Time has gotten away from us here at Redfern Canines.  As we struggled along with everyone else to adopt CDC protocols and customize them to our local business, we lost track of time.  Classes resumed, but we decided the late summer issue of the newsletter was water under the bridge, and our time was better utilized moving forward and helping all of you train your lovely new family members who came home in 2020. 

2020-what a year it has been!
For us, at Redfern, it has been the year of the puppies! We started out the year with Labs born on February 15 and are ending the year with Labs born on September 20! For us, one of the biggest challenges has been socializing our puppies while dealing with a Pandemic. According to the position statement of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), a puppy's first 3 months are the primary and most important opportunity for proper socialization. This is the time that a pup's sociability outweighs his fear and creates the best opportunity to adapt to all things new-people, animals, experiences, etc. Lack of, incomplete, or improper socialization during this 3-month period increases the risk of future behavioral problems. (Is your pup older than 3 months? Check out the closing paragraphs of this article!)
Socialization should start from birth with the pups being handled and exposed to as many people, animals, experiences, situations, and events as possible. (Think vacuum cleaner, nail trimming, children small or large, men and women, walking on uneven/wobbly surfaces, different scents, etc., etc., etc.)
Proper socialization should always be a positive experience for the pups. Be sure to reinforce with treats or toys and stay away from settings that cause fear, over-arousal, or avoidance. If the pup does react with fear, avoidance, or over-arousal, immediately step back and slowly reintroduce the situation from a comfortable distance.
When providing socialization opportunities for young puppies, always balance the possibility of infection with the limited time span for optimal introduction to the 'BIG WORLD'. For that reason, AVSAB recommends beginning puppy classes as early as 7-8 weeks IF the pup has had one set of vaccines and a first deworming at least 7 days prior to the first class. Redfern would also add that EVERY puppy in the class should have the same vaccines and deworming and that the training space should be clean and easily disinfected.
If your new (or not-so-new) pup is over 3 months, do not despair! Continue to socialize them to people, pets, locations, and experiences as much as possible but be very careful to make everything a positive, happy event!
A last word of advice-if you feel like you are in over your head, do not hesitate to seek guidance from your vet or a behavioral specialist! Look for certified professionals in the following organizations:
  • APDT
  • AVSAB                                           

You Came Back!
We're So Happy to See You!

After spending all of Spring and a good portion of Summer at home, we were more than delighted to welcome you back to class.  Many thanks to all of you who adopted both puppies and older dogs and then took it another step further by working to train your dogs to be good neighbors.  We have a full roster of classes available, ranging from obedience to just plain fun.  All of our classes are designed to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Click the link below for detailed class descriptions,  training dates and registration.

Here are just a few of our classes:
  • Puppy
  • Advanced Manners
  • Rally
  • Agility
  • Outdoor Adventures**
  • Reactive Rover
  • Canine Good Citizen
  • Tricks
  • K9 Sampler**  
  • Nosework                                                      
  • Therapy Dog Preparation
**Portia says these are 2 of her favorite courses! Outdoor Adventures is a course that works on basic manners in a different location each week! K9 Sampler is a course that allows your pup to try out a different doggy activity each week!
It Ain't Over Yet: Keep Your Mask On

Our schedule is back on track, but we're keeping our guards up and masks on.  Masks are required for classes at Redfern Canines.  We'll also be maintaining social distance guidelines.  That was always the case for dogs, but now we'll be following their leads. We ask that additional family members stay home and that you share class lessons with them in your own space.  Not only does that keep everyone safe, it offers you, and your pup,  the perfect opportunity to practice what you've learned. Please note each pup is allowed a maximum of two human handlers.

We are scheduling a 30 minute break between classes to completely sanitize surfaces; please be patient and give us the time to keep you safe.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.
Portia's Piece:  Socialization Begins at Birth

Hi Everyone!

We have had a very busy baby year in 2020--2 litters of Labradors and my own litter of Cavaliers!

With so many puppies new to your home and ours, I thought it the perfect time to address socialization.  Those of you familiar with Redfern know that puppy socialization for us begins with volunteer puppy hugging as soon as possible.  Our goal is to expose the puppies to a variety of voices, kind hands and ample loving from the very start. That way, all these babies learn that people (and 'people smell') are really good things and carry that learning all through their lives. 

After all, their first 16 weeks is the time that puppies learn the most and is critical to their learning to trust and love humans! SOOO, if a new puppy is in your future, please get it out and around as many humans as possible as soon as possible!
Love,       Portia
Welcome to our Newest Trainer:
Debra Farrington

If you've taken classes anytime over the past year, chances are you've met Debra Farrington and her cavalier, Gracie.  

