Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Puppy Class

(This is LONG.  I debated weather or not to post all of this, but decided it was best to be honest about it. So. . .)

I have not written much about Dante's puppy classes.  Being in an area where I am the only raiser has been a little challenging.  I really miss not having a group, especially having such a great group with GEB before I moved.  Now don't get me wrong, I have great support from our Puppy Program Manager and always get my questions answered, and I have found great support through all of you fellow puppy raiser bloggers as well.  There are very few organizations that would allow me to raise without a group here, so I am so, so thankful for CCI, and truly am grateful to be part of such an amazing organization.  But it is still hard at times not to have someone face-to-face.

We have attended three different puppy classes with Dante over the last few months.  We tried to avoid having to go to a pet store, so the first two were private classes.  The first trainer was good, but Dante ended up being the only puppy in the class.  And even though the trainer's philosophy was consistent with CCI, he didn't really know what to do with us since we did things slightly different, and being the only ones there was hard for a few reasons.  First, it didn't give Dante any socialization, and second, it didn't help us trying to just handle our differences quietly.  So, I think it was mutual that we moved on.

The second class was pretty messy.  My mom and I set it up to observe a class before we signed up.  The class that we saw was pretty good, so we signed Dante up, making sure to explain how we do things to the instructor to make sure she was comfortable with us.  The information we got on the class was vague at best, but we didn't think much of it.  It turned out that they did absolutely NO positive reinforcement.  It was not clear at all when we signed up.  You don't know how hard it was to watch the other owners yank and correct their pups into position, and not say anything.  Those poor pups had no idea what was expected of them.  So, we made it through the class trying our best to work Dante quietly, and decided to stick it out because Dante did need the socialization with other puppies, but knew that signing up for another one was not an option.

We spent a couple weeks trying to avoid going to Petco.  Its a long story about that.  But anyways.  We met with the trainer at Petco in our neighboring town, and LOVE him.  He is a former K9 police officer and his philosophy is spot on with CCI.  It has been so refreshing to go to a class where I actually take really good information home, and not just socialization for Dante.  

Dante graduated from his first class there last week.  We always get there early to get Dante settled and ready to work on time.  This week there was a couple with two Great Danes.  I know they are huge, but had never met one in person.  Oh my, I am glad they were so well behaved! ;-)  We decided to let Dante greet the older one (the other was a newly rescued puppy and a little rambunctious).  The Great Dane was so gentle and good with Dante!

Getting ready to greet:

Bragging moment: D's focus on me :-)

I LOVE when other pet owners initiate good, polite greeting where both pups have high standards of behavior :-)

Being our last week, we had a lot of fun with an obstacle course to work through.

Loose leash walking through the cones:

Dante is not a huge fan of the tunnel:

But he made it through (with lots of treats)!

One of the other puppies, Bandit's, mom is a pastry chef and made amazing treats for the puppies:

I only let Dante have a small one and took the one with his name home (which he has been getting little pieces of it everyday for the last week).

"Please release me!!!"

"I don't know how much longer I can 'wait'!"

We ended with some playtime with Bandit  The first two weeks Bandit was really hesitant about Dante, but they have grown to love each other and play really nicely.

So thankful for a such a great class for Dante!


  1. Great post! You are at a disadvantage of not having a puppy raising group available to you, but you are doing a wonderful job of making up for it. The research, time and energy that you are putting in to Dante shows. Dante (and CCI) are lucky to have you!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Leslie!


We love to hear from our readers! Please leave a comment!