Puppies don’t come with instructions. There isn’t an Owner’s Manual. From the minute you bring your puppy home, he’s learning. Your pup will develop habits whether you teach him or not. It’s much easier to instill good habits from the beginning, than to try to undo bad habits later.
Confused about when to start your pup's education? Trainers and veterinarians agree: sooner is better!
If your pup is healthy, you can start puppy class as soon as your pup has begun (and as long as he's kept on) his puppy vaccination schedule. Dr. Brenda Griffin states in DVM360:
For puppies, the single most important part of a behavioral wellness program is proper socialization during their critical developmental period, which ends by 16 weeks. Owners must begin socialization the day they bring their new puppies home, and the clock is ticking.
Proper socialization combined with positive reinforcement-based training in the context of a group puppy class helps puppies grow into well-adjusted pets. Classes provide critical socialization time with a variety of people and other puppies.
Smart Dog University makes it easy for you to get your puppy socialization and dog-friendly positive reinforcement training with Puppy Charm School (PCS). Designed specifically for puppies (8-18 weeks old), PCS will help you build the dog of your dreams.
Focusing on five critical areas, PCS makes it easy for you to teach your pup what he needs to know, when he needs to know it. There are five areas of concentration in PCS: Confident Puppy, Social Puppy, Happy & Healthy Puppy, Good Puppy, and Parenting Your Puppy.
Confident Puppy teaches your pup to feel comfortable in any environment and to accept new experiences easily. Your pup will be an “easy keeper” because he’ll be just as comfortable at soccer practice as he is at the bus stop, and even at the veterinarian!
The more experiences your pup has before 16 weeks of age (4 months), the more laid back and easy going he’ll be as he grows up. A laid back pup grows into a well-adjusted dog.
Why It’s Important: Living in our world doesn’t come naturally to dogs. Their developing minds are wide open until 16 weeks of age. After that, they become less willing to accept new things, people, and experiences.
Social Puppy teaches your pup to play nicely with other dogs, to recognize and use appropriate dog signals around other dogs. PCS will have controlled off-leash puppy play during each class. We’ll narrate the activities of the pups, pointing out the important things for you to watch for when you’re at home. We’ll show you warning signals as well as good signs that mean your pup is having a blast!
Why It’s Important: A dog needs repeated exposure to friendly and appropriate dogs his entire life. Dogs who can’t get along with other dogs have a “shorter leash” on life and don’t get to experience as much, or have as much fun as a dog who is easy-going and nice to other dogs.
Happy + Healthy Puppy teaches your puppy to be comfortable with routine grooming tasks such as nail trims and vet exams.
Why It’s Important: The earlier your pup learns the veterinarian isn’t scary, the easier it will be for you (and your dog, and your vet) to keep your dog happy and healthy. Your dog will need routine grooming and vet care to keep him happy and healthy – it’s easier if he’s cooperative (instead of combative).
Good Puppy teaches your pup basic “good manners” behaviors like sit, give it up, come when called, loose leash walking, name recognition.
Why It’s Important: Teaching appropriate behaviors from the start is the easiest and fastest way to a well-behaved dog. Teaching the pup what to do is a sure way to avoid problem behaviors (like jumping, barking, stealing socks, etc.).
Parenting Your Puppy teaches you how to deal with the most common (and the most frustrating) puppy problems. You’ll learn how to conquer puppy nipping, house training, crate training, barking, and stealing.
Why It’s Important: Giving you tools for dealing with the most vexing of puppy problems will allow you to spend more time enjoying your pup (and less time cursing the day you brought him home). Having the knowledge to deal with these common puppy issues ensures that the pup will have a consistent and predictable environment – one of the most important pieces of a well-adjusted pup’s life.
Puppy Charm School opens August 1 and we expect it to be popular. Register early to ensure you and your pup get in — before your pup reaches 18 weeks of age! Classes have ongoing registration — Register today and you can usually start classes the very next week, no waiting!
Classes will be held in two locations each week. In Frederick, PCS will be held Mondays (6:30p – 7:15p) Yellow Springs Veterinary Clinic (25 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick), and Thursdays (7:30p – 8:15p) at Mount Airy Animal Hospital (1308 S. Main Street, Mt. Airy).
When you register, you'll receive five PCS sessions. You have seven weeks to fit in those five sessions, meaning if you can't make it one week (going on vacation, business travel, etc.), you won't lose out on that session. PCS is $159 and is available only to puppies 8 – 18 weeks of age. If your pup turns 19 weeks before you finish your PCS sessions, you can use your remaining sessions in Canine Building Blocks.
We're here to help! Please email Smart Dog U (email@example.com) or give us a call (240) 394-1112 if you have any questions about Puppy Charm School. We'll see you in class!
Lauren (and Claire!) says
Hey girl! As a frequent reader of your blog, I am happy to pass on the Versatile Blogger Award! You’re awesome, so it’s only fair 🙂 To grab the button and find out more details on requirements of passing it on, go to my most recent blog post at: http://clairebabybutterworth.blogspot.com/2011/07/our-very-first-blog-award.html
Keep blogging! We love you!
Lauren (and Claire!)
Laurie, this is a fantastic idea! Looking forward to the day when I have a pup to enroll. Emily
Your puppies should be happy and healthy to be comfortable with the grooming tasks such as nail trims. It is good if your puppy is socially interactive so as to play well with other dogs.