Puppy 101

I am a veterinarian. I should know all there is to know about puppies, right? Well, that may have been true at one point. The first puppy I ever had was a Rottweiler named Chloe. She was the absolute best puppy. In fact, she was so good, she was the last puppy I have ever had. That’s right. It has been over 10 years since I last had a puppy, and I felt like I needed a refresher course in what it was like to be a new puppy owner. So, over Memorial Day weekend I brought home one of the puppies we have up for adoption at the Canine Country Club. Her name is Maybe and she is super cute, smart, and fun! However, puppies are a hand full! Here is what I “re-learned”: Being a puppy parent is like a full-time job. You are constantly watching them, making sure they are chewing on the right things, not falling off things, not eating things they shouldn’t, taking them outside before they have accidents, making sure that the cats aren’t beating them up. You are basically their bodyguard. I had completely forgotten how “on” you have to be to keep up with a 10 week old puppy. Not only are you trying to protect them from themselves like they are some troubled Hollywood starlet, you have to start teaching them the right things to do: Sit, stay, learn their name, come when called, house training, and crate training.

Needless to say, it was a really fun, intense weekend, and it reinforced how excited I am that we have started a Puppy 101 Seminar at the Canine Country Club. If you have a new puppy, are thinking of getting one, or just want to revisit some puppy info, it is a great class. It is totally free and it is just for humans. The information comes from a Karen Pryor training course I have been going through the last several weeks. You will learn steps to successful housetraining, crate training, and socialization, all critical to the long-term happiness of you and your pet. You will also learn what NOT to do. Did you know that the Dominance Theory that has been popularized by shows like the Dog Whisperer is NOT the way to train a puppy? Dog’s are not trying to be “alpha” when they misbehave! We will also go over some common myths regarding pet nutrition and what to expect in your first veterinary visits. Being a new puppy owner can be overwhelming, even if you’ve done it before and are around pets all the time! Trust me! I’ve been there! This class will answer some common questions and give you great resources for further information, and is led by a veterinarian (yours truly)! The class is every Tuesday from 12:00 to 1:00pm and the first Thursday of every month at 5:30pm. Please call the Canine Country Club at 214-526-2033 to reserve your spot! And, oh yeah…It’s Free!

puppy socialization class is also in the works. This class will be a time for you and your puppy to focus on socialization to new dogs, people, objects, and experiences. These are going to be fun and useful classes that will be like a “vaccination” against behavior issues. Considering that many pets are relinquished to shelters due to behavior problems, these classes will hopefully start your puppy off on the right foot! Look for more information on this great opportunity coming soon!

A puppy can be overwhelming. However, with good information, appropriate expectations, training, and good energy, a puppy can also be amazing fun that enriches our life unlike anything else. If you have any questions about puppy or pet behavior, please call one of our offices today! Our goal is to give you and your pet the happiest, most stress free relationship possible!