Frequently Asked Questions
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puppy class questions
Can my puppy attend class before they are fully vaccinated?
Yes! Before attending class, you will need to provide proof of at least one distemper/parvo vaccine administered at least one week prior to class, and one deworming or a negative fecal result. Puppies under 3.5 months are too young for a rabies vaccine, so it is not required for Puppy101.
We follow the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) recommendations to ensure your puppy gets the socialization and training they need in a clean and safe environment. Please read these guidelines, found here. We use a disinfectant in our facility commonly used in vet offices to prevent the spread of disease.
When should my puppy start group classes?
ASAP! Puppies as young as 8 weeks old can begin classes! Your puppy’s critical window for socialization closes around 12-14 weeks of age. To help prevent behavioral problems in the future, start puppy classes when your puppy has been in your home for at least 1 week and has completed their first round of vaccinations. For more information, see this article.
Can more than one family member attend class with my puppy?
We love having families come to train together! If children 7 and under will be coming to class, two adults must attend.
What if I have to miss a class?
Please let us know at least one week in advance. One make-up class will be offered at no charge. If you miss more than one class, a second make-up class will be offered for a $25 fee. If you are registering for Learning to Puppy 101, we have multiple classes running each week, so you may have the option to swap into another class so you don’t miss a week.
Puppy School Questions
How long is a Puppy School session?
Sessions are 2.5-3 hours long. Drop off for morning sessions take place between 8:30-9am, and pick up is at 11:30. For the afternoon sessions, drop off is between 1-1:30, and pick up is at 4pm. If you need early drop off or a late pick up, please contact us to discuss options and/or availability.
Why isn’t puppy school a full day?
Puppy brains are rapidly developing, and in order for them to learn and remember, they need about 18-20 hours of sleep a day. Much of that sleep should take place during the day in a quiet and soothing place. Dogs have different circadian rhythms than we do, meaning that their sleep and wake cycles are different than ours. Their deep sleep should occur during the day and at night, and their active periods occur naturally at dawn and dusk. (Do you have a ‘witching hour’ around dinner time? This is why!) Many behavioral issues can be at least partially mitigated by making sure your puppy is getting the restful sleep they really need during the day.
How many puppies are at Puppy School?
One to four. We keep things small to provide an environment that is fun, but never chaotic or overwhelming for the puppies in our care. Every puppy gets loads of individual attention, and if we see anything of concern, we let you know at pick up to help you prevent future problems.
How much time do puppies spend crated?
Your puppy spends the majority of their time playing and training at Puppy School, with short rests in between. We encourage resting on a mat and/or in an exercise pen. If your puppy is not yet comfortable in a crate, they will spend no time in a crate, and if you want us to build crating skills, we can do this as part of your puppy’s training.
What is the trainer-to-puppy ratio?
There is a minimum of one certified dog trainer for every four puppies. A certified professional is present at all times, so you never have to worry when you trust us with your puppy.
What training methods do you use?
We use positive reinforcement to train new behaviors.
We adhere to a humane and ethical standard of care as outlined by the Humane Hierarchy. You can read more about this standard of care here.
Note that we DO NOT use positive punishment. Examples of positive punishment includes spray bottles, leash pops, or methods that inflict pain, fear or intimidation. Read more about why punishment should not be used.
If we get ‘stuck’ helping you, we have many people and resources to consult to ensure our solutions are not JUST effective, but also kind to both you and your dog.
Before you start working with a trainer, ask them about their methods and ethics. You can read more about selecting a behavior professional who is right for you and your dog here.