Puppy Preschool is a socialization and problem prevention class for puppies 16 weeks of age and under. Geared specifically to your puppy’s developing physical and social needs, this class is a precursor to our Canine Academy Program or Private Lesson Series.
Like humans, canines have biologically prepared critical periods for social development commonly called socialization windows. Most of these windows of opportunity close by the time a puppy is 16 weeks of age.
Puppy Classes are ongoing. Join as soon as your puppy meets the veterinary requirements (see below).
Saturdays at 9:30am (new time!).
PLEASE COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW TO REQUEST A SPOT IN PUPPY CLASS:
What is socialization and why is it important?
This time in your puppy’s life is your opportunity to build the best possible dog. To build a solid house certain elements need to be in place at the beginning. The first thing you need is a good foundation. In canines, that’s your puppy’s genetics. Just as your puppy will never be larger or smaller than it is genetically programmed to be, your puppy’s behavior is also genetically programmed and there will be certain behavioral barricades it cannot go beyond.
Socialization is the framework we put on top of that foundation to make the most of the behavioral constraints genetics have imposed on us. Without good framework, a house will not stand up. Without good socialization, a puppy is at greater risk to develop behavioral problems as an adult. Puppies need a wide variety of experiences to stimulate neuron connections in their brain. Puppies that don’t receive this environmental enrichment will never develop to their full potential.
Most of us prefer a house with indoor plumbing – that’s what house training is – installing indoor plumbing! To complete the essentials of our house, we need to install wiring. Many hard wired behaviors that puppies need to learn to be safe and stable adult dogs are best installed during this period. Behaviors such as bite inhibition, sharing treasures (a.k.a.: Object Guarding), and coming when called are critical to an adult dog’s safety and life.
We only get one chance to build our dream dog from scratch. Sure, we can install plumbing, wiring, and framework in a home after it’s built, but it is messy, time consuming, and expensive. It will always be a “remodel” job rather than doing the job correctly in the first place.
After a puppy’s socialization window closes, it may be possible for dogs to learn how to respond to situations in an appropriate manner, but it will never be as easy, nor will it have the same beneficial and long lasting effects as it does during this critical period in your puppy’s life.
What can I expect from puppy classes?
Our Puppy Preschool is designed to put all the foundational elements in place and prepare your puppy for adult life. We address house training, mouthing and bite inhibition, appropriate play and toys, dog/dog socialization, human/dog socialization, grooming, acceptance of handling, and confidence building with different objects, surfaces, and sounds. Exercises are taught in a real life context to help set you and your puppy up for success! Classes are structured to address each puppy’s individual needs, so that shy puppies learn to be more confident, and bolder puppies learn how to be more polite.
When can my puppy start Puppy Preschool?
Classes are ongoing so that no puppy ever has to wait to get into a class. This allows puppies the opportunity to meet a variety of other dogs and puppies in class. ***We do need paperwork (registration form and veterinary records) at least 24 hours prior to class to give us time to review the health records and resolve/clarify any questions that might arise.***
What are the health/veterinary requirements?
Puppies up to 16 weeks of age can participate once the following health requirements have been met:
- One round of DHPP (the distemper and parvovirus vaccine) administered by a veterinarian at least 10 days before class; boosters given on schedule
- One bordatella vaccine
- Been in your home at least 1 week
- Had two de-wormings
Puppies must be symptom free (no diarrhea, coughing, vomiting, or worms) when coming to class. Puppies showing any signs of illness at class will be excused from class and a check with the puppy's veterinarian will be required before the puppy can return. Any signs of illness between classes must be reported to us so we can advise other students, and a check-up with the puppy's veterinarian would be required prior to returning to class.
Where do classes take place?
8618 McMeans Trail, southwest, in the Oak Hill area, near the Circle C golf course.
What does it cost?
$25.00/class for each week your puppy attends, up to the cut-off age of 16 weeks. We also offer our puppy clients a one time discounted house call rate of $95 for up to 1.5 hours to have a trainer to come help your puppy be most successful in your home and/or get you off on the right foot if your puppy is waiting for medical clearance to attend class.
How do I register?
Complete and return the registration form to our office with your payment. Your spot is reserved when we receive your paperwork (including veterinary records) and deposit.
What other services do you offer?
We also offer group classes, private lessons, Rally Obedience, and consultations for aggression, phobias (including Separation Anxiety), and other behavior issues.