Puppy pre-school is one of our most popular programs here at The Vet Group. Run every Tuesday for 4 weeks, it brings together all you need to know about owning and rearing your new pup. We have been running it now for almost 20 years, and over that time it has evolved into one of the most recognised programs in the region.
Puppy pre-school is an early socialisation program that enhances the bond between you and your new puppy. Trained instructors run classes regularly with a one-hour session per week, over four weeks. During the program you will be given the most up to date advice on training, nutrition and parasite control, while your puppy is exposed to other dogs and other people. These are all important issues for your dog’s socialisation.
We run the program regularly at our Wollaston Clinic, and on an occasional basis at our Timboon site.
Why is Puppy pre-school so important?
Puppy pre-school is a lot of fun and it also plays a very important role in your dog’s life. It teaches your pup skills that will help them to become a happy and well-balanced member of your family.
The first 16 weeks is the critical socialisation period of a dog’s life. This is the window of time in your puppy’s life that determines who they will become as adult dogs.
Learning during the critical period of development is far more permanent than later learning. In this window your pup learns how to relate to their family, strangers, animals and the environment in which they live.
Puppies are usually very accepting of new things so it is important to get your puppy used to as many different things, experiences, people, and animals in this time. It is much harder to get your adult dog used to new things and situations. Training during this crucial period helps to develop your bond with your dog.
Puppy pre-school conditions your puppy to the many different situations he or she needs to be familiar with and comfortable around. It also prepares them to deal appropriately with the new experiences and challenges which will arise throughout their life.
It allows control of behaviour and establishes you as pack leader which helps in the prevention of problem behaviours.
Are there any risks?
Most dogs do not have full immunity to infectious diseases until about 16 weeks. If you wait until this time to socialise your dog you will be missing out on most of the critical socialisation period. We aim to create a balance between socialisation while still being as safe as possible regarding infectious diseases. All pups must have had their first vaccination for at least a week before attending puppy pre-school and must be in good health. We strive to have our puppy pre-school classes in as controlled an environment as possible.
Not socialising your puppy puts them at risk of developing behavioural issues such as aggression and anxiety. You risk not being able to control their behaviour. The consequence of this may be euthanasia. Euthanasia is said to be the most common cause of death in dogs before 12 months of age.
What else should I do to socialise my puppy?
- Take them for short trips in the car.
- Let children handle them under SUPERVISION.
- Use the vacuum cleaner around them, don’t overwhelm them, use at a distance for short periods of time.
- Get them to walk on different surfaces; if the surface is slippery put them on a lead and make them go slow so that they don’t get a fright or slip and hurt themselves.
- Introduce your pup to people of different gender, age and race. Get them used to people with moustaches, beards, hats, glasses and sunglasses.
How do I enrol my pup in puppy pre-school?
Please call our friendly team on 03 5561 6911 to discuss when and how we can enrol your puppy in the next class.