Our Training Philosophy

Our approach to training is a culmination of scientific research, years of experience, and the understanding that no two pups or their families are the same. We provide an individualized approach to training combining techniques such as positive reinforcement, scientific training, and clicker training (using the word yes instead of the clicker).

We use no negative reinforcement in any of our programs. 

We also believe training is done best in a home environment where puppies are exposed to day-to-day sounds and experiences. Learning how to behave in a home is crucial to our goal of setting puppies up for ongoing success. Training in the home also allows us to give each puppy the individual time and attention they deserve!

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Puppy Preparatory Curriculum

What We Teach & Why

Bite Inhibition

Puppies naturally explore and play using their teeth While they mean no harm, those razor-sharp puppy teeth can cause a lot of pain and/or damage. Learning to use their teeth in an appropriate way is a very important lesson for puppies to learn! This part of their education starts with their mom and littermates and should be continued by the people around them. 

All of our programs address play biting, chewing, tugging on clothes, and everything else associated with a teething puppy just learning how they are allowed to use their teeth.

General Obedience 

Our curriculum also covers house manners and general obedience. This includes learning not to jump on people, learning not to counter surf, learning not to bark, learning not to dig, and more! 

Our programs are also customizable so we can work on behaviors specific to your puppy and training goals.

Separation Anxiety 

As more and more people trickle back into the office, separation anxiety in puppies has become more prevalent than ever. This is an issue we have a great deal of experience addressing. It is so rewarding to see puppies gain confidence and independence while giving owners more freedom to live a more balanced life with their pup. 

It is important that we take our time when addressing separation anxiety as pushing a puppy too quickly in this area can make their anxiety worse. We take an empathetic and loving approach to make sure we are moving at the pace that is appropriate for each puppy with the goal of making sure they are comfortable throughout the process in order to build confidence and a positive association with alone time. 

For students that do not show signs of separation anxiety, we will still take steps to reduce the risk of it developing in the future. 

 

If separation anxiety is a concern, we recommend enrolling in at least four weeks of Board & Train. If your puppy is 9-12 months or more, we recommend enrolling in the six or eight week program. We do NOT recommend the Two-Week Board & Train Program or Day School for separation anxiety.  

Potty Training

Potty training is often the single most important skill owners want their new pup to have! Puppy Preparatory's proven potty training method helps cut down on accidents, and the time it takes for your pup to learn to do their business outside.

Leash Training

The ability to control your pup on the leash is critical to your safety, the safety of your dog, and others. 

All of our programs focus on leash manners and the "heel" command. 

Socialization

Young puppies up to the age of 14 weeks experience a special socialization period. During this time, their brains are the most flexible and take in information about what is safe and normal. 

It is also critical that puppies learn bite inhibition at a young age, and they learn this skill best from their peers. This work starts with their mom and littermates and can be continued through play with other pups!

All of our students have the opportunity to socialize with other pups, new people, and are exposed to new environments. 

Desensitization

Going hand-in-hand with socialization, we also work on desensitization. Young puppies are just beginning their exposure to the world, and while their brains are the most flexible, it is important to expose them to as many things as possible. 

We believe training is best in a home environment to help pups get used to things like doorbells, vacuums, visitors, people passing by on the street, and more. We also play sounds such as sirens, storms, and fireworks to expose our students to sounds they will experience in the future.

Basic Commands

At Puppy Preparatory, we focus on establishing a strong foundation of training. Part of this foundation involves learning basic commands, including:

  • Sit

  • Down

  • Touch 

  • Place 

  • Look

  • Drop It 

  • Leave it

  • Stay

  • Settle

  • Off

Crate Training

Puppy Preparatory strongly believes in the importance of crate training! The crate keeps your pup (and your property) safe. The crate is also a huge help with potty training! 

Crate Training is part of all of our programs at Puppy Preparatory. We use positive association to help your pup learn to love their crate and see it as their own safe space to relax and rest.

During training, we will provide an appropriately sized crate for your pup! If you do not have a crate at home yet, we are happy to provide the link to the one we use.