I get this question a fair amount. I’d rather get this question than have people simply skip puppy class, believing that their other dog(s) will socialize the new puppy. It helps to have dogs at home, but it’s not enough, and it may convince you to not be as diligent in socializing your new puppy.
Why it’s important to still take your puppy to a training & socialization class:
- Your other dogs are not enough socialization.
This is a key time for learning about how human/dog society works. They need to meet several dogs outside of the pack. Lots and lots. And the safest way to do that is in a puppy class like the one at Ahimsa, where we clean with a virucide the night before puppy class and we supervise play time. Your dog needs to learn all kinds of canine “accents,” rather than the shortcuts that housemate dogs can use with one another. And every dog and every breed is a bit different. For example, the way that a Corgi says “ease up!” is different from how a German Sheperd or Cocker Spaniel or Whippet my ask for calmer play.
- Puppy class isn’t just about socializing with dogs.
In Puppy Training & Socialization at Ahimsa, for example, we introduce your puppy to new people, children (usually), scary noises, odd surfaces, interesting scents, and more. As a trainer, if I got a new puppy, I would even take my own dogs to a puppy class. Other trainers in the Seattle area have brought their puppies to Ahimsa over the years.
- Puppy class isn’t just socialization.
It’s a time for you to bond with your puppy away from the rest of the dogs in your household. They need to see you as important, and bond with you, not just the other dogs. Puppy class is also a time to work on basic skills like sit, down, stay, leave it, come, and leash walking.
Don’t miss this chance. Your puppy is only a puppy once! Click here to read more about How to Socialize Your Puppy.