Our Puppy Preschool Program is well established and very popular. It is therefore advisable to book well in advance! Classes are usually on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings between 7 pm and 8 pm at the clinic and each class runs for 4 weeks. Puppies between 8 and 16 weeks of age are welcome and must have had their first vaccination. We aim to run new classes starting every 2 weeks depending on puppy numbers.
Puppies are at their most sensitive to learning from 8-16 weeks of age. It is critical that during this socialization period that puppies are exposed to positive experiences and the basics of good manners are taught. These good manners are not only directed towards their owners but also to other puppies.
By the conclusion of preschool puppies will learn:
1) Confidence and therefore be friendly towards other dogs and people. Early socialization allows the pup to be exposed to a variety of other breeds of pups (not just their littermates), people and children. Puppies learn fundamental dog body language and confidence in handling especially belly exposure.
2) Controlled Play. Short play sessions are incorporated with more formal talks about common health issues and problems. Puppies learn there is quiet time when they must wait patiently and not be the focus of attention.
3) Appropriate Play. Puppies teach each other the appropriate levels of play biting. Another puppy yelping and then ceasing play is usually a good indicator that the game has gone too far. Staff members are always present to step in when necessary to ensure the safe running of puppy preschool.
4) Restraint and Handling. Mock veterinary examinations and grooming sessions teach the puppy that coming to the vet clinic is fun and not always about having injections! Puppies that have attended preschool walk into the clinic confidently as they have had positive association with the clinic setting.
5) Owners will benefit. They will learn about puppy health care, common diseases, learn leadership skills and basic dog training. Mini competitions with prizes are held and participants meet and interact with other puppy owners all in a fun setting.
Puppy preschool aims to create solid foundations in a positive environment. Puppies grow up to be the best canine citizens in Bathurst!