Animal Humane Society’s ‘Puppy Kindergarten’ Helps New Pet Owners
For some, the school year may be winding down. But “Puppy Kindergarten” is offered year-round at Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley.
During the pandemic, pet adoptions soared. Fastforward to today, there’s a demand for dog training.
The Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley is here to help you and your pup start off on the right paw.
“They’re toddlers. They’re sponges. They learn really quick with these things. So this is a great time to get them started with their learning,” said Angie Kenny, animal behavior and training specialist with the Animal Humane Society. “We are here to help our puppies grow into happy, confident adult dogs.”
Puppy Kindergarten classes are open to puppies 18 weeks old and younger.
“It’s much easier to be proactive than reactive. Let’s teach them that it is fun and rewarding to act politely,” said Kenny. “I want to make sure I can reward them as quickly as possible so they know that what they’re doing is earning the treat. So when you back away, that gets you a cookie.”
Peter Greenwood recently adopted Peggy.
“It’s just going to make life easier in the future you know. It’s worth it in the long run and she needs socialization like all dogs should have,” said Greenwood.
Classes Don’t Overwhelm the Puppies
Puppy Kindergarten breaks lessons up into bite size pieces that puppies and their owners can easily digest.
“In Puppy Kindergarten, we get the puppies are used to being handled. Like they will for nail trims and vet visits and groomers. We want them to enjoy being handled,” said Kenny.
The puppies rotate through crate training, house training and not jumping. When puppies and their people complete the once-a-week class for four weeks they graduate Puppy Kindergarten and are ready for Level I training.
“Puppies do what works. So if a puppy jumps on you and that gets your attention they’re going to keep doing that. If we don’t want to be jumped on, we want to teach a puppy a different way to ask for our attention,” said Kenny.
Kenny says that Puppy Kindergarten is training the humans as much as the puppies.
“He’s a happy dog. He loves dogs and people. He’s a lab. But again, you know things can always be better. He tugs. He takes off. We got to work on recall, all the usual stuff,” said Chris Werle who was there with Toast, his somewhere in between chocolate and black lab.
For more information you can go to the Animal Humane Society website to find out class times and schedules.