Puppy Start Right

Our Puppy Start Right program is ideal for new puppy owners! Our classes kickstart your puppy’s learning journey, nurture their developing brain, and strengthen the bond between you. With group sessions, you’ll receive instructional videos for all taught skills, allowing for practice at home between lessons.

The Puppy Start Right program will teach you how to safely and positively teach your puppy, using a positive approach to problem-solving, prevention, and training. Please note: we do not recommend littermates attend the same group class session.

When enrolling in a group class, you can add on our Puppy Essentials Video Library with over 40 additional must-have puppy-raising videos for a discounted price of $39. Click here to view what is included in Puppy Essentials.

Please visit our Family Dog Mediation page for Puppy Start Right private lesson programs. Please click here for a guide to both private and group Puppy Start Right programs.

 

Puppy Start Right Preschool $200

For under-vaccinated puppies up to 20 weeks of age
Classes

The Puppy Start Right Preschool class caters to puppies up to 20 weeks old who are not fully vaccinated. With our open enrollment format, you can begin the class when it best suits your puppy.

Why should you start your puppy in a group class at this young age?

Starting your puppy in a group class early is crucial due to their limited “socialization” window, which closes around 16 weeks. Before this age, puppies are naturally more curious and receptive to forming positive associations with new experiences. Post-16 weeks, they tend to be more cautious, making new experiences potentially more challenging.

Puppy Preschool is tailored for young puppies to ensure they’re not overwhelmed, focusing on positive exposure to peers, normal behaviors, and preventing future behavioral issues. It emphasizes interaction with people and other dogs, novelty, and basic training like housetraining and enrichment activities. The course includes in-person sessions and online resources such as video tutorials and handouts.

The class teaches puppies confidence around their peers, with potential off-leash interaction among compatible puppies to encourage learning from positive social interactions. Parallel play and enrichment activities are offered for puppies less inclined towards physical interaction with their peers.

Graduates of Puppy Preschool will be primed for Puppy Start Right Kindergarten.

What is the difference between an under-vaccinated puppy and a fully vaccinated puppy?

The difference lies in their level of immunity: an under-vaccinated puppy hasn’t completed the DHPP vaccination series, which is essential for protection against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Vaccinations start between 6-8 weeks and are given every 2-4 weeks until the puppy reaches at least 16 weeks. A puppy is deemed fully vaccinated after receiving the final DHPP shot, usually between 16-18 weeks, with the initial rabies vaccine typically administered at three months.

Class Requirements

Vaccine Requirements:

  • A two-week quarantine period from the time you bring your puppy home. Many illnesses will present themselves in the first 14 days.
  • A veterinarian gives at least one DHPP vaccine, and 10 days have passed by the start of class
  • A veterinarian gives a bordetella vaccine
  • A negative fecal test result ensures your puppy is parasite-free, including giardia.  Please schedule your fecal test ASAP after bringing your puppy home. A positive fecal test is a common reason puppies cannot attend preschool, missing out on a significant developmental experience. Should your puppy test positive for giardia, we require a follow-up fecal test to indicate effective treatment.

Click here for a printable checklist of requirements you can give your veterinarian.

You can order a fecal test kit and have the results to your veterinarian within days. Many vets have long appointment wait times, so this may be a good option. You can order your kit here.

Class Instructor: Kim Silver, Elizabeth Green, or Michele Almeida

Class Length: Four 45-60 minute classroom sessions

You and Your Dog Will Learn:

  • Guidance on key early puppyhood issues, including biting, potty training, coping with separation, and socializing with humans and other animals.
  • Encourage curiosity and resiliency through the exploration of unfamiliar objects, sounds, and surfaces.
  • Engage in fun games that encourage coming to you when you call
  • Kickstart the journey to leash walking
  • Mastering the "trade" cue for safe item retrieval from their mouth
  • Enhancing engagement through dynamic focus-based games
  • Gain insights into interpreting your puppy's body language for better communication.
  • Develop skills using the lure-reward method

Requirements:

  • Preschool is available to puppies that under 20 weeks of age and who are not yet fully vaccinated. Your puppy can start preschool 10 days after their first DHPP vaccine as long as it was given by a veterinarian. A negative fecal test result from your veterinarian indicating they are free from giardia and other parasites must be uploaded in order to register for class. All other vaccination records need to be uploaded or emailed to us.
  • We require a bordetella vaccine.
  • We ask that you please give your new puppy 14 days to settle in before coming to a group class.

Classes

Puppy Start Right Kindergarten $225

For fully vaccinated puppies age 20 weeks - 7 months
Classes

Puppy Start Right Kindergarten is for fully vaccinated puppies 20 weeks – 7 months of age who have graduated from preschool OR are just starting with training. Kindergarten includes in-person classroom instruction with your certified trainer and tutorial videos with step-by-step written instructions on how to teach new behaviors with lifetime access.

Class Instructor: Kim Silver, Elizabeth Green, or Michele Almeida

Class Length: Six 45-60 minute classroom sessions

You and Your Dog Will Learn:

  • Discover the four foundational pillars of puppy upbringing: L.E.G.S. - Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self.
  • Master the art of incorporating treats effectively in your training sessions.
  • Unleash the power of play to enhance your puppy's training experience.
  • Guide your puppy through their social journey, including interactions with humans and fellow canines.
  • Establish consistent routines to foster an optimal learning environment.
  • Gain insights into interpreting your puppy's body language for better communication.
  • Delve into the significance of your dog's breed on their behavior to tailor your approach.
  • Equip yourself with training techniques that ensure lifelong skills for your dog

Requirements:

  • Your puppy must be between 20 weeks - 7 months old at the start of class and must be able to work around other dogs.
  • Your puppy must be fully vaccinated for parvo, distemper, rabies, and bordetella.
  • We ask that you please give your new puppy 14 days to settle in before coming to a group class.
  • If your puppy has a history of barking at dogs or people, growling, or has bitten another dog or person, please contact us to discuss if this class is right for your puppy. Private lessons are also available and may be recommended.

Classes

Puppy Start Right Teenager Edition $225

For dogs age 7 months to 2 years old
Classes

Enhance your understanding of adolescent dog care by delving into targeted training areas, emphasizing attention games, leash proficiency, consistent recall, public comportment, entrance waiting, interpreting dog body language, and impulse control exercises.

Prerequisite Skills: Dogs should respond to sit or lie down cues, either through luring or verbal cues. Additionally, they should comfortably navigate around people and other dogs without excessive barking or noticeable fear signals. Shy dogs are especially encouraged to participate in the program.

Class Instructor: Kim Silver, Elizabeth Green, or Michele Almeida

Class Length: Six 45-60 minute classroom sessions

You and Your Dog Will Learn:

  • Leash skills
  • Impulse control games
  • Wait at entrances
  • Dog body language
  • Hanging out In public
  • Wait at entrances
  • Come when called

Requirements:

  • Your dog must be between 7 months and 2 years of age and be fully vaccinated for parvo, distemper, bordetella, and rabies.
  • Dogs must be able to be lured into sit and down and be able to work around other dogs without barking.
  • Your dog must be comfortable with other dogs within 6 feet of them. Excessive barking is not suitable for a group class.
  • We ask that you please give your newly adopted dog 14 days to settle in before coming to a group class.
  • If your dog has a history of barking at dogs on leash, growling or has bitten another dog, please contact us about private training.

Classes

Make sure to check out the video below to see a sneak peak of what we do in this program!

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