I'M GETTING A NEW PUPPY, WHEN SHOULD i REGISTER FOR CLASS?
WHAT IS THE AKC S.T.A.R. PUPPY PROGRAM?
AKC’s S.T.A.R. Puppy program will help you and your puppy get off to a good start. S.T.A.R. stands for Socialization, Training, Activity, and Responsibility. The program is open to any puppy under one year of age. At the end of our 6-week class, if your puppy passes the test items, Darlene Ormsby, the AKC CGC Evaluator, will give you an application to send to AKC; and they will send you a S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal and a Certificate showing your puppy is now a S.T.A.R. puppy. See AKC S.T.A.R Puppy Brochure for the test items.
WHAT TIME IS THE CLASS AND WHAT DOES IT COST?
Puppy K is a 6-week class held on Monday nights at 6 PM for 50 minutes at the AAKA, Inc. Training Building, 200 Basal Lane, Duncansville, PA 16635. The total cost for the six weeks is $42 for members or $60 for non-members, payable the first night of class.
ARE YOUR CLASSES BIG OR CROWDED?
We have three instructors each night so that everyone gets individualized attention and no one is ever left out, passed over, or “gets lost” as can happen in large classes. Each instructor is available to answer questions. Check out the video on the "Links" page.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I START TRAINING MY PUPPY?
Puppy training should begin right away to develop good habits--the sooner, the better. Positive methods using a ton of motivation are best for any dog, especially puppies. You can begin with housebreaking and in the home manners, i.e. mouthing/biting and start to walk on a leash. In addition, it might be helpful to read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s statement regarding starting puppy classes: https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON TRAINING PUPPIES?
At AAKA, we utilize Positive Reinforcement Training, which is using rewards (treats, praise, toys, anything the dog finds rewarding) for shaping desired behaviors. Because the reward makes them more likely to repeat the behavior, Positive Reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog's behavior.
WHAT VACCINATIONS DOES MY PUPPY NEED BEFORE ATTENDING CLASS?
Your puppy should have age-appropriate vaccinations or titers showing immunity and for the protection of all the dogs in class or entering our training building, be free of any contagious internal parasites like giardia, coccidia, hookworms, roundwords, etc. You should consult with your veterinarian regarding age-appropriate vaccinations and his/her recommendation for what age to start formal classes.
CAN DIFFERENT PEOPLE BRING THE PUPPY TO CLASS EACH WEEK?
No, we recommend that the same person in the household do the training in class while the dog is learning. This helps to minimize confusion for the dog and speed up the learning process because of consistency. Once the dog has mastered the exercise, other family members may participate in training in the home. Weekly handouts are provided after each class.
WE HAVE OTHER DOGS IN OUR HOUSE, DO WE STILL NEED TO BRING OUR PUPPY TO CLASS?
Yes, definitely! Socialization is much more complicated than just exposing your dog to its own family of dogs. Ideal socialization means ever widening exposure to new and varied objects, places, people, dogs, etc. We encourage you to come and join the puppy class fun!
My puppy is a year old, can it come to puppy k class?
No, Puppy K is of puppies under a year of age. We recommend puppies over a year of age go to the AAKA Social Obedience Skills Class or to the AAKA Beginner Obedience Class.