There is a critical socialization window for our puppies that happens between about 6 and 16 weeks. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior suggests that “enrolling in puppy classes prior to three months of age can be an excellent means of improving training, strengthening the human-animal bond, and socializing puppies in an environment where the risk of illness can be minimized”. This important time in your puppy’s life is when we want to gently introduce our puppies to other animals, household objects, outside distractions, and life itself!
Proper socialization should acquaint puppies with common and unique things using a compassionate, delicate approach. It should not be an overwhelming, frightening experience. We want our puppies to learn that other puppies are fun, and that going to class is a gas! If your puppy is a little shy, our expert trainers will help them blossom. All puppies will gain confidence and begin basic manners.
All of the SPCA’s puppy classes emphasize family participation, and you’ll find our classes are very much like workshops where questions are welcome anytime. Owners will learn about positive reinforcement training, safe handling, socialization, and house training, as well as how to prevent nipping, chewing, and stealing. You will learn about your puppy’s mental and physical development, how to “outsmart” that brilliant ball of fur in the prevention of problem behaviors, and begin your puppy’s learning of polite house manners.
Fun for all puppies and people!
We divide our puppy classes by starting age, not by what they may already know. Our puppy classes and social are structured to allow social and learning time for your puppy. We care most about your puppy’s behavior and socialization, as they come first. A scared, shy, or reactive puppy needs extra care, and you will find our expertise will help your puppy feel more confident and prepared for her lessons.
Puppy Level 1 is the first class for puppies starting class at 2 – 4 months old. It is an open enrollment class, meaning you pick your own start and end dates! We require your pup to be 1 week past their 2nd DHPP shot (distemper/parvo) to start class or social. We have 8 weeks of lessons we cover, and you can join us as soon as your pup is ready. You can buy the whole package of 8 classes (which includes a treat pouch), or buy individual classes to fit your schedule. The classes do require a reservation (no drop-ins). Puppies graduating from this class can go straight to Puppy Level 3.
Puppy Level 2 is an intermediate class for older puppies that have not had any classes, and are starting a first class at 5 – 7 months old. This is a 5-week format class with preset start and end dates. This class includes manners and social time. Puppies graduating from this class can go on to Puppy Level 3.
Puppy Level 3 is our well known and popular teenaged puppy class. It is for puppies starting 7 – 18 months. Reserve your spot early as we always sell this class out!
Oh no! I can’t get my puppy into the right class and I’m worried about socializing her with other dogs! No worries, we got ya covered! Join our Puppy Social (for puppies aged 3 – 5 months old) on Tuesday evenings at the SPCA Training Center. Your puppy can go to the social concurrently with Puppy Level 1 or 2 classes, or just attend socials until she’s ready for Puppy Level 3.
If your pup has had a puppy class elsewhere, and you are still not sure where to place them, please give us a call! (831) 264-5422.
All puppies must have the first two DHPP shots. Please bring proof of shots the first week of class.