The Antithesis of Marley

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Meet Oliver, a 6 month old yellow Labrador Retriever who just graduated from our 12 week Ultimate Puppy Program. His family planned a long time for his arrival, even before he was born. In fact, his mom tells me that she waited years for him. Like most of us, they are a busy family and waited until just the right time in their lives to add a dog to the family. And even when they decided on a Labrador Retriever, they researched breeders, found one, and then waited again until that breeder had a litter with an appropriate puppy for them.

Once they brought Oliver home, they immediately began searching for puppy training classes. Says his mom,"I knew before I even got Oliver that obedience classes would be helpful for both of us. I had no idea how to train a dog for basic obedience which I think is a must for a family dog. Basics like sit, stay, wait, how to walk him on a leash and not have him walk me! I assumed that just like a baby, a puppy is a sponge so I wanted to get him in early while he was still impressionable and not set in his ways.... maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks but I was afraid you may not be able to so I didn't want to risk it!"

At the recommendation of their Vet's office, they enrolled Oliver in our puppy classes, and not only that, they also enrolled him in doggie daycare several times a week to make sure he got enough exercise. His mom continues, "We just really wanted to have a happy, well adjusted new member of our family. A dog that was well behaved, good with our son, and could go with us to ball games, on vacation, to the park, for walks in the neighborhood, etc."

Oliver's family had great attendance, adhered to the program, practiced with him daily, and as a result he finished at the top of his class - P.V. - Puppy Valedictorian. In fact, during a dual evaluation with the dogs from our Family Dog program, Oliver even outperformed the older dogs.

As for future goals, they've definitely been bitten by the bug. "I want to continue in classes with Oliver so we can reinforce his skills and continue to build on what both he and I have learned. I think it will be fun to do some agility work too as he is so graceful and strong and he loves to play!" Next on their list is Performance Puppy class, and possibly a Beyond Basic class before moving on to Agility 101.

When asked how working with Oliver has affected their relationship with him, his mom really beams! "I am amazed at the bond Oliver and I have formed. He looks at me with such intensity and love... I know that he and I have a connection, one that I was not expecting but one that has made me so happy to have become a dog owner and to have taken training so seriously. Without the training it would not be the same. We will be getting another puppy this fall and I will do nothing differently..... sign us up for puppy class now!"

Yeah, I know, sounds to good to be true and you probably think I'm making all this up, don't you? I'm not. This is 100% true. It isn't often that we witness such a textbook scenario of raising a puppy the right way I just had to share it. Good boy, Oliver! And most importantly, job well done to your family for giving you the best possible start in life a puppy could have!

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