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Our plan had been to do puppy kindergarten with Noodle. We've signed up and paid already. But yesterday when we went to playgroup, I suddenly remembered part of the reason why we got a poodle in the first place-- my daughter's allergies. I had visions of how I was going to smuggle a dog into urgent care or leave my 9 year old on the street with him but we made it.

We are going to try drugging my daughter up and seeing if she can manage playtime. But if not, I am considering asking if I can apply my fee to private training. She doesn't want to be left out of training and the kids are home with him more than I am so it would be good if she was involved.

What do you guys think? Would I be losing a lot if we did privates only instead of group class?
 

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I think so (losing a lot). The point of puppy kindergarden is to expose your puppy to as many dogs and distractions as possible, which you will definitely not get with private training.

Since it doesn’t last very long (6 weeks?) maybe your daughter can skip this one and be involved later on ?
 

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Puppy playtime over privates for sure (and I do privates, although I encourage people who want puppy privates to go to a class)! Leave your daughter home for puppy play group and have her be in charge of tasks she can do with Noodle at home like basic orders of sit, down etc, potty training, happy crate time, orderly mealtime and such. Your daughter will be directly involved in the daily things that will make Noodle into the great family dog of her childhood that you all want.
 
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Why not both? Group training for the benefits of being and working in a crowd of people and dogs; one to one so your daughter can be involved, ideally with the same instructor. If someone could go with you and video key bits for your daughter, she could carry on the training at home, and it would help to ensure continuity if you use a different trainer for the individual work.
 

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Well I think you should continue puppy kindergarten. When that is thru your training won't be ended it will be still beginning. At that time you can do private or group with your daughter. Training goes on for quite some time, it does get less informal but it really doesn't totally end. When I had my first dogs I usually did at least 3 groups b before mine were well trained and I could continue on my own.
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing as Fjm...you could take the pup to the puppy kindergarten and your daughter and the pup could benefit from a private lesson once or twice a month...get some homework to practice with the pup at home, away from all those distractions where the pup can actually learn something. Then the trainer comes back to see how you're doing and give you more tips and things to practice during the next week or two. And then do the classes yourself for the very vital socialization. It may cost you a little extra but you wouldn't be doing all this forever. This way your daughter can get started right away and get that bonding going and be a real part of the training process...the basics to start out with and/or a couple tricks with puppy. It is a really neat idea that you have to involve your daughter. You all can have this great thing to do together...you, your daughter and the pup. Best wishes.


When I was training, I always did private lessons. A lot of those were for dogs that had pretty difficult behavior issues that had developed over time. But some were just regular, annoying puppies (lol) where the owner needed some guidance and things to work on. But I always recommended puppy classes as well. Usually, they only needed a few sessions with me when it was regular puppy stuff...to kind of get off the ground or work on something particularly troublesome for them. Where I lived there wasn't anyone close by who had classes...you had to drive about an hour or more. I drove that hour and 15 minutes with my new puppy for puppy class and agility and obedience class, just so I could keep him socialized and have fun. He was my Doberman and need copious amounts of socialization. Excellent dog.

I think it would be great to use the same trainer to get started but not absolutely necessary. Everyone can adapt to slightly different ways as long as they're both using good, sound progressive training methods or concepts of learning behavior. Go to a reputable trainer who uses science to train and not some pack theory, dominance, alpha schmalfa, intimidation nonsense. lol.
 

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Please continue to take your puppy to socialization class. This really is the most important class you and your dog will ever take. Puppies have a brief window of time when they are open to learning about new experiences. By going to puppy socialization class, you're bringing good things through that open window. Once that window closes, the ability to bring good things in closes down to a small fraction of what it was.

I'm a trainer at a dog class. I've seen first hand what happens when a puppy is not socialized enough during the critical open window period. Right now I am working on a difficult rehab with a poorly socialized rescue dog. We're making slow progress through fear, food aggression, and other problems. Nearly all of these issues would have been prevented by puppy class.

Prevention is better than rehab. Right now, socialization is more important than teaching anything else. How important? The number one killer of young dogs is behavior problems. Poor socialization-->Fear and uncertainty-->aggressive behavior-->shelter-->euthanasia. After puppy kindergarten is over, speak to your trainer and ask about private lessons where you can include your daughter.
 

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I'm glad you'll continue puppy class. You're on a wonderful adventure with your puppy!!! Enjoy the journey. And share it, too.
 
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