Bring home a new puppy and you'll be bombarded with information.People will explain what worked for their last puppy or will share horror stories about what didn't work. Books, TV shows, DVDs, and the internet are filled with puppy raising information. It can be tough to weed through all of this. Many puppy owners enroll in puppy classes so they can have some guidance as to what they should or should not do. If you've found a great dog training school or an instructor you like and trust, this can be a wonderful resource. However, even the best instructor and school isn't magic (all puppy-raising issues won't simply disappear), so let's look at the pros and cons of a puppy class.
What is a Puppy Training Class?A puppy training class, often called a kindergarten puppy class, is designed for young puppies. Most schools require the puppy have two combination distemper and parvo vaccinations and require proof of this before enrollment. The ages for enrollment are generally between ten to sixteen weeks of age. The exercises being taught usually include sit, down, brief stays, come, and walk on leash without pulling. Most instructors provide guidance on how these exercises can be used at home. Problem prevention and solving is usually also a part of the lesson plan, including biting and mouthing, housetraining, and other typical puppy issues. Most puppy class instructors will also discuss fears, fear periods, socialization, and other important aspects of raising a puppy. Keep in mind, although your puppy is attending the class with you, most of the instruction during the class is for you. Since your puppy will be really excited at class, especially the first few weeks, most of your puppy's learning will take place at home when you repeat these exercises there.
The Benefits of Puppy ClassPuppy classes are usually one hour per week for six, seven, or eight weeks. The cost is usually significantly less than one on one training. Obviously, the most important benefit of puppy class is that you will learn how to teach your puppy, how to motivate him so he wants to work with you, and how to communicate with him. You'll learn how to prevent problem behaviors and how to deal with them should they happen anyway. In a group class such as this, you'll also talk to other puppy owners and compare experiences. Many puppy owners say a group puppy training class is also group therapy for the puppy owners. Puppies in class get to meet other puppies of a variety of breeds and breed mixes, of all sizes, shapes, coat types, and colors. Many classes also offer time for the puppies to play and that offers a huge benefit as the puppies interact with one another and discover how to play, how hard to bite each other (or not), and how to interpret the other puppies' body language and verbalizations. As the puppy progresses through the class, he'll be able to practice his obedience lessons in class with more success. He'll be able to ignore distractions that he wasn't able to ignore earlier. Last, but certainly not least, he'll also meet people of all sizes, shapes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. This is important as the puppy knows his human family but unless he meets other people, he won't have any idea that humans are just as varied as other puppies.