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Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 3)

puppy1  Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 3) puppy1Are Puppy Kindergarten Classes Necessary? You Be The Judge (Part 3)

Puppy classes also provide a wonderful opportunity for puppies to get to know other people and puppies. This early socialization is vital for the puppy‘s general well-being as it grows up.

Puppies that are exposed to a variety of people learn that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages, and that people are fun to be around. Puppies that are exposed to friendly puppies and dogs learn that dogs, too, come in all sizes, shapes, colors and ages, and that other dogs are fun as well.

Puppy play sessions should be held in a secure location (a fenced-in training yard, for example), and on a surface that’s safe for the puppies. Concrete isn’t good; nor is a slick floor – both for obvious reasons.

If the puppies are all about the same age, large and small puppies can play together. However, if there are some very large puppies and some toy or small breed puppies, two play groups should be set up, with puppies matched for size. The puppies should be allowed to play by themselves with as little interference from owners as possible; this is the puppies’ time to play – not the owners!

On the other hand, puppies that are being bullied (overly rough play or biting) can be picked up by the instructor and given a time out. They can go back to the playtime when they’ve calmed down. It may take two or three play sessions for some puppies to figure out they’re not allowed to be bullies.

“Interacting with other people and dogs at a young age builds the puppy’s confidence and gives it the impression that the world is a friendly place and nothing to be afraid of,” says Samantha Morrison, a local staff member of the San Diego Dog Training Center in California. “Once you remove the doubt from a puppy’s world, learning the house rules and building new skills is quite simple.”

Dog’s that aren’t socialized when they’re young are often afraid, even to the point of biting, when meeting new people or dogs; or can react in a more aggressive manner, trying to attack the unknown person or dog. Others simply don’t know how to behave around other dogs because they haven’t had any practice.

Although you can and should socialize your new puppy on your own, a puppy class provides a safe place for socialization under an instructor’s guidance and supervision. In addition, most puppy classes require participants to show proof of immunization (at least the first set of vaccines), so you can be sure your puppy won’t contract any communicable diseases such as parvovirus, which can be fatal to young puppies.

 

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