This is a commonly asked question by clients at DogBoy’s, and for good reason! Lingering misconceptions that come from the old days of training tell you to wait six months to a year before you begin.
While that was true then, the current approach to dog training is more flexible and allows you start right away. Force-free methods let puppy training begin at just a few days old, if needed.
Starting Puppy Classes as Soon as Possible is Vital
Puppy classes are some of the most important and effective means of early development. We recommend starting these basic courses as soon as you get your new puppy.
You and your puppy will learn vital skills. More importantly, you will learn how to communicate with each other and develop a bond that will carry into their adult life. Beyond personal growth for you and your puppy, classes expose them to new people, new places, new objects and new dogs, giving them invaluable socialization skills and experience.
Use a Safe, Clean Facility to Protect Your Puppy
Many vets will caution against joining a puppy class before a puppy has received all of their shots. Unfortunately, waiting until your puppy is fully vaccinated at four months will put you outside of a critical socialization window and can create new problems as well. You still need to be careful with an undervaccinated puppy, but the risks of not taking a class outweigh the harm of that neglecting your puppy’s crucial development will bring.
It is crucial that you find a facility that is safe and clean for your puppy to take classes at.
The facility needs to:
- Clean before every puppy class
- Use Parvovirus-Killing cleaners
Typically, most puppy facilities are careful and will try to do everything they can to prevent puppies in their class from getting sick. You are more likely to get a sick puppy from taking them to a pet store or dog park, than to a puppy class.
If Classes Aren’t an Option, Try Private Lessons
If you are still uncomfortable about the idea of puppy class, or worried about the possible risks, then sign up for some private lessons. A trainer can come to your home and help you get off on the right foot with your puppy. You get all the benefit of training without all the risks associated with exposing your puppy to other dogs.
Taking the Next Step After Early Puppy Development
Remember, puppy training isn’t the end of the road! A puppy class and private lessons aren’t the end of your dog’s training. These are just the very first steps taken. They are important, but without follow-up, they are insufficient for your dog’s development, training, and your bond too.
A client once told us, “I loved my puppy, but it wasn’t until I took my second class at DogBoy’s that I fell in love with my dog.” Training with your dog is a lifelong path, so come along and enjoy the journey at DogBoy’s!
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Inquisitive Puppy by Jonathan Kriz
A Couple of Puppies by Torrey Wiley