Puppy Kindergarten Classes
Puppy classes are the MOST important class you will ever take with your dog. Setting your puppy for a foundation of success in their most critical developmental period is essential to having a well-rounded adult dog. Puppies have their own set of challenges and developmental hurdles and having a professional to guide you along the way is of utmost importance. Puppy classes are as much for you as they are for the puppy. Starting a puppy's training during their socialization period helps to create a more confident puppy that has a desire to work with you. Our puppy classes are designed to not only help you learn to work with your puppy in creating great training foundation, but to also help you be proactive with having a successful relationship with the puppy, prevent and work through any undesirable puppy behavior, and most importantly, work on socialization for your puppy. Puppy Kindergarten with Elite Pet University is the best puppy training you could receive and you will be able to set the stage for having an amazing puppy!
*COVID Requirements* Due to the COVID pandemic we are limiting the amount of family members that can attend to allow for more social distancing. Only 1 family member may attend with their puppy. Everyone in attendance will be required to wear masks when inside the building, no exceptions. At the first in-person class, you will be required to sign and fill out a waiver stating you have not been exposed to COVID and you are not displaying any symptoms. If you have any symptoms of COVID, you have tested positive for COVID, or you have been exposed to COVID, you will not be permitted to attend class.
Puppy Kindergarten: Puppy Kindergarten is for puppies ages 8 weeks - 5 months old. Any puppy 5 months old or older will need to sign up for the Freshman Course instead. Puppies must be current on vaccination boosters for distemper/parvo and bordetella. Puppies must also be parasite-free with a clean fecal from their veterinarian OR proof of being on current heartworm treatment that also covers intestinal parasites. You will need to email a copy of proof ahead of classtime or bring a copy to the first class and each time your puppy gets a booster updated.
Supplies: You will need to bring a regular leash, collar and/or harness, clicker, 2-3 different kinds of soft treats, 2 toys (no balls or toys requiring throwing), mat or blanket, notebook and pen to take notes, poop bags.
Curriculum: The best time to start training your puppy is when they are young! It is important to set the foundation for skills later on down the road. The socialization window for puppies starts to close at 12-16 weeks of age, so working on those skills before then will be imperative. Puppy classes will also be a great way to build up your new bond and relationship with your puppy.
In Puppy Kindergarten, we will work on socialization, confidence-building, handling skills, while also covering some starter manners such as sit, down, come when called, focus work, relaxation, and loose leash walking. We will also discuss how to work through common puppy problems such as potty training, crate training, nipping, chewing, and more. At the end of the 6 weeks, your puppy will be eligible to test for their AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy certificate.
Class sizes will be limited, so grab a space so you can join us!
To register, click the link below. You will need to create a client profile and then you can see upcoming classes and register. You are not guaranteed a space in class until it has been paid for; payment is due at time of registration.
Next available class: Tuesday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Puppy Class Safety
Our Safety Protocols
One of the most common areas of concern we hear when it comes to starting puppy classes is with concern for a puppy being exposed to or contracting parvovirus. Puppies should be receiving their booster vaccinations every 3 weeks until 16-20 weeks. Once a puppy is fully vaccinated, then an owner typically feels like it is safe to take their puppy out and about. Unfortunately, by that point, your puppy's socialization window has closed and that window of opportunity is gone. In working with puppies, you want to find a balance between keeping your puppy safe, but also making sure we are starting training with our puppies and are putting focus on socialization.
"The primary and most important time for socialization is the first three months of life. During this time, puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli, and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing over-stimulation manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. Incomplete or improper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/or aggression. Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact, behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters. Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age."
-American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
Socialization is of the utmost importance, but we want to make sure it occurs safely so we can limit the risk of the puppies contracting any illnesses. All puppies are required to be current on distemper/parvo booster vaccines and should be receiving vaccines every 3 weeks until a minimum of 16 weeks. If a puppy is not current on vaccines or an expiration is a few days expired, the puppy may NOT attend class. If your puppy is current, but we do not have record of the updated vaccines, your puppy still may not attend class. We need to have a copy of updated vaccinations for OUR records to make sure everyone in class attendance is safe to be there. If you know you are taking puppy classes, plan on bringing your updated vaccines with you to class or, just email us an updated copy once you get home from the vet. There are no exceptions and you will not be granted a refund if you can't attend a class due to missing vaccinations. We also need to see proof of the bordetella vaccination (kennel cough). Some veterinarians do not give the bordetella vaccine unless you ask, so make sure your puppy has it and you can provide proof of it. We also require your veterinary paperwork show that your puppy has had a fecal examination that is free of intestinal parasites. If your puppy has a fecal examination and has intestinal parasites, such as roundworms or hookworms, your puppy needs to have a clean fecal test before they can attend class. If your puppy has parasites, they need to be cleared before they can attend class so we are not exposing other puppies to those parasites. Again, make sure your veterinary paperwork reflects this clearly. Typically the itemized receipt you get when you take your puppy to the veterinarian's office will clearly display all of the information we need for our records.
Once you start classes, you will begin in the Puppy Kindergarten Orientation, we will discuss how to safely socialize your puppy out in the real world. We will also have some ideas for you on where you can take your puppy, what places to avoid, how to properly socialize and what you should and should not do. Socialization does not need to be overcomplicated, but we do want to make sure you are socializing your puppy safely.
Want to make sure you are staying on track with what you should be learning in Puppy Kindergarten as well as earning your AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy? Then download our Puppy Kindergarten Checklist to help you keep track!