Is Puppy Preschool Worth The Effort?
Choosing A Good Puppy Trainer
Look for these attributes and skills in a good puppy preschool trainer:
- Extensive puppy training experience
- A professional qualification in dog behaviour
- Commitment to ongoing education
- A practical (not dogmatic) approach to problems
Here’s a genuine testimonial that one of our clients posted on their dog’s breed site.
Just a quick plug guys – we’ve been taking (name withheld) to Walkerville Vet for puppy preschool and couldn’t be more stoked. It’s run by Suzanne, a delta accredited trainer who is very knowledgable and couldn’t be more helpful. It’s excellent value – $125 for 5 weeks and each week we get a goody bag. Some of the inclusions: a puppy Kong, pigs ears, liverwurst, rope toy, as well as an incredibly detailed training “manual.” And this is only week 3 – can’t wait to see what will be in the pack next week! A great recommendation for any puppy owners, vizsla or otherwise!
How Much Does Puppy Preschool Cost?
The price of puppy preschool varies a lot from venue to venue. We know that you can find cheaper puppy preschools, but we are confident our classes provide outstanding value. All classes include:
- The services of Susanne Eckert, a Delta-accredited and highly regarded dog trainer
- An extra veterinary nurse in attendance at all times
- A structured and detailed puppy training program (read about it here)
- Basic puppy training techniques
- A professionally prepared 65 page training guide
- Weekly toys and treats
The classes (in 2016) cost $127.50 for five weeks.
Importance of Puppy Preschool
YOU are responsible for what your dog learns.
Socialisation is one of the main reasons why we recommend puppy preschool. It starts from about 8 to 16 weeks of age and is a sensitive period, which is inconveniently before puppies are fully vaccinated against many deadly diseases.
Without appropriate SAFE socialisation your dog can become fearful,aggressive or not learn appropriate doggy manners. As new puppy owners you will have to allow your dog to experience everything our human world has to offer. Dogs are wired to be fearful of new things, so when introducing your puppies to new, and evidently scary, people, place, dogs, smells and sounds you will need to make it a positive experience. Using a high value reward to the dog such as food, toys, physical contact or verbal praise, you can turn a scary vet visit into a fun and exciting
Puppy preschool is not only about your puppy learning but having fun. We aim to help create a bond between you and your puppy. We want to help you build a foundation where they trust and respect you and look to you for guidance. The bond which we share with our dogs should not be created with physical punishment or forcing them to do what we want. We have to teach them to want to do what we ask, and the most effective method is positive reinforcement training.
Basic training is another great reason to attend puppy preschool. We only use positive reinforcement training which is reward based. We use treats, physical and verbal praise or toys, to mark desirable behaviours. For example if your puppy associates sitting with you coming outside to greet them they are then more likely to repeat that action next time, whereas if you open the door when they are jumping up they are more likely to continue to jump.
The training we undertake in puppy preschool will help to create a start which you can build on as they get older, we recommend continuing training into adolescence and adulthood.
Our puppy preschool classes also aim to help you as a new puppy owner. Getting a new puppy is exciting but can also be daunting. Even if you have owned dogs before there are always challenges that we face with each individual. Some new puppies will be toilet trained in 2 weeks, while others can take 3 months! That is where we are here to help. There are new and more effective ways developed every day to help with puppy problems. Our nurses endeavour to keep up to date with all the new products and techniques. We also aim to answer any health care questions you may have to help keep your puppy healthy and happy, we discuss topics such as parasite control, grooming, de-sexing, harmful food/objects, behaviour problems and more. We are here to help and most of the problems you may be having others are also experiencing.