So you just got a puppy and everyone is asking you when you’re starting puppy class but you don’t know why you even need to do it. In this post, I’ll break down the important benefits of attending a puppy class.
Learning how to socialize your puppy.
Socializing your puppy is not just about getting them to meet new people, explore new places and play with other puppies. It’s about HOW you socialize them. Getting direction from a certified professional trainer on how you approach socialization, coaching on what to look for in terms of stress/fear and what to do in those situations is critical. You only have a short window of time in which to truly socialize a puppy, there are no opportunities for a do-over.
Learning how to deal with common problem behaviours.
Problem behaviours are common with puppies. I don’t know a single puppy owner who hasn’t had at least one of the following issues: nipping, barking, jumping, potty training, and over-arousal. Learning how to deal with these problems from a professional is going to save you so much time and frustration.
Learning how to socialize your puppy with other puppies
If you are able to get an in-person puppy class, puppy playtime is always a HUGE perk. However, during the pandemic, this isn’t always possible. But you should still be attending a puppy class. A virtual puppy class should go over in-detail how to manage puppy playtimes so that you can safely set up your own puppy playdates. Your puppy needs to play with other puppies so that it can learn about communication, self-regulation, bite inhibition and more. Knowing how to handle these puppy playdates is critical. Puppy playdates should not be you just letting your puppy and the other puppies play non-stop for an hour. This can result in puppies that are overaroused and start to make poor decisions. So learn how to manage these puppy playtimes in puppy class.
Get support for the hard days
Puppy class gives you access to a trainer. Getting support on the days where things are not going well is going to make your life easier, and you need to try and make your life easier because puppies are not easy! Have a trainer to shoot an email off to, to ask what is going on when your puppy does xyz. Or ask them at the end of class. Get support so that this process is a bit easier.
You may have noticed I didn’t mention training skills. You can train your puppy at anytime, but they will only be a puppy for a short period of time. A time where you need to try and get things right to set them up for success. Yes, skills are important and some of them are incredibly valuable to work on at a young age, that’s why I teach 14 of them in my puppy class. But you can take a training class for training skills. You need a puppy class to get the puppy raising right, so you aren’t contacting someone like me, a year later, because the nipping never stopped.