Why Puppy Training Classes Are Critical For Your Dog

No matter how in love you are with your pup now, you’ll love him even more after taking puppy training classes.

Did you know that enrolling your new pup – and yourself – in puppy training classes is one of the best ways to give your dog a head start on a happy life?

No matter how cute your puppy is right now (and is that cuteness ever an effective survival tactic!), early training and socialization can make the difference between having a dog everyone loves to be around and a dog everyone enjoys being around, and a dog who’s always causing trouble.

There is a brief phase in your puppy’s early life when he’ll be most eager to learn, enthusiastic about pleasing you, and easy to socialize with other people and animals. You’ll want to jump on this opportunity to help him become the friendly, well-behaved pup you imagined when you first decided to bring a dog into your home.

While it might be tempting to wait until your puppy is older before you enroll him in training, if you wait, you’ll miss out. Here are just a few reasons puppy training classes are so important:

  • Your Pup Learns To Look Up To You

The best way to build a strong connection with your puppy is through training. It has always fascinated me that all babies, be they porpoise, horse, whale, puppy, chicken, or gosling are wired to follow whoever or whatever is caring for them. This early genetic predisposition means babies are literally wired to follow and learn.

Your puppy’s natural predilection to look to you as leader won’t last long however. By the time he hits adolescence at 7 to 9 months old he’ll be bigger, stronger, and more confident. This self-confidence arrives with a full set of adult teeth and a healthy dose of independence that makes training challenging. That said the sooner you step into the role of leader the better.

Regardless of your puppy’s age you’ll discover the easiest and most enjoyable training happens through games and activities instead of dominating your puppy or using force. At Hillary’s Hound House we weave a healthy dose of fun and cooperative play into all of our classes. Not only is fun a game changer, it introduces a level of leadership into the mix that will make training and living with your dog a joy.

  • Pups Learn How to Play Nice

Early to Bed
Early to Rise
Socialize, Socialize, Socialize!

Puppies are social animals, eager to mix and mingle with as many people, dogs, and other animals as they can – during the height of their socialization-readiness period. Of course, their socialization needs to happen in a controlled environment where you can be sure they learn how to meet friendly dogs and play nicely. This is why Puppy Socials and classes are so important. When your puppy has a wonderful experience playing and discovering with other dogs, he will grow up expecting the world to be a happy, safe, and welcoming place – and in turn become the friendly, happy dog you dreamed of when you brought him home. If this early socialization doesn’t go so well, it’s another story. An unfortunate encounter with a poorly trained dog can result in fearfulness, anxiety, and behavioral issues that could follow him into adulthood.

  • You and Your Puppy Aren’t Alone

Training a puppy on your own at home is easy… if you know exactly what to do, and how to do it. Participating in Puppy Socials and training classes at Hillary’s Hound House will help you cement your bond and create the companion of a lifetime. There is a lot to be said for having the support and feedback of a professional trainer and fellow students. It also makes for great play dates when all of the puppies and their humans are on the same page. Like trying to exercise to a video, it’s easy to make mistakes if there’s nobody right there to correct your form – and nobody to tell you when you’re doing an excellent job. In class, you get all of that – and enjoy the journey. 

  • Your Puppy Learns Important Skills
At the top of the wish list for any new puppy owner is potty training. For owners who don’t take their puppies to school, their training might end there – or maybe they’ll go as far as teaching their dogs to sit. When you enroll in Jumpstart Puppy Classes at Hillary’s Hound House, basic obedience is just the beginning. Our goals for puppies include much more, like riding in the car quietly, learning how to be alone, running into their crate with little prompting, learning Stay and Go to Your Place, and equally important, “Potty Perfect!” Potty Perfect training at the Hound House is when your puppy goes potty on command wherever you go, learns to ring bells to go outside, or learns to use a dog door.
 
Throughout the course of your puppy training at the Hound House, your puppy will also learn how to walk nicely on a hands-free leash, come running when called, and learn what’s okay to chew (and what’s not!). Finally, there’s something called Bite Inhibition; teaching puppies how hard they can bite down on your hand or foot. Bite inhibition is a critical component in every mature dog’s repertoire and can mean the difference between a trustworthy and knowledgeable friend and a dog you watch carefully in public. And as always we keep training fun and dynamic, because when you blur the lines between work and play, you’ll have a willing and enthusiastic pupil.
  • Your Puppy Will Learn Faster

You’ll be astonished by how quickly and how much your puppy will learn during his training. The art of training and socializing a puppy includes fun and games that are designed to build the habits and behaviors you want. At Hillary’s Hound House our classes are designed to get you and your puppy moving and functioning as a team. From sitting and looking into your eyes to walking with you on a hands-free leash, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your puppy will begin to solve problems and focus on you as leader. Very soon you’ll find yourself using these new skills outside in new places, making the socialization process easy and enjoyable.

  • Not all puppy training classes are created equal, through…
Make sure you look for a trainer who is friendly, passionate about the art and science of puppy training, and who’s got great testimonials from happy customers. Ask about training methods and your trainer’s philosophy. You want a trainer who’s gentle and effective rather than punitive. Also, be sure you connect well with the trainer; you want to be able to ask questions without feeling embarrassed. Take a look at the training facilities, too – they should be clean and safe.
 
Hillary’s Hound House is accepting registrations for upcoming puppy training classes now. We’d love to give you a tour and answer your questions. Even more, we’d love to help you and your new puppy get the best possible start to a happy life together.
 
Click to read more about our puppy training classes – or give us a call at: 415-453-4515.