Coming from the kennels and working so closely with the dogs in the centre often means that we recognise a lot of our pupils coming to class. Imagine my delight when our Saturday morning puppy class was full of a litter that I helped to raise!
My time in the kennels was often spent on the puppy block. In April of this year, a heavily pregnant Staffy cross was signed over to us. Her name was Bambi and she was still a pup herself at just eight months old! She was initially a little anxious and wanted to be with her carers at all times. However, with a bit of time and a lot of love, she soon settled in. A few weeks after she arrived, Bambi gave birth to seven healthy puppies.
Bambi was a natural, and she had a lovely litter comprising of five boys and only two girls. One of the boys, Boris, was a little weaker and needed some extra help, but in time he was feeding off his mum just as well as the others. As they grew, the puppies’ personalities started to shine. They were a cheeky bunch and loved to play rough with each other!
A couple of months later, the pups were ready to go to their new families. Five of them were rehomed locally and two went to live further afield.
In July, we were lucky enough to have five of the puppies enrol onto our Saturday morning class! This was a first for us at Dog School – a whole class made up of siblings. They were Tonks, Frank, Mannie, Bernard and Moose (formerly little Boris). They were all brought along by their new families who were eager to get started with their training. They loved catching up with one another about how they were all doing and sharing funny stories from home.
All the owners had started to teach the pups the basics but one stood out from her brothers. It was clear that Tonks’ owners had already spent a lot of time training her – she knew how to sit, lie down, roll over and stay!
As this group was a bit different from the usual puppy class, we had to adapt it a little. Knowing what they played like when they were in the centre, we didn’t want to encourage the rough play out and about. Instead we focused on teaching them to greet dogs appropriately and being able to focus on their owners while passing dogs.
As the weeks went on, the puppies improved more and more. They were all enjoying time off the lead out and about, and getting better with behaviours such as walking nicely on the lead.
In August, the puppies graduated with flying colours. We were sad to see them all go but happy in the knowledge that they were growing into confident, well adjusted dogs. Their owners were sad to leave us too, asking us to increase the length of the course as they loved coming down every Saturday to class!
Bambi found her forever home in July. Everyone at the centre was delighted to see her go to a loving family who wanted nothing but to love and care for her. It really was great to be able to follow her and the pups’ journeys, and I feel very lucky to have been a part of that.
Do you have a puppy, adult or golden oldie that needs a little bit of help with learning the basics? Or maybe you and your dog have a few other life skills you could brush up on while discovering fun new ways to bond with your furry friend? Either way, get in touch! We run classes for all ages, sizes and types of dogs, and would love to help you help your dog. You can call us on 07920658645, email us at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @dtdogschoolsw.