Charlie’s Adventures in Puppy School started a few months back with “Teen Puppy” classes at one of our local recreation centers. It was lots of fun! Not only did it give us 1:1 time to bond, but he met lots of friends, and really sharpened some skills that were emerging in our own training like leave it and wait (at door). Charlie learned a lot and loved going to his dog training classes every week.
At the end of 7 weeks we all waited to see…Would Charlie graduate and move on to bigger and better things?
Dog Training Classes at Lollypop Farm
With no classes on the calendar at the rec. center, we expanded our horizons in search of another class that could help with some of his “puppy brain” behaviors like jumping on people, sled pulling leash tugging, and lunging (for his favorite toys when playing). A colleague recommended Lollypop Farm Behavior Classes (duh Rachael, really?! You love Lollypop Farm!)
After checking into it myself, I learned that Lollypop Farm uses positive reinforcement, focusing largely on the relationship between dog and owner, to promote the acquisition of real-life skills to promote communication skills and prevent future behavior problems. That along with glowing reviews of our would-be trainer, Alyssa, and it was decided…
Charlie would enroll in their “Intermediate Manners” dog training class.
Getting Used to a new School (and More Rules)!
Class was a bit of an adjustment for Charlie. Growing into a big dog means less puppy playtime in class, and more time spent on “us” and his ability to focus on what I wanted from him, rather than what he wanted!! Don’t feel bad for Charlie just yet. Alyssa was everything she was advertised to be: passionate, kind, fun, patient (trust me she needed all of these attributes from time to time with Charlie).
Charlie worked very hard over the 6 weeks of the class, so when the time came, we all wondered… would Charlie graduate and move on to bigger things once again?!
Lemme in Mom, I’m ready to graduate!
You never can be too careful, people drop treats here all the time Mom!
I could not possibly look Mom! You tell me, did I graduate?
What’s this, a paper treat? Thanks!
No, Charlie stop! Its your diploma!!! You did it!
One of my proudest puppy moments Mom!
Charlie was already a really good, sweet boy, but I have been so impressed with how his behavior has improved during his 6 weeks in class! While he continues to need reinforcement for loose leash walking and greeting people with the appropriate level of enthusiasm. He has almost completely stopped lunging for toys, thanks to the “Ready….Steady….GO!” command.
So What’s Next for Little Chucklie Duckles?
AKC Canine Good Citizen, that’s what!!! In order to be designated as a Canine Good Citizen (like our Harley) Charlie must be able to successfully complete the following tasks:
- Test 1. Accept a Friendly Stranger (Accepting-no problem, his level of enthusiasm when doing so, may be!)
- Test 2. Sit Politely for Petting (If he can get that wiggle butt down, he’s got this)
- Test 3. Appearance and Grooming (IN THE BAG…have you seen him?)
- Test 4. Out for a Walk (walk on a loose leash)—eek
- Test 5. Walking Through a Crowd (As long as no one is holding a Chuckit! Flying Squirrel)
- Test 6. Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place (Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy)
- Test 7. Coming When Called (See Item 5)
- Test 8. Reaction to Another Dog (See item 1)
- Test 9. Reactions to Distractions (5 again….please, no one bring a frisbee!)
- Test 10. Supervised Separation (I’ll be the only one struggling with this)
While I’m not quite sure he will be ready for the test at the end, we will love taking the 6-week course and improving his behavior even more. If my little bunny surprises us all and passes, that is one step closer to becoming a therapy dog!!!