It’s not just kids who started school year this April—proud pet parents in Tokyo are sending their furry friends off for housetraining at this cute “kindergarten” that’s just for dogs.

Located on Tsukishima, a man-made island found in Tokyo Bay, Au bonheur des chiens recently kicked off a new service in addition to their dog lodging and trimming facilities: a pre-school/kindergarten offering housetraining to new pups.

Considering that pets now outnumber people in Japan, it might not seem like a huge jump for such a service to appear, but when we first heard the news that pet owners could now send their pups off to kindergarten, we couldn’t help but wonder, “Is this really necessary?!”

According to Au bonheur des chiens, however, pups learn best at three months old, and can easily learn in minutes what can take adult dogs dozens of hours of training to accomplish. For this reason, the facility decided to build an in-house school to hone in on this high-level learning period and prevent training mistakes from becoming future bad habits.

And when 2014 statistics from Japan’s Nature Conservation Bureau state that 14.7 percent of dogs put down meet this sad fate as a result of insufficient training and care, the salon may have a point. Not only does training your dog make the pup and owner’s relationship happier, but it could potentially save the animal’s life in the long run.

Au bonheur des chien’s kindergarten class focuses on basic training such as communicating through eye contact, giving commands, crate training, walking practice, and introducing puppies to all kinds of different sounds. They also cover basic health training like teeth-brushing, nail trimming, and other simple grooming skills so that the pup gets used to being handled in this way later in life.

▼ “Sit! Stay! Good boy!”


Lessons start at 7,500 yen (US$69.50) per visit, or monthly fees of 62,400 yen (US$577.95) for two lessons a week or 90,000 yen (US$833.55) for three visits a week. Owners who send their dogs to the kindergarten for more than one month can take advantage of subsequent monthly discounts.

▼ Some of the cute pups that participated school opening ceremony



For those that are too busy with work to spend multiple hours a day housetraining their new puppy, it’s definitely a nice option to have, but then again we have to wonder—if you don’t have time to train your dog in the first place, should you really have bought one?

Source: Au bonheur des chiens via @Press
Feature/insert images: Au bonheur des chiens
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