A Night at Puppy Preschool
Puppy Preschool leader Gwen takes us through the apparent chaos of a puppy preschool class in full flight.
If you have ever found yourself in our reception area on a Monday or Wednesday evening you have doubtless been concerned about the number of very small puppies that have been in attendance. Thankfully this phenomena is not the result of a parvovirus outbreak or something equally as serious. Instead, the group of puppies ranging from tiny Chihuahuas to enormous Bernese Mountain dogs are there to attend our “puppy preschool”.
From eight to twelve weeks of age, the puppy preschool allows puppies that are not fully vaccinated to socialise in a safe environment, along with giving their owners access to a trainer and veterinary nurse to ask all the questions that come with a new puppy in the house. The reality is a lot more hectic than that sounds however!
While some topics covered are obvious (sit, drop, stay, parasite control, desexing), others are less so – teaching male owners to make high pitched squeals, so as their puppy learns to inhibit its biting, is a personal favourite – the most interesting part of any class is watching the puppies try to work out appropriate behaviour. From digging at the waterbowl, trying to eat each others’ poo (oh yes they do!), testing their entire vocal range (especially the Staffies) and trying to steal the clinic’s teddy bear, the one sure thing is that an evening at puppy pre-school is never going to be dull.
Once the four week course is complete, it’s amazing and gratifying to see how the puppies have grown in confidence and how excited they are to come into the practice (we can always tell the puppy school graduates, even years later, all those liver treats form a lifelong obsession with going to the vet!). Owners too often tell me how much better prepared they feel to head to the dog park, even when they may have had years of previous experience with dogs.
Puppy preschool is a great way to get your dog’s development off on the right paw, I can’t wait to meet you there!