Puppy class with a difference
Many puppy/socialisation classes use similar setups and approaches. Generally, the class has too many pups for the size of the venue, the individual pups ability to cope in a new environment and social situation is often over looked, and despite a pup maybe showing signs of not coping, he is still forced to, and expected to be able to perform all of the obedience exercises as well as the other dogs. Pups are supposed to complete the same standard of various basic obedience exercise within six to eight weeks regardless of the individual pups ability and more importantly whether or not the pup is happy doing that specific task.
At Gemma's Dog Training & Behaviour I run puppy classes in a very different way. As with my behaviour work, I very much put the pups emotions at the heart of my puppy classes.
So what makes my classes different?
1) small classes - suitable for the size of the venue so each pup has sufficient working space and does not feel overwhelmed by the presence of all the other pups. It also allows me to ensure I can dedicate my time equally among owners and pups to ensure you get the most from me and the classes. 2) No Pressure - I do not care if by the end of week six your dog cannot do a "down". you may ask then, what is the point of going to these classes if the dog does not learn anything? Well let me tell you a little secret, the pup will never learn if he is pressured, stressed, or anxious. So as much as I will work with the owner to encourage gently the dog to perform a behaviour, at the end of the day if the dog is not comfortable doing that certain task then we find an alternative. however, if it is purely down to the fact that the dog is a slow learner then we take our time making little baby steps in training to reach the final goal. 3) Support - as part of my course I provide various topical handouts each week giving owners top tips on various topics regarding behaviour and training which they may come across as their puppy develops. Also as a behaviourist, I am available at the end of each session for Q&A. 4) Fun, Fun & More Fun: I want you and your pup to have fun, if you are not comfortable or having fun then this will make learning for both you and your pup hard. I am known to have a very approachable manner and at no point is any pup or owner judged. 5) It's All Positive - I only use force-free techniques and do not advocate the use of any aversives or equipment which could have damaging effects on the pup mental or physical well-being.
As a behaviourist, I see the negative effects a poor socialisation class or puppy class can have on a pups development. This is the crucial time to start your pup off right. So call me today to see when the next available course is.