The importance of puppy school.
Bringing a new, cute, four legged, furry family member home for the first time is something very special. They bring so much fun, joy and love into our lives. However, without the proper socialisation and training, your new puppy can quickly turn into a chewing, biting, mess making machine. Of course, some of these are all normal puppy behaviours, but puppy school can help equip you with the tools to effectively control problems as they arise and sometimes prevent them all together.
As dogs grow so quickly, the critical time for learning and socialisation for your puppy is earlier than you might think. The best time to start is between 8-16 weeks of age. Socialisation with other vaccinated dogs can start soon after your puppy has had their first vaccination.
Studies have shown that puppies who are not exposed to different people, other dogs and new situations during this period have a higher chance of becoming fearful and aggresive later in life. If you do miss this window, it does not mean your dog is "ruined" or will have problems but rather that it can be harder and more challenging to train, socialise and correct unwanted behaviours.
What does puppy school teach?
Puppy school will provide you with the right knowledge to set you and your dog up for a happy and healthy life together. We only use positive reinforcement based training.
At our puppy school we talk to you about:
- Exercise requirements
- Environmental enrichment
- How to teach basic commands such as "sit" , "stay" and "come here"
- How to effectively socialise your puppy
- General health advice such as vaccinations, worm and flea treatments
- Toilet training tips
- Handling tips
- Addressing problems such as biting, jumping, chewing unwanted items
Our nurses are experienced and fully trained and are happy to answer any questions that arise during our classes or beyond. If there is anything else you would like to learn, feel free to ask and we can always try to add it into the class.
What is positive reinforcement training?
Positive reinforcement is reward based training. It teaches your dog to perform an action in exchange for a reward (food, praise, a toy or whatever your dog is motivated by). By using this reward system you can change unwanted behaviour by rewarding the dog for doing what you want (eg. sitting) and ignoring the behaviour you don't like (eg. jumping up).
Positive reinforcement means an enjoyable experience for both you and your puppy and creates a closer bond than with punishment based training. Not only is it a more gentle and kind way to train your dog but it has been proven to work better than other types of training. Unpleasant forms of punishment such as shock collars, rubbing your puppies nose in urine or faeces and physically hurting your dog are inhumane, unecessary, ineffective and will likely create a fearful and aggressive dog in the future.
Puppy school at the Maribyrnong vet clinic.
Our puppy classes are run by an experienced and qualified vet nurse. The course goes for 4 weeks and is held from 5:45-6:45 on Thursday evenings. Puppies in our classes are generally 12-16 weeks old and need to have their first vaccination before attending. Please call the clinic on (03) 93183349 to find out when our next set of classes are starting and to enrol your new puppy.