The first time I heard that Puppy Kindergarten was a thing, I thought, “Of course! That sounds like a great idea!” The only problem is that my dog is already 6 years old and hates it when I suggest we do something together. Here’s the face she made last week when I asked her if she wanted to go for an early morning walk:
She’s a (mostly) well-behaved dog, and she knows lots of things, like how to play dead (kind of)…
…and what the word “hungry” means…
…but she didn’t need to go to school for that kind of stuff. I mean, she’s potty trained and loves humans and other dogs, so I guess you can say homeschooling worked for us. But if Puppy Kindergarten offered a wider curriculum than just basic tricks and socialization, I might have reconsidered and enrolled my dog before she became an adult who’d stick out in a class full of bright-eyed puppies.
Here are 9 things that need to be taught in Puppy Kindergarten.
1. How to not act like they didn’t hear you when you call their name.
Puppy Kindergarten classes often teach you how to teach your dog what his name is, which is fine, but they don’t teach you how to deal when your dog obviously
hears you calling them and they sit there like, “But I don’t understand humanspeak.” Oh, but you understand me when I spell the word T-R-E-A-T. Okay.
2. How to not be a grumblestiltskin when they don’t get what they want.
I taught Lady from an early age that mealtime is sacred. I don’t bother her when she eats, so she doesn’t get to bother me when I eat. That doesn’t stop her from spending the entire meal prep time complaining about how much of a struggle it is that she ate twenty minutes ago.
3. How to not hurt your feelings when they prefer hanging out with other humans besides you.
Someone please forward this post to my mom and explain to her that it’s not okay for my dog to cry when any other family member leaves the house but then just watch me walk out the door like her heart isn’t tearing apart into little pieces (because mine is).
4. How to open a BarkBox properly.
I mean, at least she tried. But keep in mind that no one handed her the box to open; she just found it on a table and knew it was hers. And of course she didn’t wait for anyone to help her open it. So yeah, we definitely need BarkBox Unboxing 101.
5. How to be a gracious host.
My awesome Bark & Co. coworker (hai gurl hai) asked if I would watch @suavegustav
for a few nights last year and it was a great idea in theory, but Lady decided to shoot him side eye for the entire night, especially when he had the nerve to get on my bed. I still give Gus extra butt scratches when I see him in the office because I feel guilty about how much shade Lady threw at him.
6. How to not be a spaz.
To be fair, she hates being in clothes, but it was FREEZING outside on this particular night. Once she got inside, she was all, “OMG GET THIS OFF ME, YOU VILE HUMAN!” But don’t be fooled…she does this when she’s naked, too.
7. The concept of personal space.
Lady is a serial offender of the rules of personal space. Oh, you’re sitting in a chair and there’s a comfy couch nearby? TOO BAD.
I thought she just didn’t want to sit on the floor, so I got her a nice cot
and made it her own with a special doggy blanket.
This is how she felt about being relegated to her own bed like a peasant:
8. How to stop shooting side eye at me when I’m not looking.
She thinks I don’t see her, but I do. And it’s getting old, Lady. I get enough judgment from my mother on a daily basis and I don’t need it from my dog too.
9. How to not be a d*ck.
Anyone who denies that puppies can be absolute d*cks is probably out of the puppy phase by now and is not walking around covered in pee and poop and wearing shoes with tiny teeth marks on them. I’m as much a puppy breath addict as the next person (*see below) but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a realist, too.
*creepy pic of me being a petophile
Featured image via @helloplato_the_frenchie