Puppy Training in Denver
Do you offer Puppy Training Classes?
Yes, we offer our puppy training classes all across the Denver area. 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. Because these are private lessons, our trainers are also able to personalize your lessons which makes us able to produce faster results with long-lasting positive behavior.
What is included in your puppy training classes?
We offer two of the best selling puppy training classes in Denver, our Obedience Training 1 - on - 1 Course and our Obedience Training - Classic Course. These private classes both include all of the important foundation behaviors and skills you’ll need to teach your puppy (sit, stay, come, leave it & more). These lessons also include essential tips for socializing your puppy, creating a strong bond with them, and how to set them up to be a perfect companion for life. In addition, the two most sought after lessons by new pet parents: potty training a puppy and crate training a puppy, will be covered in these courses.
When Should I Start Puppy Training Classes?
You can start formal training lessons at as early as 9-11 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. Remember that your puppy is always learning at this age whether you're purposely teaching them or not, so be clear about the behaviors you don't like as well as the behaviors you do.
Dog Training in Denver
Do you offer dog training in denver?
Yes, our private dog training classes are offered all over the Denver - Metro area. Our trainers service most areas within a 45 minutes radius of Denver. To check if we service your location, visit our Serviced Areas page. Our dog training classes cover all of the crucial obedience training your dog will need to learn if they are newly adopted or just new to formal training in general. Our dog training is rated as one of the best in Denver. You can see all of the training included in our classes here.
Would you recommend dog training classes 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 Obedience Training 1 - on - 1 Course. This will include all of the important commands, behaviors, 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.
Our Puppy Training Methods
How to Start Training Your New Puppy
You should start training your new puppy the rules of the house as soon as you bring them home. This includes where to go potty and how to use their mouth appropriately. Formal training can begin as soon as they're 9 weeks old. Bringing home a new puppy is such an exciting experience! They can bring us so much happiness; but poor behavior can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. Puppies are often easily distracted making training on your own a challenge. This is where our trainers come in to save the day. Our trainers have extensive experienced in managing puppy behavior. We know exactly how to get the most out of a training session with your puppy. We use all of the tips and tricks we’ve acquired over the years to give you the fastest, most effective training results. While puppies can sometimes be difficult to train, the accomplishment you’ll feel once they’ve completed all of their obedience training is unsurpassed! In 6 weeks we can turn your unruly puppy into a well behaved doggie citizen. Our courses are specifically designed with puppies in mind and our trainers are well versed in the best practices of teaching brand new pups.
Potty Training Your Puppy
When should I start potty training my puppy?
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.
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.
Our training courses cover all of the secrets to mastering potty training. We know that in early puppyhood this can be one of the most difficult challenges to overcome. Often times it is this training that takes the most time, patience, and understanding. Since puppies are not born knowing how to go potty outside, this is not an established behavior when you first bring them home. Potty training is a process that can take some dogs days and others months. Depending on your dogs size and age, they may need to go out as often as every hour in the very beginning. The good news is that it gets much easier as you go! With every successful potty break outside you’re one step closer to a potty trained dog. Dogs are able to hold it for longer periods of time as they grow making your job much simpler. Positive reinforcement plays a huge role in this training. The goal with teaching this behavior is consistently rewarding them for going outside.
Crate Training Your Puppy
Using a crate for potty training can be extremely helpful! This is because dogs don’t like to go to the bathroom in the same area where they sleep. When they’re really young you want to be starting them off in a small crate. The reason for this is that if puppies can poo or pee on one side and then sleep on the other, that’s what they’ll do. Keeping the crate small at first helps to teach them how to hold it. As they grow, their crate can grow larger too. Once they’re successfully potty trained you may not even need a crate anymore. However, keeping one around might be a good idea in the long run. Crates can be a great tool to keep your dog safe if they have any destructive behaviors. They can also be used to transport your dog safely in the car. For new adoptees crates can serve as a safe haven in their new home.
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.
