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In today’s post, we look at puppy socialisation and what you should look for when choosing the range of puppy training classes on offer. Not all dog trainers are the best match for your dog.  Unfortunately there are many out there using old fashioned, out-dated, fear-based training methods. 

Choose a trainer that uses modern, positive, reward based methods.  Yes, you can train a dog using fear, but at the cost of your relationship.  Reward based methods enhance the bond you have with each other and your dog will want to engage in the training, and your training sessions will be a fun experience for you both.

To find a trainer, start by getting some recommendations, either from friends, your vet surgery, local groomers or pet shops.  But then do your own research by contacting the trainers and asking questions.

Questions to ask.

Do they use positive reinforcement, reward-based methods?

How many pups are in each session?

What will you learn?

Will there be time for off-lead play?

How long are the sessions?

What is the maximum age of the pups in the class? (find a class that’s just for pups and not adult dogs)

Puppy Parties

Some local vet surgeries host puppy parties. These are a great way to allow your pup to meet and interact with other young pups in a very safe environment. Here the focus is on the socialisation rather than training.