Frequently Asked Questions
How Old Should My Dog Be Before I Can Enroll in Puppy Socialization & Training Programs?
We allow puppies to start any of our puppy classes after they have been home for 10 days, have had their first shot booster shot in a series, and are free from illness. We do not advise waiting to start socializing your puppy beyond 12-weeks of age, although we do allow puppies to attend our puppy classes up to 16-weeks of age.
The most important time for puppy socialization is the first 4 months of life. During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people animals, stimuli, and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing overstimulation that manifests as excessive fear, withdrawal, or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. Because the first 4 months are the period when sociability outweighs fear, this is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences. Incomplete or improper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, anxiety, and, or aggression. Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact, behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters. Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age. While puppies’ immune systems are still developing during these early months, the combination of maternal immunity, primary vaccination, and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem. Author: AVSAB
Socialization vs Training for Puppies:
For puppies, if you must choose one over the other, socialization should be a top priority. Obedience can be taught at any time but your puppy's brain development drives the socialization timeline and this window closes at around 16-weeks. If you can do both at the same time, that is your best option. Our Super Star Puppy Course covers both training and socialization. Our Social Puppy Head Start Program covers a wide range of puppy socialization activities but does not include any basic manners training. Our Puppy Foundational Obedience & Life Skills Coaching Class focuses on teaching owners how to train their puppies basic manners skills and covers puppy management options for potty training, crate training biting and chewing behaviors
Group Coaching Classes versus Private Coaching Classes
Our group and private coaching classes are a good choice for puppies that are up to date on vaccinations, and older dogs who are in need of some basic manners and fun activities. These classes are designed around building your dog's basic manners skills. Both group and private coaching classes are held once a week for 6-weeks at our facility and are best suited for people who don't mind spending time training their dog at home in between class sessions for 20 to 30 minutes a day, 4 to 5 days a week. Dogs attending group coaching classes should be friendly and outgoing with other dogs and people attending the class. If your dog is leash reactive, can't settle around other dogs, or is socially shy or fearful you should consider enrolling your dog in one of our private coaching classes. While we are able to offer a wide range of skills-based training in groups, we cannot address severe behavior problems without a behavior history and these types of issues are best addressed through our behavior modification programs or private professional training sessions. Think of behavior challenges as things that upset the dog. My dog hides from... My dog hates... My dog growls when... My dog snaps at... My dog is stressed when...
Private Coaching Classes
Our private coaching class is recommended for dogs who are not comfortable around other dogs, bark or whine uncontrollably in the presence of other dogs, who have emotionally driven behaviors like mild shyness or reactivity around other dogs or people, or for owners that prefer individual instruction as opposed to a group setting. Private sessions are also a good fit for people whose schedules need a little more flexibility. Our Beyond the Basics coaching class is private only and is designed to be an intermediate class customizable to fit your needs.
What is Personalized Professional Training?
This option is for dog owners who;
Don't want to train their own dog and would like us to train their dogs for them.
Cannot attend group or private coaching classes.
Want their dog trained quickly.
Need a higher level of fluency.
Need to address certain behavioral problems that may be occurring in the home.
Simply do not have the time or the expertise to train their dog.
Are disabled or unable to train their own dog.
Have training requests not covered in our regular training classes.
This option allows our trainers really customize training and address the individual needs of clients. In-home, off-site, and drop-off appointments are available. To learn more about this option please email or call us.
Do You Guarantee Results?
Canine Training Academy guarantees that you and your dog will be trained ethically and humanely. We guarantee that our training methods are scientifically-backed and well-vetted techniques and that we will apply training plans for your dog that are goal-oriented, achievable, and safe, while always working towards long-term behavioral refinement and improvement.
Ethically, we cannot guarantee anything further. As with any living creature, we cannot always predict how your dog will behave in every situation. Guarantees in training or behavior modification are not always possible as behavior can change in response to the environment. Many things can contribute to behavior changes in your dog, for instance; medical problems, household and owner compliance, environmental condition, and emotional responses to repeated exposure to certain environmental triggers can all cause behavior change to occur at any time. Therefore guarantees are just not possible or ethical.