So what can you expect if you join a Puppy Class at Rockin’ Dawgs? You’ve got a new puppy and you don’t know where to start. You need to start classes, but there seems to be so many options as far as trainers, methods, location, class size, etc. that you just don’t know which way to go!
This blog entry is just for you! Today I’m going to try and break down our Puppy Training Class, so you know exactly what you are walking in to when you join Puppy Class at Rockin’ Dawgs Positive Dog Training facility in Rockledge!
So first, we start with the layout and landscape of the classes. Rockin’ Dawgs is an indoor training facility, which means no having to worry about class being cancelled every time it rains, no mosquitos, no working your puppy in 90 degree Florida heat, no dirty dog to bathe from playing in the dirt during class and no stress of picking up fleas or ticks while at class! That’s a lot of pluses right there!
The training area is matted with blue exercise mats covering the floor. This means better traction, no slipping and sliding, no cold hard title surface and no dirt to worry about. It is also a much more inviting working surface for our shy, short/no hair, and smaller dogs.
Class size is limited to 5 or 6 puppies max. This gives you an ample social experience and allows the trainer to spend more individual time with each puppy during class. Our puppy class is only for puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 months. Our classes do not discriminate an animal’s size or breed. That means the Chihuahuas puppies learn along side the Great Dane size puppy and EVERY puppy is welcome…there is no bad breed list here! This is important because large breed puppies need to learn how to socialize nicely with smaller animals, be it a smaller dog, cat or squirrel and smaller breed puppies need learn bravery around bigger dogs and not be fearful of them.
Next, let’s get to know your trainer. Kim Mayes, owner and trainer at Rockin’ Dawgs, is the most credentialed trainer in Brevard County. She has been training for many years and has worked with thousands of dogs. If you want to see her background, just check out the About Us page on this website. As a person, Kim is one of the most positive and patient people you will ever meet. Class is inviting and when you walk in the front door she’s more apt to drop to her knees and say hi to your puppy than she is to shake your hand first! She likes to tell a funny story or crack a joke here and there, because above all she wants your Puppy Class experience to be fun for everyone involved, low stress and enjoying every fleeting moment you have before the puppy age is long gone.
So what do we DO in Puppy Class? Well this is the big important question isn’t it. Some puppy classes are geared just for socialization and seem more like an hour long puppy playtime than a training class. Other classes are geared more for competition obedience and instead of dealing with common behavioral issues you might need the most help with, they are filled with week after week of repetitive boring practices of Sit, Down, Stays and Heel and just suck all the fun out of learning.
Puppy Classes at Rockin’ Dawgs are unlike any other in Brevard County. They are 6 weeks long and you meet for 1 hour each week. That’s pretty common, however, what you learn and how you learn it, just simply blows away any other training classes in the area.
The first day you come to Puppy Class, Kim will first check everybody in and make sure she has received your vaccination records and enrollment forms. Then she will give you a little seating arrangement around the room. She will give you some quick tips on how to let new puppies greet for the first time and let the crew get acquainted with each other. You will get some handouts with information at the beginning, and then the first day is sort of like Parent-Teacher conference day. Everyone gets to introduce their puppies, including all their habits (good or bad) and then Kim will go over all the things you need for class including treats, collars, leashes, homework each week, length of practice sessions, adding distractions and whatever else you might have questions about. This is the day to absorb all the people training skills!
The 2nd half of the first class you start a couple basic skills. Nothing to major, really it is their day to just get acclimated to all the new movement, noise, people and dogs that they are not accustomed to. Some puppies are happier than life on their first day and others are timid and want to hide. There are no expectations of you or your puppy on the first day! Your job is to go home practice what you learn, and then we will try it together after you’ve been able to have one week of practice.
Week Two the fun begins! The next 4 weeks are filled with a variety of training exercises and games to make things enjoyable and stimulating for the puppies. Each week you will learn one or two new obedience commands, you will focus on different behavioral issues each week as well, such as how to stop jumping, how to deal with play biting, working on potty training, how to deal with the crazy puppy zoomies around the house and all the other things that creep up during these young months. To learn these new commands and work through these behavioral issues you play different games in class so everyone is having a good time. Sometimes we’ll have friendly puppy competitions where you can win a prize to make it all more fun!
When you make it to Week 6, it is a celebration day! We take a little puppy skills test and then Graduation Day ensues! We take their graduation pictures, earn diplomas and have a good time together. Kim will go over all the amazing options you have after puppy class as far as training goes and encourage you to keep socializing, practicing and just plain doing more with your dog!
So that’s our Puppy Classes in a nutshell. Super fun, super informative and run by a real pro in the business. Now, if you haven’t done it already…get signed up today!! We can’t wait to see you 🙂