Puppy Training Classes
Do you offer Puppy Training Classes?
Yes! All of our classes come with private in-home dog training lessons. Whether you’re seeking puppy training or dog training, there’s no need to drive anywhere or deal with the over-crowded classrooms anymore! Dogs learn much better when they’re able to focus and practice in their own home. Our trainers are able to personalize your lessons and produce much faster, long-lasting behavior changes.
What is included in your puppy training course?
Our puppy training course, also known as our Essentials Course, covers all of the important foundational behaviors and skills you’ll need to teach your puppy. This includes the two most sought after lessons: potty training a puppy and crate training a puppy.
How old should my puppy be to start training?
You can start formal training lessons at as early as 11-12 weeks old. Puppies who start learning obedience and manners at an early age are much less likely to develop behavior problems down the road. It’s important to start setting rules and expectations for them early on so that they have consistent guidance through their early development period.
Dog Training Classes
Do you offer dog obedience training?
Yes, our Essentials Course covers all of the crucial obedience training your dog will need to learn. Our dog obedience training is rated one of the best in Denver. You can see all of the training included in our courses here.
Would you recommend a dog training class for my older dog?
Since all of our training classes are private it does not matter the age, breed, sex, or behavior of your dog. Every dog has their own individual needs and having a private trainer means we can adjust our program to best help you and your dog. For newly adopted puppies and dogs, we recommend one of our Essentials Courses. This will cover all of the important obedience commands and skills you'll want your new dog to have.
What if my dog has already had obedience training?
If your dog has had obedience training that was and still is effective then we recommend signing up for an evaluation or contacting us about what issues you are experiencing with your dog. In the case that their obedience responses are not reliable anymore, we will train them again using positive reinforcement methods to provide long lasting results. If they are exhibiting other behaviors not related to obedience, then after your evaluation a trainer will pair you with the best training program for you.
Potty Training a Puppy
Is it ok to use pee pads when potty training a puppy?
Potty training your puppy can be very overwhelming in the beginning stages. Trying to get your pup out as often as they need to go is time consuming and hard to manage with everything else going on throughout your day. However when you allow them to go on a pee pad inside the house, you are essentially telling them that it’s ok to go to the bathroom in the house. You want to get rid of pee pads as soon as possible so that your pup doesn’t have a history of going to the bathroom inside. Once this habit develops, it can be very hard to break. Instead you’ll want to use a crate as a potty training tool and get them out as frequently as possible to avoid accidents inside.
When should I start potty training?
Potty training should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. Crate training is a great way to help make potty training a faster phase. When potty training a new puppy, you’ll want to give them frequent potty breaks and be sure to praise them for going outside. It’s important to never punish a puppy for having an accident inside because this typically just makes them afraid to go in front of you and they’ll start to hide their accidents around the house. Instead if you catch your puppy in the act you’ll want to make a loud noise to interrupt them and then take them straight outside to finish.
Crate Training a Puppy
Crate training a puppy can be an extremely helpful for potty training purposes. This is because they will not go to the bathroom in the same area where they lay down usually. Keeping the crate small in the beginning is crucial for this to work. If they’re able to go potty on one side and sleep comfortably on the other, that’s what they’ll do.
What size crate should I get?
In the very early stages of potty training, you want to get a crate that’s only big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay back down in comfortably. As they grow bigger and can hold it for longer periods, you can give them more room. Adjustable crates are a great choice for exactly this reason. They can grow as your puppy grows.
What if my puppy doesn’t like their crate?
There are many ways that you can help your puppy like their crate! The most important rule is to never force your dog in their crate. If they are forced in, they’ll likely develop a bad association with the crate and then getting them to go in it could be a struggle for the rest of their life. You can build positive associations with their crate by feeding their meals in there, putting some extra yummy treats inside, or giving them a Kong or puzzle toy to play with in there. You’ll also want to start with very short periods of time in their crate and work up to longer periods so that it’s not a huge transition for them.
Socialization for Puppies & Dogs
At what age should I start socializing my puppy?
