I am not a fan of puppy parties run by vets.
Normally the setup is in a veterinary reception area which aren’t known for being spacious.
There are quite a few puppies and they are put on the floor and left to it while the vet nurse discusses worming or neutering.
Oh the carnage!!
The puppies that are unsure about other dogs leave petrified after being bounced on for half an hour.
The puppies that are bouncy, over the top and like to use the other puppies as chew toys leave thinking other dogs are great to chomp on until they scream.
Luckily these days we know puppies need to socialise and meet other puppies but how do you go about this?
After all, bad socialisation can cause problems that last a life time.
Don’t fear though, we cover this in class.
When I allow puppies to play I will always do it two at a time and ask owners if they feel their pups are shy or a bit over the top.
I will pair puppies up who have a similar play style and are of a similar size to start with.
So what do I want to see when I allow pups to play?
Well before they come off the lead they have to be calm, in a sit and focused on Mum or Dad. Once they are, the lead will be unclipped and pups are allowed to play.
I want to see the dogs being a mirror image.
One dog is the chaser, one is the chasee. The dogs then swap roles. The chasee becomes the chaser and vice versa.
One dog is on top while the other is on the bottom. These dogs then swap so the one on the bottom is allowed to get up and squish the other pup.
If I see one puppy always being pinned, always doing the pinning, always being chased or always being the chaser I will then intervene.
I will get hold of the pup so the dog on the bottom has the chance to get up or the puppy that is always being chased can decide if they want to continue play. They show this by re approaching the other pup or they can walk away from the other dog and the play ends.
I call myself the referee. Everyone needs to be having a good time and behaving well. If I see something that concerns me I step in.
Just like with kids we don’t just allow them to run wild or we shouldn't!
I always want lots of breaks in play for them to calm down and refocus back onto you.
There is nothing worse than a dog who you let off the lead and they disappear off the full length of the park to harass another dog!
You have to walk all the way over and after spending quite some time finally manage to wrestle your dog away from the other one.
They are then jumping all over and screaming trying to get back to the other dog.
If you come to my puppy classes this won't be you!
We need to teach our puppies what is appropriate. It doesn’t come naturally to them
and that’s fine but we need to give them that helping, guiding hand.
Want to give you pooch the best start? Grab a place on our Puppy Life Skills course. There are only places available on our daytime course starting next week.