Every month we sponsor puppy parties for our clients with puppies aged from 8-12 weeks, generally scheduled on a Sunday. Puppy Parties are hosted by a member of our staff and Marcia Ritchie, Training Director for Eagle Ridge Kennels in Orchard Park. The goals of our puppy parties are to assist the new owners in understanding the development of their puppy in the areas of socialization with other dogs, children and adults, to remove the anxiety of veterinary visits, to encourage understanding and management of normal unruly behaviors, and to offer guidelines for training and preventive inappropriate behavior management.
Puppies and their families are grouped together for introductions of puppies to one another, owners to each other and for everyone to meet and greet the OPVMC staff member host and trainer. After introductions, the trainer will provide direction in activities for puppies and owners together and separately. To help each puppy develop appropriate social skills with adults and children, we play a "game" known as, "Pass the Puppy". We have the puppy visit with other people who are attending and encourage positive interactions with food, praise, and petting as their rewards.
For the development of social skills with other dogs, we have "puppy free time".
We also spend time discussing with owners, the management of normal problems associated with owning a puppy or adolescent dog. An example of some of the topics covered would be house soiling, chewing, mouthing and jumping. In addition, we discuss first aid, traveling with your pet, grooming and seasonal dangers your puppies may encounter.
Last, but not least, near the conclusion of the party we set up a small agility course, consisting of a ladder walk, small jump and tunnel. Each puppy goes over, under and through the obstacles. This shows you exactly what you can teach your puppy to do, helps demonstrate what each puppy is capable of and the fun that you can have with your canine companion.
Reservations are required for attending the party. So if you are an OPVMC client with a puppy between the ages of 8-12 weeks and your puppy has had the first set of vaccines-please call us at 662-6660, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to make your reservation, or just to obtain information.
Marcia Ritchie, has been Licensed Veterinary Technician for over 20 years, and has been a professional pet obedience trainer since 1984. Marcia was in the first group of 120 instructors to receive national certification through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), of which she is a charter member. Marcia is also an active member of the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, serving on several behavior-related committees, and authoring training manuals and articles in magazines including "Veterinary Technician". Marcia has been training director for Eagle Ridge Kennels since 1991 and also serves as a consultant for the Erie County SPCA.