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Posted on 06-15-2017

Giving Power to the Puppies?!

Written by: Hope Mielke

Power to the Puppies training is all about empowering your puppy to make the right choices. Empowering your puppy doesn't mean giving him the keys to your house and offering him all the food he wants, whenever he wants. When using positive reinforcement correctly, we reward a puppy when he/she chooses to do the behavior we favor, therefore increasing the likelihood they will choose that behavior again.

A real life example is my collie girl, Rose. As a young puppy she liked to jump up and counter surf in the kitchen while I was cooking.  So whenever I happened to notice Rose lying down in the kitchen I would toss her a treat and say "down." At other times when I was cooking and Rose was at my feet begging for food, I stopped and asked her:  "What do you need to do?" and then waited. I could see her think about it and then overtime she would start to lay down and then I would give her a treat! With continued practice, Rose's preferred place in the kitchen became lying down in the middle, hoping for a piece of food to be tossed her way. On occasion I still find myself giving her treats so she continues the preferred behavior of "down" in the kitchen. I call her my "Doggie Island" since her spot remains where a kitchen island would be, if my kitchen had one. The bonus was that she also learned the important cue of "down" could be used in other places as well.

If you would like to learn more about teaching your puppy to choose the behaviors you want, then call us to sign up for a "Power to the Puppies" class. Our puppy kindergarten class covers the basic behaviors of sit, down, come, stay, focus (Watch me), and more! Designed specifically for puppies 8 weeks to 5 months of age, we also include time for puppy playtime and people socialization. Our next class starts on Wednesday, June 21 at 6:30 pm and lasts 7 weeks.

What if your puppy is older? We are also offering  a "high school" puppy class for puppies 6 months to 12 months of age. The "More Power to the Puppies" class is designed to build upon the behaviors started in puppy kindergarten. Tailored to the teenage dog, we will challenge their minds with more focus exercises, fun tricks, and strengthening the behaviors previously learned in puppy kindergarten. Even if you didn't attend a puppy class, feel free to attend if you have a teenage dog who needs some help choosing your preferred behaviors. Class starts on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30 pm and lasts 7 weeks.

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