Before you jump to an answer, consider these questions.
Do you want other family members involved?
- Yes, then online is for you – current restrictions only allow one adult per puppy at in-person classes to enable social distancing.
Do you have a busy schedule?
- Yes, then online is for you – with the easing of restriction so many more activities are back on. Being able to complete puppy school from home will help.
But what about socialisation?
- Great questions then either – a good trainer will take the time to teach you how to read subtle signs of stress in your pup’s body language. Without this, attempts at socialising your pup to kids, dogs, scooters, joggers, metal manholes covers can all be in vain! Your instructor will guide you on how to socialise your pup at each vaccination stage.
But isn’t puppy school about puppies playing with other puppies?
- Puppy school is about building a bond between you and your pup, creating a clear engaging comminution channel with your pup , so that when they are surrounded with distractions and excitement that they want to repeat the training you have done, with you for the reinforcement.
So why do some Puppy classes have puppy play?
- We all love seeing puppies play. Educationally for first-time owners, it is important to learn what is normal play and when to interrupt. Some owners are shocked by how shy their pup is and want to force their pup to interact. This is never a good idea, even with good intentions. Others are frightened to let their pup play with dogs of different sizes or breeds. So while important this education does not need to be done in puppy class and truthfully a private play related session with a qualified trainer would be a great investment.
Why are some trainers offering Puppy play sessions?
Play is important, its value is taking turns. Learning to negotiate not to dictate. As with all youngsters it needs to be guided and lead. I would strictly adhere to a trainer run, play sessions with small numbers, separate area, rest time, and enrichment toys a given. Owner attendance a must.
Is your pup super energetic, bitey, jumpy at home with you?
- Then online or a private session is the go – if your pup is behaving like this, the trainer needs to see your home set up. Adding in other pups and people is only going to add to your pup’s excitement and make training harder at this stage. A good trainer will have a range of courses available to get your dog to that Rockstar status you need.
The value of puppy classes is in the quality of the trainer and their program. The goal is to set you up, to learn how to successfully train you and your pup to calmly coexist. One thing is clear, puppy school is essential but must be run by a qualified and up to date dog trainer.