Training classes for your and your puppy
(Q) I'm getting a puppy soon, and I want to start training her as soon as possible. There are so many types of training and behaviour classes that I'm getting a bit confused. When should we start puppy training? How soon can she do obedience? I don't want to overwhelm her (or me) with too much too soon, but I also don't want to miss out on any opportunities.
(A) Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith says: It is fantastic that you're doing your research and trying to find a class for your new puppy. It has been shown that very young puppies can learn fast and so it would be ideal for you to enrol in a puppy class as soon as you can.
Reward-based methods are essential so your puppy learns to trust you implicitly. Small classes are also important so your puppy isn't overwhelmed and so you get enough attention from your trainer.
Visit www.puppyschool.co.uk for a list of qualified tutors running classes suitable for puppies under 20 weeks and for lots of information about raising your pup. All the basics are covered and no older dogs are allowed in class. If you then fancy continuing with your training there are many options.
Your tutor may offer classes or you might find a reputable trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (www.apdt.co.uk). These trainers use positive methods and are up to date with current techniques. Most of all, make sure you have fun learning with your puppy.
Association of pet dog trainers
- The APDT UK is a voluntary organisation that promotes kind, fair, and effective dog training.
- To gain membership dog trainers are assessed to ensure their methods are fair and up-to-date.
- Dog owners can find a trainer in their local area on the APDT website (www.apdt.co.uk).
- There are APDTs in other countries but the assessments of trainers and the codes of practice differ from the UK.