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February 2024

The Benefits of Puppy School

Behaviour & TrainingProduct Guides

Should I Enrol My Dog in Puppy School?

Puppy school is an excellent building block that guides your dog from an adorable (but occasionally chaotic) puppy into a well-rounded dog that can read your training cues. At its core, puppy school is a framework that you can refer back to to build on your dog’s training. Let’s let your dog be the best version of themselves!

Are Puppy Schools Worth it?

In short, absolutely! Puppy school is the cornerstone for your dog's training. It offers a structured environment for your dog to learn valuable life skills while interacting with other dogs and people in a safe environment. It’s also a great opportunity to learn the best way to communicate with your puppy and address any behavioural questions you may have with a qualified trainer. Most of all – puppy school is enjoyable for both puppy and parent. Attending puppy school isn't just about training your pup; it's also an opportunity to strengthen your

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Top 10 Benefits of Puppy School

1. Teach Your Dog Socialisation Skills

Puppy school provides a safe space for your dog to interact with other puppies, and it teaches them how interact positively together. This early socialisation is crucial for teaching them how to behave around other dogs, which can prevent future behavioural problems. It’s also useful for owners – as it helps them understand what positive play looks like and when it’s time to step in or cut short a play session.

The first 8-15 weeks are a puppy’s critical period of development, with much of what they learn (good and bad) during this time forming lifelong memories. By attending puppy school during this period, you are setting them up for success as they will learn that other dogs come in all different shapes and sizes, with different personalities and play styles. They may find they don’t like certain other dogs, or may love others, and vice versa. If puppies miss out on this [early development] chance, it can lead to a lifetime of fear and aggression as they don’t learn these critical skills early on.
Lara Shannon, Certified Dog Trainer and Behaviour SpecialistLara Shannon, Certified Dog Trainer and Behaviour Specialist

2. Obedience Training for Puppies

Basic obedience training is a fundamental part of puppy school. Your pup will learn essential commands like sit, stay, and come and also skills which help form building blocks for later training (like teaching release words, target training and nosework). This training sets the stage for a well-behaved dog in any situation.

3. Proper Handling for Your Puppy

Puppy school teaches your pup to be comfortable with various types of handling, making vet visits, grooming, and nail trimming stress-free experiences. It also helps owners learn the best ways to handle and interact with their puppy – including leash activity and walking exercises.

4. Building Your Puppy’s Confidence

Interacting with new people and dogs in a controlled environment helps your puppy build confidence, reducing anxiety and fear in unfamiliar situations.

Hot Tip

Puppy school isn't just about behaviour; it also contributes to your puppy's physical and mental well-being.

5. Exercise and Play

Structured playtime in puppy school helps your pup burn off excess energy, reducing the likelihood of destructive behaviour at home. You will also learn about positive play and be taught how to recognise when play and interaction is escalating and requires a puppy parent to step in and bring the excitement down.

6. Mental Stimulation for Your Puppy

Puppy school stimulates your pup's mind through problem-solving exercises – which can be just as strenuous as physical activity. It’s a great way to stimulate and teach your pup – and is an excellent building block for intelligent dogs that need both mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and potential destructive behaviour at home.

7. Promotes Healthy Habits

Learning about nutrition, grooming, and general care in puppy school ensures your pup's health and happiness.

8. Quality Time Together

Spending time with your pup in a learning environment creates a deeper connection and trust between you. Aside from this being generally beneficial, it’s also great for future training if you want to train your dog to perform advanced tricks or play challenging games.

9. Better Understand Your Puppy

Puppy school helps you understand your pup's unique personality and needs, enabling you to cater to them better. Our qualified trainers will walk you through aspects of your dog’s body language and teach you the best ways to both reward good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour.

10. Timing is (Almost) Everything!

When your puppy is in its critical development period, it is an important time to expose them to learning and new environments. It is the best time for your puppy to learn as their brain is essentially a big sponge taking on new information. While it’s possible to teach an old dog new tricks – it’s a lot harder. Enrolling in puppy school gets you ahead, and it helps prevent bad habits from forming.

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What You’ll Learn at Puppy School

Petstock’s program is based on a reward-based training method which teaches pet parents:

  • How to successfully communicate with your puppy or dog.
  • How to develop foundation obedience in all environments.
  • The importance of socialisation, mental and physical stimulation.
  • Ways to help curb any behavioural problems.
  • How to find the correct equipment for your dog, and what you need for your puppy’s care, growth, and development.
  • The appropriate rewards for best results.

FAQS About Puppy School

What age should my puppy start puppy school?

Puppies can start attending puppy school between 8-15 weeks of age, after their initial vaccinations.

How long does puppy school last?

At Petstock, our puppy school programs run for 5 weeks with each class lasting one hour. We offer three levels of classes

Can older dogs benefit from puppy school?

Absolutely! While our puppy preschool is specifically for puppies between 8-15 weeks, older dogs that haven't had formal training can still benefit from puppy school and benefit from our level 1 or 2 classes. We also offer private training, which can be helpful for older dogs that require additional behavioural training.

What's the difference between puppy school and regular dog training?

Puppy school focuses on early socialisation and basic obedience, while regular dog training often covers more advanced commands and specific behavioural training.Is my puppy or dog suitable for puppy school classes?

To ensure we’re providing a safe and healthy environment, your puppy or dog will need to be:

  • In good overall health
  • For level 1 and 2: Minimum C5 Vaccination.
  • For Puppy Preschool: Minimum C3 vaccination 10 days prior to class.
  • Currently flea and worm treated
  • Friendly towards people
  • Friendly towards other dogs

Enroll in Puppy School

What to get your best mate started on the right paw? Head to our Puppy School page!
Learn More!

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