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Puppy curriculum

Week 1 – theory

The first session is a 1.5 hour theory workshop WITHOUT your puppy. Discussion includes:


  • How do dogs learn (reinforcement)?
  • What skills are important now and what can wait?
  • What is appropriate socialisation?
  • Basic equipment: harnesses verses collar

[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]

  • Food & nutrition
  • Problem prevention
  • Communication & bite prevention
  • Questions and answers[/ezcol_1half_end]

Week 2

[ezcol_1third]Basic obedience

  • sit on cue
  • relaxing when on lead

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Management skills

  • boredom busters
  • introducing a crate & home management
  • travelling by car

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Life skills

  • toileting on cue
  • avoid food grabbing – offering treats correctly
  • responding to name & recall[/ezcol_1third_end]

Week 3

[ezcol_1third]Basic obedience

  • down on cue
  • nose touch to hand (for follow and stand)

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Problem prevention

  • avoiding food & toy guarding
  • home alone – and happy

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Loose lead walking

  • why dogs pull
  • strategies and equipment to avoid pulling
  • moving out of danger quickly[/ezcol_1third_end]

Week 4

[ezcol_1third]Basic obedience

  • down stay

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Meeting & greeting

  • managing your puppy around people
  • managing your puppy around dogs
  • meeting a well-socialised adult dog

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Play

  • self-control & self control
  • playing tug – the rules
  • nose work games[/ezcol_1third_end]

Week 5

[ezcol_1third]Introduction to clicker training

  • why we use a clicker for training
  • the power of positive reinforcement

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Husbandry

  • basic grooming
  • handling and day-to-day care
  • importance of nail care and how to clip nails

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Week 6

  • The great outdoors (weather permitting)
    • social walk with other puppies
    • off-lead recall practice in the ‘real’ world

Week 7

[ezcol_1third] Clicker tricks

  • give a paw
  • touch a target stick

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]The future

  • the teenage years
  • effect of hormones on behaviour
  • spaying and neutering

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Coping strategies for everyday life

  • introducing novel objects
  • movement and balance over a variety of equipment[/ezcol_1third_end]

Week 8 (Sunday morning)

  • Social walk in Sidmouth & coffee
    • opportunity to practice the skills you have previously learned in a busy environment
    • practising socialisation skills
    • assessing puppies’ reactions by highlighting strengths and areas for training & development