ANDERSON, Ind. —
“They’re very good about it,” said Kennedy. He said the fact that the entire family is participating in the training will make a difference. “It is atypical, but it’s very beneficial.” That’s because the pup will get the same kind of reinforcement from everyone in the family.
“If they take the time to do that, they’ll have a well-adjusted dog,” said Kennedy.
Treats eventually phased out
As Kennedy gets class underway, the Jariwalas sit together, alert and focused. While the rest of the family watches carefully, it’s 15-year-old Aditya who handles the puppy during class. Aditya takes Max by the leash to practice simple commands under Kennedy’s supervision. Six other puppies, all shapes and sizes, have brought their owners to the class as well.
“By the second week of class, they say ‘sit’ and the puppy’s sitting,” said Kennedy. He uses food treats to get the training to kick in, then eventually phases it out. Indeed, on the last night of class, the puppies were all doing pretty well at responding to a variety of commands.
Kennedy sent his group of puppy kindergarten graduates off with diplomas and encouraging words, “You’re all on the way to having well-trained, well-behaved dogs.”
Aditya said the key seems to be patience. “The secret is to have patience and consistency. You can’t get frustrated if he doesn’t listen all the time,” said the teen.
The Jariwalas’ acquisition of their new puppy was a carefully thought out decision. Although everyone wanted a dog, Aditya had allergies and he went through allergy shots first.
“My wife wanted a dog that looked like Marley,” laughed Ritesh. “He’s behaving like Marley, too.” You wouldn’t know it watching his exemplary performance on graduation night.