Puppy Class is for Everyone!

If you’ve been following my Facebook page, you know that we have a new addition to our household. Little Doug joined us on July 31st at 8 weeks old. The past 3 and a half weeks have been full of puppy playtime, socialization opportunities and learning about each other.

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One of the things I have been most excited about is going to puppy class! It’s been quite awhile since I have attended a puppy class, even though I teach puppies all the time. Several of the people in my life have asked me “Why do you need to go to puppy class? Don’t you already know how to train a puppy?”

Yes, I do know how to train a puppy and I’ve been re-reading all of my puppy books over the last few months as a refresher too. But puppy class is still important. Here’s why:

  1. Doug is learning to be in a classroom. I hope to do various dog sports with Doug, so this is a skill he really needs!
  1. Doug is learning that other dogs nearby doesn’t always mean playtime. Sometimes he needs to work with me, despite the other fun opportunities around him.
  1. It is a great tool for me to keep me on track. Even for a dog trainer it is easy to lose focus when raising a puppy and slack on training or socialization. Going to class each week is a great way to hold me accountable for practicing with Doug.
  1. I am learning something different about Doug by going to class with him. I know how he is at home, in our neighborhood, and at the vet now. But in class I can see which skills he has mastered and which ones he needs practice with in one more setting. For example, he struggles to just relax without something specific to do. This is something we are working on now. But one of his strengths is ignoring other dogs even when they are barking at him. He was able to stay focused on me and the task at hand when another puppy in class was begging him to play!

I encourage everyone, no matter what you plan to do with your dog, to take a good puppy class. The right fit for a class will be different for everyone and every puppy class is a bit different. So be sure to ask what is covered, what the structure of the classroom will be, and consider what you want to get out of the class when choosing one.

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