TRAINING | PUPPIES
& Puppy Development
8 to 13 weeks
14 to 17 weeks
Congratulations! It’s so exciting to be welcoming a puppy into your life.
We’re so happy you’ve discovered Doglando.
Before you go any further, to help you decipher the differences in the programs we offer, think of your puppy as a living being that needs time, patience, and guidance in their learning from 8 weeks of age to 3 years of age.
Puppies are born with their eyes and ears sealed upon birth, opening somewhere between 2.5 to 3 weeks of age. Around 4 weeks of age, puppies will begin to prop themselves up onto their four feet, developing balance and strength in their core. This developmental milestone is in preparation for their ability to move around and eliminate on their own.
During the first 7 weeks of life, puppies are acquiring all their senses and learning to manipulate their whole body to become mobile.
Learning is occurring rapidly and a lot is about to change.
How our puppy training programs are structured
Puppies are fragile. They require sensitivity, guidance, and patience. At Doglando, our puppy training programs have been thoughtfully created with the whole dog in mind.
We don’t approach a puppy from the position of demonstrating control, and we do approach a puppy from the position of providing them the freedom to grow.
A puppy’s journey into adulthood should consist of:
- Developmentally-appropriate learning objectives
- Sequential learning structure
- Learning by having positive experiences
With this in mind, our goal is to take every puppy into adulthood as a confident, socially apt, well-adjusted, reliable, and content dog.
There are 3 components to Doglando’s puppy training:
In the traditional approach to raising a puppy, new puppy parents are advised to join puppy training classes right away. Such classes are structured to offer puppies and their human counter parts basic skills such as sit, down, walk on a leash, to drop something from their mouth, or to leave something of interest such as shoes etc.
More recently, many dog trainers have added some form of kindergarten to their programming, which involves time for puppies to play with each other – which they call “socialization.”
At Doglando, our program follows what we believe is a more natural and intuitive approach to a puppy’s development.
When a puppy begins with Doglando as early as 8-10 weeks of age, their experience solely entails exploration. They are “free” – in other words – given the opportunity to explore at free will, to explore our environment becoming richly stimulated by their use of all their senses: touch, taste, seeing, smelling, and hearing.
We believe, this invitation to explore and develop – offers them firm grounding for all learning that will occur later on in development and throughout their lives.
Street dogs, free roaming dogs and village dogs – dogs who have access to a more normal and natural (intuitive way) of living, raise their puppies with the ever changing environment – not exclusive of it. In other words, their puppies have unique (compared to our dogs) opportunities to become acquainted with all sorts of sensations and experiences from the time they are born, that allow them to build a warehouse of memories that they can use in their adulthood. On the contrary, our puppies are raised with such a diminishing and irrelevant manner that much of what they get exposed to in later years is unlike anything they had experienced in the past. This is the main cause of reactivity, stress, anxiety and even aggression.
Exploration is a need. All healthy puppies are curious about their environment and seek to investigate – they have the innate desire to want to know more about everything they encounter. At Doglando, we have created a safe place for them to do so, as we consider this the most normal and natural way a puppy behaves. This is enrichment.
2. Skill Building
There is a time in every puppy’s development where they reach a point of exploration that allows us to act as their guide. As their guide, we will act as mentors – continuing to offer them rich opportunities to express themselves as dogs, not in moderation but with rules that enhance the value of the human component.
It is at this point in their development that they are seeking to learn at a high rate and are intrinsically motivated to do so. At Doglando, we seek to maximize our effectiveness by recognizing this window of opportunity by teaching our dogs skills (behaviors on signal) that are related to our existence and experiences together. In other words, the skills we teach our dogs relate to the dog and the human as a cooperative team in action or in pursuit of a specific experience together. This is Canine Skill Building.
In Skill Building, we are building upon skills that the puppies will need to be able to better relate with their human counterparts. These skills are not taught inform of obedience (to demonstrate control) and are taught with meaning of how these skills are relevant or have function in the experiences they will be part of during enrichment, at home and in the real world.
Skill Building is an important element of our programming because it bridges the understanding of how the dog needs behave inorder to have access to greater freedom (enrichment) by offering behaviors we (humans) have deemed more favorable through reinforcement (training).
Unlike working dogs, companion dogs have many people in their lives, hoping to influence their decisions, behaviors, and actions. At Doglando, we believe it is hugely important for all the humans to be on the same level of communication using the same mode of communication. The third component of our programs is Training. When we use the word “training” we are really referring to the guidance given to our human students. Our training program offers people of all lifestyles (working, non-working etc) the opportunity to be hugely involved in their dogs lives; with ease!
Our training programs have been created with the you in mind! We offer video learning, live practices and virtual meetings to ensure comprehension of the lessons, proper practice and consistent performance on both ends.
You are your puppy’s advocate and we are the vehicle by which you receive that guidance.
Your puppy’s training will include:
- How to introduce your puppy to other puppies and dogs
- How to guide your puppy in his/her interactions with children
- How to teach your puppy to greet people
- How to expose your puppy to the big world without causing conflict with their biologically-occurring fear periods
- Holding space for your puppy to explore without danger to him/herself
- Exposure to different stimuli in a manner where rich learning happens and confidence grows
- With the guidance of our patient, gentle, socially-apt, and highly-effective adult teaching dogs
Learning to Live as a Companion Dog:
- Immediate response to their name
- Fast recalls
- Ability to endure and enjoy physical handling (such as vet checks, at the groomers, petting, brushing etc)
- Running away
- Resource guarding
What is the #1 thing that puppies need most?
You may be thinking of consistency, patience, or guidance… and you’re right!
YES to all of those!
But the one thing puppies need most is “continuity.”
Sadly, many puppies begin their lives without continuity. For them, life seems to take a fragmented approach, whether that is suddenly being removed from their mom and littermates, or enrolling in training for one or two series of a class, then ending just when things begin to make sense and the puppy forms a routine.
At Doglando, we define Continuity as: “an unbroken and consistent approach to learning, wellbeing, and care, that is tightly woven throughout every life stage, from puppyhood to senior dog and end of life.”
We strongly believe that continuity is part of our collective effort of ensuring a solid beginning, lifelong contentment and a peaceful end of life journey.
Come see why our puppy training programs set your furry friends up for a more fufilling life.