Puppy Socialization Classes in Toronto
Number of Classes to Attend: Up to 4
Timeframe for Completion: Commence and conclude your program such that your medium/large breed dog graduates no later than around 16-17 weeks of age, or toy/small breed dog graduates by 20 weeks of age. Starting and ending earlier is always better!
Start Date: This program is non-linear, meaning students can join at any time.
Number of Classes: 4 class credits to reserve your puppy’s spot on our Puppy Socialization schedule. You can take the modules in any order or sequence you wish.
Who is this for: Puppies commencing this program should be between 8 to 12 weeks old if they are a medium or large breed puppy; smaller breed puppies should also be between 8 to 12 weeks old, but could be as old as 16 weeks old upon starting.
Your puppy does NOT require all their vaccinations to attend this program. A minimum of one puppy booster, deworming or negative fecal test is required, and they should be kept current on their schedule during the duration of their attendance.
Larger breed puppies closer to 16 weeks of age should start in Foundation Skills class.
This class is for prepared puppy owners that planned ahead and understand that the critical socialization period of a puppy is between 8 to 16 weeks. They know that during this developmental period, carefully implemented socialization experiences towards people, other dogs, and the sights and sounds of urban living will significantly reduce the likelihood of fear, anxiety, and aggression issues arising later in life. These owners understand that prior to complete vaccination, their puppy needs to have a rich socialization history and that a well-run puppy socialization class is a key component of that. This class is designed for these owners and their puppies.
Each class will consist of three components – 1) Structured, supervised, and healthy socialization opportunities, both on and off-leash for the puppies in the classroom 2) Weekly socialization topics and best-practice advice and practical exercises 3) Very basic clicker training exercises.
Regarding vaccinations: The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour recommends that puppies attend well-run puppy socialization classes prior to receiving all vaccinations. Inadequate or improper socialization is a greater risk to a dog’s long term well-being. Per their recommendations, puppies with only their first set of vaccinations, and one deworming or negative fecal test are welcome to join classes, and should continue their vaccinations over the duration of the program. In a very recent 2013 study, the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association found that puppies that attended a well-run puppy socialization class prior to the age of 16 weeks were at no additional risk at contracting parvo, over puppies that did not attend puppy socialization classes. A puppy socialization class held indoors in a sanitized environment is not the same as taking an 8 week old puppy to a disease-filled dog park. If your breeder, veterinarian, or other people advise keeping your puppy indoors until after they have completed all their vaccinations, they are simply not up-to-date with current information.
- Puppy Topic: Nipping and Mouthing / Appropriate Play With Your Puppy
- Socialization Exercise: Resource Guarding / Food Bowl Safety
- Training: Attention and Walk With Me
- Puppy Topic: Visiting the Vet and Groomers
- Socialization Exercise: Accepting Handling, Restraint, Grooming
- Training: Attention and Down
- Puppy Topic: Canine Body Language, Preventing Fear, Anxiety, and Aggression
- Socialization Exercise: Exploring Strange Objects and Sounds
- Training: Attention and Polite Greetings
- Puppy Topic: Crate Training / Alone Time Training / Housetraining
- Socialization Exercise: Socialization to Being Left Alone
- Training: Attention and Hand Targeting (Touch)
Cost: $150 per dog plus HST (Effective September 1, 2014)