You should be socializing your puppy as much as possible between 2-4 months old. This is their critical socialization period. Although health concerns are heightened during this early age, the risk of an unsocialized dog often outweighs the potential health dangers. Unsocialized dogs commonly develop reactivity and aggression related behaviors. The American Veterinary Association of America has released a position statement that states socialization takes priority over finishing all three rounds of vaccines during these developmental periods. This is mainly because the #1 cause of dog deaths in the United States is euthanasia due to behavior issues.
What if I adopted an older dog? Is it too late to socialize them?
Although you’ve missed their critical socialization period, you should still socialize them to new people, dogs, and environments. You will just need to do so in a slow and progressive manner. They may have already developed some fears and phobias by this time that need to be addressed through behavior modification training.
Why is socialization so important?
Socialization is how your puppy learns how to be comfortable and confident around others and in their surroundings. Dogs who have had limited social opportunities with other dogs often end up fearful or reactive. These dogs sadly end up even more isolated over time because we become worried about how they'll react around other dogs so we keep them away from others even more. The same is true for dogs becoming socialized with different types of people. If your dog goes their whole first 9 months of life never seeing a tall man for example, then seeing a tall man might send them into a fearful state where they bark, lunge, or even try to bite. This does not mean that you have a bad dog, it means that they weren't socialized properly and as a result can they develop severe fears and anxiety.
Who should I socialize my dog with?
In the beginning, everyone you can! Old grumpy dogs, energetic barky dogs, cats, kids, people with deep voices, people with wheelchairs, etc. The list goes on and on. Think about all of the things your dog will encounter over the span of their life and try to expose them to as much of it as possible while they're young. You should also be exposing them to new sites, smells, textures, and objects. Objects with wheels are often scary to dogs, things like skateboards, bikes, and garbage cans are all objects your dog should experience. You also want to keep in mind that sounds and vibrations play a huge role in these experiences for dogs. Since they're more sensitive to vibrations and noises, they can be much more startling to them.
Training Aggressive Dogs
Is it possible to fix reactivity or aggression in dogs?
Yes. Behavior modification training has been proven to successfully resolve both reactivity and aggression in dogs. All dogs are individuals just like humans. They will each have their own emotional hurdles to overcome and this could take weeks, months, or even years.
How do you train a dog who is aggressive?
The key to solving aggression problems is finding the underlying issue that is causing the aggressive behavior to occur. The most common cause of aggressive behavior is fear. Dogs who are fearful are much more likely to bark, lunge, and bite. This is because when they are fearful, their fight or flight response can kick in. Most dogs will naturally avoid conflict however, if they are extremely fearful they may aggress as a way to tell the scary thing to go away. Dogs do this because it works. If you reach for a dog and they bite you, you are not likely to reach for that dog again. Dogs quickly learn that being aggressive puts an end to the things that scare them. It's often times a defensive mechanism.
Training Techniques & Methods
What types of training methods do you use?
All of our trainers use positive reinforcement training techniques. We do not support the use of any harmful training tools like prong collars, choke chains, or electronic collars. These tools were developed before we had the knowledge that we do now about how dogs learn. Using tools that cause fear and pain increases the risk of anxiety and aggression in dogs. Studies show that positive reinforcement training is the most effective and least intrusive way to train dogs.
Are you able to fix all behavior issues using positive reinforcement training?
There's no training method that can guarantee 100% success. However, using fear or painful tools to train can cause a lot more harm than many people realize. To the untrained eye many of the old techniques look like they work just fine. But what we now know is that down the road there are many behavior issues that pop up as a result of these training techniques. For example, you may see a trainer use a shock collar on a dog to stop them from barking but if this dog gets overwhelmed enough and becomes fearful you may now have a bite to deal with instead of a bark. Dogs use their behaviors to communicate with us and if we take away the behavior without fixing the root of the problem we can create much more harm than good. It's always vital to find the source of the behavior, figuring out why a dog is acting a certain way and changing that emotion is how we can best help them.
What areas of Denver do you service?
We service all of the Denver metro area and most surrounding areas within an hour of Denver.