Puppy Training Classes
Want to get your puppy started on the right paw? Our puppy training classes are a great way to teach social skills, good manners, and a positive attitude about learning. We want to teach you how to teach your puppy basic commands and good manners.
Our puppy class is for puppies sixteen weeks and younger who have had at least two sets of vaccinations. Puppies older than sixteen weeks of age are ready to enroll in Basic obedience.
Classes are one hour a week for seven weeks, for $125.
Because puppies are born throughout the year, you can start class with your puppy on any week that we are holding classes.
Puppy class days & times:
Saturday mornings, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am.
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior supports early puppy socialization
A position statement on early socialization in puppies released by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior encourages veterinarians to recommend puppies be socialized before the vaccine series is complete.
The guidelines state puppies can start socialization classes as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. In general, they should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least seven days prior to the first class as well as a first deworming.
Additionally, puppies should show no signs of illness during the classes and should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class.
While veterinarians are appropriately concerned about infectious disease in young puppies, the fact is that behavioral issues—not infectious diseases—are the number one cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age, according to the AVSAB. Veterinarians contribute to these behavioral issues when recommending pets be kept away from possible germs until their vaccine series is complete, the AVSAB stated.
“Puppies go through a sensitive period of socialization when they are uniquely prepared to benefit from exposure to social opportunities. From the time the owner adopts the puppy until 3 to 4 months of age, it is critical that the owner get the puppy out to meet other animals and people, and experience many different kinds of environments,” said AVSAB president, Dr. E. Kathryn Meyer.
“These (unsocialized) puppies may also fail to develop coping mechanisms and grow up into dogs that are unable to adapt to new situations. This can severely inhibit the dog’s quality of life as well as the owner’s enjoyment of the pet,” Dr. Meyer added.
To veterinarians who refrain from recommending early socialization because of the threat of infectious disease, Dr. Meyer suggested taking control of the situation.
“Have the puppy classes in your lobby where you know you can disinfect and you know who has entered,” Dr. Meyer said. Doing so will greatly enhance the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. The pet is happier, and when the owners see this, they are more compliant, she explained.
To view a copy of the AVSAB puppy position statement, go to www.AVSABonline.org and click on Position Statements.
We want to teach you how to train your puppy! Each week, we cover different topics, practice around distractions, and work with you, wherever you and your puppy are at in your training. We’ll do a warm up to get the puppies attention, then talk and cover some topics, then bring the puppies out to practice.
We participate in the American Kennel Club’s STAR Puppy Program. For more information go to www.akc.org STAR stands for: Socialization: Your puppy learns to be at ease around people, other dogs, and the outside world Training: Your puppy learns Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Walk on Leash, Leave it, and other commands Activity: You learn how to exercise your puppy’s mind and body in fun and educational ways Responsibility: Teaching your puppy how to be a good citizen in the human world Other topics we teach include:
- behavior problem prevention and solving
- games to play and teach
- socialization with other dogs
- socialization with other people
Some of the topics we cover our puppy training classes include:
For tips and pointers, browse our puppy training section.
- Kindred Spirits encourages the entire family to attend classes. It’s easier for us to teach the group than it is for one person to come to class and then go home and try to teach everyone else. Plus, other family members may have questions we can answer. This also helps ensure that everyone is teaching the dog the same way. However, with children we have some rules that must be adhered to for everyone’s safety – especially the safety of the kids.
- Children must remain within arm’s reach of their parents at all times. Children must leave other dogs alone. They are not to pet other dogs. Even if dogs are friendly that dog is at class to learn also. Dogs chase things that move–especially children–so kids must walk at all times.
- Children may participate in training with a parent but the parent is the primary trainer.
- The creek and pond at Kindred Spirits is protected wetlands and is not fenced off. Please keep your child up on the top level of the yard and do not allow him/her to go down to the pond.
- Under no circumstances shall a child be dropped off at Kindred Spirits without a parent.
Thank you for allowing Kindred Spirits Dog Training to continue to allow children in our puppy training classes while maintaining a safe learning experience for all.
Puppy Play Time
Any puppy enrolled in Kindred Spirits Puppy training classes can participate in the puppy play sessions. Puppies get to run and play with each other for the entire hour. Puppies playing with other puppies, outside of their family, is wonderful for teaching body language, dog manners, communication and social skills, and a little bit of patience, too!
- ONLY for puppies enrolled and presently attending puppy classes at Kindred Spirits. No playtime on major holidays or in the rain.
Thursdays 5:30-6:30 pm, $5 per session
To register for class:
- Puppies must be at least ten weeks old (and no older than sixteen weeks of age).
- Your puppy must have two full sets of shots prior to starting the class. You must bring proof of vaccinations to first class. (See below for more information regarding vaccinations.)
- Payment may be made at the beginning of the first class with cash, check, or credit card.
- Bring your puppy on the leash and collar that you’re currently using. (Except, the only leash we do not allow on the training field are the retractable/flexi leashes—just a standard fixed length leash is great.)
- Registration will be done at the first class meeting, on the field. Come to our training field 10-15 minutes early the first time you come to class.
- The first time you come to puppy class, one of Kindred Spirits’ trainers will give you (and any other first week students) the first, introductory lesson. Class sessions two through seven will be done as part of the puppy class group, with testing for the STAR program on the seventh class.
- There has been a lot of information, worry, and horror stories online about the canine flu. It spreads rapidly and is quite contagious with a high mortality. Thoughts are now that it originated in some rescue dogs brought in from another country as well as a show dog who was imported and then attended several dog shows. It may well have several origins; we don’t know.At Kindred Spirits it is normal procedure for us to work to keep all dogs safe. We do require proof of vaccinations (or vaccination titers) when dogs are registered for classes and we won’t waive that. However we are not yet requiring proof of vaccination for the canine influenza; that’s a discussion you need to have with your veterinarian. If the canine flu increases in our area (which so far it has not – knock on wood!) then we may change our requirements.If your dog is coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or has diarrhea – or otherwise appears sick – do not bring him to class. Call us and we’ll work with you to make up the classes you missed once your dog is feeling better or when your dog’s veterinarian says he can come back to class.We appreciate your help in our efforts to keep all class dogs safe and healthy. Thank you.