Our graduates talk about Puppy School

Dogs, Family

What’s the first thing you do when you get a new puppy?

Cuddle them until you feel your heart is close to bursting? Check. Introduce them to the family and their new home? Check.But after that? Why, you book them into puppy school of course!

If you’re stumped why this might be the next logical step, the following experiences may help answer that. We speak to Gillian – about her adorable Labradoodle girl puppy Sunny – and Maddison with Labrador Benny – about their time at puppy school and why they felt it was the best thing they did for their new pup.

“We have a responsibility to give our pups the best start by learning basic obedience. It’s unfair to take on a puppy and not give them the time and attention they need to function and compliment their family. After all, puppies are like children – both need boundaries and are a lot more enjoyable if they are relatively well behaved!”

An early start is important

Gillian felt it was her duty as a dog owner to enrol in puppy pre-school.

Maddison agrees but also cites safety as another important reason to start early.

“Benny learnt how to socialise with other dogs and people at a young age but also commands that benefit him and his people. Thanks to puppy pre-school, Benny now understands to stop and sit before crossing a road.”

Catch it before it becomes a problem

Puppies under the age of five months old are literally sponges (just like their human counterparts!) so pre-school begins anywhere between 8 to 16 weeks of age. Early puppy training also has the advantage of allowing you to nip any potentially problematic behaviours in the bud before they have a chance to set in stone.

“At home, we noticed Benny would chew on things especially shoes, even though he had all the toys under the sun.

We told our trainer about this early on and she suggested we keep all his toys in a tub, rotating them daily or weekly so he didn’t get bored and go looking for other things – like shoes!” Maddison says.

“It worked really well. He’s stopped chewing and dragging shoes away so I’m not forever running around trying to find everyone’s footwear!”

The benefits of a structured approach

Both Maddison and Gillian felt the weekly structured lessons offered multiple benefits; for Maddison it was definitely a time-thing.

“It’s great for people who work all day and don’t necessarily have the time to sit down with their pup for extended periods. You turn up for an hour once a week over four weeks and are shown what do in a safe environment with a trainer who’s very knowledgeable. The information you gain from the four weeks can be used throughout the lifetime of your pup,” she says.

As for the training, she thought it was going to be harder than it was.

“One thing we were told is not to practise for longer than 5 minutes at a time as pups get easily distracted.

Just twice a day worked best for us,” Maddison says.

“It’s been a while since I had a puppy and training methods have changed. I appreciated all the basics like simple commands, toilet training and feeding advice.

I enjoyed the information I received because it actually worked,” she says. “I felt I was on the right track with training Sunny in some areas but it was great to have it confirmed by the teacher.

It was also good to be able to ask silly questions in a supportive environment and discover that other participants had similar issues too.”

Wait … There’s more!

Of course, there’s a bunch of other puppy pre-school benefits and since you’re twisting our arm, we’re happy to name them. Things such as imparting vital information about puppy health, nutrition, grooming and even tips on how on to read canine body language. But one of the biggest, especially from your vet’s perspective, is the chance for your young pup to familiarise themselves with the clinic surroundings.

“Puppy pre-school helped Sunny associate going to the vet with something positive and fun – not just injections and thermometers!” says Gillian.

Maddison enjoyed taking Benny on a tour around their clinic too, saying he favoured the waiting room as he was able to interact with other visiting animals. She says he also learnt how to sit on the scales and got used to all the different smells and sounds.

The final Say

So if you’ve been lucky enough to welcome a little puppy into your home, here’s hoping Gillian, Sunny, Maddison and Benny’s experiences have shown you the merits of puppy pre-school – and starting at an early age.

We’ll leave the last word to Gillian as she offers this sage piece of advice:

“All dogs are different and have their quirks. No dog is perfect … but then neither is their owner! Puppy pre-school, at the very least, gives you a good platform to build on.”

We couldn’t agree more Gillian.

If you’re interesting in hearing more about the puppy pre-school curriculum or would like to book your spot, please contact your local Fur Life Vet clinic as they’d be happy to help*.

