Why EVERY Puppy Needs Puppy Class

IMG_7505_edited-1The title of this blog could just as easily be “Why Every Puppy Owner Needs Puppy Class.” The answer is simple. It makes a difference. Bringing a puppy into your home is a commitment for the next 10 to 15 years. What you do with that puppy while it is young WILL make a difference for the rest of its’ life. Putting aside an hour a week for a class is a small investment. Of course, the class alone does not make all the difference. The owner must spend the short periods of time needed to practice the lessons taught. You see, puppies do not come preprogrammed. They don’t come knowing their name , where to potty, to come when called, how to play appropriately with their human. When people complain that their puppy is stubborn, my response is “Have you trained for the behavior you want?”. If you want your puppy to come running to you when you call its name, you must teach that skill and PRACTICE that skill. If you want to be a good tennis player, first you have to learn how to hit a ball, then you must practice hitting it. If you want to be a better player, you practice more. It’s simple, but not easy. I find most people want to their puppy to know a skill right away and get frustrated when the poor pooch does not perform correctly immediately. Just like us, they need a bit of time to process information. As soon as they get it right, REWARD! A good puppy class will help owners learn the skills needed to teach their new canines for a lifetime. It is up to the owner to spend the time needed to do this important task. At Canine Learning Center, Schuylkill Veterinary Hospital’s dog training center, only science based, humane methods are used. These methods work every time. Every dog learns a little differently due to breed differences or personality traits, but patience and persistence are vital in making the most of your relationship with your dog. Some owners choose to go through class twice as it proves to be such a good experience. As the owner of multiple dogs over the years, I feel strongly about taking each of my puppies to class. The structured socialization and the learning experience cannot be duplicated at home. Most of my dogs need to grow up to handle the stress of competing. I am an experienced trainer, having put somewhere between 40 and 50 titles on dogs in different venues. I truly believe the time my puppies spend in class helps prepare them for the future. It makes a difference.   Photo at top of Jubilee by RoxAnne Franklin