This class is a 6 week socialization and training course for puppies up to 18 weeks of age. We cover puppy mouthing, chew toys, house-training, handling, socialization, playing safely, basic cues like ” off” and “take it”, the use of rewards in training, training through distractions and other important things.
There are play-times during class and puppies are divided into groups and their guardians are taught to recognize appropriate vs inappropriate play and how to raise their puppy to be a dog with appropriate dog skills. Please note that puppies, like children, develop at individual paces. Some puppies can be very shy for a variety of reasons and those puppies are allowed to observe play and training until they feel comfortable participating. Overwhelming puppies is counterproductive.
Because early socialization is so incredibly important (so that the stages of development are taken advantage of ), participants may join the course late if their puppy joins their new family while a course is already underway.
There are written handouts and homework sheets, socialization checklists, equipment comparisons , recommendations and more. Participants receive a copy of the e-book, “Perfect Puppy Parenting” by Jane Bowers.
Owners often have questions about whether it is safe to have their puppies attend puppy classes before their first vaccinations are complete. The most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life. In their Position Statement , the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior states that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.
For more information on vaccinations , please watch Dr Becker interviewing Dr Ronald Schultz . Dr Schultz is an immunization expert at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and one of the key authors of the canine vaccination guidelines issued by the American Animal Hospital Association and of the canine and feline vaccination guidelines recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.