Puppy Classroom Trade Secret #19

There are those nights where I cannot wait to get to class. New little puppies, friendly people, laughter, snuggling, teaching, learning, just all a bit magical. These nights are like a drug, kind of addictive.

And then there are those nights where I just cannot seem to get in the mood to face piranha like teeth bearing down on my delicate skin, farting, barking, cranky people, cranky teething puppies, or crappy weather. These nights are far and few between but they do happen. The Universe is obviously not aligned in my favor, so over the years I have perfected strategies of sorts for making these out of aligned nights a bit more aligned.

The one thing I have found to get me in the mood for each and every class is the aroma of puppy breath. Trade Secret #19.


Sometimes a quick whiff before class is all it takes to ignite all of the good things inside of me, it’s like a warm snugly hug of air.

Puppy breath can be both subtle and complex, it has that classic combination of – slightly sweet, milky, crisp urine, dirt, and newness aromas, with a slight undertone of poop. It is unmistakable.

You only need one puppy to sweetly lick your face and accidentally get their tongue into your mouth or at the very least, up one nostril, to know what I am talking about.

Now if you have never purchased puppy breath as a ‘pre-class prep’ there are some things you should know, and look for.

  1. Only purchase 100% Pure Puppy Breath that is fresh, you don’t want additives, preservatives, or emulsifiers. Pure also indicates that it is real and not synthetic. Puppy breath is puppy breath, I have never seen it marked as organic or non-gmo, PETA approves, or Kosher. It should just be pure. And just to be clear, there is no such thing as Vegan puppy breath.
  2. Buy small batches that you can use within the week, as aged puppy breath is no longer puppy breath, and who the hell wants to smell adolescent breath before a class starts.
  3. Decide what puppy age suites your particular tastes. For example, I prefer ‘4 weeks’ as it has that milky aroma, super newness, fruity sweet, and light on the poop. At four weeks of age the teeth haven’t really come in yet so these little ones are all milk fat and yummy. But please don’t go by my example alone because I have plenty of colleagues that like the 7-8 week range of puppy breath, more mature urine and poop fragrance, a little bit more scampiness and playfulness in the finish, and a slightly more complex bouquet over all. So sample and find the one that is right for you and your needs as a Puppy Classroom Trainer.
  4. In today’s world you now have options and it is good to experiment and see what suites you. First decide on the age of breath you like, then get super specific. You can now find breed, region, or lifestyle specific puppy breath. Farm fresh puppy breath offers all of the goodness of healthy newness with a bottom note of manure. Labrador puppy breath has that sweet yet uriney fragrance, with a swirled scent of tennis balls, drywall, and wood chips. The Pacific Northwest puppy breath is something I will splurge on a couple of times a year as it is a bit pricey, but to the discerning nose, the milky goodness in their puppy breath has this ever so slight combination of cannabis, fish, and hops, and sometimes a hint of mushroom. Even if only once, you have to try it. If you like that slightly sulfur farty puppy breath that hits your nose like a brick, well then the Yellowstone region is for you. So sample away.
  5. Always have a bottle on hand, always. And make sure it is in a place where if you need a quick whiff, it is readily available.
  6. Some nights a little bit of puppy breath works and hits the right snuggle spot, and other nights you are just going to down the whole bottle before class starts. Never feel guilt about this. You have to do what you have to do to get into the right head space to teach your class, so feel good about the choices you make depending on the night.

breath 3

Puppies will love you and get you and flock to you. Your human clients might get a bit wide eyed when they first meet you as the scent of puppy breath coming out of your mouth might be a bit shocking, but don’t worry, they get use to it, and over time will appreciate the efforts you make for each and every puppy class.

And if you have a client that is particularly struggling with their puppy, and the relationship is seemingly not natural, gift them a bottle of puppy breath, help them out as best as you can, it’s like sharing a snuggle with the world, and don’t we all need more of that.

Cheers to puppies and all they have to offer, including their breath, Nancy


photo credits – Jessica Dunbar Photography