Behavior Modification and Basic Obedience with Puppy Headstart

This program is a six (6) week course.  Each of the appointments are once a week for six weeks, if the dog is 4 months or older.  If the puppy is younger than 4 months, the first appointment is scheduled now and the second appointment will begin a few weeks later when the puppy is 16 weeks old.


The first appointment will be around 2 ½ hours long.  It is so lengthy because there are 4 different areas addressed.  The first area is the housebreaking schedule.  You will need a crate for the housetraining.  We will write a feeding and watering schedule for your dog that will be based around your schedule. (what time you get up, when you go to work, when you get home, etc.)  The schedule is very simple and coupled with all of the different techniques that we will teach you in the housebreaking schedule, your dog will be housebroken very quickly.  In addition to the schedule, we will also teach your dog the ‘kennel’ command.  This is the command we’ll use to have your dog go into his crate.  Whether you leave the door open because you’re there and practicing or you shut the door, he will not come out of his crate until you tell him that he can.  We will also ‘spot train’ him to eliminate in a specific area of the yard.  As well as teach him the command of ‘potty’, so that he will eliminate when given the command.  Any negative behaviors that your dog displays while being in his crate will be corrected, as well as guidance on where to locate the crate will be discussed.


The second area that will be addressed is the Dog Psychology.  I am a graduate of West Virginia Canine College and have a diploma in Professional Dog Training.  Dog Psychology is the most important area to understand before you can even begin to train your dog.  This section will explain rank structures, how we develop it properly, what happens if we don’t, etc.  We will explain how dogs learn - what is the difference between how we learn versus how dogs learn?  How to give your dog proper corrections and praise?  Understanding the timing and technique in a correction so your dog understands what it’s being corrected for.  Talking about how and when to give praise.  Timing here again makes a big difference so the dog doesn’t get positively reinforced for a negative behavior.  Discussing how to give commands to our dog and not using sentences.  And also discussing natural instincts of dogs and why that could lead to certain behavior problems.  These are some of the areas that we will talk about and understand thoroughly in the Dog Psychology section.


The third section that we will learn about is the Behavior Modification.  This section is where we will talk about and go over how to eliminate behavior problems.  Certain behavior problems we will automatically address regardless to if they apply to your dog right now or not, however, all of your individual concerns will be addressed.  The behavior problems range from: protectiveness, chewing, destructiveness, jumping on you, mouthing or nipping your hands or clothing, excessive barking, begging for food, digging, jumping on counters, jumping on windows, jumping on doors, getting into the trash, bolting out the doors to the outside, jumping on furniture, pawing or nose-nudging, stealing food out of your hands, stealing food off of the floor, ‘out’ command for items they are allowed to have (ball) but we want, and how to greet other dogs when on a leash.  You might also have more family individual circumstances that you will want us to fix as well.  Some examples that you might want us to do: chasing cats, boundaries within the home, riding in the car, etc.


The fourth area that we will address is the focus exercise.  This will be teaching your dog to remain next to your left leg without pulling or lagging behind while walking on a leash.


The second through sixth appointments will occur once per week and will be about 1 hour.  The time will range based on how many questions you have and how comfortable you are at performing the obedience commands with your dog.  There will be new commands learned on different weeks.  These are the different basic obedience commands taught and a brief description of them.


·         Heel- This is a continuation of the focus exercise.  The heel is a very obedient walk.  Your dog will remain next to your left leg without pulling or lagging behind on the leash.  He will not be allowed to sniff the ground or veer from side to side.  We will also have him perform turns where he will remain next to your leg.  He will also have to automatically sit when you stop walking.

·         Sit/Stay- Your dog will sit straight and promptly when given the command.  He will be given the ‘stay’ command as we walk away from him and around him.

·         Down/Stay- Your dog will lay down when given the command to do so.  We will command ‘stay’ walk away from him as well as be completely out of vision.  This is a long-term command and will be worked eventually up to 1 hour.

·         Come- Your dog will be taught the come command and will also automatically sit out in front of you when he gets to you.

·         Control Center- Your dog will be taught to go to a dog bed when given the command to do so.  He will not leave until you release him off of the bed.  The control center is nice because it offers flexibility to him as far as what he is allowed to do there.  He may be in any position while he is there but he cannot come off of the area of the dog bed until released.


On Graduation Day we will have a test on each of the commands as well as take pictures of you performing these commands with your dog.  Upon graduation your dog will receive a diploma in Basic Obedience.



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