Training class or socialisation class or both?

Fiona

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Hi all.... Me again with the 4mo terrier. .

I've been to a puppy socialisation group where the leader said she didn't believe in formal training classes until the dog was older, and I've also just started an 8 week puppy training class where the leader said tonight she didn't really recommend the socialisation group/doggy fun park type thing..

In my albeit novice opinion, there is a place for both but am I correct in thinking I can do both with my pup?

My view btw is probably shaped by my last terrier, who in hindsight wasn't socialised enough as a pup and was therefore nervous with strangers both dog and people. Needless to say I DON'T want to make the same 'mistakes' again and would rather do too much than too little. .

Any advice please expert people...



Fiona
 
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Cahill

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lovely pup x i would do everything going.
if the park thingy is a free for all i would step in and do some of my own stuff (eg `watch me` and sits ect`) so play and training mixed
 

Fiona

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That was my thinking cahill...

If i incorporated some basic sits downs and recall at the dog park then what could be the harm in it?

But I'm open to correction obviously. .

Fiona
 

Annette4

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The only puppy class I've been to was a mix of both. They had to work but got fun play time in between to let off steam and allow them to learn those social skills as well.
 

3Beasties

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I've taken mine to training classes from a young age and one thing I wish they could have done was to be let off lead for a play. So I'd say if you've got the option to do both then go for it - just make sure the play doesn't get too rough!
 

galaxy

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I think a mix of fun training and socialisation is important. But actually I don't think an overload of puppies playing together is that helpful. They tend to play full on, with little doggy manners and if you're not careful puppy will grow up thinking that's how you behave with dogs which will land him in trouble. So yes, find puppies to play with, but I think it's really important puppies socialise with well rounded adult dogs who will teach puppy how to behave politely.

I took my youngest to puppy agility from 12 weeks. I think it's benefited him a lot more that the normal boring obedience stuff I did with my older one. There was no jumps or anything that could damage him. But he learnt how to behave around dogs, as well as sit wait etc etc but a lot of it is all off lead recall and control which I think has been much better as I want my dogs to be off lead on a walk mainly.
 

alliwantforchristmas

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socialisation is fine as longs pups aren't learning to be bullies and victims - so it shouldn't be a free for all scrum, just two or three well-matched pups off at a time, with folk ready to call away if needs be. class should also include passing pups politely on lead and greet and move away calmly - all helps to avoid dog who can't cope with meeting others on lead/seeing others on lead through frustration etc. And lots of practice of calling away from play and then letting pup go back to continue - nothing worse than a dog who won't stop playing when you want to go home.

obedience should be more than village hall, should be out in the real world and working around real distractions (safely) as much as possible. if both classes are good and you can do both then go for it. if they are poorly organised you are better setting up your own socialisation and training sessions or looking further afield. It's old fashioned thinking to say pups are not ready for formal training until they are older - comes from a time when leash corrections and telling off were a normal part of class and training was too harsh for youngsters. now classes should be reward based, food reinforcers, toys, play, praise etc and no use of leash corrections or hands on coercion. your puppy person may be a bit old-school in her thinking.
 

Fiona

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Thanks galaxy, annette, 3beasties and allIwant.....

I'm really grateful for the advice.

The training class is an 8 week long course with option to continue afterwards, and its very force free.. There is so much treating I ran out last night and had to borrow some :( silly me...

The socialization was one off dates over the winter (I went three times, one was puppies only and other two were small dogs).. Now their outside doggy fun park has opened and I'd like to go.. It will be a mix of pups and grown up dogs, small breeds. I'll go once and see how it works out, if it is too mad I can book an area to myself during the week and maybe bring a friend..

Thanks ladies..

Fiona
 

SusieT

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yes, do both but dont let your pup get jumped on at the more socialisation play groups - this can damage them mentally and physically.
go an supervise and simple remove pup from the situation if another dog is being over bearing etc.
 

Fiona

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Thats what I was thinking susieT....

If it gets too mad, then leave, and go back in a smaller group or with a friend. I might even be able to persuade one or two of the puppy class people to join me, as we were talking last night about taking a walk after our class to let the pups get to know each other..

Fiona
 
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