Puppy & Teenager Life Skills
Puppy Life Skills
Puppies can join our program once they are 8 weeks of age and have been in your home for at least 7 days, and remain in puppy class until they are 5 months old.
Your puppy’s first five months are the most important in his life because they will shape the kind of dog he will become. During this critical developmental stage, puppies are more naturally sociable than fearful, and able to experience the world that is so new to them with open paws. But after 12 weeks, puppies quickly become more wary of new experiences, and as adults will most likely be permanently afraid of whatever they haven’t been exposed to in their first three months.
You can ensure your pup grows into a dog who is calm and confident by properly socializing him during this crucial window. Our Puppy Life Skills class helps you do just that. We expose puppies – under safe, controlled conditions – to many different kinds of situations, environments, people, and other dogs. This will help prepare your puppy for doghood – and ensure that you have a happy, well-behaved dog for life.
Our Puppy Life Skills class is offered twice every week, and includes:
- Basic obedience exercises such as sit, stay, and come
- Environmental enrichment exercises such as exposure to different sounds and surfaces, and exploration of play structures
- Impulse control exercises such as being handled by you and others
- Structured play time when puppies learn to appropriately greet each other and play nicely together
- Homework assignments that let you apply classroom lessons to real-world situations
Bonus! Become an AKC S.T.A.R.!
Field of Dreams’ Puppy Life Skills class can qualify and prepare you and your puppy to participate in the American Kennel Club’s Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsibility (or AKC S.T.A.R.) Puppy Program. After finishing the Puppy Life Skills class, you can choose to take the S.T.A.R. test. After you pass the test and apply to the program, your puppy receives a S.T.A.R. medal and frameable certificate of achievement. Plus he’ll be prepared to enter AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program, which recognizes and rewards dogs for good behavior.
Puppy Socialization is Essential and Puppy Life Skills class can help
“Basically, an adult dog’s temperament and behavior habits, both good and bad, are shaped during puppyhood – very early puppyhood.”
~Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, dog trainer, and author Ian Dunbar
“Puppy socialization classes can offer a safe and organized means of socializing puppies and more quickly improve their responsiveness to commands.”
~Official Position Statement of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
Teenager Life Skills
Teenager Class for puppies 5 months to 1 year old
The “teenage” months for dogs can be just as critical as the teenage years are for young people. Our special class just for teenage canines transitioning from puppyhood into doghood addresses the challenges of this formative period.
Our Teenage class is offered once a week, and includes exercises to improve life skills, social interaction, proper manners, and impulse control. Enrollees in the Teenage class who want to progress faster can also take a weekly Undergrad class link via anchor to Undergrad class description on Obedience “Levels” Training page with the added benefit of being around slightly older, more experienced dogs.