Dachshund — Veterinary service in Ballina, NSW
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Puppy classes provide guidance and feedback about how to maximize your puppy's potential.

What Is Puppy Class?

And Why is it Important?
In their first year of life, puppies go through a series of majordevelopmental periods that effectively shape how they see theworld forever. Arguably the most important one; the critical period of socialization spans from about 3-16wks of age.

In that time, puppies learn how to communicate with, and relateto other dogs, humans and their environment. It is the mostinfluential period of a dog's life, forming the foundation of allfuture learning. Lack of exposure and positive experiences in thistime will prevent the puppy from reaching its full potential.

When we learnt about the critical periods of development in the1960s, some trainers developed classes that aimed to safelysocialize puppies, while educating owners on exactly how, what,why and when it should be done.

Recent studies have even shown that puppies which attend a well-run puppy class are less prone to developing behavior and training problems later in life. This ultimately leads to a happier household, and a much happier dog!

What Happens in Puppy Classes?

Contrary to popular belief, puppy classes are not free-for-all puppy play parties. This used to be how they were run, butwe've since learnt this isn't ideal.

Puppy classes divide time between socialization and environmental habituation, training, and conditioned relaxation exercises.

Socialization and Environmental Habituation exercises aim to show new puppy parents how to effectively create a positive or neutral association with other living things, as well as potentially scary environmental stimulus. All puppies will have one or more things that they need extra work on, and a good puppy class instructor can identify that early and provide you with steps to overcome it before it becomes a problem.

Training exercises will provide owners an understanding of how, why and when they can use luring, free shaping and pressure to teach the common obedience behaviours. Our goal is to teach a man to fish vs. give a man a fish, so extra attention is paid to those broad handler skills, with the actual teaching of skills being incidental.

Conditioned Relaxation exercises are short rest periods between the intense former steps. This is where we teach our puppies to chill out on cue, while the instructor has a chance to talk and answer questions.

Handouts and ongoing email/phone support are used to help new owners between classes. Follow-on classes and additional training programs can also available.
White cute puppy — Veterinary service in Ballina, NSW

* Puppy Preschool *

Just like in human preschools, the importance of fun, play-based learning is emphasised here. The most important aspect of their early life is conditioning positive associations with other living creatures, teaching them to be confident and resilient in the face of environmental stressors, to focus on their human in new environments, and finally to learn the mechanics of specific skills (aka obedience).

This class is designed to ensure puppies get the best start in life. By the end of the 5 weeks, they should be relatively ‘bombproof’ to loud noises, different surfaces, and scary sights. They should have developed the skills to both engage and play with other puppies, but also to ignore other puppies and focus on their owner. They will have also learnt basic obedience cues.

* Puppy Primary *

This class is follow-on from puppy preschool that is suitable for puppies over 16 weeks of age. Where puppy preschool is the perfect place to work on social and environmental skills, in puppy primary, we focus primarily on building engagement and focus with the handler, and developing each puppy's behavioural repertoire to create more reliability in obedience.

By the end of this 5 week course, puppies should be responding to a verbal cue for the various obedience behaviours (with particular emphasis on coming when called, and informal heeling) when under some distraction and they’ll defer to focusing on their handler in the face of environmental or social pressure.
Training Classes and Programs:
Puppy Preschool | $200
(5 weeks)
Puppy Primary | $200
(5 weeks)
Perfect Puppy | $360
(Preschool + Primary)
Pro Puppy | $800
(PerfectPuppy + 4 Private Lessons)