Puppy School…

My kids will be more than willing to tell you that I don’t like them to have a lot of screen time. I believe unstructured time, using their imaginations and moving around in and outdoors is the ideal way for them to grow and learn. I did not buy into digital games and toys that supposedly helped my kids learn… we simply shut off the TV and went outside to play and explore. So, imagine their reactions to me when I tell them I’ve just finished TV time with the puppies- teaching them to learn how to sit, lay down and stand up. In fact, my youngest’s response was actually something to the tune of ” No fair, the puppies get to watch TV & learn stuff and you’re ok with that but you sure don’t let me do that.” Well… this is partly true. One of the ways that puppies learn is by imitation and repetition. So, I could repeatedly ask one of our older pups to sit, lay down or stand up, all the while holding one puppy at a time while keeping its attention on the dog… but I likely don’t have to explain how difficult and tiresome this would be. The founder of the Empowered Puppy Program actually developed the idea to record puppies in a series of short videos acting out these different positions, and she found that by watching the videos of them for several days in a row, the puppies learned the commands much quicker than puppies who were taught only verbal commands and hand signals. Many puppies have the “sit” command figured out by day 5 of watching the video! These little pups will have a head start on their training long before they go to their new homes J In defense of my own rule about less TV and more unstructured, imaginative play… Puppy School is only a short amount of time each day for the puppies. They’re getting the majority of each day to be dogs and explore, play, sniff, and chew!  It’s all about balance J

We will build on all of this and the videos will become more complex as the puppies get older. This is just the beginning of imitation training with the puppies. 

Now to figure out a way to make a video for my 12 year olds math homework …

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