inquisitive and rapidly learn about the world around them, and how to interact
appropriately with the people and animals they live with. Encountering a wide
and diverse range of objects and events at a young age encourages puppies to become
confident dogs, while a lack of exposure to people, other dogs and the wider
world can lead
to behaviour problems such as anxiety, destructive
behaviour, phobia and aggression later in the dog's life.
Prevention of behaviour problems is always better than cure. My puppy socialisation classes provide the opportunity for
puppies to meet other dogs and encounter a variety of everyday objects in a safe
environment, and through play and positive reinforcement form
pleasant associations. The socialisation process should start as early as
possible, as pups are most sensitive to learning before they are just 16 weeks
old! Click here
for information about socialisation.
I introduce some basic training exercises, including
"sit", "down", "heel", "fetch", "settle", introduction to the lead and a recall,
as well as advice on housetraining and common problems such as
chewing, play biting and jumping up. This helps to
get owners off to the best possible start with their puppy. All training is
based on positive reinforcement (reward) methods.
Courses for puppies aged up to 6 months are held
near Stowmarket in Suffolk and cost just £50 for six classes of an hour each.
The first session is for owners to come along without their puppies and covers
the essentials: principles of socialisation, learning theory and leadership,
with lots of opportunity for questions and discussion of specific issues. Over
the next five weeks the focus will be on puppy interactions and practical
There is no substitute for active positive
socialisation, and this is a large part of the curriculum at my puppy classes,
where demonstration and interaction are the main features of the puppy sessions. As adequate
socialisation is essential for preventing fear and aggression problems later in
life, do try to take your puppy to a good class at the earliest opportunity.