Puppy Play Class
Weekly Puppy Socialization Class
For your puppy to be the best he can be!
Our goal is to create the most sound puppies possible through early socialization and training.
Puppies have a critical socialization period that starts at 3 weeks and ends as early as 14 weeks of age. During this critical time, your pup needs to have positive experiences of people, other dogs, surfaces, objects, sounds, handling, and much more. Hanging out at home, your pup is missing out on socialization opportunities. The Puppy Center's Puppy Play Class makes the most of this time through a puppy socialization curriculum. This program is a bonus for pups who are enrolled in our Puppy Kindergarten classes and meet the criteria to attend.
We Have Answers.
Is my puppy ready to enroll in the Puppy Play Class?
Your pup is ready when...
Pup has up-to-date distemper-parvo & bordetella/kennel cough vaccines
Pup has been home with you for 14 days and is showing no signs of illness. (Please be particularly mindful of any sneezing, throat clearing, choking on leash, lethargy, vomiting and loose stools.)
Pup has not attended a dog park, daycare, training, play or boarding program in the past 14 days
Pup is 11-18 weeks of age
My puppy is nipping and biting - will attending Play Class help?
Yes! Puppies learn to bite more softly (and less) through play with other puppies of similar age. When puppies develop friendships and do typical bitey-play, they learn to bite more softly to continue to have those friendships. This is the best and most natural way for puppies to learn what is called Acquired Bite Inhibition or a soft mouth. If your pup was still in the litter, your pup would continue to learn this life-skill through play with them. Puppy Play Class is a way to simulate the play your pup is missing out on having left their litter.
Should I still sign up for Puppy Kindergarten?
Yes! Puppy Play Class is a great supplement, but cannot replace "the humans" learning how to train their pups in necessary life skills. Pups are required to be signed for a Bradford Dog Training Puppy Kindergarten class before joining Puppy Play Class (but they can start Play Class ahead of Kindergarten). Once you have registered for a Puppy Kindergarten class, your pup is eligible to attend Puppy Play Class. Our goal is to create the most sound puppies possible through early socialization and training. To have generalization of learning, you and your pup will need to continue to train and socialize throughout the week. And, most importantly, your relationship with your pup is built through mutual understanding. Check out our offerings here.
What is your training methodology?
Our training methodology is positive reinforcement based training. This means that we use the least intrusive and minimally aversive methods to teach your pup. We break each exercise into small pieces so that your pup learns at his own pace. By making training sessions short and fun, your pup will learn to love training.
What vaccinations are required to attend?
first distemper-parvo (at least 14 days before pup attends class)
up-to-date distemper-parvo boosters (given every 3-4 weeks until at least 16 weeks old)
bordetella/kennel cough (at least 3 days before class)
rabies (only when your pup is 16 weeks of age)
home with you for 14 days (before pup attends class) and showing no symptoms of illness
How long can my puppy attend Play Class?
Puppies typically attend Puppy Play Class weekly until they outgrow their friends, which is typically at 14-18 weeks of age and/or when your pup starts "playing bigger" than his/her friends. Pups who are shy and need more confidence building may benefit from attending past 18 weeks of age.
How many puppies will be in a play group?
When puppies are in play groups, there will be no more than 5 pups. Typically, puppies play in pairs. Pups of all sizes can safely participate in Puppy Play Class because pups will be matched in play groups based on size and temperament. Pups who are shy will be gradually introduced to other pups to ensure that they feel safe. We take emotional well-being very seriously.
My puppy has a behavior challenge - will this help?
It depends. Puppy Play Class is an excellent program for puppies who are nipping and biting their family members. When pups bite their puppy-friends, they learn how to use their mouth softly so that their friends will continue to play with them. Developing this bite inhibition is a vital part of raising a safe dog.
Some puppy behaviors require one-one support and are not manageable in a group setting. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: excessive barking; excessive humping/mounting; urine marking; offensive or defensive aggression; resource guarding people, spaces, toys or water bowls. If your puppy is showing any of these behaviors, please reach out before signing up for your pup's first day so that we can make a plan to evaluate whether or not this program is a good fit for your pup.
Will pups be temperament tested?
Yes, pups will be temperament tested for appropriateness for the program; not just as a means of entering the program, but also throughout their time in the program. So, there will not be a pass/fail evaluation, but an ongoing evaluation of the pups each day they attend.
What will my puppy do & learn?
#1 Goal: Bite Inhibition
How to bite more softly through play with other puppies of similar age who also have baby teeth. This is called developing or acquiring bite inhibition.
#2 Goal: Environmental Socialization
Surfaces, Novel Objects, Coordination and Balance.
#3 Goal: Politeness & Skills
Polite Human Interactions, Polite Dog Interactions, Name Response and Attention. Overall: Building Confidence.
How do I sign up for Puppy Play Class?
Parents of pups who are enrolled in a Kindergarten Class will get a weekly email with details about when Play Class will be held that week and a link to enroll their pups.
What is the cost? When are they held? How long are the sessions?
$20 per session
Weekly (varying days and times)
Approximately 45-minutes per session