When should we start puppy kindergarten?

  • Missi and Cooper are 10 weeks old today! Some folks on this forum have suggested socialization for the pups. I was curious as to when and where we should go. Our local PetSmart offers classes. Are these worth while?

  • After they have all thier puppy booster shots, which is about 12-16wks.

    I took my dogs to PetSmart and was very happy with it. They have since changed some of the things they do but still over all a great program.

    But first go in and find out what time the classes are so you can observe the trainer and get a feel for themand also talk to them. I talked to my trainer before putting my dogs in and was very happy with her. Reggie now has his CGC and my other dog I had at the time went through all thier classes but wasn't able to get her CGC because the AKC changed thier standards about the instructors giving the test.

    I don't know if your Petsmart has it, but the one I went to also had puppy play groups where you were able to take your puppy in and let them play with the other pups. But you either had to be evalutated by the instructor or have attented a class to participate.

  • Puppies need to have their first round of vaccinations and for some classes they ask that they have had their second round also. You do not need to wait until you have finished the entire series of vaccinations. IMO the sooner the better for puppy kindergarten both for behavior and socialization reasons. You want a positive reinforcement class for you puppies. http://www.apdt.com has a trainer listing and you should call around and see if you can observe a class since not all trainers mean the same thing when they say positive reinforcement.

  • Beth I sent you a private message with the link to what looks like a great training school in the Cleveland area.

    I have heard that there are many very good Petsmart trainers…and that their curriculum is quite effective and humane. But, as everyone said, I would check it out first to see if you like the trainer, and program.

  • Will do! Thank you very much for the guidance. We've taken many of the suggestions we've received in the last few days. Missi and Cooper now have an ex-pen so they aren't cooped up in their crates during the day while we're at work. We've also bought a bag of Solid Gold food to try (we'll mix it with what we've got now as it is used). They love their Kongs, and they are accumulating quite a number of toys to play with, although I think their favorite is still my pantleg 🙂

  • Solid Gold is a great food, that's what I feed and I know several other people here feed that also.

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