Tag Archives: AKC PUppy Star

DogSmith Puppy Classes – What Age and What Shots are Required?

Which shot records should I have for my dog or puppy?

For The DogSmith Small Paw Etiquette class, puppies must be up-to-date for their age, with at least the first set of DHLPP shots, usually given between 6-8 weeks of age. Because socialization is so important and needs to begin as early as possible we do not usually recommend waiting for the full three sets of puppy shots.

Veterinarians will suggest different guidelines for your puppy, so please take their advice into consideration. If your veterinarian tells you that your pup must have ALL vaccinations before attending a puppy class then he or she may not be current on the latest protocols for puppy socialization and vaccinations. The recommendation of the American Society of Veterinary Behaviorists (AVSAB) is as follows: “In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class.”

If your veterinarian wants more information, you can print out a flyer from AVSAB that discusses WHY the protocols have changed. The primary reason for this change, in our opinion, is that “behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.” The AVSAB Puppy Socialization Position Statement can be downloaded from the AVSAB website: www.avsabonline.org

At The DogSmith we agree with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s Position statement -“In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first de-worming. They should be kept up to date throughout the class.”

For non-puppy classes all dogs must have the full sequence of DHLPP (usually an annual booster for adult dogs) and the Rabies vaccine. We also require Bordetella which is an intranasal spray. Your dog’s shot records may be anything from a vet receipt to a shot-vial sticker to a note from the breeder or a checked-off list with the shots on them. We have to work a bit on the honor system, but we do want to make sure the puppies are all safe.

What happens at a DogSmith FREE Puppy Class?

The DogSmith Free Puppy Class Goals

The DogSmiths run FREE puppy classes each month at various locations.

  • The goal is to have 6 attendees in each class so their  puppies have lots of other dogs to socialize with and they also meet five new humans.
  • Each attendee receives a Puppy Promotional Bag containing 1 FREE  puppy socialization brochure
  • Our  FREE puppy class is fast paced and fun.  Our  goal is to show puppy owners how puppies play, how to teach a soft mouth, how to lure a sit and a down, how to lure a trick ‘spin’ and how to desensitize the collar and body parts of the puppy.

    The DogSmith Free Puppy Class Structure – off leash in a safe and secure area.

  • No lectures, no theory. A very quick 3 minute introduction on why puppy class is so important. We cover key topics such as  socialization and bite inhibition
  • We show you how to lure a ‘sit’, you let your puppy play with the other dogs for 3 minutes and then we all retrieve or call our puppies back and have them sit again.  This teaches puppies that they must pay attention to us and if they do then they are rewarded with play time. We need dogs that are obedient in real life situations with lots of distractions
  • We show you how to help your dog learn to have a  ‘soft mouth’ while you hand feed your dogs treats. We explain the importance of no ‘teeth contact’ before we work on ‘no mouthing’
  • We then show you how to  lure a ‘down’, we have the dogs play for 3 minutes, and then we call or  retrieve the puppies again. We then have them do a ‘down’ again.  Once they ‘down’ they can then go and play with the other puppies again.
  • We throw toys on the floor for the puppies to  interact and play with. The toys are different shapes and sizes.
  • We swap puppies and have everybody work for a couple of minutes with another dog, we play ‘pass the puppy’. Everyone gets to have contact with the other puppies during the training. This way the puppies have contact with different people.
  • As the dogs play Your DogSmith will narrate for you and explain your puppies  body language and play behaviors. We will teach you how and when to  intervene, if that becomes necessary
  • We will show you how to  desensitize your dogs  collar by having your dog sit, taking the collar and then feeding your dog a treat.
  • We finish the fast paced class by having everyone sit on the floor with their dogs in a ‘down’. While we summarize the class  we show you how to touch all parts of your dogs body rewarding them for nice  calm behaviors.

Treat your Puppy to a DogSmith FREE Puppy Class

Have Your Puppy Become A Puppy Star

How It Works
When you complete a basic training class (taught by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator) with your puppy (up to 1 year old) your puppy is eligible to be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. You will attend any puppy or basic training class for at least 6 weeks. Your instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test at the end of the course. Upon passing the test, you’ll get an application to send to AKC for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. All dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC Puppy S.T.A.R. Program including purebreds and mixed breeds.

Puppy Star

Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal (for display or memento purposes; not suitable as a collar tag). You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. In addition, so that you can continue learning, you’ll receive our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package that includes:
) A beautiful, frame-able certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC ) AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource ) Discount to enroll in AKC Companion Animal Recovery Corporation, a 24-hour recovery service ) Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter
Contact your local DogSmith and learn when the next Puppy Star Training Program is commencing.

1. Maintains puppy’s health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)
2. Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge
3. Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise
4. Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
5. Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy
6. Owner has obtained some form of ID for puppy-collar tag, etc.

7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 weeks of class
8. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class
9. Tolerates collar or body harness of owner!s choice
10. Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)
11. Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy

12. Allows (in any position) petting by a person other than the owner
13. Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam (ears, feet)
14. Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight line (15 steps)
15. Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other people 5-ft away
16. Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure 17. Down on command-Owner may use a food lure
18. Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called 19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented
15-ft away 20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns)

Training classes teach you how to best communicate with your puppy. Organized training classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs. In classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction, you!ll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including house training, chewing, and the most e,effective way to teach practical skills such as coming when called. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy training is a natural lead in to the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.