Seven years ago, an adorable fuzzy puppy found his way into our hearts and into our home. It was my first puppy in a while and I was excited to get into a puppy class with him. But, my search for that class was unsuccessful. We muddled through with an online class or two and did what we could with what we found.
During this time the idea was born to offer a high quality, rolling enrollment, free puppy class. I had three goals — to get puppies into a developmentally appropriate low cost (in this case — free) class as soon as possible. I pitched the idea to my vet, she supported it, allowed me to use her available space, and Puppy Great Start classes began.
Classes were so much fun and I always loved teaching them and knowing we were making a difference for so many puppies. We had a lot of growing pains, but we always figured it out and were able to make classes better and more accessible.
Fast forward to 2020. Ugh. What a year it’s been for everyone. But, so many of us decided it was a great time to bring a new puppy/dog into our lives and that is a very good thing. We’ve been crazy busy with all our classes…except Puppy Great Start. (Please know how very much we appreciate your support during these crazy times!!! We love helping all of you with your puppies and dogs!!!)
Puppy Great Start classes fill within hours of being posted on the website. Super exciting! However, when we get to class, we have one, maybe two, puppies with their families there. (Over the last two months, most classes had one or two puppies attend. The COVID class limit is 6.) Those four or five puppy families who didn’t show up? No idea. But what I do know is that they took a space away from someone else who might have used it. I know life happens. But we make it very easy for you to cancel your spot so that someone else can take it — it’s one button in the reminder email and then that open space shows up in real time on the website. You can always call, text, or email to let us know you can’t come and we can open that spot. But people are not doing that. They are apparently ignoring the reminder email and just not coming to class. That is not a good use of our instructors’ time, knowledge, and expertise nor of our training space. It’s also not all that helpful to the families who wanted to be in a group class with other puppies!
Puppy Great Start classes are taking a break. Maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. I will evaluate in a few months. But for now, they are going away. This has been a difficult decision and one I don’t really want to make, but the lack of attendance once puppy families have registered has forced it.
WE HAVE OTHER PUPPY CLASS OPTIONS!!! We actually always have! They just aren’t free and are not rolling enrollment. We have Smart Puppy Foundations (younger puppies) and Puppy Rising Stars (older puppies). We also have Dog Stars which is also a great class for the little bit older puppy. We also have private sessions available (typically these book up about 2 — 3 weeks in advance).
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your understanding and your support. We hope to see you soon in class or a private session!
NOTE: Thank you to all of you who have attended classes you registered for — we appreciate you so much!!! And my apologies to those of you who have signed up for future classes, but never got the chance to attend. I hope you will consider registering for one of our other classes. Thank you all for your support and your efforts to have the absolute best puppy for your family!!!