Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you select a good puppy school?

1. The right “trainer”: 

  • Has good qualifications & experience in early canine development.
  • Uses positive reinforcement training methods.
  • Makes training a fun & enjoyable experience for both you and your puppy.
  • Is approachable and encourages questions.
  • Clearly explains and demonstrates each lesson.
  • Is polite to dogs and handlers alike.
  • Gives individual attention to learners.
  • Allows sufficient opportunity for his learners to practice.

2. Classes that are not too big

Although the instructors’ experience and number of assistants affect how many puppies are appropriate in a class, it’s important to have classes that allow for some individual attention.

3. Appropriate play time

Puppies learn to socialise with others through play. Play may occur on lead or off lead. Just make sure play time is carefully supervised so that your puppy has a positive experience and becomes more confident in social interactions.

4. Class area:

  • Secure area for puppies to have free and safe work and play sessions that are not frequented by roaming dogs.
  • The area can be indoors, outdoors or both.
  • A large enough area for puppies to play, but small enough for them to feel secure.
  • The training area should however have ample space so that the puppies don't feel cramped. Working under confined conditions causes fear in some dogs which may lead to unnecessary aggression.
  • Easy access to a grassed section.
  • Shade and fresh water should always be easily accessible.

5. Environment and structure that stimulates exposure and learning

Classes should be run in a relaxed but orderly way with respect for both owners and puppies. They should be broken down into short sessions suitable for puppies to learn and play.

Q: Who should attend puppy school?

Anyone with a puppy between 8 and 20 weeks should attend a puppy school.
Puppy School provides a structured environment for you to:

  • Gain the knowledge & skill to take care of your puppy, from vaccinations and health care, right through to nutrition and grooming tips.
  • Acquire the skills to train your puppy and therefore help turn it into a socially acceptable adult dog.
Q: Which puppies should attend puppy school?

Regardless of breed all puppies between the ages of 8 and 20 weeks should attend Puppy School. Each year thousands of dogs end up in shelters and rescue organisations, many of which are euthanised, due to behavioural problems developing in later life. This is often the result of a lack of proper socialisation, habituation and training in the important early developmental stage of a puppy's life.

Puppy School provides a safe, controlled environment for puppies to:

  • Socialise with other puppies.
  • Learn acceptable behaviour toward other dogs.
Q: Why Attend a Hill’s Puppy School?

At Hill's Pet Nutrition our mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationship between people and their pets. We are therefore not only dedicated to helping pets reach their full potential through quality nutrition and healthcare, we also care about your puppy’s social growth and development which is why we sponsor a number of reputable Puppy Schools.

We offer training, continued education and support to our Puppy School instructors.

Our Puppy School instructor courses were developed and are presented by expert veterinary behaviourist, Dr Quixi Sonntag and are accredited by the University of Pretoria.