Early puppy classes. Are they essential?

16 October 2015

I often get enquiries from potential clients who are about to get a new puppy. They have done all their research and have been told that they need to get their puppy into a socialisation class straight away or they will have missed the boat.

If the timing works out and you find a well run reputable class that can fit you in then go for it. However if you have to wait a few weeks don't panic it doesn't mean your puppy has missed out on the social stakes.

I have found from experience that it is better to wait for a good class than dive into the nearest socialisation class without checking out to see if it is going to be a suitable place for your puppy to learn.

The classes I teach focus on training and good social skills so the emphasis is on teaching your puppy to focus on you with the distractions of the other dogs in the class and to learn how to interact in a positive way with other dogs. This is very different to a socialising class which can be very frustrating or overwhelming depending on your puppy's temperament and experience. Over the years I have found that unless your puppy comes from a poor start ( puppy farm etc) waiting to start classes doesn't affect them as much as the books would have you believe. As long as you take your puppy out to lots of new places as soon as you can the classes are a useful addition to the socialising they are doing everyday. It is also ok for your very young puppy to meet any friend's dogs that are vaccinated until they are able to go to the park.

Quite often people in this situation will start off with a couple of one to one sessions with their trainer which then gives you the advantage of some private tuition with the classes as a very useful add on to consolidate on what you learn in the home visits.

A good trainer will be able to give you the foundations for a sucessful relationship between your new dog,you and your family and an understanding of puppy behaviour which I believe is the best start in life for you and your puppy.

© Karen England2015

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I have been meaning to email you for ages to say how absolutely fantastic the classes you offer were. I have been scanning your website to see whether you were going to do the Bronze Kennel Club Award but nothing came up so I ended up doing it with a local club.... and shall I tell you something... your classes... your organisation.... the tasks you get the dogs to do.... your manner... not to mention other numerous qualities by far, and I mean by far supersedes what I have recently experienced. I honestly don't think I have learnt anything new in the last 8 weeks. Anyway Karen many thanks for everything you provided Tilly with in those sessions...they were just fab...thank you so much...please keep me informed should you be offering any other courses as I would be very interested.

Owner of Tilly a Chocolate Lab

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