Whether it’s a puppy, or a newly adopted adult dog, it is very important that they are socialised with other animals and humans, and also be exposed to different situations and environments.
The earlier you can start, the better the outcome will be with your new friend.
The aim of early socialisation is to have a dog that is happy, well adjusted, and comfortable around other dogs and people.
Of course, making sure your dog is vaccinated is the very most important thing you need to make sure is done before you start interacting and socialising with other dogs.
Puppies usually have a course of 2-3 vaccinations from around 6-8 weeks old, and are generally completed and free to tackle to the world when they are approximately 12-16 weeks old.
It is mandatory that at any respectful training facility, a proof of vaccination is required before you can attend a class.
At the Maribyrnong Veterinary Clinic, we require the puppies to have had their first vaccination, and puppy preschool classes are run in an adjacent building to the vet clinic, as to offer a safe environment for the new furry students.
If you have a dog that is older than 16 weeks, the staff at the clinic would be more than happy to provide you with some recommended trainers and schools.
Not all training methods are the same. We support reward based training methods, or as it’s sometimes referred to, positive reinforcement.
Reward based training is where the dog is rewarded for performing a ‘good’ behaviour, and generally ignoring any ‘unwanted’ behaviour.
This training method does not involve physical punishment or the assertion of dominance over the dog.
In puppy preschool, you will learn commands, such as sit, drop, and recall.
You will also get insight into basic care for your puppy, which includes things such as nutrition, vaccinations, grooming and toilet training, just to name a few!
It will also give you an opportunity to discuss certain behaviours and how to respond in different situations.
Of course, they will also get to socialise with other puppies of different sizes and temperaments.
Through our experience, we have found that the puppies that have attended our classes are generally very excited and enjoy coming to the vet clinic for their healthcare visits – even when it includes getting a needle! They have a positive association with the vet clinic, which means most visits are a pleasant experience for the dog, their owners, the nurses, and the vets!
If you are interested in our puppy preschool classes, please call the clinic to find out days and availability.
Socialising doesn’t just start with or end with puppy school.
Spend lots of time with your dog, and try and include him or her in most of your daily activities, if possible.
We also encourage taking your dog in the car with you from the earliest age possible to try and get them used to travelling.
Take your dog to visit friends and family.
Teach young children how to pat your dog gently, and don’t forget to give lots of praise and rewards when your dog is behaving favourably.
A happy, friendly, well adjusted dog will bring you so much joy in life. The effort you put in will be evident in your dog’s personality and behaviour.
Not only will your dog be deserving of rewards, but you will be too!