K9 Kingdom, located just north of Pittsburgh, PA in Wexford, offers a 2 week Intensive Puppy Training Program – Board ‘n Train – to help move puppies forward in their training progress. It’s a great way to get a jump start on housebreaking and teaching basic manners.
Overall goals: Advance housetraining and crate training, teach basic human household manners, and introduce basic obedience commands. The goal is to build a foundation for the owners to work from. Puppy is not expected to be ‘done’ with training by any means.
• Let puppy acclimate to new environment including location of crate, food, water, and toys. Introduce puppy to any other household pets.
• Continue owner’s current crate training schedule IF it is currently effective. Crating routine will involve 1) Crate Time 2) Potty Break and 3) Play Time cycled in this same order all throughout the day. If current schedule is ineffective, cut back on free play time to eliminate accidents in the house.
• Play Time requires constant supervision and is designed to keep the puppy active, entertained, and exercised.
• Always provide treat, chew, or stuffed kong during crate time. Feed all meals in the crate.
• Introduce puppy to human household manners: All 4 paws should remain on the floor at all times – no jumping on humans, and no paws on the furniture or counters. No stealing items off the coffee table, and no chewing furniture.
• The above rules are ALL taught and enforced simply by constantly monitoring puppy during play time.
• When the puppy steals or chews anything other than a dog toy, simply distract the puppy with a treat or squeaky toy. Encourage the puppy to play with the dog toy and calmly move the other item out of reach if possible.
• Introduce simple obedience commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’ with lure and reward method. Use the puppy’s own food as well as treats.
• Gradually increase the length of Play Time and free time out of crate. Continue to watch puppy very carefully to avoid potty accidents in the house.
• Continue enforcing house manners consistently.
• Utilize the crate for time-outs if the puppy gets too wild or starts getting nippy and cannot be controlled otherwise.
• Continue practicing ‘sit’ and ‘down’.
• Introduce gentle leader.
• Introduce door bell – insist that puppy rings bell each time the door opens for potty break.
• Continue enforcing house manners.
• Gradually increase length of Play Time. Encourage puppy to self-entertain.
• Practice ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’.
• Practice leash walking and ‘this way’. Work up to 30 minute walks twice daily.
• Introduce food/treat toys. Start feedings some meals out of these. Continue to feed some meals in crate and some in toys.
• Work on soft mouth. Introduce ‘take it nice’ command for treats.
• Increase proficiency of obedience commands – ‘sit’ and ‘down’ with hand signal and verbal signal, longer ‘stay’.
• Visit fenced-in dog park so puppy can start socializing with other people and puppies.
• Increase level of expectations for household manners – Introduce an attention-getting sound to distract the puppy if she has an accident in the house or grabs something she’s not supposed to have.
• Continue practicing leash walking twice daily, 30-45 minutes each.
• Introduce a greater variety of food/treat toys.
• Introduce the game of ‘fetch’.
• Lengthen time out of the crate until puppy is consistently utilizing door bells to go out on his own.
• Continue with basic obedience commands.
• Monitor play with less supervision if possible. Test puppy’s decision to choose appropriate dog toys over human objects by being more relaxed with puppy-proofing.
• Continue practicing walks – 45 minutes twice daily. Start using leash wrapped around waist if possible.
• Continue advancing house training and obedience.
• Insist upon soft mouth for taking treats.
• Continue feeding all meals either in crate or in a treat ball.
• Begin to wean off treats for obedience behaviors.