How to choose the right class for you and your puppy?
Sit, Down, Heal Are these the life skills your puppy needs?
As a new puppy guardian, you can often feel a little overwhelmed in the first few weeks. Lots of people try to be helpful by making suggestions about the best way to live with your puppy. From feeding, exercise and training. So where can you look to find the right type of class to start you and your puppy off on the right paw?
Annoyingly, it depends, is the best answer we can give you. There are lots of options out there, and it can, like lots of things dog related, feel like a minefield to navigate through.
Group puppy classes have really evolved dramatically over the last decade or two, and there has been a shift to focus more on the skills they need in the environment they live in rather than behaviours ‘we have always taught’, such as sit, down etc.
We are very proud members of organisations which have assessed our experience, knowledge and ability to teach in ‘kind, fair and effective’ methods, using positive reinforcement but we are even more proud of the curriculum we now teach. We focus on connection, between you and your puppy, building trust, giving you skills on how to guide and support them instead of control and punish them.
- Your puppy learns how to walk with you, not because they have to, but because they want to.
- Your puppy learns how to become confident.
- Trust they are listened to and become an active participant in their own health and veterinary care.
- Not to mention comes back when asked.
- Most importantly though, you learn to be able to read them effectively and accurately, in order to support them in all aspects fo their life.
How do we achieve this, I hear you ask? We keep our class sizes small, to a maximum of 6, we have an instructor and at least one assistant always, often we have two. We set up your own areas to settle in with activities for your puppy to use to relax within between exercises and above all else we adapt how we train to every single puppy and human handler.
nounplural noun: life skills
- a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.“sharing with a sibling can help children learn important life skills”
These are the skills we focus on, and we are not alone. There are so many amazing classes around now. Look for one close to you. Ask what their core skills are they focus on teaching, ask how many puppies can attend and what the ratio is of puppies to instructors, then watch a class, see how you feel, go with your gut (just make sure you’re not hungry at the time or you may rush the decision: True fact).
So how do you find these magic classes we speak of check out the organisations we are part of first, Victoria Stilwell’s Positive Dog Trainers and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, then go and have a look and a chat.
- Ask what they do when dogs get things right?
- What do they do when you get things right?
- What do they do when your pup offers something you don’t want?
- And what happens if you as the handler make a mistake?
All these things are essential for both your learning and your puppy’s.
Good luck. And if you are in our area check out our next classes, https://believeinmagic.dog/dog-training/puppy-classes/ they fill up fast but we get some fantastic feedback from clients on them.