Your brand-new puppy Dozer just hit your house like a tiny canine whirlwind. Earlier this week, you adopted this seven-week-old retriever mix through an animal rescue group. When he arrived home, this frenzied little pooch sniffed out every corner before thrashing his toys into submission. Next, he began nipping at your ankles. Although you can dismiss his chewing behavior now, it won’t be so amusing when he’s a full-grown dog with more impressive choppers. Clearly, little Dozer needs to acquire some discipline — and soon. Fortunately, your veterinarian recommended a puppy obedience class that will provide your rambunctious dog with guidelines for acceptable behavior.
Dozer’s obedience class should be designed for puppies from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Typically, these classes run for about four weeks, with one-hour sessions to accommodate puppies with short attention spans and lots of energy.
His instructor will likely cover topics including general health, diet and nutrition, potty training, and behavioral issues. She’ll explain the benefits (and techniques) of using positive reinforcement to teach a desired behavior. Your puppy will also become comfortable socializing with other dogs, along with adults and children. You’ll be encouraged to ask questions and meet other owners; and you might even snag a few doggie play dates.
Your little guy’s training session will also include exposure to basic obedience behaviors. His instructor should teach him to come, sit, stay, lie down, and heel upon your command. Although he can learn more advanced commands during adult obedience training, this basic skill set will make him a more disciplined dog — and you’ll be a calmer owner.
Before enrolling Dozer into his puppy obedience class, ensure that he has the required vaccinations. Although classes are likely available within your community, your veterinary hospital might also offer periodic sessions. By attending a hospital-sponsored course, your young dog will develop a positive association with the hospital and its staff. In addition, the veterinary technician can provide valuable health-focused information you won’t find elsewhere.
When Dozer next visits your veterinarian, he should be a more obedient pooch who doesn’t chew on your ankles. To help your puppy (or older dog) develop more desirable behaviors, contact us for expert advice.