Puppy kindergarten is a marvelous way for people to socialize their pups with other dogs and other people, as well as large groups, if done correctly. To run a successful puppy kindergarten you must adhere to the following points.
Do not mix ten-week-old pups with sixteen-week-old pups without close supervision and restraint. Each week as pups grow, they move through various developmental stages that affect them psychologically, physically and emotionally. An older pup can unwittingly harm a younger one or even cause a lifelong fear problem.
Be absolutely certain that each pup’s vaccinations are up to date. There are some trainers and veterinarians who will advise owners not to take a pup into a kindergarten until twelve weeks of age. You should confer with the vet you have chose for your facility regarding the risk of certain diseases in area. Assuming you have retained a vet whose opinion you respect, defer to his advice on this issue. Require the owner to provide proof from their vet that the puppy has a clean fecal sample.
Puppy kindergarten is not a basic obedience training class. You can encourage actions such as following behind, coming, sitting, and lying down for brief periods of time just as an introduction. This will encourage both puppies and owners to enjoy obedience work and will give the pups a good foundation for future learning. Though strict, regimented obedience is not appropriate in puppy kindergarten, your clients will appreciate some guidance for working on basic manners with their puppies.
Pups that are roughly the same size and at the same developmental stage can be allowed to play together under close supervision. They may chase one another, play tug of war with pull toys, tumble through inner tubes, and do all sorts of fun things. You would not see any real aggression in very young pups (under the age of five months) unless There is a serious problem. If you come upon a pup that has such a problem, discuss it with the owner privately.
Free playtime should be mixed with some structure. Classes must be kept relatively short—no more than forty minutes. Offer water, especially if the weather is warm, at least fifteen-minute intervals, and observe all the pups in the class for signs of stress or dehydration.
Do not forget to share stories about housebreaking woes! You may spend the last fifteen minutes of the hour long class sitting in a circle, passing the pups from one person to the other for hugs and kisses, while discussing typical puppy problems and getting answers.
Puppy kindergarten is a very laid back class. While there is some structure, the class is mainly a tool to socialize the pups to different surroundings. Most owners who take part in a puppy kindergarten class will continue on through the higher levels of training. This builds a good client base.
As you take this course you will become familiar with many aspects of canine care. This will build a firm foundation for your career as a dog trainer. You will be surprised what questions your clients will ask you and you should be well informed in a variety of subjects.