you practice it anyway.
Treats. You will receive a bag of training treats as part of your registration. The treat should be broken into bacon-bit sized pieces to use as rewards for your dog. Most dogs under stress will not take treats, so don’t force them on your dog. You might also want to come prepared with some favorite treats that you know your dog likes - already broken up and ready to go.
If You're Gonna Have Fun You Gotta Know the Rules. During some classes we may allow the dogs to have play time. While socialization is important, class time should not be thought of as social time for the dog, but rather an opportunity to continue the socialization you are already doing with them outside of class. Additionally, we will be pointing out some dog body language and behavior to help you learn what is appropriate and what you might want to avoid at the dog park.
There are a few rules for PEOPLE to follow during playtime:
1) Only pet the dogs when all FOUR of their feet are on the floor. Be strong! Resist their cute looks!
2) If they hide under your feet step away from them so they have to get out into the open.
3) If they hide under a chair, pick up the chair and move it so the dog has to move out into the open.
4) Do not interfere with socialization. Yes, the dogs are adorable, but let them get their ya-yas out with the other pups. For some dogs this might be the first time they've seen their own species since they arrived in their new home. Let them have a little fun.
See you in class!