What to expect at our puppy pre-school program

The ideal age to start your puppy in a pre-school program is 6-16 weeks of age.

Overview 

Puppy pre-schools are a safe and effective way for puppies to socialise with other puppies and learn how to communicate appropriately. The critical socialisation period for puppies is from 3-16 weeks and puppy schools are often run after the 1st puppy vaccination when the puppy is between 6-16 weeks of age.

Our puppy class sizes are kept small and range from 4-6 puppies with one qualified instructor per 4 puppies. Our instructors are trained in canine development, class management and learning theory.

We focus on positive reinforcement training methods and use highly desirable rewards to achieve maximum results.

Handouts and video-links are provided to all participants.

We ask that you bring your puppy to classes with a:

  • Flat collar with ID
  • Harness
  • Leash

Our classes run in a series of 4 sessions of 1 hour in duration.

Goals of puppy pre-school

  1. Socialise puppies in a clean, disinfected environment with other puppies and people.
  2. Introduce puppies to a variety of experiences in a non-threatening manner in the critical socialisation period of development
  3. Develop a positive long-term relationship with pet carers
  4. Demonstrate Positive Reward methods using operant conditioning, eg, asking a puppy to perform a task using a lure and then rewarded with that lure, rewarding appropriate behaviour and ignoring unwanted behaviour.
  5. Give pet owners the tools to teach their puppies to tolerate gentle handling
  6. Focus on puppy issues, such as socialisation, toilet training, play biting and chewing.
  7. Learn basic "foundation behaviours" of, "sit", "come", "drop", "pay attention", "stand"and "on your mat", "settle" on request, we don"t call these "commands" as these classes are not set up as formal "obedience" classes
  8. Discuss basic pet care

Class Curriculum

  • Normal puppy behaviour
  • How puppies learn
  • How to use rewards
  • Management of unwanted behaviours
  • Boredom busters
  • Ideal toys and games
  • Strategies for dealing with common puppy ‘problems’ such as toilet training, play biting, chewing, jumping up
  • Gentle Handling
  • Basic training of the sit, drop, stand requests
  • Calm, settle and relax- exercises such as "on your mat",
  • Socialisation and controlled exposure to a variety of experiences 
  • Puppy play