PUPPY CLASSES – WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER TAKING MY NEW PUPPY TO THIS?
These classes are important for the owner and the young puppy.
There is a time in every puppy’s life when new smells, new sights, new sounds and new experiences with other animals and people can imprint onto the animal’s personality in such a way that the influence can affect the rest of the animal’s life. These experiences can cause fear to the little dog and the way for most animals to deal with fear is to become aggressive (to drive the “fearful experience” away), or to become submissive (and that can cause unintentional urination and trembling).
On the other had if the experience is pleasant and exciting then the animal will develop confidence and react with pleasure and happiness.
This time occurs in most dogs between 8 to 14 weeks of age and is called the Formative Time (this is the time when the personality forms inside the brain). This is the time when a lesson is learnt and a reaction to that experience is formulated and put into practice. This experience and reaction is set into the animal’s brain to be replayed over and over again if the situation occurs again in the future.
This time is one of the most important development times within the brain and is a time when all animals should be subjected to many different sensory inputs and the different reactions to these inputs should be monitored and modified if necessary so that the pup can live happily in our society.
But if we take this “window of opportunity” and turn it to our advantage we can have a dog that grows with confidence and is friendly to other animals and other people when new or strange circumstances occur.
This is the time to subject your animal to other experiences in a controlled environment where they can be safe and not at risk of getting diseases. They can be closely monitored and “helped” to learn new methods of coping with strange and challenging experiences.
At the age of 8 – 14 weeks the puppy is too young to go to formal training schools but they are at the age when a “preschool” is ideal way of learning coping mechanisms and developing social skills (skills that would allow the puppy to live in our society where aggressive behaviour is not accepted).
AIM TO BENEFIT THE ANIMAL
Confidence and “being friendly” with other dogs and other people.
By mixing and playing with other dogs of varying sizes and shapes the pup learns that, in the dog world, body language stays the same between dogs no matter what they look like or no matter how big or small they are. Learning to read and communicate these messages to other dogs will assist your dog to play and interact successfully in the future.
The puppy will also learn that humans come in varying sizes and shapes and people who look or smell different to their owners does not mean that the puppy is under threat. It learns that, by acting friendly, there is greater reward than by acting aggressively to other humans.
Aggressive behaviour has no rewards
Puppies need to learn what happens when they bite. They need to learn that other animals react negatively when being hurt and they also need to learn that being bitten is not enjoyable. The pup will learn at puppy preschool that forceful play with other dogs means that the other dog will terminate playing if there is pain involved. It also learns that being bitten is a painful experience.
We do not want any puppy hurt and this is why we have “play time” in a controlled environment where puppies can play rough and tumble where the activity can be monitored and modified if necessary. This is a time of learning of “how to interact” as well as a fun time for the pups.
Handling and Restraint Toleration is necessary at times for all dogs
Puppies do not understand restraint – they play hard and sometimes they need “time out”. Puppy class under supervision gives the ideal environment for the puppy to undergo some restraint at times when the playing gets too rough or when the owner is asked to restrain the animal for “examination” or “grooming” or “teeth cleaning” or “tablet administration” etc.
AIM TO BENEFIT THE OWNER
You will get information on what to feed your puppy and how often your pup will need to be fed. Each breed and size of dog is different and each one needs the appropriate food to maximise the growth and well being of your puppy.
The instructor will give you information on what type of exercise is good for your pup and when to start these different exercises.
Information on worming and heartworm control will be given during the sessions. This is important for the growth of the pup but also important for the family who owns the puppy.
The latest information in flea and tick control as well as other parasitic control that may apply to your puppy will be given at the sessions.
There will be instructions on how to “house train” your puppy as well as information on how to do basic training such as “heel”, “lie”, “come” and “fetch”.
Discussions will be had on dental prevention, grooming, bathing and body scoring will also occur during these sessions.
You will learn basic training skills and learn how to play “properly” with your pup so that you can train and play at the same time. We will also give some information on how to keep your pup occupied whilst you are away from the house. We will discuss different toys and gadgets used in training and entertaining your pup.
At the end of the 4 sessions it is hoped that you and your puppy will be well on the road to having a great life together and the pup will mature into a well tolerant, confident and friendly dog who you will be immensely proud of and other people will envy the relationship you have with your canine friend.
Book for Puppy Preschool classes at East Bundaberg Veterinary Hospital today.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I take my pup to Puppy Preschool?
The personality of the puppy undergoes an important development between the age of 6 weeks and 12 weeks. At this stage the brain is developing very fast and the different brain cells (neurons) are connecting to other brain cells. If the neurons do not make connections then after the 12 weeks these cells will often be culled and are lost forever. Experiences that occur during this special time leave permanent influences on the way the dog acts for the rest of its life. This is the time when the dog learns to play with other dogs, this is the time when the dog learns to play with humans, this the time when fear is learnt and retains with the dog for the rest of its life.
This is the period which can “make or break” a dog when it comes to interacting with the world, with other animals and with humans. This is the socialisation period that is critical for the normal development of the brain and will set the animal’s personality for life