First Day of Puppy Class

I took Jethro to his first day of puppy class last Saturday and it was so much fun seeing all the puppies being crazy! There was a great mix of breeds/mixes and one I’d never seen as a puppy before. There is a greyhound puppy in Jethro’s class and he’s so cute–I’ve met many many greyhounds but never as a puppy and I just love that puppy!

Jethro’s class is pretty big, there are 13 puppies in class but there were “only” 11 in class last week. Even with all the dogs, the class ran really nicely. The class had three short play times with training practice, handling practice, and informational discussions in between.

Seeing how Jethro is dying for Rio and Shayne to play with him (and not just play with toys with him), I figured that he would love getting to play with the other puppies. I took him to the facility a few days before so he could acclimate for a little bit.

He did a great job focusing on me (even though it was probably pretty full since I had to feed him in the car the whole drive there since it prevents him from getting carsick) and was a super star doing behaviors he’d learned in just one week of living with me. He was sitting, laying down, and hand targeting like a pro. He was really enjoying the work and loved saying hi to the trainer and assistant.

When it came time for the first play time another puppy rushed up to him and he tucked his tail and hid between my legs. He was exploring the room and greeting the other calm puppies but was a little overwhelmed and timid when it came to playing with the other dogs. I was really pleased that even though he was a little concerned, he was still exploring the room (even if sometimes it was via the path under the chairs before coming out to explore).

After the last play time ended, Jethro decided that he was ready to play with the other puppies. He was having an absolute fit not being able to play–it was really funny! He was barking, whining, spinning on the leash, play bowing to every puppy who would look at him. I felt bad that he couldn’t play but then i figured it was a good lesson to learn… take advantage of the opportunities given because you may not get the chance later. So hopefully he will take advantage of the play-time next week.

I think he had a wonderful time at class and had the zoomies in the snow after class. Once we got home crazy boy slept for most of the day. He was very tired and it was LOVELY to have a bit of a break from the puppy crazies. I think that the other dogs appreciated a tired puppy as well!

Socialization Checklist

Things/people/places Jethro has experienced:

**Small pet boutique store–during shipment so boxes being unloaded, products being stocked and lots of loud noises.
**Big Box pet store–carts, vet office, grooming salon, loud automatic doors and getting on/off the vet scale (little boy now weighs in at 19lbs)
**Training Facility–chairs stacked on rolling carts, carpeted ramps, big open exterior steps, crutches, and a walker
**Adult Men (about 10) of three different races and of different sizes and one in a hat and gloves
**Adult Women (about 20) of two different races of different sizes and I wore two CRAZY hats
**Young girls (about 4) these were kids from 3 to about 10 some were met while walking in the neighborhood, some at the training class and some at the pet store
**Young boy (1) he was about 9 years old
**Flags flapping in the wind loudly
**Heard a neighbor’s chainsaw
**Doorbell/phone/tv/sirens/car horn/truck engines (noises)
**Puppies (about 11) two outside of training class
**Adult dogs (5) three of mine plus an adult newfie and an adult beagle
**Cats (5) three of mine plus a neighbor’s cat and a cat in a crate at a vet office

And probably more mundane things that I can’t think of like baby gates, swiveling chairs, parking lots, barking dogs, blender noise, etc.

Is there anything you wish you would have socialized your puppy to when it was little? I know I wish I had him during Christmas to expose him to all the potentially scary decorations

  1. The subway and bus and streetcar. I haven’t tried yet, but, looking back, that would have been really useful to show Gwynn when he was younger.

    • Kites! I thought I’d exposed mine to everything, but then we encountered someone with a swoopy sport kite, which terrified him.

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