We strongly suggest you start with our Puppy Manners & Social Skills class, which is for puppies between 8 and 16 weeks at the start of class. Puppies attending six classes (either Puppy Manners or Puppy Kindergarten) will be able to earn their AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy certification, complete with a medal and an AKC diploma! STAR Puppy requirements
After Puppy Manners & Social Skills class, puppies should go on and attend a follow-up, more structured Puppy Kindergarten class, which is for puppies from roughly 4 to 6 months old. So if your puppy is already too old to start with Puppy Manners & Social Skills, he would start with Puppy Kindergarten.
Puppy Kindergarten and all subsequent classes are typical, structured, six once-a-week classes. However, before Covid hit, the Puppy Manners & Social Skills class allowed puppies to join at any point in the rolling enrollment succession of classes. NOTE: WE MAY RESUME THIS ROLLING ENROLLMENT FORMAT AFTER THE COVID CRISIS IS OVER; BUT DURING THE PANDEMIC, WE MUST LIMIT EACH CLASS TO A PREDICTABLE NUMBER OF PUPPIES TO ENSURE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Both formats–Rolling Enrollment and six consecutive weeks classes –include an off-leash play period, giving your puppy opportunities to learn how to interact safely and appropriately with puppies of all sizes and breeds. Puppy Manners classes give your puppy opportunities to discover that the world is filled with a wide variety of puppies, people, places, and things that they can approach without fear or shyness. We are heeding the decades of canine cognition studies, which have definitively shown that this is not the time to teach dogs to obey your commands! So our puppy classes provide the foundation for doing so, but it’s much more about your learning to develop a mutually fulfilling relationship with your new puppy, as you teach him not only how to learn, but to love learning from you!
During play period, Deborah monitor the puppies, pointing out what constitutes appropriate puppy play behavior how to interrupt inappropriate play. Owners must also interact with each puppy, to help with their social skills. Generally this means noticing if a pup comes up and offers a polite sit for attention. This way, puppies will learn that ALL humans–not just their owners–ignore jumping up for attention but will reward a polite sit. Each class includes a “calm down” period, wherein the puppies are taught to relax in restraint while their owners learn the lesson that is covered that session (See Puppy Manners Calendar).
“We LOVED your class and can’t wait until the next one. I’m so glad you were recommended!”–Nellie B.
Long ago, it was thought that puppies shouldn’t leave home before they had received all their shots. Nowadays, it’s a well-accepted view that to be effective, the socialization process has to occur before the series of vaccinations is completed. For more information on both the socialization stages of puppies and the current view on puppy classes, CLICK on the following links:
- Vets now urge immediate puppy socialization, in a well-run Puppy Manners class: Article explaining why veterinarians now recommend starting puppies in group classes even before they have completed theirvaccinations
- Socialization Article; Detailed discussion of what “socialization” encompasses and why it needs to be done before a puppy is 14 weeks old
IF YOUR PUPPY IS BETWEEN 8 AND 16 WEEKS OLD at the start of class, you would start with the Puppy Manners & Social Skills class.
Click here for Listing of Puppy Manners Sessions
IF YOUR PUPPY IS BETWEEN 4 AND 6 MONTHS OLD when you start with us, you would start with the Puppy Kindergarten class. Also the next step for PUPPY MANNERS GRADS, it refines and extends most of the issues that are addressed in Puppy Manners, but it also starts simple obedience skills.
Click here for Listing of Puppy Kindergarten Sessions
IF YOUR PUPPY IS BETWEEN 6 AND 12 MONTHS OLD and has NOT taken a Puppy class from us yet, you would start with the ADOLESCENT PUPPY OBEDIENCE CLASS. NOTE: Those puppies who have already completed Puppy Manners and/or Puppy Kindergarten will skip this class and move directly into one of the Basic Obedience classes.
NOTE: Once the threat of Covid is no longer an issue, the Puppy Manners class will return to the “rolling enrollment” schedule, as described below. But as of April, 2021, we are NOT using this format.
Puppy Manners & Social Skills: This class is for young puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old when he starts the class. It provides positive socialization experiences, solutions to common puppy nuisance behaviors (for example, housebreaking, chewing, nipping, jumping), and foundation obedience training. (Six classes for $150) Once you have emailed me that you would like to enroll, you and your puppy may come to any of the classes, which are offered Saturdays at 10:00 am and again on Mondays at 6:00 pm. But you must first send an email to playfulpupstraining.com, telling us what day you plan to START taking the classes, so we can email you a “start-up” packet of information!
For example, you could come to Saturday’s class one week, Monday’s class the next…you could even come to both in one week!! Once you have contacted us and have been formally enrolled in these classes, you no longer need to notify us each week to tell us when you’re coming; you’ll be welcome whenever you come (and this way your puppy will get to interreact with a wider range of people and puppies!) Your fee entitles you to come six times, total. But you may continue to come ($25 per time), as long as your puppy is still able to play safely with the other puppies. Bear in mind, Puppy Manners is the only “Rolling Enrollment” class.
Check the Puppy Manners CALENDAR (below) to see which topic will be covered when you come for the first time. It is NOT necessary for you to attend each individual session, 1 through 6; you just continue coming until you’ve been six times. NOTE: If your pup turns 18 weeks before you’ve attended your six sessions, he must be evaluated before being allowed to remain in this class with younger pups. If he’s become too large or plays too roughly, he will have his remaining classes credited to a Puppy Kindergarten class, so he can achieve the six classes required for his AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Certification.
Puppy Manners CALENDAR will be posted here as soon as we return to the Rolling Admission format.
TO ENROLL YOUR PUPPY, HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Use the Contact Us page to let us know that you are interested in taking our Puppy Manners & Social Skills class. Remember: the class has “rolling enrollment,” allowing you to start coming immediately… you should NOT wait until all puppy shots have been adminstered! Waiting makes it too late to establish the best possible socialization/foundation experiences for your puppy!
After you write us, you will receive an immediate reply, with further information on the class and puppy training in general. If you decide the class is for you, you will notify us with the date you plan to start. We need to know, so we can send you the appropriate handouts and other information pertaining to that particular session.
IF YOUR PUPPY IS ALREADY OVER 16 WEEKS OLD, you would start with Puppy Kindergarten, which is NOT rolling enrollment and has a start and end date.
Puppy Kindergarten: This class is for puppies who have completed Puppy Manners & Social Skills and/or are between 4 and 6 months old. It introduces several important skills, including leash-walking, “Come,” and “Stay,” while it continues working on socialization. (Six weeks, $150)
Adolescent Puppy Obedience: This class is for puppies between 6 and 12 months, as well as those puppies that have completed Puppy Kindergarten but are not yet 6 months old. As an adolescent, your puppy is now psychologically and physiologically ready for formal obedience training. The same skills are taught that are taught in Basic Obedience A and B, but your adolescent (6 to 12 months, approximately) pup would best be served in this class, since it addresses the energy level and attention span of most teenage dogs! (Six weeks, $150) Go to the GROUP CLASSES page and download the “Schedule of Upcoming Classes,” to find out when the next class is going to start!