A long-time pet sitter and caregiver for animals in the Hershey area, Debra has recently joined Redfern's staff and will be teaching Puppy, Beginners, Manners, and CGC/Therapy Preparation classes. Debra has also completed instructor certification for our newest class, AKC Fit Dog.  

Please join us in welcoming Debra!
Congratulations to Our Teams!

In spite of the trials, tribulations and new rules this year, we want to recognize our teams for completing their training in spite of 2020!  Congratulations to all of you!

Rachel Benbow & Lady           Michaela Brehm & Lucy
Robin Brightbill & Snowball     Brandi Riland & Duncan

Debra Farrington & Gracie      Lori Knittel & Tucker

SCENT WORK:  Deb Stranger & Eve--Novice Containers, Novice Interiors, and Novice Exteriors

RALLY OBEDIENCE:  Martha Kenworthy & Dozer--Rally Advanced

Kevin & Julie Askins & Drake              Janel & Erik Bolig & Bentley
Teresa Bonner & Nisha                       Karen Bright & Stevie
Pat, Sophia, Jim Dallas & Ruthie        Judy Darr & Lily
Allen Daugherty & Doc                        Jen DeBell & Solo
Joshua & April Freeman & Reese       Ashley Goshert & Minnie
Melissa Graeff & Evie                          Brian & Stacy Harmes & Abbie
Alexia Hozella & Moody                      Vicki Lammando & Fridge
Suzette Marulanda & Rhody               Scott McGrady & Keisel
Beth Miller & Mocha                            Tami & Bryan Moore & Cooper
Cheryl Mosonyi & Penny                     Brian & Kelly Price & Rhys
Kelly Rhoads & Liza                            Scott & Tiffani Rooney & Pixie
Kristin Samson & Cooper                    Maureen Schaedler & Indie
Gabi Schwind & Cinder                       Edward Sutelan & Doug
Joe & Anna Tibbals & Meeko              Laura Williams & Chloe
Ally Yang & Somi                                 Barbara Darkes & Clover
Steve Derr & Brandy                           Jessica Dullen & Finn
Vanessa Eichelberger & Maverick      Wendy Jenkins & Hoagie
Emily Michelson & Woody                  Melissa Minnich & Sophie
Donata Povilaityte & Brutus                Dan Pugh & Leah Sentz & Bigsby
New Class:  AKC Fit Dog

How Fit is Your Dog?

In September 2018, the AKC (American Kennel Club) announced a Fit Dog program, meant to encourage and help dog owners keep their dogs in great shape. AKC started with the individual owner's commitment to walking their dog on a regular basis, an activity that's good for dogs and people alike. To get your own free Fit Dog magnet, check out the requirements here. 

Recently the AKC announced an ambitious course for conditioning dogs, the AKC Fit Dog Level 1. A six-week class designed especially for dogs who compete in sports like agility, fly ball, and others, it provides strength and flexibility exercises that help prevent sport-related injuries. The beginning exercises are excellent for keeping any dog healthy through paying attention to correct posture, balance, strengthening, and flexibility.

Redfern will be offering a one-hour introduction to these exercises Sunday, November 1st, from 4-5. Dogs must be at least 18 months old, and have completed an advanced obedience class at Redfern and be able to focus and work on the exercises with their owner in a class situation without being distracted. Dogs must also be healthy with no issues related to legs, back or neck. The class is not appropriate to dogs who are currently in rehab.

Cost for the introductory session is $10 and size of the class is limited. Register for the class here!

Continuing Education is Good for Everyone

Here at Redfern, we firmly believe in continuing education for our instructors to provide the very best and most up-to-date experience for our clients.  All five of our instructors are Canine Good Citizens (CGC) evaluators, meaning we can all do Star Puppy evaluations, all three levels of CGC testing and Trick Dog testing.  This year, all our instructors will be attending the 2020 Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APBT) Virtual Conference in October.  Good for us, and good for you too!
Virtual Halloween Photo Contest

Add Halloween parties to the list of virtual celebrations, but all is not lost.  Get your dog, and yourself if you like, all gussied up for Redfern's Halloween Photo Contest on Facebook.  

Post your best photo on our Facebook page and be in the running for a prize certain to make your four-legged friend happy to participate.

Photos will be evaluated by the staff here at Redfern, though we encourage friends and family to comment on their favorites as well.

The winner will be announced on Facebook, Sunday, November 1st. 

Redfern Canines
[email protected]