At What Stage Does Puppy Training School Make Sense: Tips and Cost
In their fourth week of life, puppies enter what is known as the socialisation phase. They remember everything they learn, during that time for the rest of their lives, which is why it important to take advantage of it to show them as much of the world as possible: expose them to new people and animals, as well as different noises and visual stimuli. This prepares them to go through life without fear and well socialised. In addition to the daily education they receive at home, there are dog schools which offer puppy classes where young pups can receive professional training. Your four-legged companion will learn a lot, and so will you.
Puppy school: when should you and your puppy start going?
When a puppy moves in with you, you should give it some time to get used to its new surroundings and family. After about a week of settling in, you and your new family member can start going to puppy school together once a week. As a rule, puppies can start puppy school at the age of twelve weeks.
What happens at puppy school?
Puppy school is an opportunity for young dogs to meet other puppies. The other pups should ideally be of a similar age and stage of development as your four-legged friend. By meeting and playing with other dogs, your puppy will hone its social skills and learn to communicate with its peers in a relaxed and appropriate manner. It will also be taught basic commands to focus on its owner even when there are other dogs around, and be exposed to unfamiliar external stimuli such as fluttering ribbons, strange noises or different surfaces. Experienced dog trainers will be on hand to give you advice and support during classes and give you tips on how to raise and handle your puppy on a daily basis. Another advantage of attending puppy school is that you will meet other dog owners with whom you can exchange ideas.
The advantages of puppy school
Benefits of attending puppy school at a glance:
- By attending puppy classes, your dog will be able to meet other pups at the same level of development and improve its social skills through play.
- By chasing, running and wrestling with puppies of the same age, your four-legged friend will gain greater self-awareness and learn to understand other dogs.
- In playful training sessions during which the dogs are taught basic commands such as “Stay”, your pup will learn right from the start to focus on you even when there are distractions.
- Exposure to different external stimuli at a young age will allow your puppy to handle new situations more fearlessly and confidently later in life.
- Training together with your dog is fun and will strengthen the bond you share.
- The dog trainers will give you lots of tips on everyday life with your dog and help you with individual problems.
- Meeting other dog owners can be a productive opportunity to swap experiences.
How to find a good puppy school
When looking for a good dog school with puppy training classes in your area, you should pay attention to a few criteria. First of all, it is important that the school is run by professional dog trainers with appropriate qualifications. Animals placed in the same class should be at the same stage of development and there should be a mix of different breeds.
The puppies should also be compatible in terms of size and weight. A miniature Pinscher, for example, is unlikely to be able to interact much with a Great Dane and could even be accidentally injured in the process. Ideally, there should be no more than six dogs per group to ensure that the dog trainer is able to keep an eye on all the puppies at all times. The courses should also be well structured and include play sessions, rest periods and training sessions with the owner, as well as exposure to different environmental stimuli. Gentle handling is also critical.
Puppy school: costs and advanced training courses
The cost of puppy classes varies from provider to provider and typically ranges from €10 to €25 per hour. Often, modules of ten classes or monthly passes are offered. Find out about puppy schools in your area from other dog owners or online and start with a trial lesson for your four-legged pupil. Bear in mind that responsible puppy schools only allow dogs that have been vaccinated and dewormed to take part in the courses. Once you have found a dog school where you and your puppy feel comfortable, find out about more advanced training courses. A well-socialised and well-trained dog makes for an easy-going furry friend that you can have by your side in any situation!