Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Puppies, Owners Get First Taste of Training in Class at Waycross College

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Puppies, Owners Get First Taste of Training in Class at Waycross College

Article excerpt

WAYCROSS -- The students were a bit rambunctious at Waycross

College. They rolled, yipped, sniffed and fell over each other

trying to be teacher's pet.

Welcome to Puppy Training 101.

On Tuesdays for two weeks each quarter, the parking lot of the

college becomes an outdoor classroom for puppies and their

owners. An obedience class also is taught for adult dogs, said

Kathie Stroehlein, secretary of continuing education for the

college.

"We started this three years ago," Stroehlein said. "People seem

to enjoy it and get a lot out of it."

Susan McKinnon{ of J.D. and Company School for Dogs in Folkston

teaches the puppy class with a little help from one of her dogs:

Brandon, a 13-year-old Newfoundland and golden retriever mix.

The students last week were four energetic, inquisitive bundles

of fur, including Candy and Callie, twin 7-1/2-week-old Labrador

retrievers; Glory, a 9-week-old pit bull/English bulldog mix;

and Annie, a 3-month-old Samoyed.

"The only thing a dog knows is what we teach them," said

McKinnon, who shares her home with a dozen dogs, including

Brandon.

Brandon was there to teach by example. He patiently let the

puppy pupils crawl on him and occasionally tug on his tail as

McKinnon explained the importance of socialization for dogs.

"Brandon trains all my puppies. He even lets them eat first from

his bowl until they're about three months old, then he let's them

know he's boss and eats first," McKinnon said.

The puppies' owners came from Waycross and Jesup for the course

covering proper nutrition, dog health care, house-breaking and

the correct way to teach a puppy not to climb on furniture or

snap at people.

Karen Park, of Waycross, said she enrolled Glory, who

greeted her canine classmates with a playful growl, in an effort

to save her shoes. …

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