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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm looking for some advice about if and when to take Hattie to puppy classes.

She will be 11 weeks when we collect her. My vets runs 'puppy parties' where puppies can socialise and meet each other. Has anyone taken their pup and if so was it worthwhile?

Also I was wondering about training classes and whether I should just take her to these instead as she will meet other dogs there. What age should a puppy start this sort if thing. Would it be as young as 11 weeks?

Am excited but also fairly daunted by the thought of training a puppy as have never done it before! Any advice appreciated!

Eleanor
 

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I did not take Betty or Ted to puppy parties - although they can be good for socialisation I have heard they can be a waste of time unless well run. Most puppy training classes will insist that the puppy has had all it's jabs so any time after then. I have got a 1-2-1 session with a trainer with Ted tomorrow ( all part of the class package) and will start classes with him on Monday - he is 13 weeks. Betty started much older because of her attack at 12 weeks but most classes insist the puppy is under 20 weeks.
 

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I would say the sooner the better, but most places insist on full vaccinations first. I have heard mixed reviews about the puppy parties at vets - some of them can be great and some are terrible. You'd need to really speak to the vet to find out exactly what happens - or ask if you can go and watch one first. If the dogs are just allowed to run around out of control then, in my opinion, it can do more harm than good. Our puppy training classes (which were are a training facility not at the vets) were excellent. Gisgo was 16 weeks before we could get started (sooner would have been better, but you have to start at the beginning of a 6 week slot). They had "formal" training parts and then a lovely supervised play part, where the trainer started by just letting the dogs loose in pairs until she worked out their personality and then she knew which ones would be okay together. By the end of the course they could all play together every time (about 6 or 7 usually) and they would play first and then "work" afterwards. So good for socialisation - particularly for us as we do not know any people with dogs that we could go and mix with!
 

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If you find a good trainer a puppy socialisation group can be fantastic for pups. Vincent was pretty shy to begin with but as time has progressed he is a very social dog now.
The training class we took Vincent too (and now do the advanced classes) allowed pups from 13 weeks, up to 6 months. After 6 months they could go to an older dog session.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some great advice, thanks. Perhaps I won't bother with puppy parties!

Anything I should be looking out for when I enquire about puppy classes? Do any of you mind telling me roughly how much you paid and what that included so I can get some idea of what's ahead!

Thanks!
 

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Some great advice, thanks. Perhaps I won't bother with puppy parties!

Anything I should be looking out for when I enquire about puppy classes? Do any of you mind telling me roughly how much you paid and what that included so I can get some idea of what's ahead!

Thanks!
Milo's first class cost £25.00 for Kennel club and £2.50 per week for 1hour session.I took him for 10weeks,total waste of time.There were too many pups in a confined area and not particularly helpful

The class I've joined now is £30.00 to Kennel club and £2.00 per week for 6 weeks.I've only been once but in that 1 session I've learnt more of what is expected of us.There are fewer pups in a larger area and the trainer has give me positive feedback on problem areas with Milo.We work as a group and individually
I would look at the size of the class but more importantly at the attitude of the trainer who will offer guidance when it is needed
 

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It's definitely worth doing it sooner as Biscuit wasn't able to start until he was 18 weeks, due to not getting a place earlier and then having the Xmas break, etc. Her cut-off was about 20 weeks too and the problem with starting too late is Biscuit had already learnt all of the basic commands at home and so it was more like a socialisation class. However, it was really good for him to learn to respond to those commands with all the distractions of the other puppies and it was also good to meet and learn about the other breeds that were in the class. I think it was an 8 week course and cost about £48.

Our puppy parties were a waste of time too. There were only four of us but the vet nurse spent most of the party trying to calm down this lab/boxer mix, while we kept ours on their leads!
 

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I didn't do puppy parties either. Went straight for Puppy Training, which cost £75 for 7 weeks. Look for classes that offer Clicker Training and positive reinforcement.

I then went onto Improvers, which is a follow on from Puppy Training.

Millie has also tried Rally training, which is like a mild Obedience class, but it wasn't her thing. And also Tricks Training, which again was too slow for her. Now I'm in Agility which she is loving.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Millie has also tried Rally training, which is like a mild Obedience class, but it wasn't her thing. And also Tricks Training, which again was too slow for her. Now I'm in Agility which she is loving.
:)
Amazing all the different classes that are out there!

I have emailed a brighton puppy class and will take it from there. Thanks for all the advice.

Eleanor
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have had an email from a great sounding trainer in Brighton who can offer Hattie a place on 2 puppy socialisation groups (40 mins each) but then no training class until september as she is on a break over the summer holidays.

This would mean Hattie would be 18 weeks old before doing any training classes which is obviously a bit late. i am not sure what to do :confused:

The other classes I could find are far, out of Brighton, and without a car I can't get to them.

Would it be a good idea to pay for 1:1 tuition in the meantime or is it about the socialisation too? Obviously I will be taking her out everyday in the summer whn I am off and exposing her to lots of different experiences. Is it imperative that I take her to a puppy training class befire she is 18 weeks old so she can mix with other dogs? Is seeing them out and about on the street and in the park going to be enough?

Any advice appreciated!
 
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