Puppy Classes Keep Dogs Out Of Shelters   Leave a comment

To keep your dog from becoming a statistic, start training early

Every year, millions of dogs in shelters are euthenized, most of whom are there due to behavior problems. To help stop this cycle, Companions Dog Training now offers Puppy Headstart classes, which teach families how to work with their puppies during their crucial first 16 weeks of life, so they can grow into confident, well-mannered dogs.

During this short window of time, puppies are deciding how they will view the world for the rest of their life. For them to learn it is a safe, fun place, they need to be positively exposed to a wide variety of objects, experiences, people, and other dogs. “Most aggressive dogs are really fearful and unconfident,” says Companions’ certified trainer Eileen Murphy. “And so often, that lack of confidence comes from a lack of proper socialization while the dog was very young.” A dog who is fearful can also exhibit many other common problem behaviors, including excessive barking, urinating in the house, chewing, and the inability to cope with any new situation, be it meeting a new person or a riding in a car. Most of the dogs in our overcrowded animal shelters ended up there because of behaviors like these.

In Companions’ Puppy Headstart classes, families practice successfully introducing new experiences to their puppies, and discuss safe ways to do so outside of class. For example, one common exercise involves students introducing brushing to their puppies, rewarding the dog for increased periods of contact until the puppy will happily allow extended periods of brushing. Students also talk about common puppy training challenges with Murphy, such as housebreaking, nipping, and jumping. Classes are weekly, with no start and end date, so students come when their puppy is ready to start and stay until their puppy is ready to move on.

“I was spending a lot of time working with dogs who had problems because they weren’t exposed to the world as puppies. While I love working with those dogs, I decided to start working to prevent the problems rather than only dealing with them after they had shown up!” says Murphy. More and more dog owners are taking this proactive approach, and are being rewarded with dogs who are a joy to have in the family

Companions Dog Training is located in Edmonds, WA and provides dog owners with a variety of group and private positive training options. Clients can learn more about their services and register for classes online at www.CompanionsWA.com

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