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Socialization & Training for Puppies 9-20 weeks of age

Starting October 4, 2022

Avoid future behavior problems - fear, shyness, reactivity, aggression - that come from NOT properly & safely exposing your puppy to new people, places & things by the time puppy is 12 weeks old.

Read what the experts say

Did you know puppies that do NOT get proper exposure to new people, places and things before 12-14 weeks of age are at great risk of struggling with future emotional and behavior problems, such as fear, shyness, reactivity, aggression, and chronic anxiety?

But my puppy isn't fully vaccinated! Won't my puppy catch a disease?

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Today's veterinarian community agrees that the risk of disease when a puppy has just ONE parvovirus and distemper vaccine is minuscule, while the risk of behavior problems for dogs that miss out on exposure is substantial.

What's different about PuppySMART?

  • Inspired by many years spent working with dogs that struggle with behavior problems, Certified Canine Behavior Consultant Ann King created PuppySMART as a behavior prevention program. 

  • PuppySMART takes advantage of the critical developmental periods when puppy’s brain is naturally wired to accept new things (12-14 weeks), and after that when puppy’s brain naturally shifts into a more “suspicious” mode. Owner’s learn how to properly support the continued emotional development of their puppies. 

  • PuppySMART focuses not just on typical puppy “problems” like potty training and manners, but helps your puppy naturally learn to expect the unexpected. This results in a dog that can manage its emotions, which ultimately drives its behavior.

  • Owners learn age-appropriate physical and mental enrichment, and training activities that can be continued throughout their puppy’s life.

  • Owners learn hands-on exercises designed to prevent behaviors such as leash reactivity, stranger danger, possession guarding, body handling issues (vet and groomer problems), extreme fear, or chronic anxiety later in life

  • The SMART framework - Structure, Management, Activity, Red flags, Training - is a holistic approach that addresses all aspects of a dog’s life: physical, social, environmental, and bridging the communication gap between our two species.

  • In addition to the science-based and vet-approved curriculum, PuppySMART’s open enrollment format means 7 days after your puppy’s FIRST parvo/distemper vaccine, and a negative fecal test, you can start. No waiting! 

How does the program work?

PuppySMART is a 12-module course designed to take advantage of your puppy’s key developmental stages up to about 20 weeks of age.

  • Your puppy’s age when you start determines how many modules you purchase. See Modules & Fees.

  • Most puppy owners will attend one module per week, except during the 2022 Holiday Accelerated Track in December. See Calendar.

  • When viewing the Calendar, disregard Module # - this is for instructors. The open-enrollment format allows you to start on any Module.

  • Class start time changes by 90 minutes when puppies transition from Preschool to Kindergarten. See Calendar.

  • Preschool and Kindergarten are not sold separately. The sooner you start the course, the more your puppy (and you!) will benefit.

PuppySMART Preschool 9-14 weeks: 6 modules

This is when we can have the greatest impact on the learning, emotional resilience and flexibility, and brain development of our puppies. Puppies are learning by association during this period. If NOT socialized during this period, shyness, reactivity, and aggressiveness can dominate a puppy's behavior for the rest of his life. 

 

PuppySMART Kindergarten 15-20 weeks: 6 modules

By 16 weeks of age, the brain of a puppy will reach about 80% of full development, and a puppy’s emotional makeup is largely developed for life. But not completely! This pre-adolescent timeframe is when a little bit of training goes a really long way. This is when we reinforce skills the puppy has learned, teach new skills, and continue exposing the puppy to various environmental stimuli. This is also where we help puppies that might be wary of new things.

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Program Highlights

  • Binder with step-by-step instructions for socialization and training exercises for you to practice at home

  • Free Treat Bag for training

  • Puppy Play Groups & Dog Body Language

  • Exposure to equipment typically found at the vet or groomer

  • Problem solving (housebreaking, mouthing/biting, etc.)

  • Body handling

  • Prevention of Separation Anxiety & Possession Aggression

  • Safety for puppies & children

  • Introduction to basic obedience behaviors

  • Exposure to all kinds of weird & wacky textures, sights, sounds, smells that help puppy learn to expect the unexpected.

Ready to help your puppy become a great dog?

1. Review Policies

Important info about health & safety requirements, and general policies.

2. Review Modules & Fees

  • Your puppy's age when you start will determine the number of modules to purchase.

  • Pick the day of the week that works for your schedule (Tuesday or Thursday or Sunday).We have some flexibility if you need to bounce around on different days if classes aren't full. Just let us know.

  • IMPORTANT: when your puppy transitions from Preschool to Kindergarten (determined by age), your class start time will change by 90 minutes.

  • Most students attend one module per week on the day they've chosen (except for December 2022 Holiday season where you'll want to do multiple modules in the couple of weeks before holidays as no classes are offered for about 2 weeks).

Class location

3. Check the calendar

  • Classes are held Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday. Select the day that works for your schedule. We have some flexibility if you need to bounce around on different days if classes aren't full. Just let us know.

  • Preschool & Kindergarten have different start times (if your puppy transitions from Preschool to Kindergarten while in the program - this is determined by their age - your start time will change by 90 minutes).

  • Most puppy owners attend one module per week.

  • Disregard Module # - this is for instructors.

  • The open-enrollment format means you can start on any Module. Plan to attend multiple modules in the Accelerated Track (December 2022 Holiday season).

4. Register

  • Fill out the form and make your payment (you can still use PayPal with a debit or credit card even if you don't have a PayPal account).

  • You'll receive a confirmation email with instructions to provide proof of puppy's age, vaccines, and negative fecal test, waiver, and a link to the Orientation Video.

We look forward to meeting you and your puppy!

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