Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers
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Too funny. I thought puppy playtime and pass the puppy were the best parts, though I can see why others might not like it. We only had 4 puppies in the class and we didn't do pass the puppy until a few weeks in. Also, the instructor was really careful about which dogs played together. So we didn't have all 4 together at the same time. I thought it was useful to find out how your dog plays with other dogs, when your dog is rude, when your dog has had enough, how to get your dog back. Some people would be going to the dog park, so that's useful to know. (We don't do the dog park, too many dog fights.) Pass the puppy, well that just made me feel better about my dog. I learned that while my dog was mouthy, he wasn't a biter. And that maybe I should have gotten a pug. Seriously, that pug was the sweetest thing.
I second the "go to your mat" - I think that is great.
How about grooming/handling skills? Being calm while being brushed, examined by a vet, nail clipping, etc.
I've been teaching puppy classes for nine years, and I generally include:
Puppy basics- house training, crate training, puppy mouthing, puppy proofing, handling, restraint, etc.
Basic obedience behaviors - sit, down, stand (morphed into puppy push ups), LOTS of work on come when called, and response to your name.
Socialization to the environment - sights, sounds, smells, surfaces, people, places and things.
Practice polite greetings w/ others.
Keeping puppy on "your" radar screen vs. letting puppy loiter at the end of the leash "lusting" for what he can't reach.
I do play pass-the-puppy on the 5th week of a 6-week class. I think it's a good socialization experience when properly managed, and people like to see their puppy "behaving" for other people.
I also do puppy-to-puppy play groups specifically to teach owners to "see" what I consider good play and when, IMO, it's appropriate to intervene/redirect ... and why you don't let puppies and adolescents play for long periods of time w/o redirecting them to their "thinking brains" for a bit. So we play for a few mins ... casually round up the pups ... do some puppy push ups and get some owner focus ... then release back to play, etc.
I aslo talk about multiple dog households and the importance of teaching subsequent dogs how to be "alone."
"Quiz" (Golden Retriever) 12/31/03 - 3/20/13
U-CD, Can. CD Tanbark's Number Two Pencil, CDX, JH, AX, AXJ, OF, JS-E, RS-E, GS-E, NAC, WCDex, SRD
I loved being this dog's partner! Watch him shine!
Donmar-Valair Second Wind, CD, RE, MC, ASCA-CD, Th.D.
#1 AKC Obedience Whippet for 2004 / AKC and ASFA FCH Pointed