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Training Your Puppy - Puppy Foundations I

Updated: May 21, 2023

Puppy training with our positive reinforcement program Puppy Foundations I is a sure way to get your puppy off to a great start. The curriculum of Puppy Foundations I includes learning the foundations of training and communication for both you and your puppy. This is a comprehensive puppy training program that’s customizable to you and your puppy’s individual needs.

In Puppy Foundations I we’ll cover 5 areas that are very important for your puppy’s growth and development into a happy, well-adjusted, adult dog.

  • Obedience

  • Manners

  • Socialization

  • Introduction to Loose Leash Walking

  • Puppy Housetraining

Puppy Obedience includes behaviors such as sit, down, stand, leave it and others. These behaviors, while fun to have your puppy know serve a much more important role. For example, “Leave It” strengthens impulse control and your puppy’s focus on you, the handler. After training “Leave It,” if something drops on the floor, and you quickly say “Leave It” – your puppy will reflexively look at you and not go for the object. In turn, this works if they spot something on the street. Of course, building this response into your puppy’s repertoire of behaviors will take some time and we are here to help with that. It’s one of our required behaviors for puppies in our Puppy Foundations I.

Puppy Manners include things like teaching your puppy what to do instead of nipping, jumping, chewing your favorite pairs of shoes, and barking like a lunatic. Manners also include behaviors outside the home once your puppy starts their walks. That includes items like sitting nicely in the elevator, and taking cues from you on whether you’ll greet another dog or person or walk on by. Typically, these more advanced matters are focused in Puppy Foundations II, and are part of the items in the AKC, Canine Good Citizen Test (AKC CGC).

Puppy Socialization exercises are critically important for your puppy, especially between 8 to about 16 weeks of age. During this period in your puppy’s development, they are open to accepting novel environments, experiences, and objects. Once they mature past this phase their knowledge of these things is more set and if they have not been properly socialized it can be more difficult to work with them at this later stage. Playing with other puppies and meeting different people is only part of puppy socialization. There is a lot more to it and we will be discussing that and what you can do to ensure your puppy is well-socialized during this very important period of their life.

Introduction to Loose Leash Walking includes things from teaching your puppy to proudly wear their harness to having them learn how to walk properly on a loose leash next to you.

Puppy Housetraining involves making a few choices about the methods you would like to employ for teaching your puppy where to relieve themselves. Some puppies use puppy pads at home until they are a little older and fully vaccinated and others venture out a little sooner. We will discuss the options and recommend questions for your veterinarian as you decide which is best for you and your puppy.

Puppy Foundations I will also give you exercises to prevent the development of Separation Anxiety and work with you to get your puppy comfortable and enjoying their alone time.

At the end of the 6-week Puppy Foundations I training program, your puppy will take the AKC STAR Puppy Test and have a graduation ceremony!

Tara’s School for Dogs offers Puppy Foundations II as a continuing program for your puppy. Most clients continue with this second program that teaches more advanced behaviors and proofs the behaviors your growing puppy already knows.

Both programs Foundations I and II are customizable so there’s a lot of flexibility in what you and your puppy can learn. Our canine graduates of Foundations I and II are well-trained dogs that qualify for testing of the 10 test items of the AKC Canine Goods Citizen test.

Tara’s School for Dogs is here to help get your puppy off to a great start to adulthood with our signature Puppy Foundations packages.

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