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June 18, 2014

Penny’s First Day of School

I make an effort to stay up to date on the latest dog training techniques. I check out videos from various trainers, read the newest literature from veterinary behaviorists, and Eko and I frequently test the science for ourselves. So it may seem counterintuitive when I say the more I
I make an effort to stay up to date on the latest dog training techniques. I check out videos from various trainers, read the newest literature from veterinary behaviorists, and Eko and I frequently test the science for ourselves.So it may seem counterintuitive when I say the more I learn about training the more I learn I need help training Penny.Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, dogs, chicago, adventure, marking our territory

“Huh? Will, that don’t make no sense.”

With Eko I used positive reinforcement and clicker training (well, using my voice as the clicker) with great success. As usual, I was feeling pretty hot about my skills. And as usual, this feeling was immediately followed by me getting taken down a few notches. Thanks to Eko’s breeder’s insistence, I enrolled Eko in a puppy training class. I prepared to show off our skills the first day of class, with the only problem being Eko did not listen to a word I said.

I learned the valuable lesson that your dog does not know a command until they know it everywhere. And so no matter how good I think I am as a trainer, now or in the future, I will always enroll my dogs in a group training class. Puppy class allows you and your pup to work together in a highly distracting environment.  Additionally it’s offers time for some vital socialization with other pups of a similar age.

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, dogs, chicago, adventure, marking our territory

We had our first meeting this week at Anything is Pawzible and found a spot in the back of the class. Old habits die hard, I guess

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, dogs, chicago, adventure, marking our territory

Penny was desperate to play with the other pups, so while the instructor spoke we had the chance to work on her patience and manners

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, dogs, chicago, adventure, marking our territory

And yes, we had some fun on-leash introductions as well!

For the next six weeks these puppy classes provide a unique opportunity to foster, measure and challenge our obedience work. Puppy classes were invaluable for Eko’s development and I know they will be similarly important for Penny. The classes also tire Penny out, so everyone is a winner.

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, dogs, chicago, adventure, marking our territory

A catatonic Penny = a blissful Eko

Whether you have a puppy or and adult dog, there are some amazing benefits to the structure of group training. I would highly recommend you check out some local training facilities in your area. If nothing else you can find out when the puppy class is and go and ogle at the cuteness!

Comments for Penny’s First Day of School

  1. Elyse says:

    I agree completely — group training is great for so many things. With Cooper, unfortunately, I had to do it in French — which I didn’t speak. That is why he was never terribly well behaved. I’m sure it had nothing to do with me …

  2. OhMelvin says:

    LOVE this: I learned the valuable lesson that your dog does not know a command until they know it everywhere.

    So true!!!

  3. Kyla says:

    Do they have a division to train my peeps?

  4. fredrieka says:

    momwithoutpaws uses positive reinforcement clicker (voice) My word is YES! I want to play, I was older than Penny when mom adopted me, I learned as quickly as she did. Everywhere, is where I need to listen. She tries to teach me in new places, we need to get out more.

  5. I bet she’s RUNNING puppy class before long……she’s not just adorable, she’s a smarty!

    Pam

  6. Emmadog says:

    My sister Katie didn’t go to training as a pup, Mom thought she could handle it on her own..at age 3, Katie was in obedience class with a bunch of pups, but one class got them on the road to success. I did two classes, but Bailie is our scholar with Puppy Kindergarten, Obedience 1 and 2 and now in a CGC class. Classes can be a pain, but they are well worth it we find! Good luck to Penny!

  7. Kuruk says:

    Good luck ay school Penny! Woooooowooooooo!

  8. It’s a great idea to do early training in a distracted environment. And we love that photo of Penny’s tilty head! 😀

  9. I always encourage people with adults and puppies to go to obedience school. Even if your dog is well trained, or if they don’t learn anything (impossible!) you at least have a tired pup.

    My favorite obedience class I took with my dog Artemis… mainly because right after was the puppy pre-school and I got to see and cuddle with about twenty of the fluffiest most adorable puppies while Artemis learned to be patient and not be the center of attention.

  10. Dottie and Tuffy-Cat says:

    OH! I just want to pick Penny up and love her all over. She is so cute, What a great personality she has already developed. Imagine what she’ll be like when she’s really got the hang of things.
    Congratulations on a really, really good choice, Will.

    Dottie and Tuffy-Cat

  11. ThatJenK says:

    I definitely agree – even if you’re an experienced trainer, there are so many other benefits to group training classes (if your dog is up for it – sometimes that’s too much for dogs with some issues), that you should go anyway. Working in a group setting and working on socializing are super important, even if you know all the ins and outs of how to train a dog.

  12. Marcela says:

    Lol. Omg, you remind me of a friend of mine that thought and believed herself to be the best foosball player in the world. Yes, in the world, and then had her younger siter beat her without a problem. Excellent idea; yes take Penny to classes. When I was the studuent, now I am the trainer, I used to love those classes and I had a ton of fun!

  13. dogdaz says:

    Good for you doggie dad. Group and everywhere training makes sense. She is soooo cute.

  14. Pie says:

    I am enjoying your blog. I have an 18 month old RR, my second RR. My first one passed away at age 9 1/2. We are in a very challenging time in terms of growth and obedience…so our blog is helpful in getting me through this time.

  15. We called in the experts when we got Jack…we knew we were out of our league. Will ALWAYS do it going forward. Penny sure loves her big brother doesn’t she…so cute.

  16. Puppy school is a must. More people need to do it!

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