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Puppy Parent - Class Instructions

Although one goal of classes is to teach the puppy basic commands, the MOST important reason for puppy class is socialization – the ability to meet and get along with other dogs and people. Dogs that don't go to puppy class often grow up to be fearful or aggressive when seeing new dogs, and people.  Puppy daycare in addition to puppy class further benefits puppies by encouraging positive social experiences. Puppy play parties at least weekly before six months of age, and at least monthly for the first 1 - 3 years of life can have a lasting positive impact on the adult dog personality.


Before the first class, be sure the puppy meets the following requirements:

  • A veterinary physical exam to rule out any contagious skin condition
  • At least one set of vaccinations, to be repeated every 3-4 weeks
  • At least one de-worming, to be repeated on a monthly basis
  • No fleas, and on a monthly flea prevention program


1)   Bring a Ziploc bag of REALLY tasty treats. Generally, this means small pieces of meat, cheese or anything else the puppy really likes. The puppy should not get this particular treat at home, only during these special training classes.

2)   Fast the puppy – no food – on the day of the class. Water is fine. You can feed a small meal afterwards. We want the pup hungry enough to totally focus on a food treat, even if very distracted.

3)   Wear casual clothing so that you can get down on the floor with the puppy, and have no problem with dog hair from hugging puppies.

4)   Bring a nylon head collar or flat neck collar and a 4-6 ft leash.  Do not bring the dog in a slip or prong collar.  Head halters are encouraged for larger, more active puppies.

5)   Arrive early enough to take the dog for a brisk walk before class.  Try to get the pup to eliminate before class (Bring poop baggies in your pocket.), and release a little nervous energy.  Please give one treat when getting in the car, and one as you arrive in the parking lot.

6)   Attempt to bring the entire family to class. Any child under 5 will need an adult dedicated to watching that child. (i.e. someone other than the primary puppy handler.)  Children, ages 5 and 12, are very HELPFUL in class, since one of the goals is to teach puppies to be comfortable around kids. The kid's role will be to give at least one treat to each dog in class, as long as the dog accepts the treat gently.[1]

7)   Do not bring the pup to class if acting sick, coughing, or if diarrhea is present.  However, we DO recommend that you come without the pup to see what is learned, so you can work with the pet at home.  If YOU cannot come, try to find someone else to bring the pup.  Makeup for missed classes if allowed until the dog's adult canine teeth come in.

[1] If a dog is too rough taking treats, close your hand around the treat, and slowly open the hand only if the dog is gentle.  The dog has to learn the quickest way to get the food is to be gentle.

...::::::: Copyright 2000-Present  All Rights Reserved by Rolan Tripp, DVM  and Susan Tripp, MS, Animal Behavior Network and Associates :::::::...