Puppies are popular Christmas presents, and talk about a gift that keeps on giving—cuddles, licks and playful romps mark a puppy’s life. So do the more than occasional indoor accidents to which the untrained young ones are prone.
Recognizing this challenge the El Centro PetSmart came to the rescue on Jan. 5.
“One of the top gifts people get during the holidays is pets. So it makes perfect sense to offer the training during January in order to maximize the success of the program,” said Rudy Robles, an accredited pet training instructor who was in charge of an hour-long seminar at the store. “PetSmart started this program last year and we had a great turnout then too.”
Despite the chilly and rainy weather, people arrived with the sizes of their dogs ranging from the very large to the palm-sized. The seminar covered simple concepts, more advanced ones and a question and answer section.
Carlos Chao, a four-month-old beagle in tow, explained he was extending a Christmas gift.
“I got this dog as a present for my girlfriend,” said Chao. “Since she decided to keep him inside, I thought it would be a good idea to become more familiar with the process of housebreaking a dog.”
He added, “I also signed up for the six-week training. Last time it was a one- on-one session with the trainer, but moving forward it’ll be a group session like today. I have no complaints; the dog is already learning.”
The people in attendance were also treated to some tricks, performed by instructor Robles’ schnauzer, that served as the cue for the current set of people to give their places to the upcoming class patiently waiting outside PetSmart’s training area.
Another attendee, Ana Garcia of Imperial, said she gained valuable insight into animal behavior.
“I just got a new dog recently and this is the first time I’m going to have a dog living inside the house,” she said. “Now that my kids have moved out, I couldn’t agree more with Rudy’s comparison between kids and dogs. I just saw the sign announcing the classes outside when I came to buy dog food the other day. I’m glad I came, they gave out very helpful tips.”