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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
  • Food & nutrition
  • Problem prevention
  • Communication & bite prevention
  • Questions and answers

Week 2

Basic obedience

  • sit on cue
  • relaxing when on lead
Management skills

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

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

Week 3

Basic obedience

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

  • avoiding food & toy guarding
  • home alone – and happy
Loose lead walking

  • why dogs pull
  • strategies and equipment to avoid pulling
  • moving out of danger quickly

Week 4

Basic obedience

  • down stay
Meeting & greeting

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

  • self-control & self control
  • playing tug – the rules
  • nose work games

Week 5

Introduction to clicker training

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

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


Week 6

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

Week 7

 Clicker tricks

  • give a paw
  • touch a target stick
The future

  • the teenage years
  • effect of hormones on behaviour
  • spaying and neutering
Coping strategies for everyday life

  • introducing novel objects
  • movement and balance over a variety of equipment

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