The Puppy Center
A Day School for Puppies
For your puppy to be the best he can be!
A curriculum-based puppy playschool program where puppy-parents drop their pups off for the day.
Puppies have a critical socialization period that starts at 3 weeks and ends at 18 weeks of age. During this critical time, your pup needs to have positive experiences of people, other dogs, surfaces, objects, sounds, handling, and much more. While you're out of the house during the day, your pup is missing out on socialization opportunities. The Puppy Center's Day School makes the most of this time through a curriculum thoughtfully designed by your pup's trainer, Mary Bradford.
We Have Answers.
What is your training methodology?
Our training methodology is positive reinforcement based training. This means that we use the least invasive and minimally aversive methods to teach your pup. We break each exercise into small pieces so that your pup learns at his own pace. By making training sessions short and fun, your pup will learn to love training.
How often should my pup attend?
Pups are required to attend once weekly to remain enrolled in the program (with exceptions for human or dog illnesses and vacations).
How old are pups in the Puppy Day School?
Puppies should enroll in the program before they are 5 months of age. Some exceptions for enrollment will be made for pups who have recently attended training classes through Bradford Dog Training. Pups graduate from the program when they are over 55lbs, when they are "playing too big" for their friends or when they outgrow the facility (typically between 6 months and 1 year of age). Most intact male pups will graduate at 6 months of age. Female pups in heat cannot attend classes or the day school and it is the owner’s responsibility to determine if and when their pup is in heat.
What vaccinations are required to attend?
Pups must be home for a minimum of 10 days prior to starting the Day School program and must have their first distemper-parvo combo vaccination (a minimum of 7 days prior to starting) and bordetella vaccination (a minimum of 3 days prior to starting, if oral). Proof of booster vaccinations are required based on your veterinarian's recommendation. Rabies vaccination is required by 16 weeks of age.
What will my puppy's day consist of?
Your puppy's day will include environmental socialization exercises; play with other puppies; skills training and (much needed) nap time.
Should I still attend a puppy class with my puppy?
Definitely! Our goal is to create the most sound puppies possible through early socialization and training. To have generalization of learning, your puppy needs many good quality experiences. And, most importantly, your relationship with your pup is built through mutual understanding. There is nothing quite as valuable for your puppy as a puppy class. Check out our offerings here. We also recommended just a few other local training programs: See Spot Think, Dog Educated and Lollypop Farm.
How many puppies will be in a play group?
When puppies are in play groups, there will be no more than 10 pups. However, most of the time groups will be 5 or fewer pups. Pups of all sizes can safely participate in Puppy Day School because pups will be matched in play groups based on size and temperament. Pups who are shy will be gradually introduced to other pups to ensure that they feel safe. We take emotional well-being very seriously.
Where will my puppy nap?
Puppies need plenty of naps to rest and grow. (Most puppies need 15-18 hours of sleep out of every 24 hours.) We have two nap time rooms equip with different styles sized crates to suit your pup's comfort. Learning to be comfortable away from people is also important for your puppy's long term happiness. Crate training protocols will help your pup learn to relax in his crate. Continued crate training when you are home will be critical for your pup to be able to rest here during nap times.
Where will my puppy potty?
Puppies in the Day School will use our custom-made indoor potty patch with artificial turf. Puppies are prone to dietary indiscretion and are more vulnerable to illnesses spread through soil. So, turf is a much safer option for puppies in our care because of ease of cleaning and durability.
My puppy has a behavior challenge - will this help?
Some puppy behaviors require one-one support and are not manageable in a group setting. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: excessive barking; excessive humping/mounting; separation anxiety; urine marking; offensive or defensive aggression; and resource guarding people, spaces, toys or water bowls. If your puppy is showing any of these behaviors, please reach out before signing up for your pup's first day so that we can make a plan to evaluate whether or not this program is a good fit for your pup.
Will pups be temperament tested?
Yes, pups will be temperament tested for appropriateness for the program; not just as a means of entering the program, but also throughout their time in the program. So, there will not be a pass/fail evaluation, but an ongoing evaluation of the pups each day they attend.
What will my puppy do & learn?
- Polite Human Interactions
- Polite Dog Interactions
- Sit, Down & Stand
- Name Response
- Frustration Tolerance & Problem Solving Games
- Food Bowl Manners
- Drop It
- Wait at the Door
- Body Handling
- Positioning for Groomer/Vet
- Come When Called
- Environmental Enrichment: Surfaces, Novel Objects, Noise Desensitization, Coordination and Balance, Obstacles, etc.
- Overall Building Confidence, Focus, Deference and Relaxation
What is the cost for one day?