This post is going to discuss why you need your puppy to know basic obedience with a focus on socializing your puppy will make them a better companion in the future. This post in going to look at the benefits of socializing and the options you may have to accomplish socializing.
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Do you really need to consider obedience training for a puppy?
The short answer is yes. You do.
There are a number of items you should consider when you bring your puppy home. What a lot of puppy parents don’t know is that they should look into obedience training. Taking a puppy kindergarten class helps your puppy in a lot of ways and not just the obedience. Obedience training for puppies is only one of the many reasons you should enroll your puppy in puppy kindergarten classes.
What do puppy kindergarten classes look like?
Puppy kindergarten classes offer basic obedience training as well as socialization. They are a series of weekly group classes. The classes will cover basic commands that puppies can learn. The playtime will help socialize your puppy. Many places will have common household items like a vacuum or broom to show the puppies so they aren’t scared of it in the future.
Typically, these classes are available for puppies that are at least 8 weeks old or 12 weeks old depending on the schedule and company. The cutoff age for the puppy to enroll is around 6 months old.
What is taught in puppy kindergarten?
The basics that are covered can include: “sit,” “down,” “back to sit,” “leave it,” and other verbal commands. Depending on the class and experience level of the puppies and owners, the class may include walking on a leash, no jumping and calling the puppy back to you or whoever calls them.
Puppies can learn the obedience and some people need help to get their puppy to walk on a leash, with potty training, or other necessary puppy training but the socializing portion of the class should not be underestimated.
What is socializing for a puppy?
Socializing a puppy is an important aspect of the training class (Puppy Kindergarten), but it means so much more than just meeting other puppies and people. Socializing a puppy is exposing the puppy to as much as possible.
Puppies have a specific time frame that is best for socializing. As a puppy parent, you should know that socialization has the most impact on a puppy when the puppy is 3-16 weeks old (some say up to 20 weeks).
Some people think that a puppy should be 6 months old and have all of their vaccines before attending obedience classes. This is outside of the prime time for socializing. I’m not saying don’t do the training. You should try to do exercises with your puppy at home as much as possible until they’re old enough for the obedience class you are considering.
Ideally, the puppy has had some socialization before you bring them home. This would be done by the breeder. It should include exposing the puppy to people, objects, sounds and other common items. Another piece that can be started by the breeder is handling the dog. This includes holding the puppy and touching their face, ears, paws, etc. to the point the puppy is comfortable with it.
Take advantage of the prime period for socializing if you can but even if the puppy is older than 16 weeks, they can still be introduced to everything as well. It might take a bit longer before they’re comfortable with the item, new person, other dogs and puppies. It’s best to socialize as much as possible even with an older puppy.
The goal of socializing is to let the puppy learn about items, other dogs, and different people so they won’t react negatively in the future. This can be a lot of work but the consequences of not socializing can result in a dog that is shy and scared of a lot of things. It’s easiest to make a list and check the items off when the puppy doesn’t react to them anymore.
Some more common items you want to expose your puppy to include brooms, mops, and vacuums. You can place the item somewhere you can walk the puppy to. When they puppy doesn’t react, praise them and give them a treat. Keep walking closer so the puppy can sniff the object. When they don’t react, give them another treat. You’ll want to show them these items in use as that can be what the puppy reacts to. Make sure to give treats if they don’t react. The vacuum is a little more work as you will want to do the exercise without the vacuum turned on and then with the vacuum turned on.
Why does your puppy need socializing?
Socialization is so important for puppies. By socializing the puppy, the puppy will gain confidence and ideally won’t react to things as they get older. One of the main goals is to have a happy adult dog that does not respond negatively to situations. If they are not socialized, they could become a fearful adult dog. It could take a long time to build up their confidence again. Sometimes the older dogs can be socialized and hopefully learn that their trigger is not scary.
If you can’t find a place that offers kindergarten (or another class that the puppy can be 8-12 weeks old when it starts), there is also the option of daycare. Do research before picking the least expensive one.
A good daycare will require an assessment of every dog. They’ll include some training and some socialization. The dogs will be in groups dependent on age, size, and temperament. The staff will be friendly and open. They’ll let you know if anything happened to your dog while there. With technology the way it is now, they should have cameras so you can check on your puppy if you’d like to.
Even just a couple of days per week will help with socializing your puppy.
They’ll interact with new people, new dogs, and be exposed to all sorts of new things.
You need to socialize your puppy as soon and as much as you can. If you can, enroll your puppy (and you) into a puppy kindergarten class. Make sure there are good reviews of the class. The obedience training is important, but what the puppy will learn by socializing is of great value.
The best time to begin socializing is as soon as you get your puppy.
If you can’t enroll in a class, there is another option of taking your puppy to daycare.
Currently (2020) we are in a world where many of us can’t take our puppies to a class. We enrolled our puppy in daycare for a few weeks straight when we realized she had never met another person. She still goes every other week for a day.
What activities would you do with your puppy to socialize them in the strange world we’re in today?