Puppy Preschool should be seen as important to your puppy’s long-term health as vaccinations and good nutrition, as it offers you the chance to positively influence how your puppy will interact with other dogs and people for the rest of its life.
Many pet owners are under the impression that if they have prior experience with puppies or have a house full of other dogs that Puppy Preschool is not necessary for their puppy. However, Puppy Preschool offers far more to puppy owners than simple basic training or the chance for their puppy to interact with other dogs.
Puppy Preschool teaches puppies more than basic training
Unlike traditional training classes, puppy preschools are specifically designed for dogs eight to sixteen weeks of age. During this period a puppy is considered to be in its ‘critical socialisation period’. It’s not only a busy and often chaotic time for owners but is also a very important developmental period for dogs. It is the time nature intended for pups to start exploring away from the den, a time when puppies are very accepting of new situations and experiences, “bouncing back” if they see something new or a little frightening. This makes it the perfect time for introducing your puppy to the big wide human dominated world it is going to live in – a world of funny sights (tall people, small people, hats, other animals) funny sounds (TV, radio, vacuum cleaners, traffic) and funny smells (perfumes, cars, cigarettes, odd foods). It is also a great time to have the puppy associate a vet clinic with positive and fun activity and not just needling and surgeries. In the past we’ve found that dogs who attended puppy class always love returning to the clinic.
It is also a good time for learning about other dogs – that they come in all shapes and sizes, pricked ears and dropped, tails up, down, short and long. For some dogs, missing this genetic ‘window of opportunity’ can lead to a life time of fear and possibly aggressions. Even though it is important to continue to expose your dog to as many things as possible throughout adolescence, this early period is seen as perhaps the most important.
Many people still think that their puppy is too young or unable to attend ‘school’ at this age because of the threat of infectious diseases however puppy preschools were specifically designed as a way to meet the vital need for exposure and socialisation in a clean, safe, supervised environment.
Curtin Veterinary Clinic is an ideal location for your pup to participate in Puppy Preschool
First, we offer clean premises where the risk of infection to your young puppy is greatly reduced compared to Puppy Preschools that take place in outside locations such as parks. We also require that all puppies in the program have been health checked and vaccinated prior to participating.
Puppy Preschools that allow significantly older puppies and/or adult dogs to participate are inappropriate for your young puppy. The potentially larger size of older puppies combined with their being at a different stage in their behavioural development increase the chance that an interaction may occur that injures or scares your puppy. This will have the exact opposite effect on their behavioural development to what you were intending!
What do we cover?
The course runs for four weeks and uses the positive reinforcement method to cover topics such as dog psychology and pack behaviour, socialisation, house training, discipline, obedience training, fleas, exercise requirements, grooming, what to do in emergencies and dentistry.
The classes will also cover any individual problems you may experience or questions you may want answered.
- Socialisation – Why socialisation is so important and how to go about ensuring your puppy is well socialised.
- Preventative Medicine – Outline of the preventative medicines currently available and which ones are important for your puppy.
- Toilet Training – Effective methods and how to discipline
- Discipline – How to go about disciplining your puppy effectively.
- Diet and Feeding – When, where, how often and what/what not to feed your new puppy.
- Dental Care – Maintenance of healthy teeth and gums
- Grooming – Brushing, bathing, nail clipping. When to start, what needs to be done for your individual puppy.
- Fleas – What’s effective, what’s not and how to avoid a flea explosion in your household.
- Exercise and Play – The importance of exercise and play.
- Training – The importance of training, where and when to train your puppy.
- Hospital Tour – Catch a glimpse of what it’s like “behind the scenes” at Curtin Veterinary Clinic.
- Problem Behaviours – Chewing, digging, jumping up on people etc… why all puppies do it and effective ways to discipline.
- GRADUATION– Presentation of graduation certificates and treats!
All classes finish with a training session. Time is spent with each puppy individually… to ensure training is relevant and effective.
We will teach you how to get your pup to: sit, drop, lead work, stay and roll over.
Who runs our puppy classes?
Our puppy classes are run by Dr Jana and Jesse McNamara, who is one of only a few fully qualified dog trainers in Canberra. Jesse’s qualifications include the Australian Delta Society Canine Good Citizen Certificate, which is a nationally accredited course which teaches scientifically proven, 100% positive, reward-based training techniques. Delta’s teaching staff include renowned veterinary behaviourists and highly experienced lecturers.
Both Dr Jana and Jesse complement each other in running puppy classes, as you and your puppy will be guided through veterinary related puppy issues and behaviour training throughout the four week course.
Jesse also runs her own dog training school outside of the Curtin Vet Clinic and offers a variety of courses: http://www.abcdog.biz/
Things to think about before your puppy starts school
All puppies must be between 6 and 14 weeks old (at the start of puppy class) and have had their first vaccination. Bookings are essential so we can keep classes to a minimum.
Please contact our vet clinic for further information or to book your puppy a place. Phone (02) 6281 0990.