Bear’s Big Puppy Tip: Choosing the right puppy class or 1:1 training

Many owners are under the impression that the only point of a puppy class is for socialisation as it will help teach their puppy how to interact with other puppies and this will in turn will mean they will be social with every dog they come into contact with – the short answer to this is “no” it won’t!

Socialisation is more than just meeting puppies; it is giving your puppy life skills for the future. It means:

  • Teaching them basic training – not tricks.
  • Teaching them that you are the most important thing to them in their life – you will protect, love and care for them and that you are someone that they can trust always.
  • How to be calm around humans and how to greet an array of different people.
  • What it is like to live in the environment they live in, be it noisy town centres or cities, or the peace and quiet of the countryside.
  • Swapping the environment, they live in and teaching them how to behave when traffic passes them or stopping to allow horses or farm animals to pass them.
  • Being able to groom and handle your puppy so that your groomer or vet does not have problems with either grooming or examining them.

Many owners opt for puppy training classes and these should include at least:

  • Teaching the important basics for training – seeing how all the puppies differ and stretching those that look bored and tailoring some training back for those that perhaps just don’t get it.
  • Puppy introductions that focus on calm and relaxed greetings – not a free for all at the end where it undoes all the hard work at the start of the lesson.
  • Small classes for some 1-2-1 help if needed.

For those that choose 1:1 training this should include at least:

  • A personalised programme for the aspects that owners need help on.
  • In-depth training for fundamental training throughout the 1:1 course with an emailed report.
  • Training in the various environments that your puppy will need throughout its stages of development.
  • A programme to help with socialisation and how to get it right from start.

NB: The above are just very short points how classes and 1:1’s differ, but most importantly make sure
that your trainer not only has the qualification to teach you (important point) but also the practical
skills to teach in a kind, positive and rewarding way – no punishment is needed.

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