For those who have spoiled themselves by adding a new addition to the family over the festive period, it’s no secret that canine companions are not an easy task. Try to look at them like you are raising a mini-human – you’ve got to feed them, potty train them and prepare them for the real world.
The best way to prepare is to take them to puppy classes to get them socialised. Not sure where to send them? Here’s a list of reputable training classes in Cape Town.
Here is a fun fact for you: a common Google search trend going into the new year is “how to train your puppy”. Getting your pup into classes is much more than getting them to sit, stand and roll over; rather, the most important thing is getting them socialised.
Socialisation has often been misinterpreted or misunderstood. It is often assumed that socialised dogs are just these friendly, happy-go-lucky fluffy creatures. So let’s touch on why it is so valuable. In short, socialisation refers to prepping your pup to healthily interact with other dogs, fellow humans, and their surroundings.
Going to class early is the best thing you can do for your new companion because you are laying the groundwork for their mental and social development. The window for socialisation is crucial to their development so best to jump in between three to fourteen weeks.
The truth is, you set your pup up for failure if you don’t get right to it. You want them to approach situations without fear and anxiety, just as you would for your kids or yourself. This isn’t always the case, but without proper training and poor socialisation, it may lead to unpleasant behaviours which aren’t their fault, rather reactions to things they aren’t familiar with.
Unpleasant behaviours can look like this:
- Fearful of strangers or other pups
- Aggressive or reactive toward other people or dogs
- Fearful on walks even if there are no people or dogs around, indicating they aren’t comfortable with their environment
- Overexcited when in the presence of people and pups (often people think this behaviour isn’t a big deal)
These can also be expressed in other ways but the root of most problem behaviours is simply that they weren’t taught how to interact in a healthy way with the world around them.
Choosing the right puppy classes can be a challenge as there are an abundance of training schools in Cape Town. The most important factor is making sure the instructors are qualified in dog training and canine behaviour. First order of business is reading their websites and reading up on the trainers and their experience.
Don’t know where to go? Here’s a list of places to get you and your pup started:
1. Dog Dynamics
Times: Saturdays 9am to 10.30am
Location: Brommersvlei Road, Constantia Heights, Cape Town
Contact: 083 499 2474 | [email protected]
2. Dogz at Home Training Centre
Times: Pinelands: Saturday 8am to 10.30am | Kuils River: Saturday and Sunday 3pm to 5pm
Location: Pinelands: Vista Nova High School | Kuils River: De Kuilen Primary School, Kerk Street
Contact: 084 870 1002 | [email protected]
3. Kommetjie Canine College
Times: Saturday 8.30am to 9.30am
Contact: [email protected]
4. Zeki Pups
Times: Thursday 6pm to 7pm
Location: 16 Lowlands Avenue, Tokai, Cape Town
Contact: 072 100 1474 | [email protected]
5. Doghub SA
Times: Rondebosch: Saturday 8am-9am | Sea Point: Wednesday 4.30pm-5.30pm | Diep River: Wednesday 5pm-6pm
Location: Rondebosch: Rustenburg Girls High School, Campground Road | Sea Point: 28 Kloof Road, Vet Point Veterinary Clinic | Diep River: 71 Main Road, Peninsula Veterinary Hospital
Contact: [email protected]