This morning a group of us helped at the annual 4H camp held on the grounds of Albany Obedience Club. The children rotate thru training sessions on agility and rally, and have different educational programs to learn more about dogs. I was there specifically to help teach the children on the needs of puppies, how we train them, how to approach them etc. It was also a wonderful opportunity to socialize our puppies with children. The puppies also had time to play with each other, another socialization opportunity.
We set up crates or x-pens for the pups to rest in between training sessions. It was a good opportunity for each puppy to practicing being confined in a different environment. We all had toys and chews to keep our pups occupied.
There were all sizes and shapes of puppies.
Each child had a puppy to work with . We practiced the name game...where the puppy learns how to respond to his name. Java thought it lots of fun, 'Java' and he got a treat, 'Java' and he got a treat. A wonderful venue for our pups to learn how to respond to someone else other then their owners. After many repetitions the pups were able to turn away from mild distraction and look immediately to their handlers when they heard their name.
We also practiced how our pups should greet politely. Puppies want to be near our face, think of how many times we pick them up and hold them close to us. The rules change when they get too big and we no longer pick them up. So we need to teach them that keeping four feet on the ground, with the final goal of sitting, is how to get attention from us.
The pups had lots of breaks to walk outdoors to for potty breaks and to cool off in the wading pools.
The children each took a puppy and practiced handling a dog different then there own. It made me smile to see these young handlers talking in soft voices, helping the puppies out with a cookie to move them thru the club grounds, and encouraging them to try the pools. Best of all was the laughing and giggling along with the puppies playing. Kids having fun with puppies, and puppies learning many new and different sights. A perfect day!
Java and Bryce, always seemed to find each other, they are becoming the best of friends.