Did you know that the 8 – 14 week period of your puppies life is critical to their long-term social development? Puppy school exposes your puppy to new environments, new people and new puppies so that they can feel more comfortable and confident about the world around them. Most dog’s tend to have a small thing that owners warn us about before we see them, something like “Oh, he doesn’t like having his paws touched”, or “Oh, he hates having his ears touched”. These small things, along with human and other animal socialisation, are exactly the things that our Puppy Pre-School addresses. We specifically play with their paws and ears, we make sure they’re happy being handled so that they become the best possible companion to you, and to other pets!
We love our puppy kinder days! Classes consist of no more than 8 puppies who spend the entire day doing what warms our heart the most – playing. You will drop them off at the clinic in the morning, with a packed lunch, and will be back to pick them up at 4pm.
As you leave, they bound into the hospital and can’t wait to see their friends. After a morning of play-time, they then settle down for a meal at recess. They all take turns having a bath and getting their nails trimmed. All puppies then snuggle down for some well-deserved nap time, before having another play rally before it’s home time.
When you come to pick up your puppy, our kinder coordinator will discuss your puppy’s progress with you, and give you some advice about how to best nurture your particular puppy through their developmental period. This is also a good time to bring up any questions about life with a puppy – for instance, toilet-training, chewing and barking.
Puppies graduate after four weeks and are strongly encouraged to continue the good work by enjoying obedience training with their local dog club. Our puppy school graduates also make the best patients – they are always so excited to be back at the clinic, they can’t wait to race in the hospital, or get pat’s from all their puppy school friends.
“I have had dogs all my life – I feel confident and comfortable raising a puppy – does my puppy still need puppy school?”
Absolutely, categorically yes. Who is more qualified to raise a puppy than our vets? And yet, even they all enrol their pups into puppy school. Whilst puppy school will help support you during your puppy’s development, it’s number one goal is to expose your puppy to a rich variety of experiences to prepare them for a balanced future.
“I have another dog at home – does my puppy still need puppy school?”
Again, it’s a ‘yes’. Puppy school is more than just ‘playing with puppies’ – it’s about feeling comfortable in different environments, with different people and experiences. As mentioned, it’s not just animal socialisation but people socialisation. Seeing new people, being touched and handled by new people – whereas seeing the same dogs and same person/people makes the puppy comfortable with those small, select experiences – Puppy Pre-School helps put your pup on the right track, so they might not be cower behind you at the site of a stranger, or become defensive at the site of another dog at the park.