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The ABCs of Puppy Classes
You have ventured into the unknown. You have bought yourself a puppy. There are glorious times ahead. Whatever the breed, the temperament, the character, you have yourself a promising being. It is up to you to help him or her become the best they can be. It is a daunting task at times.
You can make it easier for you and your family. You do not have to tackle everything alone. You have the vet to rely on for medical and other health issues. You have a few friends who have gone through and survived early pet responsibilities. You also have the possibility of drawing on the experience of experts in the field. You have Dog schools.
Dog schools offer all sorts of information and support on raising and training your puppy and dog. Puppy classes are a great way to for you and your canine to bond and learn together. A puppy class is all about training you and your dog. In a good puppy class, the two of you work as a unit.
Before you rush out to sign up, do your research. You need to ask questions. You need to ascertain whether this puppy class is the right fit for you and your dog. You need to look for the following.
• Professionalism. Does the school have a professional approach? Are the instructors qualified to teach? Check the reputation of the school. Attend a class and watch. Ask if they have references. Talk to other puppy owners. Talk to friends about it. See what everyone says. Maybe your vet can recommend this school.
• Make sure the method is in line with your concepts and preferences. If you do not agree with the approach, you will not be able to follow though with the training outside of school.
• Avoid all schools where there is physical punishment. This is wrong.
• Look for positive techniques of training. Your dog is a puppy. Honey is more effective at drawing flies than salt.
Once you have decided on a school, follow through. Arrange to sign up and do attend classes regularly. This is part of your commitment to your pet. Let’s face it. Your pet cannot attend alone. Shilo needs you there to learn right along with her.
Make the commitment. Enroll and attend all classes.
• Always walk your puppy before you come to class. This will decrease the energy level, allowing your dog to focus on the task at hand.
• Arrive early to socialize with the other dogs. This will fulfill another of your pup’s basic needs. It will also mean he or she will have no strong urge to sniff a butt mid performance.
• Try not to feed your dog just before the class. This may affect training.
• Always keep your hands free for action. Do not attempt to hold anything but the leash in your hands.
• Wear comfortable clothing. This is not a fashion parade. This is a puppy class. Your dog, not you, is the focus. Clothes with pockets to hold treats and other items are handy.
Do not wear sunglasses. This is distracting.
• Make sure you always carry small treats to use as rewards. Make sure the puppy begins to associate these special treats with positive actions.
• Unless you are practicing a specific action, do not remove your dog from its leash.
• At the end of class, during class and at the beginning of class, ask questions. Do not ignore even the seemingly dumb or obvious queries. Ignorance is not bliss where your dog training is concerned. Moreover, a good dog trainer should be able to answer each-and-every question without making the querent feel stupid.