PUPPY SCHOOL

There is nearly unanimous agreement among behavior professionals that the best way to help puppies become safe, confident adults is providing them positive experiences with everything they may encounter as an adult. To say a puppy should see 100 strangers before 12 weeks old is not an exaggeration! Repeat exposure during which a puppy feels safe and happy is the best preventative for behavior problems such as reactivity, aggression, fear, anxiety, husbandry intolerance and resource guarding.

This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. During the socialization period puppies' brains are uniquely open to forming new connections which will later guide them in deciding whether or not they need to fight or flee. With some variation between individuals and breed, this period lasts approximately from 3 weeks of age to 12 weeks. 

Good socialization does not guarantee a stable adult as there are many other factors with strong impacts such as genetics, the level of stress their mother endures during and after pregnancy, untreated or undiagnosed medical conditions, current environment and past learning. However, the aftermath of puppies who did not receive socialization within this window, vs similar puppies in similar environments who did, is drastic and has been well documented in scientific literature.

Check out the position statement on puppy socialization from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

Prices

Program: $550 

Field trips and progress reports included!!

*Payment is required up front. Please provide proof of age appropriate vaccinations.*

Curriculum

This is a six day program in which you drop off your puppy, and pick them up 3 hours later.

Scheduling is flexible. Ideally, sessions are split among   2-3 weeks. This allows enough repetitive exposure in a short enough time for the socialization goals and training to begin to become "normal" to your puppy.

This program is not a replacement for continued socialization and training at home.

Safe and humane training methods are used, so progress may be slower for some individuals. It is both unkind and ineffective to force puppies to face any fears they may have, at full strength. Additionally, social play is a very important part of puppy learning, so many breaks for play are allotted.

Socialization goals:

Training goals:

  • Grooming.

    • nail trimming

    • running water (bath)

    • brushes

    • toothbrushes

    • electric clippers if applicable 

  • Vet visits.

    • restraint

    • tools

    • faux injections 

    • rubbing alcohol smell

    • medical cones

  • Wearable gear.

    • ​muzzles

    • harnesses

    • sweaters

  • People.

    • canes and medical boots​

    • costumes with masks

    • sunglasses or hats

    • backpacks and accessories

  • Environment changes.

    • crinkly and wobbly surfaces​

    • noise phobia prevention

    • stairs

    • novel shapes, statues and decor

  • Animals.

    • puppies and dogs​

    • cats, young and old

  • Holding still is lucrative!

    • give paws for trims

    • hold still for ear/mouth inspection

  • Resource guarding prevention.

    • I take chew, you get treat​

  • Basic obedience.

    • ​sit

    • down

    • stay

  • Impulse control.

    • leave it cue, adaptable for more than just treats

    • give into leash pressure

    • biting skin makes play stop

  • Proper play.

    • play ceases for bullying

  • Name recognition.

    • coming when called

    • breaking focus when called

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nickala@carefreecanine.org

Grand Forks, North Dakota

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