Where are classes held?
Will Puppies be allowed to play with other puppies?
Will my puppy be fully trained at the end of the course?
How old does my puppy have to be to attend Puppy School?
What vaccinations will my Puppy need?
How do I prepare my puppy for travelling to classes?
What will I need to bring to classes?
Can I bring my family to classes?
Can I come and watch a class prior to booking a place?

 

When and where are Puppy School classes held? 
Classes are held on Wednesday evenings at Stone village hall, Berkeley (GL13 9LE) and on Monday evenings at Dominic's Church Hall, Dursley (GL11 4ES)

Each class is an hour long and the course runs for six consecutive weeks.

 

Will Puppies be allowed to play with other puppies?
As this is a crucial part of early socialisation, puppies will be allowed to play off-lead in carefully controlled small groups to ensure they learn good puppy play etiquette.

This controlled procedure ensures that puppies do not get scared and do not learn to play too rough. Puppies will be matched for size, age, and experience and off-lead puppy playtime will be carefully supervised to ensure that all puppies learn how to be calm and confident with others.

*Please note that although we make every effort to allow your puppy to play with other suitable puppies in the class, we cannot guarantee the right mix of puppies on every course for this to be done safely. Consequently, puppy play may not occur in all classes.  Puppy play will only be offered if it is safe to do so.*
 

Will my puppy be fully trained at the end of the course?
Before your first class, you will receive a ‘what to expect’ manual to help you prepare.

All the information you will need to train your puppy will be given to you in class but to achieve optimal results, many short daily training sessions at home are favourable.

Homework hand-outs are provided at the end of each class as training at home will allow you and your puppy to practice the techniques in lessons prior to the next class.

Exercises progress gradually over the six sessions to further your puppy's knowledge & development.
 

How old does my puppy have to be to attend Puppy School?
Puppies need to begin classes between 12 – 20 weeks old.

We take puppies up to the age of 20 weeks old upon the first class to ensure that all puppies are at a similar stage of development both physically and mentally. This helps ensure happy, safe off-lead puppy play and socialisation sessions.

Is your puppy too young to attend? It is never too early for early habituation, socialisation and training! – see our ‘Pre-Class Puppy Visits’.

 

What vaccinations will my Puppy need?
It is important that your puppy is vaccinated and cleared by your veterinary surgeon prior to attending classes. 

Most vaccinations are complete by 10 to 12 weeks of age, but different veterinary practices have differing protocols on what is the best way to protect against contagious diseases. In light of this, it is a good idea to ask the opinion of your Vet or Veterinary Nurse before making a decision on what is best for your puppy.

Our venue is regularly disinfected with DEFRA approved ‘Virkon’ and only vaccinated dogs are allowed in this area.  We take every precaution to ensure our classes are as safe as possible for very young puppies.

It is likely that your puppy will be given medication to kill intestinal worms at the time of vaccination.  Puppies usually acquire roundworms from their mothers, and so need a good worming programme to ensure they are free of them.  Since these worms can be transferred to humans, please ensure that your puppy has been wormed with a prescription wormer before attending classes.

To reduce the risk of cross-infection, there will be no communal water bowl in class.  Puppies get thirsty after travelling, playing and eating treats, so please provide your own water bowl and offer drinks frequently.

Please bring your puppy’s vaccination certificate with you when attending the first class.

 

How do I prepare my puppy for travelling to classes?
If you have to travel to classes by car, it is best to get your puppy used to car travel beforehand.

Travelling in cars can be an unsettling experience for young puppies, so prepare as follows:

  • Play with your puppy and feed small meals in the car when it is stationary to give pleasant associations with being inside the vehicle
  • Take your puppy on short journeys, (preferably before feeding) ending with a walk or a play session
  • Close doors carefully and drive considerately. Remember that your puppy cannot see where the car is going, is not sitting in a seat, and cannot predict when the next corner will be coming up
  • Arrive in plenty of time to allow your puppy to recover from the journey before class begin

 

What will I need to bring to classes?
Your puppy will be required to wear a plain buckle collar, with a cloth or leather lead (no chain collars or leads, head collars, harnesses or Flexi leads please). 

Please put the collar on a few days before coming to classes so that your puppy is already used to it before attending.

You will also need to bring your own tasty treats. These should be small so your puppy does not become full too quickly. Pieces about the size of a small pea are best.  There are plenty of tasty treats on the market that can be cut up into small pieces.  Alternatively, cooked liver or chicken that has been cut into small cubes and dried in the oven are perfect!

Your puppy needs to be interested in working for the treats you are offering during training. For this reason, it is unadvisable to feed your puppy just before the class as he is not likely to want to work very hard to earn the treats you are offering. It is very important that your puppy is not too hungry either, as this it will affect their ability to concentrate and is not very fair on the puppy. Feeding a small meal a few hours in advance of the class can help to sooth the appetite, but still leave your puppy wanting more!

If you own a puppy that has lots of energy, try to arrange a vigorous play and free running session in a safe place before coming to class. This will help to ensure that your puppy is in a calm, ready-to-learn mood.

Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early at the venue. This will allow your puppy to recover from the journey, take a small walk and go to toilet before coming into class. The grass verges by the side of the hall are perfect for letting your puppy relive itself. Please do not allow your puppy to toilet in the car park area and always clean up after your puppy.
 

Can I bring my family to classes?
Yes of course! All the family including any children over the age of four years are very welcome. Getting to know children and learning how to interact with them is an important learning experience for puppies. The more children who attend, the more socialisation can be done!

 

Can I come and watch a class prior to booking a place?
Absolutely, of course! We welcome spectators to classes and often involve them in class activities. If you are interested in coming along to watch classes, please contact Alice to discuss the most suitable time and date.