Frequently Asked Questions

At What Age Can I start Puppy Class?

My puppy is only 8 weeks old and my breeder has advised not to take her out until l she receives all her vaccinations. That's around 16 weeks. How safe is it to start puppy classes as I'm worried she might get sick?

More and more vets, puppy breeders, trainers and pet stores are starting to understand the importance of early training and are now encouraging people to get their puppies in from 8 weeks of age. An early start in life is crucial to the success of raising a confident outgoing happy puppy. Studies undertaken have shown that learning stages in various breeds of dogs can close as early as 12 weeks. This means you can slow down or close the fundamental development learning stage for your pup. A good puppy school will minimise the risk of infectious disease as floor surfaces are always washed. Socialalisation is critical in developing a well behaviourally adjusted puppy and well run puppy schools with qualified trainers (not vet nurse run schools) are an integeral part of your puppys rearing.

People can carry parvo influenza off the street via their shoes and walk it ito their homes. The virus can live for up to 36 hours on shoes. Not giving your puppy early socialisation until it is four months, in the off chance it may contract a disease such as parvo influenza, only leads to a destructive juvenile and creates many headaches for the family. Not taking a puppy out until it's had all its vaccinations only guarantees that you will have to cope with behavioural issues that arise out of a fearful or over boisterous, 'out of control' dog.

My dog is 6 years old. Is this too old to train and can they really learn at this age? She jumps up on me every time I come home, barking madly at me. I would love to get her involved in agility and I really need help.

It is never too late to start training. The oldest dog we have had in classes was 12 years old. While the recommendation is that training should commence from the age of 8 weeks, this is not always practical. There are many "older dogs" that come to our training classes. Older dogs do have a different set of criteria to work with and some behaviours may take longer to sort out than others. They can have greater concentration, but are usually under-socialised and control is minimal. Once the owner's start to understand behaviour and put the basic principles into practice, the results are fantastic. Most clients comment on how settled their dog has become, how they now listen and how training has changed families' lives.

Desexing Concerns

I've been told that a bitch should have at least one season. Is this true?

This is a myth! There is no scientific proof that having a season "helps" in any way. What it does is create havoc for a family who are ill prepared for the issues, time and work required when their bitch starts a season. The season lasts 3 weeks and commences with the vulva slowly opening, causing fluid to drip. This leads to bleeding, with the dog being ready to accept a male between day 13-16. With every season that a bitch has, it increases mammary or uterine cancers and infections. Bitches in season bring much unwanted company in the form of wandering male dogs. If your bitch is not secluded in a safe environment away from unwanted attention (not just the backyard), this leads to impregnation, often leading to mixed bred puppies. Bringing any puppy, purebred or mixed into the world can cause a range of issues, and costs you money. Every year, the RSPCA is forced to put thousands of dogs to sleep for this very reason. LEAVE Breeding to the experts, become a responsible dog owner and desex your dog around 6 months of age.

Why Should I Desex My Dog?

People buy their puppies from many different places. They are cute and grow into adorable juveniles around 6 months of age. At this stage the question of desexing arises. Let's look at why you would breed from a bitch and mate your dog. Firstly, can you answer yes to all the questions below?

  • Have you bought a purebred dog?
  • Is it registered with a reputable breeder who is registered through the CCCQ (Canine Control Council, Queensland)
  • Are you going to show your dog?
  • Are you going to be breeding specifically to help strengthen this breed, ie. are you breeding for better confirmation or temperament?
  • If you can't answer yes to the above questions, you should NOT be breeding. Breeding is best left to the experts.

 From a male point of view, I just don't like the thought of my dog's testicles being removed!

Yes, many male clients feel exactly like that. Desexing is not a personal vendetta against the male population and the male owner will not be less macho if the dog's testicles have been removed for medical reasons. Therefore, desexing should not be taken personally. Instead, owners need to understand that in leaving a male dog entire if he is unsuitable for breeding, will always put the adult male dog at risk of testicular cancer.

In addition, leaving a male dog entire with hormones flooding his body also makes it difficult for him to concentrate on training, and learning geneal manners around the home. Let's face reality here, what is the point of having the package and the frustration of never being able to use it! Do you want to put up with continual marking around the home, unattentive dog, difficult to handle, a wanderer to boot. The ONLY time your dog would be suitable for breeding is if he is a purebreed with a fantastic temperament and conformation to match. Otherwise he is a lovely pet and should stay that way. Neutered dogs are much happier when those hormones are removed!