A reader asked about the advantages of puppy classes. I immediately answered that well-organized puppy classes that stress socialization and teach the pup how to behave in its world is a wonderful beginning for a dog no matter what its breed.
This "world" is different for each pet. That is the reason I tell each new owner to think ahead of all the significant circumstances the animal might encounter in the next 12 to 15 years and expose the pup to these conditions when it is eight to 16 weeks of age. This is the critical socialization period when the youngster is still trusting and curious and has the owner's reassurance that it will be protected.
It is at this age that the pup can be taught not to chase cattle, horses or chickens.
At this critical age the pup learns to get out of the way of someone with a cane or walker and to accept the childish squeals and unpredictable movements of a 2-year-old. These experiences will stay with the dog throughout its life.