No matter what breed they are, when left untrained, puppies get up to all sorts of mischief. This is fine when they’re young and learning, of course, but not so much when they’re older and bigger. That’s why it’s important to take them to dog training classes to teach them what is and isn’t okay right from the beginning. Our puppy training programs are designed to help your furry friend develop good habits, manners and social skills.
- On-leash training
- Foundation for raising your puppy right
- Classes are offered on a set schedule once per week, excluding inclement weather or major holidays
- Puppy class
- Treat pouch
- Enrollment for puppies 10 weeks to 5 months old; unlimited classes offered until your puppy ages out at 6 months old
What We Teach
- Basic obedience training
- Loose leash walking
- Housebreaking/crate training
- Problem-solving such as jumping, play biting, barking, etc.
- Health and safety
- Object socialization/confidence building
- Any puppy 10 weeks to 5 months old
- Anyone who wants a lasting positive relationship with their puppy
- Anyone who wants to prevent behavioral problems from forming
Perfect Puppy Training
For a new dog, the first few months are crucial when it comes to teaching the key elements of good future behavior: basic obedience, good manners and socialization.
A puppy’s young, impressionable mind absorbs everything. They learn, form habits and make long-lasting associations. But well-meaning new dog owners can sometimes create behavioral issues down the road. For example, cute behaviors like jumping up when greeting or chewing a favorite toy may be tolerated or even inadvertently rewarded, which can then become problematic when the puppy grows up.
Some of these common behavioral issues we see at The Dog Wizard include:
- Biting: Like babies, one of the ways puppies learn and explore is by putting things in their mouths. At first, you may find this sweet, but it’s less cute as the puppy gets its adult teeth. When they’re grown, this can develop into destructive biting or chewing of slippers, furniture, etc.
- Jumping: Coming home to your puppy jumping up to greet you is heartwarming. Still, while it’s endearing and cute when they’re little, as the puppy grows, this can get overwhelming. In fact, a grown dog that jumps up is one of the main things non-dog owners, particularly children, are wary of.
- Potty training: Probably a new owner’s number one priority, effectively potty training a puppy requires time, dedication and patience. Many family pets have become rescue dogs due to neglected toilet training. All dogs’ learning curve with toileting varies, but this is one issue you absolutely need to get right.
- Whining: While this is normal and expected from puppies when they’re hungry, thirsty or a bit lonely, if unchecked, it can turn into a dealbreaker for a lot of owners. This is particularly true for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, which is another trait typically resulting from early-stage experiences.
Let’s be clear here: These behaviors aren’t really bad. They represent the natural, normal development stages of dog training. Nevertheless, the foundation built in these times will help shape your adult dog’s personality, prevent behavioral issues and improve your owner-pet bond.
Good Behavior Foundations
Sadly, it’s a fact that most adult dogs with significant problems have had some kind of bad experience early in life. Dog training from when they are born up until 16 weeks, good or bad, will last a lifetime, so it’s vital you get it right.
This ultimately means focusing on three key areas in depth of training:
- Basic obedience
- Good manners
Basic training helps your pet learn its role, both in your family and in the world around it. Done right, it will teach your dog the skills it needs to interact with other dogs and people inside and outside your home. Recognizing its name, to come, to sit and down as well as how to properly walk on or off-leash are all vital commands.
Socialization is the process of teaching a puppy that its world is safe and that dogs and people come in all shapes and sizes. Socialization will also help your puppy react properly in various situations, such as being gentle with children, riding in vehicles calmly and behaving appropriately with visitors.
Good manners mean training your puppy to not jump up on people, to eliminate only outside, to “leave it” and to not bark excessively. Other behavior problems like nipping may also need to be addressed.
The Benefits of Puppy Training Classes
The best way to ensure puppies grow up into well-adjusted dogs is by training them from a young age. Bringing your new puppy home is an exciting time for the whole family, but the skills learned in those crucial first few months can influence a dog’s behavior for life. Owners and their puppies have a lot to gain from a fun and thorough training program.
