You may think that taking your dog to training classes is so that you can have a well-behaved pup. But really, it is your dog that gets most of the benefits. A dog training class builds confidence, enhances their relationship with their human, and also provides them with mental stimulation.
So, when should you bring your dog to training classes? The sweet spot is around 7 to 8 weeks.
Puppy Age and Training
Age matters more than you’d think when it comes to training your dog. Things like socialization and bite inhibition really need to be taught at a young age while the pup is still developing. More specifically, socialization should occur within the first 12 weeks. This is when they are most susceptive to learning and exploring new things. And bite inhibition should be taught before 6 months of age as the jaw becomes developed and the magnitude of their bites begin to change.
Before attending their first training class, your pup should have a minimum of one set of vaccines and a deworming treatment so that they are safe when around others. Because of this, they can’t start training too early. This makes 7 to 8 weeks of age the perfect time to bring your dog to training classes.
What Dogs Can Learn in Training Classes
There are so many lessons that can be learned in training classes. And dogs love to lap them up. Here are a few of the most common:
Basic Obedience. In basic obedience classes, dogs will learn all types of commands so that you can communicate and boost his or her level of safety. Lessons learned here include things like sit, stay, come, heel, and down. Also, how to walk properly on a leash and proper handling, too. This is a great first class for pups, between 7 and 8 weeks old.
Socialization. Socialization is something else that dogs learn in training classes. This is an opportunity for them to be around all different types of people and dogs. It also includes new atmospheres, sounds, and objects, too. By familiarizing your dog with these things early on in life – and in a fun, rewarding way – they will learn not to fear them.
Bite Inhibition. Bite inhibition teaches dogs how to control the pressure of their mouth. When your dog is in a situation and makes the choice to bite someone, having bite inhibition will ensure that the bite is not severe. It doesn’t teach your dog not to bite at all, but rather it teaches them to be gentler with their bite.
It should be noted that these are the main courses and lessons learned in training classes, but there are many other options as well should you want to try something different or more advanced. Dogs love stimulation and won’t complain about the extra lessons!
Things to Look for in a Training Class/Facility
Before signing your dog up, take the time to scope out a training class and/or facility first. There are a few things that you should look for when doing so, including:
- Experienced trainers that used rewards to correct behaviors
- A clean facility with clean floors
- A facility with vaccine requirements so you know your pup will be with other vaccinated pups
Visit the facility and even ask if you can sit through a class without your dog just so you can see what it is like so you can determine whether you think it is a good fit. You will know when you find the right one.
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