Puppy class #1 — huge success!

I cannot rave about Ahimsa Dog Training enough. They are doing absolutely everything right. I am just so impressed.

First, they have an awesome setup for puppies. It’s a small space, which could be disastrous, but they’ve made really smart choices. First, they limit the number of puppies. Second, they strategically set up ex-pen panels to create individual areas for each puppy. Cloth curtains on the panels keep the puppies from fixating on their neighbors. There are two chairs in each area for the people and a tether spot to affix the leash. PERFECT for individual work.

The floor is basically stall mats, which means it’s cushy, non-slip, and easy to clean. The door area has a double gate, so you can move dogs in and out, even during playtime, without concern that another puppy will escape.

The class itself is active and fluid. They start with the name game or simple sits or touches. There’s a white board with the puppy behaviors listed: come, stay, sit/down/stand, leave it, tricks, walking on a loose leash, and problems. Each human student goes to the board and puts a mark next to the three things he or she would like to work on in class that night. Very cool!

Last night we did name recognition, touch, walking on a loose leash, polite greetings, and talked about problem chewing. We also had two or three different play times, and during those we would occasionally go in, grab our pup’s collar, say “Gotcha!”, feed a treat, and then release her to play again.

I had done so little with Miss Pflouff prior to that class, so I was really stressed about going. But she was a champ! (Thanks entirely to Jenni, I have no doubt.) We had done some name recognition, so she was great at that. She’s also good at touch. Her greetings are wonderfully polite. And she caught on to their loose leash walking exercise immediately. (She was the demo dog for that one.)

The only downside to this class is its location. It’s 45 minutes away… in good weather. Winter is fast approaching, and I’m dreading trying to cross the ridge to get there on a snowy night.

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