PUPPY SOCIALISATION CLASS
Puppy training begins the moment you bring your new puppy home. Many years ago I started pre- training puppy socialisation for puppies to meet up before they were allowed to go out walking. Pups are usually under 12 weeks and these puppy sessions are held at the veterinary practice. I have encouraged many vet practices to have their own puppy social groups and then the pups can come to my classes afterwards benefiting from the experience of meeting other dogs in a controlled way. It is a great place to identify issues of fear and where handling can be started.
I run the Drake Veterinary Practice, Yelverton (www.drakevet.co.uk) puppy socialising and we allow puppies from other practices to come and join in at a small charge which usually is put in the charity box. Drake vet clients have the puppy socialising groups as part of their inoculation package and have a voucher to give them a £5 discount on my training packages.
Woodlands Veterinary Group and Elm Veterinary group have also benefited from my experience as their nurses and reception staff have done a course of training with me to allow them to run their own puppy socialisation groups with confidence.
I have taught many nurses over the years in veterinary practices to enable the practice to have their own puppy socialising groups and do regular updates for them when they need it.
Puppy socialising sessions at veterinary practices enables the puppies to play and mix with other breeds; they can learn bite inhibition on other breeds of dog, start to recognise body signals that are different from their siblings and the nurse or training advisor can give advice on any issues noticed in the group session. Shy or timid puppy owners are given advice on how to improve the pups confidence and everyone is shown how to handle and check their puppies, cleaning teeth and clipping nails. Puppy socialising and training classes are designed to teach owners to better understand their puppy’s needs, establish effective communication, prevent behaviour problems, and to show owners how to properly socialise their new puppy. Another benefit is the pups think of the practice as somewhere to meet and play and often coming into the reception looking very happy and looking for their mates even when they are a lot older they still relate the reception as a play room.
It is the first 14 months of a dog's life that is most critical. It is in this early period though that most puppies can develop up to 90 percent of their attitudes toward people, other animals, and their environment good and bad, therefore we want to give the dog a good chance of acquiring the best socialising skills by early puppy groups.
It is crucial that you begin an educational program with your puppy at an early age. Between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks dogs begin to form attitudes and opinions that will last a lifetime. Puppies should begin puppy socialising as soon as they have had their first inoculation, veterinary surgeries puppy social groups and then on to puppy training groups. This early start is so important in preventing future behaviour problems. The old fashioned way of training starting at 6 months is no longer applied as we understand more that pups need to learn the right way from a very early age.