-1- At What Age Can My Puppy Attend Puppy School?
8 Weeks of age is a great age to begin puppy school as the ‘critical period for socialisation’ closes at 12-14 weeks of age.
-2- What about the risk to infection or pathogens?
It is important that you know the risk of infection is always a possibility, we can even bring parvo virus into our own home on the bottom of our shoes, thats how easy it is to transfer.
What is imperative is that you select a school that employs the highest risk management protocols, ask them what do they do to ward against disease and infection.
-3- Block format or continuous enrolment?
Choose a school that engages in continuous enrolment, this will give your puppy a greater pool of puppies to be exposed to over the duration of your puppy school and maximising social opportunities in a safe and well managed environment is a priority.
It has been cited that a puppy should meet 100 new people in 100 days, some professionals also suggest that puppies should have met 200 people before the age of 12 weeks. Why 12 weeks of age? because this is the when the ‘critical learning period’ for socialisation ends.
Critical Socialisation takes place between 3 and 12 weeks of age. Check out what the AVA has to say about Critical learning periods.
-4- Will your puppy get to play off leash with other puppies ?
Socialisation ‘on’ leash and ‘off’ leash are 2 very different skill sets and you must ensure that ‘off’ leash socialisation is a priority skill to be taught.
-5- Do they ever just ‘grow out of it’?
In short, no! Puppies will do what puppies are born to do! As we bring a new puppy into our home it is up to us to teach them how to live within our home and how to navigate the world around them.
Being armed with as much great but reliable information as possible to help guide you through puppyhood is priority.
Ask your puppy school how they can do this for you – is their information best industry standard and science based information, does it work to help you prevent behaviours, not to correct!
Want to know more? Contact Colleen 0415 136 777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- AVA Position Statement on Puppy Socialisation (www.ava.com.au)
- Article – Properly Socialising Your Puppy (www.wholedogjournal.com)