The Puppy Center
A Day School for Puppies
For your puppy to be the best he can be!
Puppy School is a curriculum-based puppy 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 puppy socialization curriculum thoughtfully designed by your trainer, Mary Bradford.
We Have Answers.
Is my puppy ready to enroll in the Puppy Day School?
Your pup is ready when...
You have signed up for Puppy Kindergarten
Pup has an up-to-date distemper-parvo vaccine
Pup has an effective kennel cough/bordetella vaccine
Pup is comfortable and quiet in the crate for 2-3 consecutive hours during the day while you're home
Pup has been home for 10 days and showing no signs of illness
Pup is still under 30lbs
Pup is under 16 weeks of age (ideally under 12 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 purchased 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 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, injuries, spay/neuter and vacations). Puppies under 16 weeks of age can attend twice a week!
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, and 7 days prior otherwise). 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.
How long can my puppy attend Day School?
Puppies attend Puppy Day School weekly until they outgrow their friends, which is typically at 18 to 20 weeks of age, when your pup reaches 30lbs or when your pup starts "playing bigger" than his/her friends.
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 sized crates to suit your pup's comfort. 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 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 bite inhibition
#2 Goal: Environmental Socialization
Surfaces, Novel Objects, Noise Desensitization, Coordination and Balance, Obstacles, etc.
#3 Goal: Politeness
Polite Human Interactions, Polite Dog Interactions, Name Response, Attention, Frustration Tolerance & Problem Solving Games, Wait at the Door, Settle, Come When Called
Overall Building Confidence, Focus, Deference and Relaxation
What is the cost of the Day School?
$58+tax per full day
$32+tax per half day
Pup's first half day is free
What are the Puppy Day School hours?
Pup's First Day
Drop Off: 8:30am-9:00am
Pick Up: 12:00pm-12:30pm
Month of April:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
Drop Off: 7:30am-9:00am
Pick Up: 4:30pm-6:00pm
**Note: Pups under 16 weeks can attend two days
Month of May:
Monday & Thursday
**pups under 14 wks**
Drop off: 7:30am-8:30am
Pick up: 11:30am-12:30pm
Tuesday & Friday
**pups 14-18 wks**
Drop off: 7:30am-8:30am
Pick up: 4:00pm-6:00pm
The button below is for pups who have already had a first day.
If your pup hasn't attended the Day School before, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org