Puppy Training is for pups from about 8 weeks old up to about 5-6 months old. (If your dog is older, have a look at Dog Training.) Offered in group classes or through day training or private lessons. Currently, I offer 2 different courses for puppies:
Puppy Kindergarten – This course is offered as a group class only. It is for pups from about 8 weeks old up to about 16 weeks old. Puppies go through a critical socialization period during this time in which it’s super important that they be “socialized” – that is, exposed to many different people, sights, sounds, environments, other puppies, etc. This helps them learn to confidently handle new situations (and people and places etc) as they mature. All classes use positive reinforcement and have short obedience/manners practice mixed with puppy playtime and exposure to new things. The last 15 minutes of each class are devoted to the important topics of puppyhood (housetraining, chewing, etc) and to your questions. This course also (sometimes) leads to the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy test (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility), administered during the last class. You are encouraged to bring family members to class – especially children (over age 3 and accompanied by another adult). Generally, this course is 6 weeks long, including the S.T.A.R. puppy test at the conclusion. Class size is limited to 4-6 puppies. Click here to see my upcoming group class schedule.
Please note! Young puppies are required to have had one set of vaccinations, given at 6 weeks or older, no less than 10 days before the start of class. Older puppies must have 2 sets of vaccinations. Distemper and parvo vaccines are required. They are required to be up-to-date on their chemical flea prevention.
Obedience & Manners – Beginner – This course is offered as a group class, or through day training or private lessons. It covers some beginning basic obedience (sit, stay, down, come, walking nicely on leash) as well as greeting people nicely, manners, how to behave with humans and other dogs, socialization, housebreaking, chewing/mouthing, and responsible ownership. This course leads to the AKC S.T.A.R. puppy test (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility) which is administered during the last class. (For infomation about the S.T.A.R. Puppy test, click here.) Please note that “stay” will only be taught once (or if) I feel your pup is mature enough. Teaching house manners and stranger manners are all important sections that will be included. Ongoing issues that nearly all puppies have, such as housebreaking, jumping, mouthing/biting, greeting people nicely, socialization, etc are addressed weekly along with new skills. This course is best for pups from about 8 weeks old to about 5-6 months old. Generally, this course is 6 weeks long, including the S.T.A.R. puppy test at the conclusion. Class size strictly limited to 4 pups to ensure everyone gets individualized attention. Click here to see my upcoming group class schedule.
Please note: All dogs must be healthy, parasite-free, had at least their 2nd round of vaccines, up-to-date on chemical flea-prevention, and completely non-aggressive to both people and other dogs. Additionally, with dogs still in the process of becoming fully vaccinated, you must have had them in your possession at least 2 weeks before beginning class.
What’s the difference between the two puppy classes? Well, Puppy Kindergarten combines some gentle obedience/manners training with periods of playtime/socialization for the pups. It’s really a gentle introduction to training and their very short attention spans are taken into full account. 5-10 minutes of work, 10 minutes of play. 5 more minutes of work, 10 of play, etc. Whereas, in Obedience & Manners – Beginner, the puppies don’t have the playtime. They learn quite well in a mixed-age class. Puppies are never pushed – ever – but the biggest difference between the two classes is that a little bit more is asked of them in Obedience & Manners – Beginner and it’s a true first step in training. Puppy Kindergarten is much like kindergarten for human children. They do learn, of course, but they’re also learning to interact with other people, and socializing, and playing a lot; all really important, especially at that age, but different than in 1st grade (like Obedience & Manners – Beginner), when they are expected to do more sitting and learning.
Also, don’t forget about the “Raising Your Pup!” class! This 3 hour class for the humans teaches you nearly everything you could ever want to know about raising a puppy! For details and description of this class, just click here!