Puppy Kindergarten

Australian shepherd puppy at playThere’s so much to learn — and truly, so little time!

What’s most important? — come, sit, stay?

Perhaps none of the above!

These are the things that most people think of when they think of puppy training, but because of breakthroughs in our understanding of dog behavior, we know that several other things are more important for puppies to learn in their early months:

  • Bite inhibition… learning to control their mouths with people and other dogs
  • Getting along with other dogs and with people
  • Getting accustomed to strange places and noises
  • Being “yard trained
  • Learning to do something other than jump on people, bark too much, pull on the leash, etc.

See also our S.T.A.R. Puppy class.

There is but a short window of opportunity for this essential puppy training. After that time, it becomes far more difficult for dogs to learn some of these things. Many of the dogs who end up euthanized in animal shelters do so because they didn’t learn some essential lessons while they were puppies

And those are the real reasons for your puppy to attend puppy kindergarten!

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has issued a statement about puppy socialization and our concern about vaccinations.This is very important information! Please read it and discuss with your veterinarian! [AVSAB statement on puppy socialization versus vaccinations]

Here’s a terrific resource for people with puppies:
Free downloadable puppy training books by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Our supervised puppy-puppy activity provides interaction with other puppies, which helps them learn appropriate behavior with both other dogs and humans.At Mountain View, our goal in Puppy Kindergarten is to teach your puppies the social skills that will enable them to cope with the stresses they will encounter in our society. These skills do include come – sit – down and other useful ideas like leave it, watch me, and leash manners. Here they learn to interact with other puppies — which goes a long way in teaching them how to get along with people.

  • Supervised “pass the puppy” sessions give your pup the opportunity to meet other humans and to discover that they are a good source of treats and other good stuff.
  • We provide lectures and handouts concerning your responsibility in managing your puppy so he can learn where it is appropriate to eliminate, what is appropriate to chew (and what is not), how to act when meeting people, and how to cope with new, sometimes frightening situations.
  • We teach you how to recognize when your puppy is training you instead of the other way around and how to communicate well with your dog.

It is our opinion that Puppy Kindergarten is the most important class your dog will ever participate in. He is only eligible to enter this class from age 9 to 22 weeks — so don’t wait!

In the meantime, here’s a book that will get you started on training, and will support you in any puppy class you end up taking:

  • The Puppy Primer, by Patricia B. JMcConnell, PhD. and Brenda Scidmore – available on Dogwise.com and Amazon.com, among others.

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