Puppy preschools are designed to socialise puppies, educate owners and give puppies a solid introduction to basic commands. There are plenty of puppy preschool options around with local vets, the RSPCA and private dog training businesses all offering courses. After a bit of research I chose to take my new best mate to Positive Response Dog Training.
As the name suggests, Positive Response Dog Training encourages only positive, reward based training rather than punishment. Its 4 week Premium Puppy course is designed for puppies aged between 8 and 16 weeks. The course is delivered at locations in Annerley, Cleveland, Greenslopes, Springfield Lakes and Thornlands.
At $185 (or discounted price of $175 if pre-paid 3 days before course commencement), it's a pretty significant investment. Courses are run at a range of times and days.
I enrolled my little champion in a Saturday class held in the underground car park of the Greenslopes Pet Café on Logan Road. The dank car park venue is a bit underwhelming but it was immediately clear that the trainer knew her stuff.
We joined 5 other puppies and their owners. The puppies were initially partitioned off from each other to avoid distractions. Each class went for about an hour and a quarter, with the last 15 minutes generally reserved for the highly entertaining puppy playtime.
The course included discussion of the best food and treats for your puppy, worming, washing, avoiding dangers like ticks and how to toilet train your puppy. The first week was a bit dry and all about educating owners but the course became more practical as it progressed. Basic commands such as sit, drop, stand, give and come were introduced and practised, as well as walking on a lead. The undoubted highlight each week was puppy playtime, although the playpen was a bit on the small size. The trainer took excellent care in ensuring puppies with a similar temperament played together, keeping playtime safe and enjoyable.
Positive Response supplies online training notes to help you educate your puppy between each week of the course. These were clear, concise and certainly of value.
Positive Response Premium Puppy is not cheap but is a good starting point for your puppy's education, particularly for first time dog owners. The trainers are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and do their best to keep each week fun and interesting.
Best of all, puppy preschool is a great excuse to hang out and bond with your best mate.