I am often asked if I offer “puppy classes” and the answer is “no I am sorry I don’t”.
My rationale for not conducting group puppy classes is plain. I simply do not believe that puppy owners need to hire a professional to train their puppy. Ask yourself, what can I or any other professional teach a young puppy in a class that you cannot do at home with just a bit of proper coaching from a true professional? Most puppy behavioral issues revolve around house training, nipping, chewing, barking, grooming etc. Please don’t misunderstand, it is not that I believe that a puppy doesn’t need to be educated, rather I believe that with a little help you can better learn to educate without going to an often chaotic class. Most puppy classes that I am aware of are marketed on the basis of “socialization”. Yes socialization is important but one needs to be careful that the socialization they subject their puppy too is positive. Far too many of my clients call me after having had a bad experience in a “puppy class when their puppy was roughed up by another over exuberant and out of control puppy.
A puppy’s attention span (like a small child) range’s from just a few seconds to maybe a minute or so. Is it really sincere to lead people to believe that you as a professional can subject a puppy to effective training for longer than the average puppy’s attention span? I am not convinced it is. In fact to attempt to teach a puppy (up to about 5 months of age) for more than just a few minutes at a time is actually counterproductive. I have built my business over the last three decades on honesty and transparency with my clients. Not always do I tell people what they initially want to hear however I always tell them what I believe to be the truth aloud dogs and dog training. If that means I do not get that particular client at that time, well then I respect their decision. I have never felt bad about telling the truth.
Because a puppy’s attention span is very short, I direct my efforts towards educating the puppy’s owners so they are better equipped to understand a puppy’s behavior and how to effectively deal with behavior issues in real time and not after the fact.
I am convinced that structured education is the key to establishing a harmonious relationship between the puppy and its owners.
I offer one on one educational orientation meeting’s for anyone with a new puppy. These orientation meetings take place at the customer’s home where people are most relaxed and feel comfortable asking questions. This is also the same environment that the puppy is going to get into all kinds of trouble.
Don’t become a victim of “puppy terrorism”. With proper coaching and an open mind you will be amazed at how effective you will become at communicating with your puppy, even at this tender age. Learning to understand your puppy and canine behavior in general during the first six months of your puppy’s life will leave you well prepared to enter into your dog’s formal education with confidence. I recommend that your dog’s formal education commence once his attention span has developed sufficiently to absorb formal and structured education at approximately six months of age.
A lifetime of experience has filled my puppy educational tool box to overflowing with demonstrable advice, educational tips, and hands on demonstrations.
To see our Puppy Orientation Course please Click here.
One of Canada’s most experienced canine professionals.