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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hattie was really looking forward to her first puppy party but oh dear not good experience. There were about 10 puppies and once we were all in a fairly small room the vet nurse said to let them all loose! Now I am a fan of Ceaser Millan and one of the things he says about puppy socialisation is NOT to have a free for all. Hattie was overwhelmed by the whole thing and the bigger dogs spent the whole hour chasing the smaller ones. No one was listening to the vet nurse they were all watching the puppies and talking to each other. I did leave before the end as I could not see the point in stressing Hattie further. She went out today and had a lovely play with a springer and terrier in the fields where there was plenty of room. Not sure If I will go next week but may do just to see what the 'dog behaviourist' has to say!
 

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Sorry it wasn't fun for you. Were they all puppies? what are the ages of dogs allowed?
Playing out in the fields would be a great time for her. They do work alot out on their own, but I am sure it was overwhelming with that many dogs in one small space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry it wasn't fun for you. Were they all puppies? what are the ages of dogs allowed?
Playing out in the fields would be a great time for her. They do work alot out on their own, but I am sure it was overwhelming with that many dogs in one small space.
They may have been younger than her, ideally I would have liked her to have gone when she was about 12 weeks but that did not fit in. I know they can get quite anxious around 16 weeks and this may have been the problem but there just did not seem to be any structure. However we will have another go and hopefully she will meet other dogs in between.
 

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ALL of them off lead?? :eek:
I would def not go back but i would ask them to re-look at how they are run them! I set rules at the beginning of class as to what to do/ not do when the puppies are off lead (basically do nothing and i will deal with it). I only have 3 off at a time as this allows 2 to interact whilst another can look about (ideally)- that way if it gets out of hand or bullying starts, it is easy to break up. Also, 10 puppies for 1 person is far too many.....
 

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Rosie's puppy parties had about 7 or 8 max, and to begin with, they let two or three off at a time. By the end, they were letting them all off together and allowing a lot of rough play specifically to let them learn how to establish social pecking orders and to understand each other's body language. But, if one was overly dominant and causing stress (I was so ashamed - it was Rosie! All out of playfulness though) we were asked to put them back on the lead for a while.
 

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I am going to my 4th puppy playgroup session tomorrow and there are 6 or 7 dogs and three rooms. They are split into groups of 2 or 3 depending on temperament and size etc. when we are all in the same room having a talk from the nurses, all the dogs are on leads and given kongs filled with boiled chicken to keep them occupied whilst the talk happens. It's all calm and organised. I wouldn't be happy with a free for all. I think you were right to trust your instinct.
 

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Rosie's puppy parties had about 7 or 8 max, and to begin with, they let two or three off at a time. By the end, they were letting them all off together and allowing a lot of rough play specifically to let them learn how to establish social pecking orders and to understand each other's body language. But, if one was overly dominant and causing stress (I was so ashamed - it was Rosie! All out of playfulness though) we were asked to put them back on the lead for a while.
This was very similar to the puppy parties I took Nacho to and all the puppies were eventually let off the lead with the same reasons as you have said -social pecking orders and body language etc'. This happened on the second session. First session they were all on leads and split up into two groups. Probably about 6-7 in each group. All the puppies were quite young (I think the eldest was 14 weeks) and they all got on brilliantly. I can understand that it can be quite daunting for puppies though but in my personal experience Nacho loved the freedom and ability to move away (sometimes more difficult when on a lead) if things got a bit too playful. TBH though Nacho was more interested in the treats that the nurses had hidden in crooks and corners! He ignored most of the puppies and growled just the once when a springer spaniel jumped on his head and sat on him! :)
 

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Vincent went to puppy class, there were never more than 7 pups (age up to 6 months I think) and all had to be on the lead until the trainer said they could come off (only if they were focused on training not the other dogs!) and if a dog ran off they would have to go straight back on the lead!
I think puppy class is really great, but not by the sounds of your one. Maybe try and find another local one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Vincent went to puppy class, there were never more than 7 pups (age up to 6 months I think) and all had to be on the lead until the trainer said they could come off (only if they were focused on training not the other dogs!) and if a dog ran off they would have to go straight back on the lead!
I think puppy class is really great, but not by the sounds of your one. Maybe try and find another local one?
Tks, have just emailed to see if any places left at puppy pre school dog training,(not run by same people but someone who I went to years ago with my cairn) originally did not follow that as doing puppy parties but will try and get into pre school may be more age appropriate. To be fair the puppy parties were supposed to be for puppies under 14 weeks but Hattie is 16 weeks but she was not the oldest. I think they should have been stricter on the age limit enforcment.
 
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