Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zenzi's First Puppy Class!

We went to Wags & Wiggles for Zenzi's first ever puppy class this morning.  We dropped off her paperwork for shots and clean stools, and headed off to the training room.  Once in the room, Zenzi observed from my lap, and took in the sights, sounds, and smells.  She was very thoughtful, though not quite overwhelmed.  Amanda taught the class, along with another lady whose name I didn't catch.  Both are very nice.

We had a little talk about the basics of training, housetraining, play, socialization, etc.  They wanted to make sure we were up to snuff with the basic training and methods, which we are, of course.  We demonstrated name recognition, sit, down, go-to-mat, and touch.  We were then allowed to participate in the curriculum with the rest of the class.

We worked on loose leash walking.  Their method is to walk backwards, and C/T the puppy for giving in to the pressure and walking to you.  It's not my method, but hey, it was fun and Zenzi did really well in a very distracting environment.  She was all about the treats and working. :) There was a small raccoon stuffy, but she wanted nothing to do with it.  Seems like she'll be more treat motivated than toy motivated in stimulating environments, unfortunately.  Hopefully, we can turn that around at least a little bit so they're even.

We then got to interact with 3 different types of exercise balls.  There were 2 smaller ones with a base, and one that was pretty large and sort of oval shaped.  Zenzi was fearless.  Interacted with those like a super star.  Walked on, over, whatever -- just gimme that treat!

When we had recess to play with other puppies, she got shy.  There was a papillon puppy and a beagle puppy in the class, who evidently already knew each other.  The beagle puppy and Zenzi never actually met, but the papillon walked right up to her and they sniffed politely.  That wasn't so bad.  But then the papillon did what toy breeds do, and put his two front paws up in the air and booped her.  That was quite rude, and Zenzi wanted nothing to do with her anymore.  She was a little scared after that, to the point that she tried to go and hide behind our chair, so I held her in my arms and let her observe the papillon and beagle playing.  That wasn't so bad, and quickly she wanted to be down on the ground to observe instead.  We ended the class with a pass the puppy game (she went to each member of the class to be given treats and hugs and pets) in a small-ish circle.  Zenzi felt it was stupid to leave me, and wasn't sure why all these other people were so interested in her, but she got treats; so hey, that's pretty nifty.  To cool down, everyone gave their puppies a massage, and that was it.  We ended class with Zenzi not being worried about being in close proximity to the other puppies at least.

Given how roughly she can play with Dolce, and how confidently, I think she just needs time to get used to this whole other breeds, other puppies, how to greet thing.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Given her shy reaction to othe puppies, I'm really glad we're starting as young as possible. I forgot to mention she's going through her first fear period, so she may be much more confident next week. We'll see!