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
Puppy Preschool allows even the most well-behaved puppy to learn even better manners and also equips them with skills to deal calmly and appropriately with a variety of behaviours that other puppies may exhibit. These skills persist into adulthood and can help your puppy when it is older and dealing with other dogs that may not be as nice and friendly!
Between the ages of eight and 14 weeks of age a puppy is considered to be in its ‘critical socialisation period’. During this period a pup will learn many of the social skills that it will retain for the rest of its life. It is important for puppies to be exposed to a wide variety of people and other dogs during this period of time, preferably both in and outside of the household. It is vitally important that these interactions are positive and non-intimidating to the pup because unpleasant experiences that occur during this time may have a long-lasting effect of the behaviour of the puppy. The puppy must also be protected from the risk of infection during this period. The people and other dogs that interact with your puppy and the location that this takes place in should therefore be carefully selected.
Sydney Animal Hospitals 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! At Sydney Animal Hospitals we strictly adhere to our policy of only allowing puppies of an appropriate age to participate in our classes.
Experienced Puppy Preschool leader
It is important that the leader of the Puppy Preschool be experienced in the running of Puppy Preschools and be up-to-date with current recommendations regarding gold standard training methods. Kelly, who is the coordinator and teacher of our Puppy Preschool, has many years of experience in running these classes and keeps abreast of current theory regarding the training of puppies.
Sydney Animal Hospitals advocates only the use of positive reinforcement such as praise and food treats in our Puppy Preschools. This is because the use of aversive training methods such as choker-chains can not only make your puppy fearful but also impede its ability to learn from classes as anxiety can reduce learning ability and memory.
Finally, having your puppy enrolled in Puppy Preschool at our clinic will help your puppy view the clinic as a fun place. This will make future clinic visits and boarding here a much more pleasant experience in future. You will also be able to meet new people from the local area. It is not uncommon for friendships forged during Puppy Preschool to lead onto ‘play dates’ and fun interactions in the future.
If you are interested in your puppy participating in our Puppy Preschool, please call your nearest Sydney Animal Hospitals.