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Puppy classes. Online course start ASAP vs in person start earliest Feb?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by LucyA, Dec 11, 2020.


  1. LucyA

    LucyA PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there!

    My beautiful pup Ralph is now 9 weeks old and although he’s generally pretty well behaved I’m looking to get him into puppy training. I’m a first time dog owner and feel I will gain confidence by being guided.

    I’m usually OCD organised about everything in life and so I’m a bit annoyed at myself for not getting something cemented earlier but it is what it is!

    I’ve contacted local groups to me, however most have moved to zoom for obvious reasons- the earliest slot for a 6 week puppy class being 5th January, this would make Ralph 13 weeks old. I suppose if I were going down the online route I could subscribe to a more dedicated online site - it doesn’t have to be local group to me. This also means my mum could join in as she will watch him occasionally.

    The earliest in person group availability is February 8th, which would make Ralph 17 weeks old. I reckon restrictions would mean only I could join but the setting and face to face learning would be very helpful.

    I feel like I would probably learn in person better, however I understand the sooner the better when it comes to training, and I want to learn better mechanisms if naughty behaviour comes up (or rather, showing them the correct behaviour)

    What is your guys opinions on this? If you are leaning more towards an internet course, do you have any you would recommend?

    Thanks so much :)
     
  2. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Welcome to little Ralph! We need photos! :) The folks over in Dog Chat might be able to help more with this (Mods? @SusieRainbow).

    Why not sign up for both? Puppy training isn't a one-time event and if you are new to dogs then there might be lots to learn :)
     
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  3. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Also, just to add, not all puppy classes are created equal. Avoid any 'free for all' classes where the puppies just run around crazily together in the name of 'socialisation' (obviously talking face-to-face class here), and also avoid any that mention dominance/alpha/pack leader theory as this is well outdated and not the sort of class you want.
     
  4. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Assuming the classes are well-run, I would think you will find the in-person ones the most useful. IMO there really is no substitute for having a good trainer watch what you are doing and giving you tips along the way, as well as the social aspect of being part of a class. However, in the meantime there is no harm in doing something online to help get you started.

    17 weeks is a perfectly fine age to start classes. At this time, I would not worry about formal training and focus more on good socialisation (please do your research on what socialisation should look like as it is not what most people think it is) and building up play with your puppy. Teaching cues such as sit, down etc don't have an expiry date so there really is no rush with these.

    FB_IMG_1596541042928.jpg
     
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  5. LucyA

    LucyA PetForums Newbie

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    Hi thanks so much for the response- Yes I suppose it isn’t an either or situation, I just want to do right by him! My bundle of joy is 3/4 Chi and 1/4 Whippet and I’m so in love already. When I take him for walkies in a sling (he hasn’t had his second jab yet) - I feel like a celebrity, everyone stops and says how cute my little bat is!
     

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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    If you decide to hold off for the in-person classes, remember in the meantime there is always the option to ask questions here - we have some really great members who have probably experienced every possible puppy behaviour there is.
     
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  7. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I see nothing wrong in doing both but if you only want to do one then the face to face one is the one to go for. You will meet other owners and other dogs and be socialising your pup which is what it is all about. 17 weeks is fine but if you feel you really lack knowledge to rear your pup to that age there are a lot of you tube videos etc that you can watch and as already said you can come on here for advice. How are you doing on house training.
     
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  8. LucyA

    LucyA PetForums Newbie

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    Hi- thanks for your reply and the super helpful diagram :)
     
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  9. LucyA

    LucyA PetForums Newbie

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    It’s so nice to have found such a supportive forum, thank you!
     
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  10. LucyA

    LucyA PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there! I’ve been reading up bits on here and on Wikihow as well, so I can go at my own pace and they’re well laid out. Ralph has a puppy palace for lack of a better term- a big pen with his food and water, puppy pad, bed, and place to play. I live in a flat without garden access- so the plan is to have him puppy padding full time. Two people I know have a similar set up with their small breed dogs and it works well for them. I keep the pen door open during the day and he’s been really good at trotting in there when it’s time to go- I’d say a 60-70% success rate which is good considering he’s only been home a week. I try and play games with him in his pen so he doesn’t see it as a doggy prison- I put him in there at night or when I’m cleaning/showering :)
     
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