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Copyright 2007 Laurie Mann

Copyright 2007 - Alexa Rowe

Music: Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)
(Midi Sequence from Rose's Music Pages)

A Good Mold
by Alexa Rowe, age 13

(the importance of early training for your puppy
and the value of Puppy Training Classes)

Copyright 2007 Alexa Rowe - All Rights Reserved
(not to be copied without permission of the author

Puppies are cute. Thereís no doubt about that. Their cute little paws, cute little noses, and their huge black eyes, full of wonder, curiosity, and yes - mischief. Everything they do is cute, and thatís partially the reason we allow them to get away with so much. When little puppy jumps up on you, just to say hi, itís adorable. When he barks at other dogs through the window, his little yelps are just precious, and when he steals the socks that you left on the floor, its hilarious. Everything he does is angelic and innocent, and the common phrase ďHeíll grow out of it,Ē is tossed around lightly, and not really considered. 

But soon enough, puppy grows up, and his old habits arenít as cute any more. When doggie jumps up on you, and suddenly reaches your waist in height, he becomes annoying, when he barks at other dogs he becomes obnoxious, and can be frightening, and when all the socks that you can find are soggy and holey, he becomes a problem. Then, when you constantly get angry at him for doing these things, itís completely unfair. Doggie feels upset and confused; he was allowed to do these things when he was a puppy, why not now?

When I got my new puppy, my mum convinced me that what was cute now, would not be tolerated. Thatís why we decided to take Puppy Obedience Classes. My dad said that a puppy was like a moist piece of clay. We had to shape him how we wanted, to mold him into what we thought was a good dog. That way, when the clay hardened, or, puppy grew up, he would be cemented how we wanted him to be, and we knew we had to act soon, because cemented clay is much harder to change, than moist clay.
Puppy classes did exactly that. It trained our puppy, and laid some groundwork, that we knew would lead to a long, happy future. He started to learn what was ok, and what was not. He started showing differences in every part of his life. He was more obedient in all types of commands, and because I had helped with the training, he would listen to me as much as my parents, which is instinct - to listen to the older and more powerful people. The classes also helped with socialization, and our puppy became much more comfortable around other dogs, and people loved how gentle and good-natured he was with adults, kids, and even infants! People like well behaved kids, just as much as they like well behaved dogs. 

The classes are a riot, and are all about having fun. We play games, the puppiesí meet each other, and they also learn simple tricks like down, sit, and stay. We learned techniques that were simple and positive. If puppy does it right, treat and praise, if wrong, no treat, encouragement. There werenít any ďNo!Ēs, or any ďBad dog!Ēs. This isnít boot camp, its all about bonding with your puppy, and giving them a good time, while learning how to become a better owner, and teaching your puppy to be well behaved. Our puppy loved it so much, he would whine when we left, and get all excited when we came back. It was a great experience, for puppy and owner.

Yes, I know, sometimes we donít want to get off that couch, or we figure weíre just too busy, but thatís not fair to you, or the dog! I feel its something that we owe to our dogs. Just an hour a week can save a lifetime of problems. Save your puppy from doggie disaster, and take puppy classes. You have the power to give your pup a good start, do it while you can.

Written by Alexa Rowe, Age 13, for Bichons Across Canada and Terry's breeder, 
Laurie Mann, Snowmann Bichons .  Article not to be copied without permission.


Copyright 2007 Alexa Rowe
Terry - all tuckered out


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