Puppy school, dog training and socialisation


There are many benefits to teaching your puppy to be well behaved at an early age. Young puppies are quite able to learn obedience skills, toileting behaviour and social boundaries. All of these things help make your relationship with your dog more rewarding for the years to come.

Many pet owners are under the impression that if they have prior experience with puppies or have a house full of other dogs that Puppy Preschool is not necessary for their puppy. However, Puppy Preschool offers far more than basic dog training or the chance for their puppy to interact with other dogs.

Puppy Preschool teaches puppies more than basic training

Puppy Preschool allows even the most well-behaved puppy to learn even better manners and also equips them with skills to deal calmly and appropriately with a variety of behaviours that other puppies may exhibit. These skills persist into adulthood and can help your puppy when it is older and dealing with other dogs that may not be as nice and friendly! 

When to start puppy preschool

Between the ages of eight and 14 weeks of age a puppy is considered to be in its 'critical socialisation period'. During this period a pup will learn many of the social skills that it will retain for the rest of its life. It is important for puppies to be exposed to a wide variety of people and other dogs during this period of time, preferably both in and outside of the household. It is vitally important that these interactions are positive and non-intimidating to the pup because unpleasant experiences that occur during this time may have a long-lasting effect of the behaviour of the puppy. The puppy must also be protected from the risk of infection during this period. The people and other dogs that interact with your puppy and the location that this takes place in should therefore be carefully selected.

McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre offer clean premises where the risk of infection to your young puppy is greatly reduced compared to Puppy Preschools that take place in outside locations such as parks. We also require that all puppies in the program have been health checked and vaccinated prior to participating.

With our progressive and positive learning techniques you will:

  • Develop an understanding of normal puppy behaviour.

  • Learn how to read your puppy's body language and respond appropriately.

  • Develop effective techniques for positive behavioural development.

  • Learn important tips about walking in public areas.

  • Understand the need for socialising your puppy.

  • Teach your puppy some important 'do not' lessons

  • Understand important boundaries when playing together.

  • Develop strong bonds between you and your puppy


Puppy Preschools that allow significantly older puppies and/or adult dogs to participate are inappropriate for your young puppy. The potentially larger size of older puppies combined with their being at a different stage in their behavioural development increase the chance that an interaction may occur that injures or scares your puppy. This will have the exact opposite effect on their behavioural development to what you were intending!

At McGraths Hill Veterinary Centre we strictly adhere to our policy of only allowing puppies of an appropriate age to participate in our classes.

Having your puppy enrolled in Puppy Preschool at our clinic will help your puppy view the clinic as a fun place. This will make future clinic visits and boarding here a much more pleasant experience in future. You will also be able to meet new people from the local area. It is not uncommon for friendships forged during Puppy Preschool to lead onto puppy 'play dates'.

The most important thing about Puppy Pre-school is 'start early'. Waiting too long can allow behaviour problems to establish which then require more intensive training to overcome.

So start today and call us about enrolling your puppy in our local Puppy Pre-school classes.