Not all puppy classes are puppy preschool. Puppy preschool® is a specially designed programme that has been shown to increase a puppy’s social skills and confidence in their environment. The class size should be small and the instructor/s should be dedicated to providing a positive atmosphere where a pup can learn without fear and without overstimulation.
Puppy classes should not only be about training: they are also about providing new puppy owners with up-to-date knowledge of preventative health care and teaching owners how to understand their dog’s communication. The training tips given are to help owners learn appropriate communication with their pup that gives the new family member clear and consistent cues and positive consequences for responding appropriately. In this way, the bond between the pup and the owner grows rapidly and the pup is less likely to become confused and anxious.
It is very important for puppies to have the correct level of exposure and positive, gentle handling to reduce the risk of behaviour problems related to anxiety. Anxiety is a common cause of issues such as excessive barking, destructive behaviour, aggression, escaping and inappropriate adult toiletting behaviour. Often a behaviour problem that begins as a pup may not be obvious to an owner until the dog reaches social maturity.
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