Why Puppy Pre School Is A Great Idea For Your Fur Baby (And You!)

Start life as a dog owner on the right foot (and paw!) with Puppy Preschool at Southern Highlands Veterinary Clinic.


Puppies are glorious! But hard work. That’s why they make them cute, so when they chew your favourite shoe, or wee from one end of the house to the other, you don’t get (too) cranky.

Starting dog training young is super important – it sets boundaries for your fur baby and teaches you how to communicate with each other.

We spoke to local vet, Charlie Carter of Southern Highlands Veterinary Clinic and dog trainer, Tania about what you can expect at their Puppy Preschool classes and why they’re so important at this age. Tania runs the 6-week course which is held on site at their Moss Vale clinic 2 or 3 nights a week depending on demand.

Here’s what they had to say!


Golden retriever puppy


1 // Is there a window of time where puppies are more receptive to training?

“After 16 weeks of age, puppies are less receptive to training so ideally they should attend puppy preschool before 16 weeks old,” Tania says.

“Yes, after 16 weeks puppies enter the adolescent phase where they aren’t great at listening!” says Charlie.

Hmmmmmm..... just like humans!

“We also like the puppies to have had their second vaccination for distemper, parvovirus and infectious hepatitis prior to attending. That second vaccination can be given from 10 weeks of age,” Tania adds.


Moss Vale Dog Training


2 // Okay, so we’ve got a 6-week window. What sort of skills will the puppies and their hoomans learn at puppy preschool?

“We cover basic obedience such as sit, stay / wait, drop and the happy recall (come),” Tania says.

“And we also touch on lead training, toilet training and crate training.”

The classes are small, so everyone gets plenty of one-on-one time, and both the puppies and you don’t get overwhelmed. There’s also loads of time for questions, right?

“Absolutely. It’s really important to ask questions and we make sure there is plenty of time for that. Every dog and the environment they live in and the people they live with is so different, so puppy preschool is the perfect time to draw on our knowledge and ask us lots of questions,” Tania points out.


Obedience training for puppies


3 // But it’s not all work and no play at puppy preschool is it?

“No, there is plenty of time for the puppies to play,” says Tania.

Why is play so important?

“Puppies are more receptive to socialisation before 16 weeks, and puppy preschool provides a fantastic opportunity for socialisation with other puppies and also new experiences which helps them live a stress-free life,” she says.


Southern Highlands Veterinary Clinic in Moss Vale


4 // Puppy preschool is held onsite at the Southern Highlands Veterinary Clinic in Moss Vale. Why is that important?

“It gives the puppies some very positive experiences in our clinic which is great,” says Charlie.

“It means that when they come in for a check-up or treatment in the future, they’re already familiar with the surroundings, the team and being around other animals in the waiting room.”

“It also means they don’t just associate us with needles or pain or stress, and that can only be a good thing.”

“All our team love giving the puppies a cuddle and that doesn’t stop as they grow older and come back in for check-ups and treatments. It’s nice that the relationship builds from a young age and is associated with a positive experience such as puppy preschool at our clinic,” Charlie adds.


Sounds awesome! And now we just want to come along and roll around on the floor with all the puppies! Not allowed?

“Not allowed,” says Charlie.


“But if you actually HAVE a puppy, you can call our clinic on 4868 1310 and they’ll direct you to Tania. She runs Puppy Preschool at the Southern Highlands Veterinary Clinic 2 – 3 evenings week.”

“It’s a 6-week course and each class runs for about 90 minutes,” Tania adds.

And it’s pretty hard to imagine a cuter group of graduates, right?


Southern Highlands Vets Puppy Training


Southern Highlands Vets


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