“Sit, Down, Heal. Are these the life skills your puppy needs? As a new puppy owner, you can often feel completely overwhelmed in the first few weeks. Lots of people try to be helpful by making suggestions about the best way to live with your puppy. From feeding, exercise and training. So, where can you look to find the right type of class to start you and your puppy off on the right paw?
Annoyingly, “it depends” is the most honest answer I can give you. There are lots of options out there, and it can, like lots of things dog-related, feel like a minefield to navigate through.
Group puppy classes have really evolved dramatically over the last decade or two, and there has been a shift to focus more on the skills they need in the environment they live in rather than behaviours ‘we have always taught’, such as sit, down, etc.
I am a very proud member of organisations that have assessed my experience, knowledge and ability to teach in ‘kind, fair and effective’ methods, using positive reinforcement, but I am even more proud of the curriculum I teach. I focus on the connection between you and your puppy, building trust and giving you skills to guide and support them instead of controlling and punishing them.
Your puppy learns to walk with you, not because they have to, but because they want to.
Your puppy learns how to become confident.
Trust they are listened to and become an active participant in their own health and veterinary care.
Not to mention comes back when asked.
Most importantly, though, you learn to be able to read them effectively and accurately in order to support them in all aspects of their life.
How do we achieve this, I hear you ask? I keep our class sizes small, to a maximum of 6. I teach and coach you where your puppy will be most successful in your home. This way, your puppy can relax between exercises and above all else, I adapt how I train to every individual puppy and human handler.
plural noun: life skills
a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. “sharing with a sibling can help children learn important life skills.”
These are the skills I focus on, and I am not alone. There are many excellent classes around now. Ask what core skills they focus on teaching, ask how many puppies can attend and what the ratio is of puppies to instructors, then watch a class, see how you feel, and go with your gut (just make sure you’re not hungry at the time or you may rush the decision: True fact).
So, how do you find these magic classes we speak of? Well, now our classes are entirely online; they are here for EVERYONE to access and get the very best from their puppies.
Good luck. If you’d like to join our group class, check out the following dates here. They fill up fast, but we get fantastic feedback from clients on them.