Hi there! We will be getting our puppy on May 6 when he is 8 weeks old. Our breeder told us we could take him at 7 weeks, but I read that during the 7th week they go through a fear stage and should stay with their mom until 8 weeks. I also watch my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter quite often and feel that the xtra week would be good for the puppy. But the main reason is that 8th week I am still in school and work and timed this so I'd bring Miles home when I am not so busy.
Anyway, on to my question. My daughter has a 4 year old lab and she sent him to a trainer nearby who we are very pleased with and plan to use with Miles. This trainer only does one on one training starting around 4 mos. He doesn't hold puppy kindergarden classes. I keep reading that puppy kindergarden is very good for puppies. I am wondering if it would be a bad thing to start out with one trainer, then switching at 4 mos. Thoughts?
Another question. I am very confused about puppy kindergarden. I keep reading that we shouldn't take the pup around other pups until they've had all their shots (4 mos) but they should go to puppy kindergarden starting around 10 weeks. How can that be done? Is it safe if all the pups have had at least the shots they should've had to that age?
Thanks in advance for your advice!
I wish we had a one on one trainer around my area. I would have used that. I think the important thing is that Miles gets socialized. Whether that is at puppy kindergarten or elsewhere. I personally think the one on one training sounds wonderful. I would have used this and not gone to puppy kindergarten. Also, I wonder if puppy kdg. is suggested because it helps in the training process. Is it actually the classes or the training that is so good? I don't know. I can tell you from experience that we didn't learn much at our classes. But, we live in a smaller community and resources are pretty limited.
Good luck on your new addition. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and reading up before the little guy comes home. Enjoy this time - they get big SO quickly.
I didn't - and wouldn't - start puppy kindergarten until after all of the shots are complete. Many of those types of classes are offered in places like PetSmart where a zillion dogs -- no doubt, many unhealthy -- have been. It just didn't seem worth the risk. But it is important socilalize your dog by exposing him to as many new sights, sounds, people and dogs as you safely can. Can he perhaps play with your daughter's lab or a neighbor's dog that you know is healthy?
Puppy kindergarten: For me... my #1 goal in enrolling in a puppy kindergarten is to get Ender socialized as much as possible. #2 would be any training benefit we receive.
As for finding a puppy kindergarten (I noticed your post in my thread)... what I did was find a local dog training club... thankfully living in a big city (Milwaukee) helps a lot and they usually have puppy kindergarten classes or can point you in the direction of one. It also might help to ask your vet if they know of a place that has puppy kindergarten close by.
This concerns me. Except in rare circumstances (like very specific SAR training or field training), your dog shouldn't be 'sent' anywhere for training. You and he should go together. Nobody will teach Miles better than you will. It's a bonding experience and works best when you and he work togehter, not when someone else overlays training 'on' him.Originally Posted by MilesMom
I hope I merely mis-read your stmt.
I don't know much about P-K at all, as I never used it. But my sense is that it's a lot of play and only a smidge of training, with the goal of getting the dog used to other dogs. Which IS important, but can easily be done w/out paying for it, IMHO. After shots, of course...
Actually, you can send a puppy to classes after the third round...but I would avoid the Petsmart classes...and go to a local kennel club for classes.
I, like dweck, am too worried as to why you would need to send a 4 month old away for training. Training is one of the best and most rewarding things of owning a dog. Your bond grows in strength and you learn all of the nuances of dog ownership through training.
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I'm one of those crazies that starts puppy kindergarden asap, Piper was 8.5 wks and Darwin was 9 wks when the classes started. I agree that I wouldn't do it at a vet, petstore or park but I brought my furkids to a doggy daycare where I knew all dogs that entered the building were up to date on shots.
I also wanted to say that your breeder should be more than willing to keep your pup that extra week. I was in the same situation when I got my chocolate boy...breeder let pups go at 7wks but I had college finals that week and it woudn't have be fair to either of us to bring him home then.
Okay, this is very helpful. I won't worry about puppy kindergarden because Miles can spend time with Bailey (my daughter's lab) and my other friend's dogs for socialization.
Dweck, you sort of and sort of didn't misread my post. The trainer we use (Jim) does one on one training starting at 4 mos. You meet with him, do the training, go home and practice and when you are ready you call and set up the next session. Unlike Petsmart, or canine school, it isn't a block of weekly classes you buy and go back week after week, ready or not. My stepdaughter didn't have the time or patience to do this so she dropped Bailey off for a week of intensive training when he was about 6 mos old. Jim will do that as early as 5 mos. We plan to do individual sessions starting at 4 mos. But, my DH and I are going away for a week in August and we can either send Miles to a kennel for boarding or to Jim for boarding and training. We had such good results with Bailey, we think we'll send Miles to Jim when we go away. Why not let him get training while we are gone? Then we practice and Jim will do refreshers with us for free after that. Our thinking is that it worked so well with Bailey, why not try the same with Miles?
Jacks & Labs, my breeder is more than happy to keep Miles the extra week. She's wonderful.
Got it! As long as, for 99.99999% of the training, YOU are on the other end of the leash, it sounds great!
Oh yes, we will be working with him every day!