Why should my puppy attend puppy school?
The benefit of puppy school for puppies
Despite our long history of living with dogs (the latest estimates suggest that dogs have been living with humans for over 30 000 years) our lives are still very complex spaces that our puppies need to learn to navigate. We may think that our new canine friend just needs to learn not to potty in the house and which toys are hers to chew but actually they need to learn so much more!
- To be confident so that they are not afraid of new situations, environments, people or things
- To be handled (sometimes by strangers) for washing, grooming, nail clips, teeth care, ear cleaning, health checkups, applying collars, harnesses, jerseys and muzzles
- To manage their emotions so that upsetting events like toys or food being removed don’t result in aggression
- To listen to humans so that they can be safe
- Bite inhibition so that they can control those sharp teeth
- Social skills to communicate with other dogs, humans and even other species like cats.
Fortunately, puppies go through a developmental stage between 4 and 16 weeks of age called the socialisation period. During this time, they are open to meeting other dogs, animals, people, places, situations and things. They are inquisitive and friendly and are generally not fearful of novel things. Their brains are also growing and developing at a rapid rate and they are learning all the time.
Puppies who attend puppy school during this time benefit from building a good learning foundation and learning important life skills which ultimately leads to better relationships with the humans they live with. This in turn leads to better overall welfare and helps to prevent dogs ending up in shelters.