Thursday, July 7, 2016

Happy Summer!

I hope you are all having a wonderful, safe and happy summer.  As we get into our summer routine and classes are filling up (or are full) I thought I would touch base with everyone and give you an update on what we are doing this summer and looking forward to next fall.

First, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that hot cars are dangerous to our dogs!  Even a few minutes in a car on a hot day (even with the windows down!) can cause serious distress.  Not only do our dogs have fur coats on, their physiology makes them more susceptible to heat stroke than humans.  In addition, it’s good to remember that young puppies don’t have the same ability to regulate their body temperature that adult dogs do. So when it comes to leaving your dog in the car in the summer, please JUST DON’T! 

Do you have a new puppy this summer?  Getting used to riding in the car can be challenging to some young pups, as their vestibular system is not yet fully developed and car rides might make them feel ill.  A ½ a ginger snap cookie before a short car ride may help to easy their stomach upset.  Help your little ones get used to the car with short rides to happy places!  Airflow is important too, so keep those windows open, or the AC vent pointed toward the pup!

Finally, remember, the safest option for dogs traveling in the car, is in a crate that is secured using a seat belt or tie downs.  Remember that if you hit the brakes, your little bundle of joy is likely to become a projectile! 

For more tips on traveling with your pet check this link out .

Now on to news from Proper Paws!  Our summer classes are mostly full, although we still have one or two slots for Graduate Puppy available in July (more in August as people graduate from the class) and I have held open an overflow class for new Puppies who want to join the Puppy K classes.  If you know of someone with a new puppy who’s looking for a class I do Puppy Kindergarten on Tuesday’s!

This fall I am looking into some new offerings.  The first new offerings is Master Puppy class.  Think Master’s program for your dog (puppy or not).  This class will be a fun filled challenging class for those who have been through Puppy K and Graduate Puppy and have mastered all the skills taught in those classes with a fair degree of fluency.  If your dog can sit , down, stay, come and walk on a loose leash with some distractions, and you want them to do it even with a high level of distraction present, this is the class for you.  Weather permitting this class will challenge you and your dog with field trips to area distractions (Rideout Field, Dunkin Donuts, Train platform, downtown streets) so that we can proof all those behaviors you’ve worked so hard to teach your dog.  Pre-requisite is the ability for your dog to do basic behaviors with moderate distractions, for most people this will mean having gone through Puppy K and Graduate Puppy class (at least once).  Master Puppy Class will be a regular class with rolling admission!

Next on the list, Rally Obedience is back!  This is a fun way to really hone your leash walking and general obedience skills.  Rally Obedience is an AKC sport and consists of a series of 12-18 stations where your dog does an obedience skill, either moving or stationary, before advancing to the next station.  This class is designed for Novice students where we will be teaching a new set of signs each week as well as setting up mini courses to do ‘run thrus’.  If demand is high I will hold weekly or bi-weekly run thus for those who are interested in competing or ‘mock competing’. 

Finally, and the most exciting one for me is a new ‘Growlies’ class.  This is not for everyone, in fact is it a class for a select few, those who have dogs that react to other dogs with barking and lunging behaviors.  This will be among my ‘specials classes’ those are classes that will be offered occasionally as traditional 6 week courses with a start and end date – no rolling admission.  If you think you need this class, contact me and we can talk.

For those of you who are looking for Adventure Class, I will be running two sections of Adventure Class this fall, on Monday’s and Friday’s at 9:30am.  Both classes will start the week of September 19th, they will run for 6 weeks (no rolling admission – sorry) and the cost is $160.  If you have completed my Puppy K and Graduate Puppy classes and would like to enroll you may use the group class calendar to do so.  If you are not sure if your dog is ready, give me a call or drop me a line!  I look for dogs in this class to have a 70-80% recall, with the goal to improve it to 90%-95%.

Last but not least, a perennial favorite, Wag it Games class will be back this fall.  This is a great follow up to Graduate Puppy class and builds obedience skills as well as dog/handler connection. 

My tentative schedule for these classes is shown in this blog (schedule page).
If you have an interest and don’t see a course that matches it, please let me know!  I am always open to suggestions.