At the age of 4 ½ months, puppies quickly move from cuddly teddy bears to confident and mischievous adolescents. For your own and your dogs benefit, it is important to adequately prepare for this transformation to make it as enjoyable (!) as possible.
Puppy training and socialisation is now considered the single most important step you can take in that preparation. These should be started from the age of 13 weeks, but no later than 20 weeks. You should only attend after your puppy has received all its vaccinations.
What happens at puppy classes?
The format of puppy training and socialisation classes will vary from school to school, but the primary objective of them all is to fully socialise your puppy and prepare it for all the many new experiences it will encounter through its life. It is at these sessions that your puppy will learn canine social etiquette and body language in a controlled and safe environment.
They will play with other puppies of their own age. They learn bite inhibition and build confidence, as well overcoming shyness and fearfulness. This is not to say they will not experience difficult encounters later in life, but a confident and fully socialised dog will be better equipped to deal with these encounters and less traumatise by them.
At puppy training, playing with other puppies can often be frenzied with lots of chase and play fighting. There will be plenty of opportunity receive appropriate feedback for biting too hard. In effect, puppies teach each other how to behave.
The other main objective of puppy training is to educate owners of basic training techniques and dog behaviour understanding. Teach them to better understand their dog and gain better control over them.