Do I Need to Take My Puppy to Class to Socialise Them?

November 12, 2022 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s great that you are thinking about the best way of socialising your puppy and setting them up for a successful future as an adult dog.

You may be considering if puppy classes are a good fit for you and your puppy. 

This can often leave you with a few unanswered questions:

Will puppy classes help to socialise my pup? 

Will classes provide my puppy with socialisation?

Will my puppy get to socialise with other puppies in class?

What Is Socialisation?

First we need to look at what socialisation is, when it comes to raising a ‘good’ dog.

Socialisation is about preparing your pup for life as an adult dog, learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society and developing them into confident, well mannered dogs.

Does this mean they need to play and interact with lots of other dogs, puppies and people?

Nope!

Socialisation is about teaching them what you want them to do as an adult dog. As an adult dog, it’s likely you’ll want them to ignore most people and dogs, and not constantly want to run off to play. 

Socialisation Vs Socialising 

Socialisation is the act of learning how to behave in an acceptable way in society.

Whereas, socialising is mixing and interacting with others.

Sometimes when raising a puppy socialising can hinder good socialisation. 

So What Do Classes Help With?

Training classes are there to teach you how to train your dog.

The added benefit is that your puppy will be being socialised at the same time. They will be learning to focus on you, settle around other dogs and ignore people in a busy environment.

Which will pay dividends when your dog hits that teenage phase. 

They are rarely for socialising, such as letting puppies off lead to play with each other. That can be done in better places in a way that doesn’t hinder your training. 

Classes are a place of learning and engaging as a team, instead of learning to ignore you and find everything else more fun. 

You will get support and advice on the best way to develop your puppy into an awesome dog, as well as coaching on how to train your puppy all the life skills they will need.

So, Do You Do Socialsing Sessions Then? 

We do not do sessions that involve letting multiple puppies off lead in a small area to interact and play.

This is because it is rare to get the right mix of puppies and dogs to provide good experiences for all puppies involved.

We often have behavioural cases where a dog has had bad experiences in such settings and has developed fears or anxieties around other dogs or people. We also have many teenage dogs that have learnt bad habits at these kind of sessions and are in the process of unlearning them in classes.

For our members we do offer social walks where dogs and puppies can interact, which are guided by a trainer to ensure all dogs have a great experience and learn good manners with other dogs. 

Backed By Science

Kutsumi, et al. 2013 conducted a study to compare the outcomes of puppies that attended training classes and socialising parties.

Training classes were shown to positively impact adult behaviour!

Puppies that went to training classes, over socialising parties had:

Significantly higher response to commands.

Significantly more positive responses to strangers.

Improved obedience. 

Additionally, another study showed that puppies that attended training classes were less likely to be surrendered to rescue as adults (Duxbury, et al. 2003).

We don’t not do free puppy play to be killjoys, it’s because we want the best for your puppy! 

Reference List: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23018794/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12839065/

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