Are Puppy Parties a Good Idea?

Everywhere new puppy owners look they’re told of the importance of socialisation.

Socialise, socialise, socialise and then socialise some more!

The problem is few sources tell you exactly how this is to be achieved. Many owners know that they should socialise their puppy but have no idea how to do it. If owners do not know how socialise correctly and efficiently, the dog is actually likely to develop training and behavioural problems.

Unfortunately, some puppy parties can create the problem for the dog and owner that they were trying to prevent by socialising in the first place.

In many of the puppy parties that we visit inexperience staff are used to run the class. With obvious good intentions puppies have been left to ‘play fight’ in a manner that had they been adult dogs, this would have been called a serious dogfight. We call it play fighting because we recognise this behaviour for what it is – practising fighting. Meanwhile other puppies were terrified and stressed and hid under the owners’ chairs only to come out snarling and growling if one of the other puppies came too close.

Whilst this inappropriate environment is occurring, with sometimes with as many as 12 puppies in a confined space we can add small children to the blend and novice owners.

So, if they’re such a bad idea, why does It’s Not The Dog run a puppy party? Because, in principle it’s a good idea. Meet with like-minded people, dogs of a similar age and get some free professional advice. Our staff are trained and experienced and we keep our numbers small and our groups are controlled.

In my opinion, a good puppy party places the emphasis on the puppy interacting with the owner, rather than with anything else, because it is the owner who should be responsible for the puppy’s education. Puppy interacting with the owner when there are other dogs around rather than interacting with the other dogs is vital. This means that if they meet another dog they should have a quick sniff of each other’s bums, check each other’s ‘bits’, and then continue to have some fun with their owner. We want puppies and dogs to consider their owner to be the most important, fun, interesting thing in their lives. That’s your job as their owner.

What to look for in a good Puppy Party:

- Suitable indoor and outdoor environment.

- Training advice from a qualified trainer on common problems such as toilet training, chewing and mouthing.

- Using Positive Training Strategies to build an effective bond between your pup and all members of your family.

- Advice on where to get un-biased, specific and tailored nutritional knowledge.

- Advice on exercising your pup according to breed and the owners’ requirements/limitations.

- Of course, a little socialisation for pups and owners alike.

Find a suitable Puppy Party and go and Enjoy :-)

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