What do you want to see in a puppy class? - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
What age are the puppies? Is it up to a year, or younger?
I would want to see just the "big things" covered.
---Come when called
---Don't jump on people
---"drop it" and "leave it" (I don't believe in trading, sorry, but that will get into a long discussion of training philosophy better left for another time)
---Sit/down/stay, especially down as it's used for "discipline" when necessary
---walking on a loose lead, not pulling like a freight train
---impulse control
---watch me/focus on the owner
Also information for the owners:
---how to teach bite inhibition
---help with housetraining
---help with chewing/destructive behavior
---what is and is not property play behavior (manners)
For confidence building, I like to see puppy classes that have different surfaces for the puppies to walk on. They put down, for example, a plastic tarp, a piece of astroturf, a plastic kiddie pool, the agility table on the ground, and many more. Then the puppies take turns with their owners (puppies are on leash) walking around the building, testing each surface.
I like this list with the "go to your mat/place" addition. The things that I would have liked to have more emphasis in my puppy classes are: "focus on owner" but not just on command, "come when called", and don't jump on people. Approaching this as more of a pet owner than a competitive sport owner, I do like some socialization. Proper socialization is a priority for me.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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Too funny. I thought puppy playtime and pass the puppy were the best parts, though I can see why others might not like it. We only had 4 puppies in the class and we didn't do pass the puppy until a few weeks in. Also, the instructor was really careful about which dogs played together. So we didn't have all 4 together at the same time. I thought it was useful to find out how your dog plays with other dogs, when your dog is rude, when your dog has had enough, how to get your dog back. Some people would be going to the dog park, so that's useful to know. (We don't do the dog park, too many dog fights.) Pass the puppy, well that just made me feel better about my dog. I learned that while my dog was mouthy, he wasn't a biter. And that maybe I should have gotten a pug. Seriously, that pug was the sweetest thing.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 08:18 PM
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I second the "go to your mat" - I think that is great.

How about grooming/handling skills? Being calm while being brushed, examined by a vet, nail clipping, etc.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 01:48 AM
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I've been teaching puppy classes for nine years, and I generally include:

Puppy basics- house training, crate training, puppy mouthing, puppy proofing, handling, restraint, etc.

Basic obedience behaviors - sit, down, stand (morphed into puppy push ups), LOTS of work on come when called, and response to your name.

Socialization to the environment - sights, sounds, smells, surfaces, people, places and things.

Practice polite greetings w/ others.

Keeping puppy on "your" radar screen vs. letting puppy loiter at the end of the leash "lusting" for what he can't reach.

I do play pass-the-puppy on the 5th week of a 6-week class. I think it's a good socialization experience when properly managed, and people like to see their puppy "behaving" for other people.

I also do puppy-to-puppy play groups specifically to teach owners to "see" what I consider good play and when, IMO, it's appropriate to intervene/redirect ... and why you don't let puppies and adolescents play for long periods of time w/o redirecting them to their "thinking brains" for a bit. So we play for a few mins ... casually round up the pups ... do some puppy push ups and get some owner focus ... then release back to play, etc.

I aslo talk about multiple dog households and the importance of teaching subsequent dogs how to be "alone."

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