We are so glad that you have decided to bring your puppy to our Puppy Preschool. These gatherings are offered as a way for us to help ensure that you and your puppy have a chance to get together with other pups and owners, talk about some basic puppy training techniques and, most importantly, have some serious play time with other young dogs. If, at any time, you have questions or concerns about the class, don’t hesitate to contact Janann or Dr. McGuire.
What to bring to class:
- A healthy and rested puppy. You and your puppy should attend class only if he/she is feeling well, has a normal appetite and has had no vomiting or loose stool in the previous 24 hours. We will be checking each puppy in at the beginning of class to be sure that they are up to snuff on the way in the door.
- A light leash (~4-6 feet long) and comfortable collar.
- A good supply of small treats in a comfortable waist pack or belt packs so that you can reward your puppy easily during class.
- A good sense of humor and a dose of pride in knowing that you are taking extra time to help be sure that your puppy will see the world as an exciting and enjoyable place.
Basic Class Rules:
- Give your puppy a chance to walk around outside and potty before coming into class. If your puppy has an “event” during class it is no problem, but be sure to clean up after him/her. There will be paper towels and spray cleaner located in several locations around the reception area.
- Observe you puppy for signs that he is getting overwhelmed or frightened by an activity or when playing with the other puppies (lowered ears and head, tucked tail, glancing sidewise repeatedly, hiding behind you). If seen, gently “extract” your puppy from the activity and sit with her on the bench for awhile. Many times, giving your puppy a chance to just watch the action for a while will decrease her fear. Allow her to rejoin the action when it is her idea. Never force your puppy to participate in play or socialization activities.
- Continue with the required scheduled vaccinations until your puppy has been fully vaccinated, usually at 16 weeks of age.
- Don’t worry if your puppy goes through ups and downs during the socialization stage. He/she is a work in progress and each puppy is different in how they approach new things.
The main purpose of this “class” is to have a clean, safe and inviting setting for young dogs to meet to play, interact and be exposed to new sights and sounds during the critical socialization period. There will be a short period during the hour that we will gather to discuss a few challenges that we face when raising a new puppy. This class is not intended to replace traditional puppy classes offered by several trainers and groups here in Albuquerque. It is important that you still enroll your puppy in one of the basic obedience classes.
We will be starting with a short greeting period where we can say “hello” to each puppy and get a quick idea of how your puppy is reacting to the initial gathering. Think of it as a “warm up” period. We will then have the puppies greet each other one-on-one for a few minutes. Depending on how your puppy is handling this step, we will start to let the puppies play more freely. We may divide the space into two areas based on size for playtime if needed.
In each class, we will be presenting one or two topics that we feel are important for building a good rapport with your puppy. We will email a handout about each topic when appropriate to support the discussion.
Finally, we thank you for choosing to spend your Tuesday evenings with us for a while. We are excited about having a chance to get to know you and your puppy better as well as to help to make your relationship with your puppy a rich and rewarding one for many years.