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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We are thinking of bringing our puppy to a playgroup at the Zoom Room, either that or doing their puppy preschool class. Basically all of their puppy obedience they offer he already has down so we kind of want to focus on either him being able to play with puppies at the playgroup or learn a little and play which is the preschool. Has anyone ever been to the Zoom Room? I have never been to a puppy class or playgroup before. Any suggestions on what to expect or things to watch out for at any in general? Basically anything you have experienced that would give me some insight. He is 9 weeks old right now. Will be 10 weeks on Saturday the 30th and up to date on all of his shots which is rightfully required to go there.

Thanks for any advice!
 

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My answer will probably not be popular...

When my adult male was a pup, we did puppy play time after class. It was a nightmare & I quickly noticed there was no benefit to the play sessions. The only dog that matched his play style was this awesome cattle dog pup, the rest he plowed through and the owners were upset/nervous. He’s a GSD pup, they play rough and are vocal.

It also was harder for him to focus at the next class because he was distracted by the other dogs. After about 3, I stopped going and left when class was over.

I wanted him to be around other dogs, not act like a jerk but remain focused on me. The other dogs in class & in life in general became lawn furniture, they didn’t matter. That was my goal.

I have a 12 week pup who I will be starting class with. There won’t be any puppy playtime before or after class.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My answer will probably not be popular...

When my adult male was a pup, we did puppy play time after class. It was a nightmare & I quickly noticed there was no benefit to the play sessions. The only dog that matched his play style was this awesome cattle dog pup, the rest he plowed through and the owners were upset/nervous. He’s a GSD pup, they play rough and are vocal.

It also was harder for him to focus at the next class because he was distracted by the other dogs. After about 3, I stopped going and left when class was over.

I wanted him to be around other dogs, not act like a jerk but remain focused on me. The other dogs in class & in life in general became lawn furniture, they didn’t matter. That was my goal.

I have a 12 week pup who I will be starting class with. There won’t be any puppy playtime before or after class.

See that was one of my biggest concerns. I know GSD puppies play rough! I was worried about him making the other owners paranoid or getting hurt/ hurting others. I don't know how other peoples puppies will act and I don't want his constantly improving behavior to deteriorate because another owner didn't train their puppy as well as I have been. I have friends with adult dogs that I would trust him to play with. I also don't think he needs training. He is excelling in his training with us. I just though he might like playing with puppies and if it's worth it. Worse case we keep our adult dog play dates and wait until he can start regular classes and we may do private.
 

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See that was one of my biggest concerns. I know GSD puppies play rough! I was worried about him making the other owners paranoid or getting hurt/ hurting others. I don't know how other peoples puppies will act and I don't want his constantly improving behavior to deteriorate because another owner didn't train their puppy as well as I have been. I have friends with adult dogs that I would trust him to play with. I also don't think he needs training. He is excelling in his training with us. I just though he might like playing with puppies and if it's worth it. Worse case we keep our adult dog play dates and wait until he can start regular classes and we may do private.
At 9 weeks old he still DEFINITELY NEEDS TRAINING....Get him in the same room around a bunch of other dogs and work on training around those distractions! Most are pretty quick/easy to learn at home and then need to train over and over and over in as many different environments around as many distractions as possible.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I completely agree with you. I've been working with him on that. I've been slowly increasing his distractions. The worst part about summer is it's bee so incredibly hot and humid I don't keep him out for long. That's another reason I was thinking the Zoom Room. To improve his training and give him some different play time in the air condioning. I'm just worried about crazy puppies with sharp teeth and stuff. It's consistently been in the 90s here heat index sometimes in the 100s. Plus we live by the beach and it's real humid. Seems like it's rained every night since we got him. We only been able to fit a few walks each day that are pretty short. I really do want to train him in various environments, you're so right about that. Maybe I can call them before each available class and go during the week, hopefully smaller classes so we can built up, if not only for him for my comfort too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's an awesome link! I'm definitely going to go through my own version of many of those activities! I guess it's really not too nessesary for him to meet other puppies. I was just thinking it would be a fun, different thing for him to do depending on how many pups are there. I guess going out and doing all these things he is bound to meet more pups besides my friend's.
 

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Great list! I live in a city and we're going something similar. My girl is fearless about the city noises, sites and sounds and crowds (wasn't crazy about the glass elevator but neither was I). She did get to meet some livestock fairly close up after a ride in the country, but sure wish we had regular access to boats, kayaks, water, mountains, streams! Also wish I didn't work full time, I'm exhausted already. Lol.
 

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Put me on the no list for puppy mingling/play groups :) Last thing you really want is a dog conditioned to equate strange dogs with F-U-N. Engagement with them and being the one who is the most fun/rewarding thing in the room to focus on will make all other future training fall in so much easier.

I made the mild mistake of getting a 5 month old GSD when I had a 9 month old pit mix. I am dealing with some of the same issues that people have when they get littermates. As a result my boyfriend (we do not live together) takes the pit Ruger for most of the time and we are training them separately. It was either that or crate and rotate. Trainer said I had to be more fun than Ruger for Valor. Welp, that is a tall order. Ruger is pretty fun lol

So yeah, your dog at this young of an age learning to associate all other dogs as wickedly fun playtime won't do you much in the favor department. Next puppy I get (if I get) all dogs in the house will be mature.
 

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Here's what the socialization classes I take Mei to looks like. They call it "Pack to Basics" and she loves going to it. It is every saturday and doesn't cost anything if you've at least paid for any type of training from the place, which is nice! There is like four to five trainers in the class to ensure nothin crazy happens. I've been to a lot of these classes and have not seen any type of scuffle between the dogs. The trainers have very strict rules and I've yet to see a problem with the dogs and owners. They even have three one hour classes based off age/weight of the dog.

If the "zoom room" is anything like this socialization the only thing I would recommend to watch out for is to be prepared for some of the dogs to poop/pee on the floor. Everyone, owners/trainers, are really good at this one to clean up messes real quick. It happens for like the first 15 minutes because the dogs are excited at the start. Mei has yet to relieve herself in these classes, which I'm so happy for. I'm pretty sure a dog fight could happen, but there are so many trainers there it would get squashed real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the advice everyone!! I'm going to try and take every point of that list and apply to to my city. We don't have mountains but, he will be going on trips with us after he has his shots so mountains will be here in the next couple of months. I'll call Zoom Room and ask to watch a class to see how things run, if they have smaller classes I may bring him a couple times a month to practice with the distractions and to their obedience instead of playgroup. We live in a beach city and go to dog friendly beaches. I just want to make sure he knows how to act around dogs that aren't ours. I think I'd prefer him ignoring them and focusing on us but sometimes late at night there is like one dog family. If they want to run around and play together I would like that to be a safe situation too. But I guess this can also come by, by following the list Sunsilver provided. These places will have him encountering other dogs, maybe pups. I've been taking him on walks around my neighborhood and making them different each time, sometimes they start out the same and we switch directions just to throw him off. Plus I like him knowing our neighborhood and how to get home. My old dog got out of our backyard before and my neighbor said they saw him walk over by the canal by our house, go pee, and walk back to our house. Gate ended up being open by a random city employee, we didn't know they stopped by, and he didn't shut the gate.
 
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