ROMNEY MARSH DOG TRAINING CLUB
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to wait until my puppy is a bit older before going to training class?
Sooner the better really with todays reward based motivational methods. Young puppies are like little sponges and soak up information so easily. One week after their second vaccination they can safely come to class and start to learn and have fun .
Older more punitive methods needed puppies to be over 6 months to withstand the rigours of training. Thankfully methods have moved on. Please note only vaccinated dogs can be accepted for training and you will be asked to produce your vaccination certificate on enrollment.
Can I start socialising my puppy before he's had all his vaccinations and if so how would I go about it?
The sooner you start socialising your puppy the better but obviously you have to exercise caution. If you have friends with gentle, well mannered dogs whose vaccinations are up to date you can allow your pup to meet them in your own or their garden. Invite friends over for coffee etc the more people and well mannered dogs he meets the better in those early weeks. Care needs to be taken not to allow your puppy to walk in public places like parks before he is fully protected. You can of course carry your pup, he'll come to no harm in your arms and you can begin habitualising him to the sound and sight of traffic and other everyday noises. Get him used to car travel starting with very short journeys and with somewhere nice at the end.
I don't want to have to give my dog treats all the time can I use something else?
Anything your dog finds rewarding can be used in training. However nothing is as quick and easy as food rewards and that is why most training classes use food treats. In training class your dog is expected to perform a lot of exercises in a short period of time, in a smallish space, with lots of other dogs about and rewards help to motivate them. Treats are also used to teach new behaviours but will be phased out when your dog is reliably performing that behaviour. However like us they do appreciate an occasional unexpected reward.
I've been told my dog must wear a collar with a name tag, is this true?
Yes! The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that 'any dog in a public place should wear the name and address of the owner either inscribed on the collar or a name plate or disc attached to it' You can be fined up to £5000 if your dog does not wear the correct identification! Public places include your vehicle too! It is also necessary for your dog to be microchipped now and If you attend a class that follows the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Dog Scheme both tag and microchip will be checked by your Assessor or Examiner.
We would like to have two dogs, would it be better to get two puppies from the same litter?
NO! It is a common misconception but getting two puppies from the same litter (or indeed 2 puppies at the same time) will make life SO much harder for you. Lets face it humans are slow and boring compared to another puppy and you will have to separate the pups on walks and to get any effective training done. Please don't do it! Wait until your first puppy is at least 6 months and preferably 1 year of age and then get yourself a second puppy and enjoy both of them.
Puppyhood is an exhausting but magical time that is gone all too quickly - don't forget to enjoy it!