Behaviour 2019
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Dog Training Instructor Practices for Teaching Puppy Classes
Mary Burch. American Kennel Club, New York, NY, United States

Training classes for puppies focus on socialization with other dogs and people, teaching puppies practical skills, and teaching dog owners how to better communicate with their dogs. This survey of 1840 puppy class instructors identified instructor attitudes and practices regarding puppy classes.

Instructors responded to questions that pertained to the minimum age of puppies in their classes, the length (in weeks) of the ideal puppy training course, the importance of socialization with people and other dogs, specific skills that should be taught, and the most common behavioral issues seen in classes.

 60% of the instructors offered early puppy training classes. 35% of the classes began when puppies were 8-9 weeks old and 25% of instructors started training puppies at 10-11 weeks.

Nearly 80% of the instructors indicated that a 6-weeks course was the appropriate length of time for a puppy training class.

Coming when called was identified by instructors (81%) as the most important skill to teach puppies, and the most common behavioral issues were house training and destruction of items in the home.