According to a study conducted by Rachel A Casey., Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 152, 52– 63, puppies that attend 2 puppy classes prior to 12 weeks of age have a reduced risk of social issues by about 1.6 times. Wow, that is big!
There are a lot of reasons people wait before attending classes. Here is a list.
1. Many people still don’t know puppies should begin classes before they have completed their first set of vaccines. The American Veterinary Behavior Association recommends puppies begin attending puppy classes by 8 weeks of age.
3. They think they can do the training themselves. Maybe they can, but it is very difficult to get in all the socialization necessary on your own.
4. Puppy charm – who can get mad at a puppy. At this stage, the symptoms of a problem don’t seem like an issue to the owner.
5. Time – It takes time to train a dog. The thing is a well trained dog takes a lot less effort to live with than one that is not trained.
Owning a dog with social issues is not pleasant and does not full fill the dream most of us have for our dog. Much of the time, the owners of dogs with this issue are stressed out and sometimes have to make dreadful, heart wrenching decisions. In addition, many of these dogs end up with compromised quality of life, not because the owner does not want better for the dog but because the dog just is not able to cope.
We want a dog to be a companion in all aspects of our lives not just at home when we are the only ones around. Encourage the people you know to start training classes with their puppies no later than 10 weeks of age so they can greatly reduce the probability of this issue. If they take your advice, you will be giving them an extremely valuable gift.