Puppy Preschool at Den Herder Vet

by Jackie Nelson


Puppy Socialization

Did you know that the best time to expose a dog to new experiences is within the first 3 months of her life?

Puppies enrolled in a safe, controlled puppy socialization class (think puppy preschool) during this crucialtoddler and puppy developmental time are less likely to develop behavior disorders in the future. Puppies should be introduced to as many experiences, people, and other dogs as is safely possible during the first three months to learn to be confident and unafraid with new experiences.  Here is a short article with more on socializing your puppy.

Good Habits Start Early

An 8-week-old puppy has the same capability to learn as adult dog. This is an ideal time to introduce them to training in a positive, encouraging environment.

The first few weeks that a puppy lives with its new family lays the foundation for the rest of its life. He or she learns the rules of the household, daily routines and how to communicate with the humans and other pets in the household. Habits learned during this time can either help create a well-mannered companion or a challenging adolescent.

puppy and familyDen Herder Veterinary Hospital celebrates the human-animal bond every day. We strive to enrich the lives of our clients and the pets in our care. We know that the ability to communicate with and understand our pets is imperative to forging an unbreakable bond. We also want all pets to trust their human companions and be unafraid of the hospital and being handled by our staff.

Puppy Preschool Schedule

Puppy socialization classes are Monday nights at 6:30 pm for 4 consecutive weeks (except for Holidays). Puppies can join classes at any time to ensure that they are participating as early as possible. Puppies should be between 7 and 12 weeks of age when starting the class and have begun their vaccination series at least 3 days prior to starting class.

Topics Covered

Enrollment in the class will include an orientation meeting and 4 nights of classes that will cover:

  • Health & Handling
  • Obstacles & Sounds
  • Costumes & Appearances
  • Wheels & Children’s Toys

Full participation, including all members of the family, is encouraged. Homework and online video presentations will supplement the classes.


jackie and dogsJackie Nelson is the lead instructor. She has been involved in training her own dogs for 20 years, participates in AKC agility competition training with her Chihuahua mix, and has graduated from the Puppy Start Right for Instructors course with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. Other staff from Den Herder Veterinary Hospital will also participate in the classes.