Puppy classes - mixed opinions

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Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Nifty staffy on Sat Jun 03 2017, 17:44

So Nifty had her first set of vaccinations yesterday (prevaccinations as they're called here) at 7 weeks old.
That is already subject to several different lines of thought but my worries here are based on puppy classes.

Went to see puppy class this afternoon and have mixed thoughts.
Yes, letting puppy socialize/play with others is good.
The exercises based on recall (go through small wooden tunnel or over the bridge) is good to show the pup new things. Lots of play and rewards (treats or play).
But it's a mixed class of all breeds between 8 weeks and 6 months.
Had she been today, she would have been with 12 week sheltie, few month miniature labrador-type, 6month parson jack russel (last attendance in the group), young belgian shepherd, 2 young and boisterous sibling australian shepherds and a very uneducated and boisterous 7 month GSD (also last attendance).

But canine school accepts pups from 8 weeks, many books say to wait until 2nd set of vaccinations, breeder has just told me to wait until 3rd set of vaccinations at earliest. Not only from innoculation point of view but she tells me that each staffy she has raised and then went on to pup school too early had behaviour problems. One even had physical consequence - his ears drop like a labrador Straight Face

I'm a complete beginner here but obviously want to do the best for mine.
The concept of puppy classes is good but will it really be a problem if she only goes at a 3-4 months old ?
In the mean time, she has 2 cats and 3 horse residents to live with, plus other outings I had planned. Will this be enough for early education without putting her at risk ?

Thanks for your thoughts
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by gillybrent on Sun Jun 04 2017, 15:43

firstly, training and socialisation will not affect your pup's growth, physical appearance or how her ears lie!

i personally feel that socialisation is paramount, but i don't like free-for-all play sessions especially with mixed ages. they cause more problems than they solve.

In the UK pups can socialise with other vaccinated pups after their first vaccinations. I would personally go to a reputable, force free trainer who has specific puppy classes. Training IS important, but the right sort of training.

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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Mia05 on Sun Jun 04 2017, 18:04

Imo you can never train too early i would consult vets with regards to vaccines and socialising with other dogs. Socialisation is vital not only with other dogs but livestocks cars buses motorbikes etc. Smile i took my dog to puppy classes aged three and she learned lots.

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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by I❤dogs on Sun Jun 04 2017, 18:12

I also think early socialising is very important for pups. It has to be positive socialising experiences & a good class can be perfect for that. Ask your vet if they run a puppy class & go to visit a few before taking your puppy as you don't want any negative experiences. I also put an ad in a local dog walking group to see if anyone had puppies similar ages to meet up with. Supervise interactions so you can distract before anything goes wrong. On dog walks I know a lot of dog owners so always ask owners of friendly dogs if Rebel can say hi. A lot let him play but even a sniff hi helps build positive associations
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Nifty staffy on Sun Jun 04 2017, 20:42

Hmmm, thanks for your thoughts.
So puppy classes really are important but it's the definition which is paramount.
What will a good puppy class consist of ? Lots of different situations and the opportunity to meet other canines ?
TBH, my impression yesterday was that the pup's focus on owner within group situation was the primary element sought after (canine club has very good reputation in the area for agility) but isn't that alot to ask of a pup who is 9-10 weeks old ?

I think I need to speak to my vet for equivalent of your type of puppy classes.
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by I❤dogs on Sun Jun 04 2017, 21:57

In my opinion a good class doesn't have to many pups or go on too long. It should be fun & positive. My main reason for going is for getting Rebel socialised with other puppies. They are good for training tips as well. Agility isn't for puppies as their bones are growing. Make sure the person running the class is all for rewards & positive training, setting the puppies up to succeed. I'm sure someone more experienced than me will be on to advise you. Short fun sessions are best for young puppies
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by I❤dogs on Sun Jun 04 2017, 22:07

Before Rebel could go walks I used to carry him while I walked Saxon. It meant he could see people, cars, bikes etc while safe in my arms. After 2nd jab he was used to our areas sights, sounds & smells
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Jun 05 2017, 06:59

Ah yes, there's nothing stopping me from going to watch future classes with her in my arms. She can get used to environment and me watch other participants in the class, all if that away from too many germs on the floor.
Thanks for the idea. Just glad that staffies are a bundle of fun in a smaller parcel ! Laughing
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by LizP on Mon Jun 05 2017, 07:46

At that age, I would go to a few 'puppy party' type gatherings rather than training classes. You can do some very short basic training sessions at home but asking a very young pup to do anything more that cope with the excitment of other dogs is setting them up to fail. Always set up to succeed.

I've put some links to videos here, Victoria Stilwell in particular has some great puppy training videos. I would say to get your initial training started like that, do your socialisation in a fun way, then mix the two.

https://staffy-bull-terrier.niceboard.com/t66621-other-training-resources

I'm not sure I would take a pup to classes and ask him not to join in the fun because you're holding him, by the way. You'll have a wriggling ball of scratchy feet, and a frustrated one at that.

Oh, and ask for your breeder's idea of going to classes too early changing the shape of ears... rolling on the floor


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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Jun 05 2017, 09:05

Ah yes, I didn't think about the squirming ball of fur in my arms, eager to get closer to the action.
Thanks for the links, will go have a look

LizP wrote:
Oh, and ask for your breeder's idea of going to classes too early changing the shape of ears... rolling on the floor

This is the first time the breeder has said something odd which didn't sound very logical to me.
But she said something about the stress of always having to concentrate on handler, puppy's ears didn't "mature" correctly and stayed dropped Straight Face Everything else she says and does appears coherent.
I think maybe she doesn't believe in puppy classes but it's easier for her as she has 3 generations on site and about 10 adult dogs to help with socialization. Nifty will be only canine hre at home.
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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by gillybrent on Mon Jun 05 2017, 10:57

The only things that stop a pup's ears from lying correctly is poor breeding or physical damage. even in good breeding a pup's ears may be a little too heavy to sit right, or may even stand up straight if the tendons are too strong! but not sitting right because they're concentrating on their owner? no.

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Re: Puppy classes - mixed opinions

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Jun 05 2017, 11:47

Whoops Blushing Blushing Blushing
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