Puppy Club is held here at Martensville Veterinary Hospital every Thursday night from 7:00pm – 8:00pm (excluding holidays). Each class is led by two of our Registered Veterinary Technologists and/or Veterinary Office Assistants.
Puppies of all shapes and sizes are welcome as long as they are between 10 and 24 weeks of age. At 24 weeks, our puppies graduate from our Puppy Club, but we do recommend continuing their socialization/education by finding an obedience class appropriate for you and your puppy. Before a puppy can attend Puppy Club, they require a physical exam and vaccine review from one of our veterinarians. This needs to be done at least 2 weeks prior to attending and must be done at Martensville Veterinary Hospital. We do this to help ensure that all puppies attending are healthy and have been properly vaccinated to help keep everyone safe! For all puppies on a Head Start Puppy Plan, these socialization classes are included. If your puppy is not on a plan there will be a small fee for each class. We ask that you bring your puppy with a buckle collar and on a leash – NO pinch or choke collars please.
Puppy Club is not an obedience class; it was created to give you and your puppy a safe environment to socialize in. We will however, work on some basic recall, restraint and settle down behaviour during the class. This will help your puppy learn to be calm and relaxed while in a stimulating environment. A puppy’s best socialization window is from about 8 weeks to 16 weeks. This means that during these ages, they are more open to new ideas/situations. It is at this time of their life that most puppies either develop into well socialized dogs, or they develop fears and anxieties. A well socialized puppy is more likely to grow into a well socialized, confident adult with the proper coping skills needed to face new situations. Our main goal with Puppy Club is to create happy, confident adult dogs that will be calmer, more adaptable and more easily trained.
Puppies of all different breeds are all in one class together. It is important that your puppy becomes comfortable with dogs of all shapes and sizes and that they learn appropriate greeting and play behaviour with many different personalities. Not every dog plays the same or enjoys the same type of play, therefore, we need to help our puppies learn proper puppy manners. Even if you have another dog at home, or a playmate that your puppy sees quite often, it is a good idea to get them out and about with many different, unknown dogs. Would you keep your kids at home and away from other kids because they have a sibling to play with? This is how we need to view our puppies as well. They need to learn how to meet new people and dogs and how to do this in strange or stimulating environments. For this reason, we encourage children and other family members to come along. It is a great learning experience for all family members and it is helpful to those puppies that do not have any children at home to socialize with.
How it works
Puppy club follows the same basic routine every week. The class starts at 7:00pm with a short chat on whichever topic we are covering that week. The talk takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes. During this time we practice our “settle downs” with our puppies. We then have some time for questions and discussion. The rest of the hour is used for playtime. This is supervised by two staff members to ensure that all interactions are appropriate. During playtime, the staff is still available to answer any questions or help with any issues your puppy may be having. Throughout the class we will work on recall and settle downs to allow for bathroom breaks. Class wraps up at 8:00pm and we are told that the puppies are often sound asleep before they even get home!
Lauren H. (Saskatoon) – “Shawn and I have brought our Min Pin, Otis, to Martensville Veterinary Hospital because of a recommendation by a dog trainer and we could not have been more thrilled! We completed the puppy care plan and attended the socialization classes. At first we had a scared little puppy but after a few weeks of socializing with other puppies he is a friendly and well behaved dog! The staff is so knowledgeable and welcoming. I would recommend this vet hospital to anyone looking for a caring, clean and loving environment!”