“Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters. Behavioral issues are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age” (not parvo) according the the American Veterinarian Society of Animal Behavior. ” Puppies are learning every minute, with or without our influence. The solution is to provide an environment to make learning good manners easy and engaging in inappropriate behavior less desirable for the puppy. Anything’s PAWSable’s different puppy programs makes sure you don’t miss these critical windows of opportunity
Research has shown that the most impressionable periods for a puppy’s mental development occurs during the first 16 weeks of age. This time is known as the primary (ending at 12 weeks) and the secondary (ending at 16 weeks of age) socialization period. It is critical that puppies are given exposure to a wide variety of sounds, textures, surfaces, sights, other dogs and people. (Please see the link below to an article by the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior on early socialization). Once these development periods end, you cannot make up for what was not done during this early stage. The schedule I offer to support puppy learning during the stages of growth and emotional development are shown below. Learning is done in layers, so each class builds upon the layers of the class before it. By 5-6 months, the puppy will then have the emotional maturity to be successful in an hour long class, and the Family Dog Manners class is the next step. I offer the following Positive Puppy classes:
Puppy Start RIGHT:
The objective of Puppy Start Right, a program developed by Karen Pryor Academy with Ken Martin, DVM and Debbie Martin, RVT,VTS (Behavior), CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, is to provide an immediately available class for the youngest of puppies, beginning at 8 weeks, as recommended by The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, which recommends puppy classes for ALL puppies 8-16 weeks of age. This is a place to begin dog/owner relationship training and canine social skills while puppies are waiting for our more structured Positive Kindergarten Puppy class to start. THIS IS A SOCIALIZATION CLASS.
The instant availability of this class takes advantage of the puppy socialization period that occurs between 8-16 weeks of age.
According the the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) under the subheading of “Normal Behavior Socialization:
- Discuss with breeders critical behavior development in the first 2-3 wk. Research shows gentle handling increases the neonate’s ability to cope with stress later in life. · Discuss the socialization period (2-12 wk). Demonstrate handling, nail trimming, bite inhibition, and safe exposure to novel sounds, textures, and objects. Explain appropriate exposure to other dogs, species, adults, and children. Encourage clients to attend group classes prior to 4 mo of age to promote socialization behavior.
- Discuss puppy anxiety issues. Puppies experience a fear period around 8-10 wk of age, which often coincides with joining a new family and the first veterinary visit. Some puppies may start to show anxiety at this time and remain fearful even in the absence of any trauma. Use positive reinforcement with treats or toys during transport, exams, vaccinations, and handling. Avoid aversive events because those may have lifelong effects on anxiety, fear, reactivity, and aggressiveness.
- Discuss adult dog phobias (e.g., thunderstorms, fireworks) and how to prevent them. see attached article article-aaha-canine-life-stage-guidelines.
(please read more about vaccines in the drop down menu of this web site under the heading: Register for Classes)
Puppy Start Right Weekly Themes
- Health and Handling
- Wheels and Children’s Toys
- Obstacles and Sounds
- Costumes and Appearances
- Price: $125 includes, 4 hrs of group puppy socialization, 5 video-on-demand Puppy Start Right videos, a free clicker, and the Puppy Start Right book (a $25 value)
Puppy Kindergarten :
The objective of Kindergarten Puppy is to provide ongoing assistance to puppy owners older than 16 weeks but whose owners still want bits of supervised play time interspersed with learning of basic skills/manners. During periods of puppy development puppies thrive with ongoing learning of both new and established skills. These learned behaviors will become stronger and more reliable before the puppy becomes an adolescent (a teenager). Puppy training provides positive life experiences, builds self-confidence, teaches basic skills, and establishes a foundation for further training. It is strongly encouraged but not required) that Kindergarten Puppy owners attend the same orientation that Pet Dog Manners students attend but if you have already taken Puppy Start Right, this can be optional. This class is not designed to create a fully trained dog, but is similar to kindergarten for children and will provide a foundation for further learning. The classes cover the following skills as they apply to raising a puppy.
- Collar Games
- It’s Yer Choice stimulus control game (for mouthing, etc)
- Beginning Stay
- Beginning Loose Leash Walking (the most difficult skill for a dog to master)
- Beginning Recall thru games
- Supervised play/socialization
- Discussions on topics such as resource guarding, bite inhibition, physical restraint and more, Q and A encouraged
S.T.A.R. Puppy Program:
Anything’s “Paws”able supports the American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. Puppy Program and Debi is an AKC Certified Evaluator. Puppies with early Socialization, Training, Activity, and a Responsible Owner will be STARS! A key component of the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is a responsible owner. The Canine Good Citizen Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge is for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program, too. Responsibility should start the moment you decide to add a new dog or puppy to your family. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program welcomes all dogs including purebreds and mixed breeds.
How It Works
When you complete a basic training class (taught by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator) with your puppy (up to 1 year old) your puppy is eligible to be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.
You’ll attend any puppy or basic training class at least 6 weeks. Your instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test at the end of the course. Upon passing the test, you’ll get an application to send to AKC® for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. All dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program including purebreds and mixed breeds.
Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal (for display or memento purposes; not suitable as a collar tag). You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. In addition, so that you can continue learning, you’ll receive our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package that includes:
- A beautiful, frameable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC
- AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource
- Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter: Your AKC. This includes training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know. We want you and your puppy to continue learning beyond puppy classes. The following topics are all included the S.T.A.R. Puppy Program:
- Care and Handling
- Puppy Manners Training I & II
- Getting Along
- Living Happily Together
- Making Connections