Our first ever Adolescent course!
by Holly Hamp // May 2018
Our first ever Adolescent course!
Dog School’s up and down the country have all embarked (pardon the pun) upon running their first sets of Adolescent classes! Our new course is specially tailored to dogs at the stage in their lives where we can focus on the transition from puppyhood to adulthood!
Last month at Dog School West Yorkshire we held our first ever Adolescent class, now 6 weeks on, they have all progressed so much and have finally graduated!
Let us introduce you to our six adolescent pups.
We have the wonderful Maisie who was four-month-old Cockapoo when she started classes. Maisie loved to jump up and greet every single person she would meet, a very friendly and delightful girl. Lottie was our second Cockapoo in class, much like Maisie she adored people and sometimes struggled to settle down. Our lovely Labrador Mia, who, as you might expect, was full of beans! She wanted to say hello to every dog at first. Margo was a sweet Miniature Schnauzer, she was the youngest member of the class but made up for her tiny statue with her larger than life attitude. Luna the Whippet cross was very gentle and so good at working with all members of the family. Then we have the long-legged Leo who was a Galgo Espanol, having never met one of his kind before we were delighted to have such a variety of breeds added to our class.
Leo had a fascination with bird feeder fat balls and had a habit of trying to eat animal poo, especially rabbit poo! Lovely! A perfect candidate to teach our ‘leave it’ command to. Throughout the five-week course, we looked to help the owners with common training struggles.
One of the things that we cover in our Adolescent course that we believe to be super important for dogs attending at this age is to build up their focus. Three of our students struggled at first with becoming settled and learning their good manners with saying hello to other dogs, Maisie, Lottie and Mia were our bounciest dogs and as we said earlier they adored people and other dogs. When dogs get to the age of about 16 weeks their attitude can change a significant amount. The world around them is so much more exciting and suddenly much like a teenage boy or girl, they lose focus and interest in you. At Dog School, we aim to reduce frustration in dogs by teaching them to settle around other dogs and people. We teach them to not have an expectation that they can say hello to every dog or human that they see, this helps to reduce their frustration and makes their walks much more relaxed and enjoyable for both dog and owner. At the end of their course Maisie, Lottie and Mia were more settled and relaxed in a very distracting environment, we are incredibly proud of their progress!
As for our two final students loopy Luna and loony Leo, they came on so far during the 5 weeks of classes! The ‘leave it’ command was the most important lesson these two learnt. Previously Luna and Leo would pick up things that they shouldn’t all the time whilst out on walks or around the house, but now you can just ask them to ‘leave it’ and they would immediately respond, even with something as tempting as a stick or bird feeder balls!
We had a lot of fun with this class, we could mix and socialise the dogs with each other. We concentrated on polite greetings and recalling them away from one another which they all did amazingly well at.