Chapter 4

In Which Plato Graduates from Kindergarten

Bigger and Better

Plato continues to grow and learn to be a well adjusted member of the household. He is still a bitey puppy, but he has mostly learned to not attack Daniel and Charlie. He is mischevious and gets into everything, but he has enough toys scattered around the house that when he's got a hold of the wrong thing, we can say, "Plato! Chewtoy!" and have something readily at hand to exchange for the remote or the shoe or the toaster oven or whatever he has this time.

Squeaky Toy

I was going to post a movie of Plato playing with a squeaky chew toy that he really loves (or hates or something), but the file turned out to be 21 meg. Oh well. The best part is the audio anyway, so I've posted that here. It's quite small. I always get a kick out of hearing him howl and growl in time with the squeaks of the squeaky toy.


This was Plato's last week of Kindergarten, so I got my wife to come and shoot some video of Plato's graduation. Here is trying to stay calm while people pet him. The kindergarten class was wonderful because it was composed entirely of boxers. Plato was the calmest boxer in the class and is starting to show signs that he should probably continue on with obedience training. Now don't get me wrong: Plato is no border collie. Still, he spends much less time jumping wildly around with his eyes rolling than most of his classmates.

Pass the Puppies

The first part of every class involves "passing the puppies". The goal is for the puppies to get used to meeting and taking direction from other people calmly. This is a very useful skill which boxers need a lot of practice to master. He also learned Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Heel, Slow, and Halt. It will take many more weeks of practice before he can do these things reliably, but we've made a good start.


Plato is getting increasingly better at being able to sit calmly whilst surrounded by the padaemonium of puppy kindergarten. When we first arrive is the hardest time, but after a few minutes, he can sit calmly without jumping and pulling at the leash.

Of course, having a treat is critical. If you don't have a treat, he'll just look at you with an expression like, "Forget it! I'm not going to do anything if you don't have a treat." But when you've got that treat in your hand, then you've really got his attention.


Finally the time came when Diploma's were awarded. Jane awarded separate diplomas to both Charlie and I for our work with Plato. Charlie has been working hard to get Plato to follow his directions. He is getting better at being consistent and insisting that Plato work to get the treat.

Revised 12/17/99 Brewer