Requirements of an instructor offering puppy classes

What are the minimum requirements of an instructor offering puppy classes?

1. In-depth knowledge of the puppy development calendar and the ‘critical stages’ of canine development.

2. In-depth knowledge of breeds, and their particular characteristics, development, motivation, original purpose and genetics.

3. A vast knowledge and personal ‘hands-on’ experience in the many disciplines of dog sports.

4. Behaviour and training knowledge – to enable basic problem-solving.

5. A practical working knowledge of many different positive reinforcement training methods is essential to ensure that a method is found to suit each individual puppy and owner.

6. Knowledge of puppy and dog health, care, hygiene and management.

7. A reasonable knowledge of ‘other’ species of animals for inter- species interactions and the various problems that could occur with such interactions.

8. Good communication and ‘people’ skills.

9. An open mind and a sense of humour.

For more information on finding a good puppy school, go to the Animal Behaviour Consultants of Southern Africa website for details of a reputable school in your area: www.animal-behaviour.org.za.

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