Puppy class 1pm-2pm
The HDTC Puppy Course is divided into four weekly sessions, with a new course beginning each fortnight.
Puppy classes are held at 1:00pm to avoid the distractions of the later adult classes. The puppy classes are suitable for young puppies up to about 20 weeks old, with older dogs welcomed to the club in the Introductory Class. The key elements of the puppy classes are for the puppy to gain confidence in socialisation and to introduce the first obedience exercises.
After completing the course, puppies automatically graduate to adult's Beginner one class, unless the dog is still timid around other people and dogs and instead repeats a week or two of puppies. See below for details of each week's class.
Trainer Tony Farmer taking the puppy class
In week one, the young puppies are introduced to being handled by their owners, with careful attention given to the shy puppy. All new members receive a bag full of extra information including homework sheets to use while training the dog at home. Emphasis is placed on socialising and desensitising the puppy to new experiences and places during this crucial stage of a dogs life. The puppy is introduced to the sit exercise in week one.
Week two provides extended handling for the dog with different people and situations, plus the introduction of more distractions to desensitise the puppy. The correct way to pick up the puppy is taught and practiced, as is the correct way to approach a dog. New exercises this week inlude the recall where the dog comes when called, as well as an exercise where the dog leaves things it is not allowed. The puppies are introduced to a couple of small jumps and a puppy tunnel to allow them to build confidence.
More difficult distractions are included in week three, including (when available) a calm adult dog for the puppies to become used to dogs of different ages. Handling is more intensive as the dogs have become much more used to being touched. The correct way of caring for a dog is demonstrated, especially how to keep nails short. More difficult from week two, puppies are taught not to become too possessive over food in the bowl. The puppy is taught how to lie down and walk in a controlled fashion this week, as well as further practice of earlier exercises and the early phasing out of lures for the sit. Confidence building objects are again implemented for the puppy to play with.
The final week of puppy classes provides the most intensive handling of the puppy, including firmer inspection of ears and the actual clipping of a nail. Puppies are taught not to panic when their owners have left and there is further de-sensitising to different things. Exercises are practiced with further developments including removing the lure for the sit and the dog sitting on command only. Puppies are taught how to give up an object on cue. After this class the owners and instructors decide whether or not to progress to the adult classes, depending on the confidence of the puppy.
Come and learn all there is to know about managing the new puppy in the household.
Consistent training early in a puppy’s life will reap big rewards and prevent problem behaviour.