Hi, it’s Linda from Cause and Effect Dog Training.

In this video, we’re going to talk about puppy classes.

Many people think that when they first get a puppy, they need to go to a puppy class. That is not quite right. Puppy classes can be a great place, and they can also have a lasting effect on your dog in a negative way. The reason I say this is that it depends on the way that class is run. So when we have a lot of puppies in a confined area, the puppies find it very hard to control themselves, and the family find it very hard to control their puppies. The class turns out to be a little bit chaotic, and a lot of people don’t learn a much as a result.

A lot of people also think that puppy classes are about socializing. But what we’re looking for in puppy classes is teaching you the basics of how dogs learn, getting started on those basic behaviors, getting them used to having other dogs around while still listening to you and having some positive interactions with them. If that means that a boisterous puppy doesn’t get to interact with a softer puppy, then that’s fine.

When you are looking at puppy classes, you need to ask that company, or whoever’s holding the classes, some questions. The first thing I would be asking is, where are you holding that class? When we have a lot of puppies together, we need to have an area where they can move around and they can feel safe. If everything is too enclosed, for example in a smaller room, then it can be too overwhelming and overstimulating for your puppy and he won’t be able to concentrate and take in anything that that is being taught.

So the next thing I would ask the puppy class organizer is what they teach. You can teach an 11-year-old dog how to sit, but they need to be teaching the fundamentals of training. So your puppy class is like a kindergarten for your child. It’s the very lowest level of training for your dog, and you only learn the very basics. You want some interaction with other puppies that are positive however it should be a major part of the class. They might give you some information about how dogs learn, marker word training, what socializing actually is, how to handle your puppy, maybe information about diets, some information about how you handle situations where your puppy might react negatitively to something in the environment and how to handle this, as well as some basic behaviors as well.

The next thing is, what ongoing training do they provide? After you’ve finished my puppy class, is there other classes you can go to so that you can progress your dog’s training?