Puppy School Frequently Asked Questions


Should my puppy have all his/her shots before coming to class?

  • No, research shows that the benefit of early socialization outweighs any risk of disease
  • Early socialization (ideally before 4 months of age) is vital to your puppy’s future to become well adjusted
  • It is strongly recommended that you become informed about the risks of over and under vaccination. Vaccination guidelines produced by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) are available at http://www.wsava.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines
  • Bordetella vaccination (for Kennel Cough) is not recommended – A 14 day wait period post vaccination is required if a Bordetella vaccine or Bordetella booster is given at any time

What health requirements do you have for puppies to begin in the program?

  • A veterinary evaluation and negative fecal exam by a veterinarian
  • Appear healthy, vibrant, and free of illness
  • Continue with regular veterinary care as needed and recommended by your veterinarian

How is my puppy going to learn right from wrong if all I do is reward for good behavior?

  • Saying no or punishing a puppy for unwanted behavior teaches puppy that you are angry and not much more
  • The goal in teaching right from wrong is to get the puppy to do the better thing.  By rewarding preferred behavior your puppy is more likely to repeat it, therefore accomplishing the same goal while building a better relationship with your puppy

Should I show my puppy who is boss and be the “pack leader” so it grows up to obey me?

  • Showing signs that you are “dominant” is an old theory that has been proven to be wrong
  • If you act aggressively toward your puppy you could instill fear that could lead to aggression
  • Being consistent in redirecting unwanted behavior and reinforcing desired behavior is a more effective method

Can I add to my puppy’s training by using the advice I see on the internet or TV or from a friend?

  • The CCH training program is professionally designed to increase your puppy’s skill level in a systematic process that builds other learning behaviors simultaneously.  If you were to introduce new concepts or techniques, it could change how your puppy experiences future training activities in our program.  For those reasons, we don’t recommend using multiple training sources.
  • If you are experiencing behavior challenges with your puppy, don’t hesitate to seek our advice.

When can my puppy start in the School for Professional Partners?

  • As soon as possible from 8 weeks of age or older.
  • Very young puppies will adapt to the training experiences easier than older puppies.  We will help you decide which classes best fits your puppy’s needs.