Enrolling your Rottweiler in Puppy Classes

A puppy class is an important milestone for you and your puppy. It is similar to kindergarten where a child learns to be around other children and learns the ABCs’ of the world. Such classes are detrimental for socialization purposes; so do not miss out on them. Generally, the average age of enlisted puppies ranges from as young as 7 to 8 weeks up to six months old. Most classes start with an introduction and the trainer offering advice on tackling common puppy problems. Generally, a puppy class entails exercises that do not last too long to respect the pup’s low attention spans. Good puppy classes aren’t really much about training puppies to perform behaviors  (there’s plenty of time to perfect those afterward) but more about socializing the puppies, getting them used to being handled and interacting with people and dogs since the time for the window for socialization closes around 12 to 16 weeks.

One main reason why dog owners may be discouraged in having their puppy attend a puppy class is the fear of her possibly contracting deadly diseases such as Parvo. At times, veterinarians may be the ones recommending to keep the puppy away from other puppies until he has been fully vaccinated. This ironically happens to occur right when puppies need to be socialized the most.

Rottweilers as mentioned previously are a breed quite prone to Parvo, so the vet may emphasize this more than in other breeds. However, dog owners often refrain from thinking about the number of dogs that are euthanized each year because of severe behavior problems.

“Chances of disease however can be considerably lowered by attending reputable classes that ensure all puppies have been vaccinated and are in good health.’’ Dr. Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer, in the November 1999 issue of the “Whole Dog Journal” claims that bite inhibition is the most important life lesson dog owners should teach their dogs. Since dog bites are taken very seriously in society, and may ultimately cause a dog to be surrendered or euthanized, this advice should be taken by all Rottweiler dog owners in a very serious manner.

Look for classes run by reputable trainers who require proof of vaccinations and that take care of properly disinfecting the premises. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior position statement recommends looking for classes where puppies are required to “receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first deworming.” The attending puppies  should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class.

→Did you know?  According to Nicholas Dodman, Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, “Death from behavior problems is the leading cause of pet mortality’’–not contagious diseases!