Bringing a puppy into your home is an exciting time. Everything is new, including all the things your puppy needs to learn about being well behaved in different environments, and feeling confident and happy in themselves.
As soon as your puppy is 8 weeks old, they should be taken to puppy school. If you’ve never been to puppy school, it may seem confusing as to why it’s so important for your furry friend and their development. Here is everything you need to know about puppy school, from what to expect to how best to prepare yourself for ongoing communication and training in your home with your new best friend.
Why puppy school is important
Dogs aren’t born toilet trained, well-mannered and obedient – they learn these behaviours through training, repetition and positive reinforcement.
When it comes to getting your puppy the training they need, it’s best to start as early as possible during the most important phase of their development. Between 8-16 weeks your little companion learns vital socialisation and communication skills, whether they’re in puppy school or not. This short window is when puppies are most receptive to learning new things, as well as accepting new situations and experiences (such as car rides, going to cafes, and confronting loud noises).
If a puppy isn’t properly guided in this period of their life, they can develop behavioural issues that will be harder to rectify as they grow into adulthood.
Puppy school provides a safe, positive space for your puppy to learn and develop the skills they need to become happy, well-behaved and confident. It is also a great way to discover little behavioural quirks or traits in your pup that may otherwise go unnoticed, so they can be addressed and handled in the most supportive way possible.
Choosing a puppy school
Depending on the school, trainers can be veterinary staff or animal behaviour experts who work with dogs. Trainers typically have many thousands of hours of experience, and they keep up-to-date with the latest in scientific research on dog training and behaviour.
When choosing the right place to train your pup, you should always look at the different puppy schools in your area to see what is available and the kind of services the trainers offer. Check out classes in advance of bringing your pup to ensure you’re happy with their offering, and comfortable with the guidance you’ll be taking back into the home with your pup.
Requirements of puppy school
It’s best to book your spot in advance to ensure you’re getting your pup in as early as possible to start training. Puppy school is only for young dogs between 8 – 16 weeks. Your school may ask for proof of vaccination before your pup can attend, so ensure you speak to your vet to obtain any documentation you may need prior to your puppy’s first class.
What you and your puppy will learn
The most important aspect of puppy school will involve you, their best friend, developing an understanding of how your dog learns and communicates. After 8 weeks of puppy school you will walk away with the knowledge you need to continue training your furry companion in basic skills, and how to manage more complex behaviours.
At school, your pup will learn a wide variety of things through positive reinforcement, including
- Basic commands, such as sit, drop and stay
- Toilet training
- Being held and handled, so your pup can relax while you check their teeth, ears and body
- How to calm and settle down
- Social behaviours and manners
Are you ready to take your puppy to school? Or do you still have some burning questions on what to expect and do to prepare? Our friendly team are here to help you, and your pup, put your best paw forward.