Do puppies really need puppy class?

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Do puppies really need puppy class?

This is a discussion on Do puppies really need puppy class? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I mean, do they? I was going to sign Tessa up for a local puppy class that was supposed to start in early may; the ...

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:16 PM
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Do puppies really need puppy class?

I mean, do they? I was going to sign Tessa up for a local puppy class that was supposed to start in early may; the class has been moved to late June/early July and I feel Tessa needs the socialization before then, plus she'll be to old for that class; they only want under 5 months, and Tessa will be heading onto 6 months, plus she's due to be spayed before 6 months old so we would be missing classes for her to heal. I've read Ian Dunbar's book and he suggests puppy classes, too.

So my options are:
1. Continue socializing with current dogs I know have their vaccines and forget about puppy class
2. Go to the local pet smarts puppy class

When I had my previous dog, Jazzy, there were no such things as "puppy classes" We just socialized her with dogs on her walks and the neighbourhood pooches, and she turned out ok (up until she was badly attacked by a GSD when she was 5 and then had issues with bigger dogs).

I don't know what to do... Tessa just received her 2nd shot this last monday, and has only met my neighbour's lab and his daughters coonhound mix. She gets on fine with them, but I want to make sure she has no issues going forward with any other dogs...ugh being a puppy mom is so stressful when you trying to do your best...
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:52 PM
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Helpful yes, necessary no.

If you do the Petsmart class I'd first talk to the people as they leave the class and talk to the trainer to see what type of training methods are used.

If you know how to train your puppy and decide against the puppy class then once your pup is finished with her shots, take her to places that has other dogs, the park on a nice day, pet shops, outside a grooming shop, or outdoor cafe for examples, and let her see other dogs, ask the owners if your pup can meet their dog.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:59 PM
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honestly... IMO, the dog classes are more for the human than the dog, it pretty much shows you what to do and how to do it, and gives you different techniques, and tells you how to positively correct your pooch. if you just want your puppy to know the basics(sit, lay, stay, crawl, paw, etc) and you feel comfortable doing it yourself, then i would skip the class and just read up on how to do it.

but if you've never self trained a dog to do the basics, then i would reccomend taking the class.

just remember, the key is consistency;
if you want him to do something every time, then you gotta show him thats what you want.

we're teaching minnie the basics our selves, as i just took the class with my fathers puppy about a year and a half ago and still remember it pretty clearly. but once she gets about a year we're going to enroll her in the next class up from puppy basics

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:12 PM
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Nope. They don't need it. They do need lots of socialization as young as possible, good training methods and safe exposures to lots of new things, people, enviroments, etc. We never took our dogs to puppy class and we've always ended up with awesome dogs.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:59 PM
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Thx everyone for the input, it was just seeming like everyone was concerned if I didn't go to one with Tessa. I've just started clicker training with her and so far she's doing great. Shes got down, sit, stay, paw, and come down pat, its just leave it and off that needs work and for some reason they don't teach those commands in the puppy classes.

I went and checked out Petsmarts class accidently last night ( i was picking up Tessas favourite lamb treats) and the instructor, they only have one, was doing a lot of leash corrections and yelling at the puppy she was handling. She also suggested to a rotti puppy owner to do something called an "alpha roll", not sure what that is, on their pup whenever he bites or growls at them or their 8 yr old daughter because the little guy was " trying to dominate them, and they needed to handle it or they'll be putting him down by the time he's an adult."

The instructor also pinched a collie's ear to quote " show her whose that her biting hurts and is unacceptable", I could only see that backfiring... I watched this class for about 30 minutesb( hopefully inconspicuously) and didn't like or agree with the advice or methods so I won't be going to Petsmart for puppy class. I feel sorry for those puppies and their owners..

I take Tessa wherever I can, in fact yesterday we were waiting in our local Costcos parking lot for my mom and she got to meet her first set if kids; she loved them. So far she's met around 30 people( a ways away form Ian Dunbars suggestion of a 100, I know) but shes loved everyone of them so far; though she's only met the neighbours pooches, but is clear to start socializing with more vaccinated dogs in a week and a half ( I've only been holding off because I'm terrified of parvo, even though its not too common around here) when she's clear, she will be meeting a family friends GSD, my friends Pom and the yorkie and ****zu down the street around then. She'll meet more puppies when I can start taking her for walks, I'm still waiting to walk her till after her last shots ( and 2 weeks ), so that'll be a month from now.

So I think I'm going to skip the puppy classes, but maybe enroll her into beginners class when she hits adolescence, since I hear it can be a Doosey lol. Thanks again!
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:31 PM
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Oh wow, you're definitely making the right choice by skipping those classes. That trainer doesn't seem qualified at all! I didn't take my dog to puppy class and though nervous at first, after a few positive experiences, he now gets along great with other dogs. Once he was fully vaccinated I also took him to the dog park which is where he really started to let loose and learned a lot more manners from watching and interacting with older dogs.

I think as long as you do your best to keep her experiences positive when meeting other dogs everything will be okay
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:07 PM
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Puppy classes aren't that important, especially considering the price you pay for them. As long as you are willing to provide patient, thorough training and socialization (i.e. walks, the dog park) your dog probably doesn't need them.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:00 PM
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I've taken Coda to our local Petsmart for the puppy class and now for intermediate level and I've found it really useful.
I've had other dogs and very familiar with training and hadn't done classes previously, but these classes have hooked me up with other puppy owners and we've had puppy dates and I like to have some way of checking my progress with Coda and seeing how he does with the training amidst major distractions. It has made it so easy to socialize with other puppies.
This particular Petsmart was recommended to me by two different people for having good classes and I like the trainer (they have 3) even though I've chosen to do some things differently than she has suggested and I've also used a clicker.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:42 PM
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Honestly. I think that letting the puppy play with well behaved older dogs is probably a better way to socialize them anyway. As long as you know the older dog is good with puppies.
I think sometimes puppies that spend too much time socializing with other puppies can end up being too friendly. They should play with puppies, yes, but it's equally or more important they play with older dogs that will help enforce good puppy manners.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:26 AM
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Puppy classes have saved my life! its more for us humans then the puppy but i have to say the puppies do learn alot of basic commands etc. I say sign her up for one that will start asap as well as socialise her with other dogs
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