All puppies and their new owners can benefit from Puppy Preschool. It is an important learning and socialisation tool, and it is also LOTS of fun!
At Inner South Veterinary Centre the puppy classes are run by fully qualified and experienced nurses. The course consists of a 45-minute class weekly, over four weeks and are run in the evenings from 6:15pm – 7pm, dependent on the time of year.
The classes are designed help teach the owners basic training methods and help owners to better understand some behaviour. We provide tips to help minimise problem behaviours associated with puppy hood.
Puppy development includes a critical socialisation period.
This critical development period begins as the puppy’s eyes open and it begins to interact with people and animals in its surroundings and ends around 16 weeks of age. In this sensitive period your puppy is learning what is ok, what is scary, what is appropriate and what is a ‘no-no’. Socialisation helps your little puppy feel relaxed as a pet within a society that includes a huge mix of people, environments, buildings, sights, noises, smells, dogs, and other animals.
Many behavioural problems in dogs are due to inappropriate or insufficient socialisation. Your pup needs to get out there in the big wide world! You need to expose them to the people, animals, plants, objects and natural phenomena they are likely to encounter throughout their life. This includes things like the sight and sound of cars, buses and trucks, schoolyards of yelling children, crowds, cats, crying babies and thunderstorms.
After 16 of weeks of age, dogs become much more cautious of anything they haven’t yet encountered. Once they reach 18 weeks, it can be more difficult to teach a dog to like something new or help them become comfortable with something they find frightening. You can always teach an old dog new tricks but by taking advantage of this sensitive period you can help your pup be a generally well-adjusted and chilled family member.
- Giving new puppy owners realistic expectations on training and why puppies do the things they do.
- Basic obedience – with a bit more taught week by week.
- Week 1 – sit and settle
- Week 2 – drop
- Week 3 – come and recall training
- Week 4 – stay/wait
- Environmental Enrichment – toys and games to keep the puppy busy and active and to prevent boredom and ultimately separation anxiety.
- Crate training – a relatively new training technique in which your puppy is taught to accept a crate as it’s safety zone. They are ideal for helping teach toilet training, preventing damage to your house whilst your puppy is unsupervised and providing safety when travelling.
- Toilet training, biting/chewing/mouthing, and jumping – an eternally frustrating but important topic.
- Socialisation – not only with other dogs and people, but with objects, sounds, smells and handling too.
Week four is graduation week, and a celebration of the steps that have been taken along the way.
Our staff would love to answer your questions about puppy classes at Inner South Veterinary Centre.