If you are first starting off, consider one of our puppy programs. These three age-appropriate classes have been heralded by our clients as “The Best Puppy Classes in the Entire Triangle!” because each class is designed to cover manners and obedience, while also providing a positive socialization environment. Training should begin early in a dog’s life and attending a puppy class is a great way to start building their love for learning (and you!). Depending on your puppy’s age, you’ll either start in Successful Socialization and move to Puppy Starters OR jump right into our Puppy Starters class before moving on to Puppy Optimists or Foundations. Both beginner classes will cover basic obedience and prepare your puppies for adult training classes such as Foundations, Agility for Fun, Trick Dog, or Canine Good Citizen prep classes.
Did you know that your puppy’s “critical socialization window” is the most important and influential period in their life and that this window closes sometime between twelve and eighteen weeks of age? It’s true! At this young age – and vital stage of development – your puppy’s social skills are much more important than their obedience and your primary focus should be on social skills and introducing your puppy to other puppies and people, as well as new surfaces, noises, objects, and obstacles. Now, imagine an indoor, temperature-controlled, off-leash puppy park where a lifeguard is always “on duty” – this interactive class offers a perfect balance of education and socialization! While your puppy plays off-leash (with trainer supervision), you’ll learn about their unique social behavior, social preferences, appropriate vs. inappropriate play, on- and off-leash greetings, dog body language, and more! You’ll learn how to properly socialize your puppy outside of the classroom and even go on “scavenger hunts” with them.
We also tackle manners – potty training, crate training, play biting, jumping on people, and destructive chewing – while not overwhelming the puppies or moving too quickly. It’s best to start teaching your puppy appropriate behavior now, so you can prevent bad habits from ever forming in the first place. Our primary focus is to give you the skills you’ll need so that you’ll form lifelong bonds and raise your puppy to be a well-socialized, well-mannered adult. Our Successful Socialization class is designed to put you and your puppy in a fun and successful learning environment and promises to get you and your puppy excited for training.
Age Requirements: all puppies between eight – fifteen weeks, at the start of class, are welcome to attend.
Other Requirements: as long as your puppy has been in your home for seven days (this includes fostering), is over eight weeks of age, and has had their first round of vaccines, you’re all set.
Class Duration: Successful Socialization meets for 1 one-hour session each week for four weeks.
Rolling Admission: this means you can start attending class at any time. No need to wait! Can’t attend four weeks consecutively? You’ll have six weeks to attend your four sessions.
Our Puppy Starters is more than your typical puppy class! This is our most popular class, and it’s praised by experienced and first-time owners alike because we set the right foundation. We believe training should be fun, so everything is age-appropriate. If your puppy was too old to attend our Successful Socialization class, no worries! Our Puppy Starters class has all the same socializing elements so that you can start off on the right “paw”. We’ll also give you new ways to socialize and help your puppy grow.
This class follows the AKC’s S.T.A.R. Puppy program to teach our puppies basic obedience – sit, down, come, drop it, etc. – while also nipping any naughty behaviors that are arising – potty training troubles, play biting, jumping on people, destructive chewing, and pulling on leash. Like our Successful Socialization class, Puppy Starters is designed to give your puppy a fun and successful learning environment. Our primary focus is on the skills you’ll need to continue bond-building and raising your new puppy to be a well-socialized, well-mannered adult.
Age Requirements: sixteen weeks – twenty-four weeks (under six months) at the start of class
Class Duration: one hour sessions once a week for seven weeks (the first week is a humans-only orientation)
Bonuses: AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test ($20 value) is included and will take place at graduation
Puppy Optimists is a dynamic group class designed specifically to help prepare your older puppy to see the glass half full. The word optimist means someone who is hopeful, cheerful, positive, and confident about the future – they expect to be successful. This is how we want your puppy to feel about the world around them!
By now your puppy is past their socialization window, but we still want to help ensure their world view continues to come from a place of optimism! “Uh oh! That vacuum is making a weird noise”, “I’m not too sure about other dogs”, “I have a lot of energy and I have trouble settling down”, “I’m bored maybe I should chew up this shoe!” – do these sound like things your puppy thinks about? Then this is the perfect class for you! Each week, you will learn to work as a team and help your pup feel more confident through a series of games, exercises, tips, and tricks. You will finesse old habits and teach them new skills to get them through their adolescence. Do you get bored easily? Not a fan of lecture-style learning? Not to worry because each week is something different – one week we may be working on how to behave on-leash or how to say hi to another dog, next week we may work on building fundamental agility skills, next week we may practice grooming and handling. The list goes on and on! This is the class that will help you build a wonderful bond with your pup, while giving them the confidence to handle all the things life throws their way!
Age Requirements: six months – twelve months (up to eighteen months if under twenty-five pounds) at the start of class
Other Requirements: must have attended either our Puppy STARters or Foundations classes before being eligible to attend.
Class Duration: Puppy Optimists meets for 1 one-hour session each week for six weeks.
Rolling Admission: this means you can start attending class at any time. No need to wait! Can’t attend all six weeks consecutively? You’ll have ten weeks to attend your six sessions.
We’re sorry, but our puppy classes do not cover behavior challenges such as severe on-leash reactivity (barking, growling, and/or lunging at others while on leash), excessive barking, separation anxiety, confinement distress, extreme fearfulness of people or dogs, or aggression as these cannot be covered in a group class setting. If you are already experiencing this type of behavior with your puppy, please check out our private training options. This way, we can tailor a training program to tackle your puppy’s individual needs.