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Puppy Day School

Our Drop Off Training Program for Puppies


For your puppy to be the best he can be!

Our goal is to create the most sound puppies possible through early socialization and training.

Puppies have a critical socialization period that starts at 3 weeks and ends as early as 14 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. Hanging out at home, your pup is missing out on socialization opportunities. The Puppy Center's Day School makes the most of this time through a puppy socialization curriculum thoughtfully designed by your trainer, Mary Bradford. This program is a bonus for pups who are enrolled in our Puppy Kindergarten classes and meet the criteria to attend.


We Have Answers.

Is my puppy ready to enroll in the Puppy Day School?

Your pup is ready when...

  • Pup has up-to-date distemper-parvo & bordetella/kennel cough vaccines

  • Pup has been home for 10 days and is showing no signs of illness

  • Pup is comfortable and quiet in the crate for 1-2 consecutive hours

  • Pup is still under 25lbs

  • Pup has not attended a dog park, daycare, boarding or play program in the past 14 days

  • Pup is 11-16 weeks of age

Should I still sign up for Puppy Kindergarten?

Yes! Puppy Day School is a great supplement, but cannot replace "the humans" learning how to train their pups. Pups are required to be signed up for a Bradford Dog Training Puppy Kindergarten class before joining the Day School. Once you have registered for a Puppy Kindergarten class, your pup is eligible to attend Puppy Day School.  Our goal is to create the most sound puppies possible through early socialization and training. To have generalization of learning, you and your pup will need to continue to train and socialize throughout the week. And, most importantly, your relationship with your pup is built through mutual understanding. Check out our offerings here. To participate in the Day School, puppies must attend one of our positive reinforcement based puppy training classes.

What is your training methodology?

Our training methodology is positive reinforcement based training. This means that we use the least intrusive 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 should attend once weekly (with exceptions for human or dog illnesses, injuries, spay/neuter and vacations) and until the pup outgrows the program.

What vaccinations are required to attend?

  • Must have their first distemper-parvo combo vaccination a minimum of 7 days prior to starting (this vaccine is given at or after 8 weeks of age)

  • Bordetella vaccination (a minimum of 3 days prior to starting, if oral, and a minimum of 7 days prior if nasal or subq).

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.

How long can my puppy attend Day School?

Puppies attend Puppy Day School weekly until they outgrow their friends, which is typically at 14-16 weeks of age, when your pup reaches 25lbs or when your pup starts "playing bigger" than his/her friends. After puppies graduate from the Day School program, they are still welcome to attend Level Two and Level Three training classes with their humans. *** Right now, most pups are attending just one day of school ***

How many puppies will be in a play group?

When puppies are in play groups, there will be no more than 5 pups. Typically, there are only 4-6 puppies attending per session (excluding adult helper 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 a nap time room equip with different sized crates to suit your pup's comfort. On their first day of school, many pups nap more easily in a puppy pen in the main training room. Learning to be comfortable away from people is extremely important for your puppy's long term happiness. Crate training protocols will help your pup learn to relax in his crate. Continued crate and separation 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?

It depends. The Puppy Day School is an excellent program for puppies who are nipping and biting their family members. When pups bite their puppy-friends, they learn how to use their mouth softly so that their friends will continue to play with them. Developing this bite inhibition is a vital part of raising a safe dog.

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; anxiety in the crate 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?

#1 Goal: Bite Inhibition

How to bite more softly through play with other puppies of similar age who also have baby teeth. This is called developing or acquiring bite inhibition

#2 Goal: Environmental Socialization

Surfaces, Novel Objects, Body Handling, Coordination and Balance.

#3 Goal: Politeness & Skills

Polite Human Interactions, Polite Dog Interactions, Name Response, Attention, Frustration Tolerance & Problem Solving Games, Wait at the Door, Settle and Come When Called. Overall: Building Confidence, Focus, Deference and Relaxation.

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