Join Our Puppy Social Class. It's Free!
Help your puppy become a well-adjusted adult and live a long and fear-free life!
What is a puppy social class?
Canine Training Academy puppy socialization classes focus on low-stress exposure to positive experiences and various aspects of everyday life that your puppy will have to learn to deal with living in a human world – exposure to people, dogs, surfaces, noises, uniforms, people wearing funny clothing, etc. During class, we are always taking precautions to ensure any social or environmental interactions are experienced in a safe, non-stressful, non-threatening way. This is the best and safest way for your puppy to experience interactions with other puppies and encounter things associated with the human world. Our staff is very experienced in monitoring the safety and well-being of all our class participants. Our number one goal is to provide positive interactions and experiences for young puppies.
Why is Puppy Socialization important?
Puppies who are lacking in appropriate socialization opportunities often develop negative behavioral challenges later in life. Unfortunately, many owners don't begin to socialize their puppies until it's too late, completely missing their puppy's most critical socialization period - 8 to 16 weeks, at which point owners are working against the clock and their puppy's natural brain development timeframe for developing critical social skills. Time literally runs out for puppies to develop the social skills they need to become well-adjusted, adults out in the world. Don't make this mistake and condemn your puppy to a life of anti-social or fearful behavior! To understand more about the importance of early puppy socialization, please check out the guidelines set forth by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
How do I sign up?
We require you to call for a reservation for each session. Classes are limited to 4-5 puppies per class and one attendee per puppy due to the current pandemic restrictions.
Who should attend this class?
Puppies between the ages of 9 to 15 weeks. Reactive and fearful puppies are encouraged to attend, though we ask that you check in with an instructor prior to entering the training area so we can set up a "safety zone" to minimize your puppy's stress at its first class. Also, please wait for 7 to 10 days after you bring your puppy home before participating in a class.
What to bring to class:
On your puppy's first day, please bring:
A copy of your pup's vaccination records to date. See Vaccination Requirements. Please note, we are looking for DHPP or DHLPP. Dogs are REQUIRED to have received these two vaccinations prior to attending. DHLPP / DHPP are given in a series of boosters, so dogs that have not completed the series are still able to attend as long as they are staying on schedule with the series.
Your puppy's collar, or harness and leash.
Treats - more than you think you will need. Please let us know when you check-in if your pup has any special diet considerations and should not be given treats by other participants.
If you suspect your puppy is not well, please do not bring it to class until they are feeling better. This policy helps keep all our attendees safe and healthy.
But my puppy isn't fully vaccinated yet...
The risk of a dog losing its life or home because of a behavior problem (being put down or surrendered to a shelter) is much greater than the risk of him contracting a disease from another puppy during puppy socialization class.
While it is not recommended you socialize your dog at unsanitary locations like the dog park or the pet store, we take special precautions to provide an environment that is cleaned prior to each puppy class so that there is a very low risk of contracting illnesses. Still concerned? Check out the articles linked below and see for yourself that the benefits of early socialization should be part of raising a socially competent dog!
What does this class cover?
During the puppy socialization class, we have several structured activities centered around play, body handling, recall, early intervention for guarding behaviors, and exposure to novel objects your puppy may encounter in the everyday environment. This class allows your puppy to get used to meeting new dogs and people of all ages, exposes them to novel environmental objects and, encourages healthy interactions with strangers and other dogs.
Class activities also expose the puppy to handling that they will encounter throughout their life such as grooming or veterinary appointments. A healthy portion of the class is dedicated to off-leash playtime with other puppies of similar age and size with a focus on developing off-leash recall during high distractions, having collars handled, body handling, and much more. We'll also discuss the importance of bite inhibition and how best to deal with normal puppy biting. By combining playtime mixed with a structured curriculum, we set your puppy up for successful interactions with other dogs, people, and the environment around them. They learn from each other how to communicate and play appropriately in a group setting so that later in life, this type of social interaction isn't so scary or stressful. Instead, it becomes a positive experience for all. We also provide ideas for you and your new puppy on how to gain exposure to new environments and people outside of class and cover basic care and management and training solutions for unwanted behaviors. Dogs that have received the benefit of early socialization and exposure can, and do go on to lead happy and fear-free lives!
What does this class cost?
You may give (donate) whatever you're comfortable with if you wish. Most participants opt to chip in $10 per dog per visit. Your generous donations go to help pay for: Our awesome assistants, treats, props and toys, heat, lights handouts, and more.
Worried about COVID? Our class size is limited to 4 puppies and one family member per dog. Face masks are required at all times and hand sanitizing stations will be provided. Please read our Covid-19 response message before attending.