Puppy Classes: Your Five Top Tips

Vet Nurse Julia Burges has run many courses of classes at her practice since she studied ‘Puppy Classes’ with us in 2016.

We know running puppy classes is a hugely popular topic with veterinary nurses because there’s so much you can do, but there is also so much you need to know to ensure you get it right. A puppy class run without an adequate level of thought and knowledge can definitely be worse than not running them at all, so we thought we’d ask Julia what her key areas of advice were, and share this with you.

Here are her Five Top Tips to share with you

1. Hold a ‘puppy free’ introductory session (vital!)

There is so much information to give to new puppy owners, and without the distraction of puppies you have a solid hour to focus on the owners and what you want to cover.

2. Have a maximum of 4 or 5 puppies per session

Clients get more one on one time within the sessions, and more than 5 puppies makes it difficult to read body language. I remind clients that I only take 4-5 in each group for these reasons.

Make sure you check vaccination records

3. Max enrolment age 12 weeks, min age 8 weeks – and check those vaccine records!

The maximum age I allow the puppies to be (for the starting session) is 12 weeks and the youngest is 8 weeks. Also – check those vaccination records!

4. Keep notebook and lesson plan to hand & tailor the plan to each unique group

I keep a notebook of my lesson plan to hand so I don’t get sidetracked. I make it specific every time so that it meets the clients difficulty points. I give my clients a socialisation checklist as important homework.

5. The KEY aim is socialisation, but a smidge of training keeps clients motivated!

Remember that it’s a socialisation class and remind your clients that it’s not a training session. I do incorporate a smidge of training as it keeps the owners motivated and I use a star pupil to quickly demonstrate techniques. **separation anxiety will come up. Make sure you have some background knowledge **

If you’re interested in running puppy classes or are already doing so, then we hope you’ve found this useful.

If you’d like to learn more, then our Puppy Classes course provides a comprehensive overview of the process, a wealth of background knowledge on puppy/canine behaviour, ideas on structuring the classes, troubleshooting of any issues that you may have seen, and the many tools and resources you can use in your classes – all with the guidance and support throughout from your tutor Linda Ryan.

As part of the course you create useful resources for practice, tailored to your needs and practice – and receive feedback from this from your tutor – so you’ll go away able to hit the ground running with your classes.

For more information on the course visit https://www.oncoreepd.co.uk/Puppy-Classes