- When you begin training as early as possible, you can prevent common behavioral issues such as chewing, biting, excessive barking and house soiling. Puppies are less likely to engage in destructive behaviors if they learn early on what’s expected of them.
- Training boosts a puppy’s confidence by providing mental stimulation and challenges, helping it develop problem-solving skills and a sense of accomplishment. Confident puppies are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adult dogs.
- Basic skills classes are an opportunity for owners to bond and develop a trusting relationship with their pets.
- It’s easier to keep a well-trained pup safe because it’s less likely to ignore basic commands, reducing the risk of getting lost or running into ongoing traffic.
Common Puppy Training Methods
Several methods are commonly used to teach and reinforce desired behaviors in puppies and help them become well-behaved dogs. Some pups might require specialty classes and more advanced training.
- Positive reinforcement. As the most popular training method, this type of training focuses on rewarding your puppy’s good behaviors with treats, praise or play while ignoring or redirecting unwanted behaviors. The idea behind it is that a dog is more likely to repeat desired behaviors if it knows treats are involved.
- Clicker training. This type of training uses a small handheld clicker to mark the desired behavior, followed by a reward. The clicker serves as a clear and consistent signal for the pup, making it effective for teaching new commands and behaviors
- Lure-based. This method can be effective for teaching commands such as sit, stay and lie down by luring it into your desired stance with a treat.
- Relationship-based training. This method focuses on spending quality time with the puppy, providing mental and physical stimulation and reinforcing desired behaviors through rewards and praise.
- Training with crates. Training your new puppy to be comfortable inside a crate can help prevent destructive behaviors such as chewing furniture and indoor soiling accidents. Proper crate training also provides a calm and safe place for your pup to rest unobserved. The puppy is gradually introduced to the crate in a fun way with treats, toys and blankets, with the goal of it eventually becoming a safe space.
The Pillars of a Good Puppy Training Program
A good in-person program should result in you walking out with an obedient, confident and well-mannered puppy. While pups are adorable, mischievous behaviors such as puppy biting need to be addressed by puppy owners before they get older and more difficult to manage.
- Obedience and impulse control. Basic skill classes instill obedience commands such as sit, stay, come and leash walking. A well-trained pup is more likely to respond to commands, making it easier to manage and control and preventing future behavior problems.
- Socializing your puppy. Exposing puppies to people, animals and different locations in a controlled and positive manner teaches them to appropriately interact with other dogs and other people. Early socialization is important to help reduce the likelihood of anxiety or aggression in the adult dog. The younger a puppy is, the easier it is to socialize. It’s important to start socialization classes as early as possible during the first year of the puppy’s life.
- Loose leash walking. Walking your dog should be a pleasurable activity for both of you. Loose leash training ensures puppies learn how to behave outside the home without pulling, barking at other dogs or cats or crossing in front of you. Not only is leash training important for bonding, it’s also crucial to keeping your puppy safe when out on walks.
- Housebreaking your puppy. Teaching your new puppy where it’s appropriate to relieve itself should start from the minute you introduce your new puppy into your home.
To ensure the happiness and health of your puppy, our private sessions or group classes for puppies provide the key foundations needed to make sure they’re on the right track to becoming a pleasant, well-mannered family pet.
As expert dog trainers, The Dog Wizard works with you and your puppy. Through our experience, we get these important foundations down correctly for further training sessions and a future happy life.
Our private puppy classes are designed for puppies from 6 weeks to 5 months old, with training times that fit around your schedule, class size and location. They’ll build a solid foundation, transforming your new family member into a canine good citizen that’s ready to explore the world safely and confidently.
Some of the specific areas worked on include:
- Housebreaking and crates
- Loose leash walking
- Solving behavior problems such as jumping, play biting, barking, etc.
- Confidence building/socialization
- Basic obedience
The Dog Wizard is ready to start your dog’s journey toward good behavior today. Schedule your evaluation with our expert trainers or give us a call for more information and learn more about our dog training services!