*Not all clinics provide Puppy School. Please check with your local Fur Life Vet clinic.

How to enter

Simply share a photo on your Facebook page of your dog rugged up for winter or enjoying the winter sunshine and use the hashtag relevant to your state.

What you can win

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined prize. Each prize includes a winter pet pack to the value of $100.

Click on your state to reveal the hashtag you need to use to enter!

QLD Residents

Share a photo of your dog enjoying the winter sunshine or snoozing in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetQLD

VIC Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetVIC

NSW Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetNSW

TAS Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetTAS

Terms & Conditions

Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these conditions. Entries must comply with these conditions to be valid.

Entry is open to Australian residents that meet the competition requirements outlined below during the Competition period 1 June 2022 – 31 August 2022. Employees and their immediate families of the Promoter and its agencies associated with this competition are ineligible to enter.

To enter, each entrant must, during the Entry Period, upload a photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile) and use the hashtag corresponding to the state they are in (e.g. #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS).

Winner of the competition will be determined by:

  1. Appropriate photo uploaded (photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile)
  2. Relevant hashtag used (state residing in: #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS)
  3. Number of likes (photo with highest number of likes at end of competition period with all other criteria completed will win)

The competition will close for entries Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 12:00pm [AEST]. Failure to meet any of the competition requirements will deem entry invalid and will not be eligible to win.

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined.


Competition requirements:

Entrants must be a current client of a participating Apiam/Fur Life Vet clinic.

Entries must be received by the Promoter during the Entry Period. Entries received after 12:00pm [AEST] 31 August 2022 not be accepted.

The competition commences at 00:01 [AEST] on 01/06/2022 and closes at 12:00 [AEDT] 31/08/2022.

Queensland prize includes a pet pack to the value of $100.00.

Victorian, New South Wales, and Tasmanian prize includes two separate pet packs to the value of $100.00.

All taxes (excluding GST) which may be payable as a consequence of receiving a prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

The Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any failure to receive an entry or for inaccurate information or for any loss, damage or injury as a result of technical or telecommunications problems, including security breaches. If such problems arise, then the Promoter may modify, cancel, terminate or suspend the competition.

If the prize becomes unavailable for reasons beyond the Promoter’s control, the Promoter may substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

The winner will be notified by email on or by 10/09/2022.

Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, images submitted, pets name, comment, and/or voice in the event that they are a winner in any media for an unlimited period of time without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome), as well as any other communications outside of this competition, and/or promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter. If you are not willing for these uses or disclosures to occur you cannot participate in the competition.

Further, entrants agree that the Promoter has an unrestricted, irrevocable, transferable, divisible right and licence to use and modify their entry for the purposes of the Promoter’s business including for promotional purposes without the payment of any further fee or compensation.

If requested by the Promoter, the entrant agrees to sign any further documentation required by the Promoter to give effect to this arrangement. To the extent permitted by law, entrants unconditionally and irrevocably consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any moral rights in their entry. Entries remain the property of the Promoter. Details from entries will be collected and used for the purposes of conducting this competition (which may include disclosure to third parties for the purpose of processing and conducting the competition) and for promotional purposes surrounding this competition. By entering this competition entrants consent to the use of their information as described and agree that the Promoter may use this information, or disclose it to other organisations that may use it, in any media for future promotional purposes without any further reference or payment to the entrant.

By entering this competition, entrants consent for the Promoter to use entrant’s name, email address, phone number which entrants submitted to enter for the purposes of administering and operating the competition. Entry is conditional on the Promoter acquiring the aforementioned information. All personal information collected by the Promoter will be handled by the Promoter in accordance with the Promoter’s privacy policy (PRIVACY) Entrants have the right to access their personal information, request correction of any errors and/or obtain a copy of the Promoter’s privacy policy by contacting getvetchecked@furlifevet.com.au.

The Promoter is Apiam Animal Health Pty Limited (ACN: 604 961 024) at 27-33 Piper Lane East Bendigo, 3550, Victoria, Australia.

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