Bringing a puppy home is an exciting time. Don't let the stresses of house-breaking, socializing and training overshadow these special months. Enjoy this time and build a foundation for obedience early on.
When we first met Calypso, she was a beautiful 8 week old puppy. Boundless energy, lots of love, razor sharp teeth.
She was a good dog, and didn’t have any particular issues that required attention, but just needed a little coaching, and we called Sit Happens to help with training when Calypso was 2 ½ months old. Why Sit Happens? Well, we saw Jeff’s truck, and the name was funny for sure. But it’s pretty easy to remember, and so we made the call, and off we went to meet Jeff and his Jack Russell, Diego. Jeff had such great control of Diego, and of course, we wanted the same for our little puppy. Needless to say, Jeff's calm demeanor helped too, and so we signed up on the spot.
We haven't been disappointed. Jeff and his team are amazing. Jeff came to our home to work with Calypso and the family until we had the basics down and were ready to join an outdoor class. It's really nice to know that anytime something comes up we can call and they’re always available to help.
Without a doubt, we have found patience and consistency to be the most important aspects of obedience training. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, we attend an outdoor off-leash training class once a week. I also like to take Calypso behind our local school or to a nearby park for an hour of training each day.Jeff’s approach uses positive reinforcement with lots of praise and a gentle but confident tone, and using this method, Calypso learns new commands and tricks very fast. Training is very enjoyable, and not stressful for Calypso or us. The whole training process has turned out to be a very rewarding experience. No matter where we go, strangers and friends are always complimenting Calypso on how well she behaves and what a nice dog she is.
There's so much more that is offered at Sit Happens other than just obedience training. Calypso attended the puppy play sessions they offer, which were a perfect way to socialize her with other puppies in a controlled environment. Everyone there is one of Jeff's clients and he and Marilyn are there to make it all happen smoothly.
One of the things that Jeff made a point of was the importance of socializing Calypso. That included getting her to meet anyone and everyone we could, and expose her to lots of different environments, noises, and other animals. And what better place for noise than our kids and their schoolmates! I made a point of bringing Calypso with me to the school for picking up the kids, to get her used to being around little kids and people in general. And I would quite regularly bring her to the vet clinic, just to say hi. I wanted her to be familiar and comfortable there and not scared. The ladies would give her a treat and lots of attention. To this day, she has no issues with the vet.
Recently, we just had our very first "Show Off" class with Marilyn, and I have to say Calypso seemed a bit skeptical at first, due to all the excitement involved (treats, toys, balls), it was quite different than obedience class. The second class, however, she knew more of what to expect and was ready and raring to go! I was taught how to have Calypso heel on the opposite side, spin (eventually we figured it out, with Marilyn's help!), weave through my legs, bow, go in reverse, and come to the hand, to mention a few. Calypso and I look forward to building on these in further classes and eventually show her off her new talents to family and friends!
Calypso is one year old, and I have the utmost confidence in her to do as she is told, no matter where I am. I am very proud of all her accomplishments. She loves everyone – even the cats.
I can’t wait for Calypso to start coming along as my running partner. Thanks to Jeff and Marilyn for getting us there and for their ongoing help and support.