Puppy Classes are to Puppies what Kindergarten is to Children

Not only is it good to take a puppy to puppy kindergarten (puppy classes), it can be a lot of fun. At puppy classes, you will meet other new owners and their adorable puppies. You will meet knowledgeable people who will be able to answer many of your questions. You will have an evening filled with so many things to learn you will be completely distracted from your daily worries and responsibilities. Even if you are an old hand at raising and training puppies, taking your puppy to puppy classes is still a good idea.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) has a puppy program designed just for puppy training. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s (AVSAB) recommends puppy classes.


Your new puppy may be the only dog in the house and may be lonely. Taking a puppy class gives your puppy a chance to meet other puppies and humans in a safe environment. Most puppy classes have a break period where puppies can play with each other and with the toys provided by the teacher. This is an important learning experience where puppies learn at a young age how to get along with strange dogs and people. Puppy classes are a place to try out new behaviors and see what reactions will be. This way puppies learn early how to get along with other dogs.

Even if the puppy is part of a household of dogs, the other dogs are probably all older than the puppy and will do their own training. The other dogs are all dominant to the puppy in the household. At puppy classes, the puppy learns how to interact appropriately with other dogs of the same age and you will be able to see how it will behave when not in a submissive role.

Obedience commands 

Puppy classes will teach you to train your puppy basic obedience commands. Not only will you learn to train your puppy, you will have someone watching you to point out when you are making mistakes. Being corrected for mistakes is as important for you as it is for your puppy. Since you cannot see yourself doing things, having someone else pick up your quirks can spell the different between a successful class and an unsuccessful one.

Some of the commands you will be learning are the “Watch” command which trains the puppy to pay attention to you; “the “Sit” command; the “Down” command; and, the “Come” command. You will also be taught why you should use only one word for a command rather than two, such as “sit down.” In most classes, you will be taught how to walk your puppy on a leash.

Here is the place where you can receive advice on toilet training, crate training and riding in a car.

Age of your puppy 

Puppy classes generally are limited to puppies between the ages of 12 weeks and six months. Of course, all puppies must have had their first shots and the teacher will ask for evidence of this, so bring your veterinary certificates with you to the first class.

Starting early 

Puppy classes are to puppies what kindergarten is for children. The younger the child or puppy that begins age-appropriate schooling, the easier it is for them to learn their basic lessons that can be built upon later. Not only are they accustomed to learning lessons in the presence of strange dogs and people but they learn that this environment is not a threat or dangerous.

Older dogs without this early experience will have to overcome their need for self-protection and/or protection of their owner/trainer. For dogs, just as for people, the older you are when you begin to learn anything new, the more difficult it is.

To get the most enjoyment from your new puppy, an introduction to basic obedience commands will give you more control over your bundle of energy. Socialization with other dogs and people will reduce your puppy’s fear of strangers and strange environments. It will also get you out of the house and away from the TV for an evening. Puppy classes are good for both of you!


The house in need of love

I was living in the country, in a very pleasant house, in a very pleasant neighborhood, but the drive into town to work in the winter became tedious. So I decided to move into town nearer work.  I contacted the Real Estate Agent who had sold me the house I was living in. She and her partners always interviewed prospective house buyers as to their likes and dislikes, hobbies, work, price range and other requirements before searching out a list of houses meeting those requirements. So I went to our meeting prepared with my list of house types by preference; split-level at the top with split-foyer and two storied houses at the bottom. I needed a large garden for the dogs as well.

We met as arranged and began our tour of the city. At the end of an exhausting day, she said she would like to show me one more house. She realized it was a two-story house but it was so unusual she wanted me to see it. She and her partners were currently doing some cosmetic work on it. I agreed.

We drove up to a two-story house with a large attached two-car garage. My first impression was shock. The house was painted totally in black except for the window trim and the garage door which were painted gold. Since the local school colors were black and gold I wondered if they were displaying the school colors.

We entered the house by the front door which was adjacent to the garage. It opened into a spacious entrance foyer with a stair case leading up to the second floor on the right and a large coat closet on the left. Also on the left was the door into the living room. The carpet was of royal purple and the wallpaper was shiny silver. Straight ahead was another door into the kitchen. The entrance to the kitchen was obscured by dangling green beads.

We walked into the large living room/dining room combination. The royal purple carpet continued. A very large fireplace was in one wall, painted over in black. Over the dining room table was a huge plastic chandelier. There was an open window between the dining area and the kitchen where food could be served. This gave a glimpse into the green kitchen with a green carpet, an avocado green refrigerator and a white stove. Passing by the kitchen area we moved toward the door to the garage. On the left was a small powder room with a green sink and a blue toilet. On the right was the door to the basement.

We decided to look at the upstairs bedrooms first. The master bedroom was of good size with heavy green velvet drapes and tassels.  Another plastic chandelier hung over the bed. The second largest bed room was open and bright with windows on two sides and a large walk-in closet. The wallpaper was subdued but also had a large plastic chandelier. The other two bedrooms across the hall were smaller and had their own wallpapers. One was in huge yellow sunflowers; the other was in red and white stripes.

The master bath had a tub and shower combination with toilet and sink. Everything was in black and white.

Wondering what was next, we headed for the basement that had been completely papered in a red poppy print.  Even the windows had been papered over.  Other than the enormous family room, there were two other rooms including a three quarter bath all in black. The basement carpet was red.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with color we proceeded to the large back yard with several tall trees and many shrubs. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the placement of the trees and shrubs, however.  They looked as if they had been planted where they had fallen from the wheelbarrow. It made mowing a bit tricky.

My agent and I talked about the house all the way back to where I had parked my car. We wondered about the woman who had decorated her house with such atrocious taste?  Where did she come from?  Despite the fact that the house was a large 4-bedroom house, near the city park and the university, they were having trouble selling it because of the décor.  People simply did not want to put the money into a house so much in need of cosmetics.

We parted for the day, my agent to look for a new series of houses, and I to think about this badly treated house. It was a lovely house in terms of proportions and spaciousness. It had plenty of space. It certainly had a bathroom on every floor. Everything about the house screamed, “Look at what has been done to me! I could be beautiful if someone cared enough”

I simply could not get the house out of my head. So the following week I went to see my real estate agent and confessed I wanted that house. I wanted to fix it up.

I got it for a good price. When I met the owners during the sale, I offered to let them have all those awful plastic chandeliers, saying that I was sure they were meaningful to them. The wife was very grateful. They were, indeed, very meaningful to her. I was thrilled to get rid of them.

The following year I worked on the house. Bathrooms received matching fixtures, none of which were black. Silver wallpaper was removed as were the dangling beads to the kitchen. Avocado green in the kitchen was replaced with white. The black paint was removed from the fireplace revealing some lovely marble. And the list went on. One weekend, I painted the garage doors and all the window trim in a blue grey. It softened the harshness of the black which covered the rest of the house. Neighbors would come by and thank me. Slowly, the house began to emerge from its garish interior decoration into a more formal and softer look.

It was a lovely, comfortable house to live in. Unfortunately, I received a job offer I could not refuse and had to sell the house before I was quite finished with it. Fortunately, my real estate agent remembered a woman who had liked the house but had no desire to spend the amount of money it needed to fix it up. So when I was ready to sell, she saw what I had done and bought it.

I still remember that house with great fondness. It had been a house nobody wanted except me and I was just sorry for it. It was simply an eyesore.  But the openness of the design, and the spaciousness of its rooms, made it a very comfortable house to live in – but only if you closed your eyes.