Puppy Preschool vs. Puppy Kindergarten

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Puppy Preschool vs. Puppy Kindergarten

Here at the Zoom Room, when new puppy owners come to our Puppy Preschool classes, they often ask, “So after this, do we take Puppy Kindergarten?” After all, with humans there’s a definite difference between preschool and kindergarten. (As everyone knows, preschool is where kids learn to eat paste; and kindergarten is where they learn to put paste in the cute girl’s hair.)

But with puppies? Is there a difference between Puppy Kindergarten and Puppy Preschool?

The short and the long answer is: No. They mean exactly the same thing. Remember that dogs mature much faster than we humans. The old seven-years-to-one ratio holds pretty true. So to make such a fine distinction between puppy preschool and puppy kindergarten really doesn’t make sense in dog years.

By the time your puppy graduates puppy preschool (or kindergarten – whatever the dog trainers decide to call the class), your puppy’s nearly ready for his Bark Mitzvah – ready to become a full-grown dog! (Ok, technically there’s an adolescent period that comes next, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a Puppy Jr. High School anywhere…)

You will learn everything a new puppy owner needs to know to welcome the newest member of your family and make him or her a happy, well-adjusted part of your household. You’ll learn how to housebreak your puppy, crate training your puppy, and the basics of puppy obedience.

At the same time, your puppy will benefit from socialization. Puppy socialization is incredibly important in your puppy’s development and can save you enormous headaches later down the road. Puppy Preschool is the perfect time to nip dog agression in the bud, before such bad habits can form.

And that’s really the crux of early puppy training – fostering good habits through positive reinforcement dog training methods, and learning how to cope with the bad habits your preocious little pup has already managed to pick up. Some of these naughty dog behaviors include nipping, chewing, jumping up, and the whole host of doggy no-no’s that all new puppy owners experience. (And so yes, Puppy Kindergarten is also a perfect place to enjoy a bit of well-earned commiseration from your peers! You’re not alone!)

Whether it’s called Puppy Preschool or Puppy Kindergarten, one thing is for certain: anytype of puppy training classes must always be conducted in a thoroughly sanitized facility, maintained meticulously with veterinary-grade disinfectant, to protect against contagious illness for young puppies. Your new puppy may well be ready for his first Puppy Preschool class, but you must make certain that the facility is professionally equipped and properly prepared for conducting puppy classes. (Here at the Zoom Room, we’ve always got you and your little one covered!)

Here at the Zoom Room, puppies between the ages of nine weeks and five months may attend, as long as they have all of their age-appropriate vaccinations.

At the Zoom Room, we call our puppy classes Puppy Preschool instead of Puppy Kindergarten for one simple reason: we think it sounds better! That and the fact that all the puppies we know would much rather eat paste than put it in the cute girl’s hair.

As William Shakespeare once famously said, “Woof!” (Wait, maybe that was William Wegman…) He actually said, “What’s in a name?” That’s all you need to know about Puppy Kindergarten vs. Puppy Preschool. It really is that simple.

If you have a new puppy ready for some good old puppy training and socialization, please join us at the Zoom Room for puppy training classes.


You can call them whatever you like.  Just watch it with that paste.

Jaime Van Wye, President and CEO of the Zoom Room Dog Agility Training Center is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in philosophy. Jaime has trained dogs in search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, criminal apprehension and tracking, as well as how not to bite the mailman. Jaime is a Certified Master Dog Trainer, a graduate of the North State K9 Academy, and a Professional Level Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals. As the nation’s leading kennel consultant she has written extensively on dog daycare and kennel management and speaks regularly for the Pet Care Services Association, of which she is the National Dog Daycare Chair.

Jaime is the author of the satirical self-help book, How to Have an Ill-Behaved Dog, as well as a regular columnist for Pet Care Services Magazine and Dog’s Life Magazine.

Currently all of her efforts are centered on the Zoom Room, which is now offering an affordable dog training franchise throughout the U.S.