When You Shouldn’t Use a Crate
It’s important to understand that not all puppies or dogs will be comfortable in a crate. When you first introduce your dog to the crate it’s normal for them to be fearful of being in the crate or of the crate itself. There is an adjustment period for all dogs where they have to learn how to like their crate and thankfully there are many things you can do to encourage this. You should start them out with very short periods of time in the crate at first and gradually build up to longer periods. It’s normal to hear some crying, barking, and scratching at the crate when you first introduce them to it. However, some dogs have severe reactions which can lead to dangerous actions so it is important to pay close attention to your dog during these times. A typical puppy may cry for an hour or so but then soothe themselves and eventually fall asleep. Alternatively, some puppies may scream and howl for hours on end without any feeling of relief. In some situations dogs may injure themselves trying to escape their crate or they may cause self-inflicted wounds from behaviors that arise in the midst on their panic. If you think your puppy or dog is having a severe reaction like this to being left in a crate then you should avoid using crates altogether.
Some dogs have a bad reaction to the feeling of being left along while others have a bad reaction to the feeling of being contained. Either way, it is unsafe to leave a dog in a crate who is suffering from extreme panic. Dogs who exhibit these behaviors could end up causing serious harm to themselves. Although the feelings behind these reactions are individual to the specific dog, there are a few common reasons why a dog may not like their crate. The first is that they may be claustrophobic. Dogs can develop this disorder just like people. The second is that they may have a bad association with the crate. If they were adopted from an abusive home where they were neglected and left in a crate for much of their life, this would be a clear cause of distress. Third and most common, they could be exhibiting these behaviors because they are experiencing separation anxiety.
It is always important to check that your dog is having an appropriate reaction to their crate. Making their crate a happy place to be is the best possible way to make crate training a good experience. There are also other solutions to keeping them secure and safe. You can use baby gates or puppy-proofed rooms as a great alternative.
Puppy Nipping & Mouthing
Puppy nipping is a very commonly issue although it can be quite upsetting when you’re experiencing it first hand. Puppies explore the world with their mouths much like human babies do. Because of this, you’ll see a lot of mouthing during their early months. Another big cause of mouthing and nipping is teething. Puppies go through their teething phase at around 3-7 months of age. During this period their baby teeth are being pushed out and replaced by their adult teeth. Teething does come with a great deal of pain as their adult teeth are all pushing through their gum line to the surface. You may notice blood in their mouth or blood on chew toys they’ve recently played with.
While puppies are teething you will see an increase in mouthing and nipping because they are trying to soothe the pain they are experiencing. However, it is extremely important that we teach them how to use their mouths appropriately during this time. Puppies are not born knowing that it’s not ok to put their mouths on people, this is something we have to teach them. Since puppies play with other dogs using their mouth, they don’t have an understanding of how gentle human skin is compared to dogs skin. We can teach them how to be gentle with their mouth as a part of their obedience training program with us. Mouthing and nipping is covered in-depth in both of our puppy training classes, to book yours, first submit a Training Enrollment Form.
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.
Our Positive Dog Training Methods
What are Positive Reinforcement Training Methods?
Positive reinforcement training uses scientifically backed animal learning theory. The main learning theories used are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is the act of pairing a certain thing with a positive association. Through operant conditioning, behaviors are learned by repeatedly rewarding desired behaviors. Once the dog understands that doing a behavior earns them a reward, they continue to perform the behavior. Alternatively, undesirable behaviors are prevented and managed using force-free techniques in order to reduce their frequency and then extinguish them altogether.
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.
How Positive Reinforcement Training Works
Positive reinforcement training focuses on building a strong relationship between you and your dog. Creating this bond results in your dog respecting you and listening to you because they truly want to. Positive reinforcement training uses praise and treats to reward your dog for doing something you ask them to do.
How We Use Positive Reinforcement Training Methods
Training should be a top priory for any new puppy or dog in your home! We use positive reinforcement training to help build a strong relationship and bond. Using this form of obedience training gets your life together started off on the right paw. We use positive training methods to teach your dog new skills, how to handle new situations, and how to listen to you. These training methods have been scientifically proven to be more successful than other teaching styles. We never use force, fear, or intimidation to train. All of our lessons are filled with praise and fun, so training is enjoyable! We strive to make training with your pup a great bonding experience.
Can you Fix all Behavior Issues with Positive Reinforcement Training?
There's no training method that can guarantee 100% success in every single dog. However, positive training is the safest and most effective type of training. Older methods that focus on 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. For more information or to get started Contact Us!