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Did you put your puppy through KPT classes or any obedience classes? If so, at what age? If not, do you wish you did?

I will have lots of free time to train him myself, but I am trying to decide how vital the formal classes are.
 

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absolutely, but make sure the trainer is positive with everything. It is more for socializing than training, and that is what it is all about! I would take pup as soon as possible, after shots have been given. Don't let anyone correct your pup, and use common sense when interacting with other puppies.
 

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I am doing them now, and I agree with everything Onyx said. It is the socialization that was important to me, but after I got there I realized I knew a lot less about training than I thought I did.
I think the time and money spent will be a heck of an investment.
 

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I love puppy kindergarten classes, but I urge people to be proactive and to take your pup out of any situations that you think may be getting her too worked up or scaring her. Some PuppyK instructors just think dogs should work it all out and I don't feel that way. I observe my dogs and if I see signs of over-excitement (like picking on a smaller dog) or fear (like trying to get away from a bigger dog that is bullying her) I just simply pick my pup up, walk away, put her down and have her stay out of the group until she calms down.

If you've got a group of pups that play really well together (some rough play is expected, of course, and that's fine) then it's really fun to sit back and just watch dog behavior. You can learn a lot from observation of groups like this!

Melanie and the gnag in Alaska
 

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Formal classes are vital (in my opinion). You can't match the socialization in what should be a fairly controlled situation. I know I never have a bunch of friends with puppies the same time I do. And it's good to have them exposed to puppies and adult dogs thru out their lives.

Additionally, dog training has changed alot in the past years. I'd rather have the instant feedback and guidance to teach/train my dog well, rather than fumble along on my own and deal with the issues that may come up from that. Dog classes are fun fun fun also, for me and my dogs. I have met friends that I've now had for years.

So we go for dog hikes, socialization events, train together (for distractions) as well as having a large group of friends that know me, know my dogs, and when I have to go on trips they can take my dogs (no kennel!!!!) and when they have to go I do the same!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the replies...i'll ask again though, because I am a bit confused with this--what age? Some classes in my area say "3+ months" however I have been told by others that 8 wks is okay? Do they just need that first set of shots, or do I have to wait til the later ones?
 

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I always try to bring my puppies as soon as allowed, even if they aren't done with their shots. I feel the importance of the socialization WAY over rides the chance of them getting sick. Specially because I have found that people that are aware enough to even pay and attend puppy classes (or most any classes) are also very good about their puppy health and more responsible than the general public.
 

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Dante was 4 months old when I brought him home in July of 2004 so I didn't have the age issue.
2004 August Puppy @ Petsmart (I had checked out the trainer first)
2004 October Training Basics @ Pup-a-Razzi
2005 February Beyond Basics @ Pup-a-Razzi
2005 August Attention @ Pup-a-Razzi
2005 October Attention @ Pup-a-Razzi

Since then it's been just training fun on my own.
 

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Sasha started puppy kindergarten at 12 weeks - Wolfgang started at 10 weeks. We've been told it was much more important to have that socialization that the full immunization - and we're happy with the results.
 

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I was told at least 2 rounds of shots...So depending on when shots were given, 10 or 11 weeks I would say. We took Argos at 4 months and in my opinion that was too late. He was a monster 40lbs and extremely intimidating to the other younger, or much smaller puppies who were there. We frequently felt like the red-headed step child as we sat in a corner while the other dogs played. (We were in a class with 2 Chihuahuas, A Mini Schnauzer, A Cavi-poo, and a 12 week old lab)

We did Puppy Kindergarten...and I think it's important to realize that in the class (ours anyway) they cram in ALOT of information. I think in large part because this is the only training the average pet owner ever bothers with, so instructors feel if they can teach you how to to teach the basics, your dog will be better off...Don't feel like you puppy has to master everything. Truly I think as far as obedience exercises in puppy class go it's MUCH more about teaching YOU how to teach your dog, then for the dog to actually master the commands...especially a puppy in kindergarten.

I agree with everyone, the socialization aspect is invaluable. Even if you don't let your puppy romp with everyone else, the other dogs present allow you to work on getting your puppy to focus on you and ignore other dogs....that's what we did.
 

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Mine started puppy kindergarden at 12 weeks. I think it's important socialization time with other puppies in a controlled environment. Definitely should do it.
 
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