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This is Harley! He is a three-month old miniature poodle. A common misconception is that training your dog can only happen after six months. The truth is that dogs are constantly learning from the first moment you adopt them. That is why it is important to start training and socialization at a young age to have a happy and obedient dog in the future.


Determined to start off on the right foot (or paw I should say) we started Puppy harleyKindergarten at Puppy Love Training. The first week of class was a 'people only' day where we learned some tips and tricks to keep our puppies healthy, happy, and most importantly TIRED! We also had a 'homework' assignment to introduce our puppies to the clicker. We were instructed to click and treat at least 10 times in a short period (two minutes) to have the dog associate the clicker with a positive reward. The clicker is used a marker that lets the dog know that it has done something correct. Your voice can be inconsistent and change depending on your mood, the words you use, the inflection, etc. The clicker is consistent every single time.


The second week was the first time we brought our puppies to class. It was very exciting to get to meet the puppies we had heard so much about during the first session. The first behavior we learned was 'attention'. You reward your dog for looking at your face. While this might seem very simple it is an important foundation for other behaviors and obedience. If your dog is paying attention anything besides you (another dog, squirrel, child, etc.), how can you expect the dog to obey a command? By rewarding your dog when (s)he focuses on you, you are also making the obedience class more effective by helping your dog to concentrate during class.


At the end of class the puppies were allowed to socialize with each other in a controlled manner. There are many different sized dogs in the class as well as different personality types. Having the introductions be controlled was important to avoid fights and boost the confidence level of insecure dogs.

We look forward to class every Wednesday to visit our new friends (on both four legs and two) and to see what we will be learning next!


For more information about Puppy Kindergarten visit