“Terrible Two Teenagers” and “Spring Training”

Announcing Rex’s Spring Training Program

Kathy together with Seaquel and PicassoA Note from Kathy

On one morning just this past week, I had the same conversation with several owners as well as my staff. It went something like this:

My dog doesn’t seem as excited to come anymore.  Does he really play inside? 


That dog (insert name here) has really changed. He/she used to play with everyone and now s/he is like a grumpy old wo/man!

In every one of these cases, the dogs were about 2 years old. Sometimes a bit younger, sometimes a bit older, but not by much. The answer is the same.

At two years old, your puppy turns into a teenager.  Do you remember what that was like?  They are no longer the cute, adorable little thing that everyone swoons over. When puppies hit the Terrible Twos, they are doggie teenagers, and they’re trying to figure out what has changed.

When did people get frustrated that I need another walk? Why are people getting mad that toys are left on the floor? When I was a puppy, people thought it was cute when I jumped up to see what food was on the counter. Why isn’t it cute anymore?

The reality is that when we brought our puppies home, we spent a lot of time swooning over and bonding with them. We set some basic rules with them. Now they are teenagers and, just as I did when I was a teenager, they are testing all the rules. After all, rules are meant to be broken.

Young dogs take this time to figure out what the new rules of engagement are and find their way. Is it any wonder that this is the time when most dogs are given to shelters by owners who feel they no longer want/can keep this dog?

How can Rex’s Place help you?

In a couple of ways.

By letting the pups be independent, finding their own friends and paths, they gain confidence in their own abilities to navigate the unknown. We started Day Care Plus for this reason, among others. Not just in Day Care Plus but throughout our whole facility, if my staff sees a dog floundering, they will step in and try to help the pup.

We are thrilled to be able to announce another way we can help.  We are so excited to welcome Hope Saidel, who will be providing game-based training at our facility. When I met Hope, she actually showed me a video of her pup putting his toys away and I was blown away. If I could get Jet to pick up after himself. I’d be able to read another chapter in my book, or watch a movie, or just sit, relax and enjoy a little tequila.

So we’d like to introduce you to Hope and announce her first set of classes. Just like the Cubs and Sox, we are providing Spring Training for your dogs! Only instead of drills and calisthenics, we’re just gonna play, play, play! We will start with:

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class at 8:00.  This program is for puppies under 12 months old.  Bitches (yes, that’s the female dogs) can come, even if in heat as long as they wear pants.

Manners and Basic Obedience will be at 9:00 and will focus on just that.  Manners and Obedience. It’s not only great for the “terrible twos” but also a fantastic refresher / reinforcement for older dogs as well.

Tricks will be at 10:00 and boy, will this be fun. I had no idea that tricks competition actually exists. It will be a fun time.

Classes begin Saturday, March 18th. Registration is now open on gingr, and enrollment is limited. So without further ado, let’s introduce you to Hope.

Meet Hope, Our New Trainer!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Hope Saidel to our facility!

Hope Saidel and her French bulldogs

Hope and her biggest fans

Hope is a highly respected obedience, rally, S.T.A.R. Puppy, and Tricks trainer. She has been training for over 30 years and has seen it all, from prong collars to positive reinforcement. And she has won numerous titles in Obedience with dogs that are not from “those breeds”… you know, the “smart” dogs, the “genius” dogs like Border Collies and Belgian Malinois that are “very trainable”. Hope loves working with bulldogs (English and French), and “hellhounds” (ask her about her sister’s Griffon!), dogs that supposedly aren’t easy to train. The most gratifying part of her training career has been seeing dogs no one would have expected to do well excel both at home and even in Obedience competition.

Hope’s Philosophy

As Hope says, “I don’t train dogs. I teach humans how to play with their dogs to teach them.”

Hope’s philosophy is on full display on her training blog 2-minute-trainer.com. She and her sister have both published numerous titles on training, and each week she adds to her site with insights and helpful tips for games with your dog that don’t just teach your dog how to behave, but that make your home really FUN! And isn’t this why we all got dogs in the first place?

Because AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy has set criteria, that class will address specific target behaviors. Manners and Obedience, on the other hand, will focus on those issues that class participants need to address.

What should humans know when reporting for training this spring? These sessions are not a once-off; Hope is teaching you games that you can play every day at home with your best friend. The learning just begins at class — be prepared to take the fun home with you! Hope likes to say “it’s not an hour at a time — it’s all the time.”

Go to your gingr profile now to sign up for the class that’s right for you. Enrollment is limited. We can’t wait to help you navigate the terrible twos or just improve life at home with your pooch! And please join us in welcoming Hope to Rex’s Place!