Prep School

Prep School

As the original breeder of English Goldendoodles, we’ve trained more Doodle puppies than anyone in the world.

Our full training program is 16 weeks and is complete puppy training, designed to train your puppy through all of the initial, and sometimes difficult stages of puppyhood. This is for our clients that don’t want to deal with new puppy difficulties at all.  A puppy that finishes our complete 16-week training will come home to you crate and house trained, understand commands such as “Attention,” “Come,” “Sit,” “Stay,” “Leave It” and “Touch,” will already have been spayed or neutered, and can even be taught to ring a bell when they need to go outside to potty.

We understand, however, that everyone has different training needs or would like to do some training themselves. We provide training programs for everyone, starting with 1 week only.

Whatever your training needs, we will love your puppy and train them individually based on their age, social development stage, and unique personality.

Weekly Overview

Following is a week-by-week overview of our full training program, weeks 1 to 16.

Week 1:

In Week 1 the focus is on transitioning from life in the Puppy Room with mom and littermates to life in the home with people.  We work diligently on getting the puppy on a schedule for eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, training, and pottying. We start with the schedule that works for him. In later weeks we can start to mirror a schedule that works best for you.

We typically use crate training to establish this early schedule. We stay ahead of the puppy’s need for potty breaks to prevent accidents while he adjusts to his new schedule. By the end of this first week, most puppies are eating 2-3 times a day, holding potty in their crate for 4-6 hours at night and 2-4 hours during the day, and barking in the crate is minimal. 

This week the puppy is introduced to a collar and leash, taking and following lures, feedback words, his name, and being without his littermates.  

We work on socialization this week by introducing new experiences; like riding in a car, being in a home, and walking on different floor surfaces. We also introduce him to sounds of the home and neighborhood–the TV, children playing, the vacuum, and the toilet flushing, for example. Our trainers are experts and give a lot of positive feedback to ensure that your puppy is comfortable and happy with all of the new things he’s experiencing this week; not stressed. 

We work on manners this week by only putting the puppy in situations where it is easiest to make the right choice and rewarding him when he does.  A wrong choice is simply ignored, and the puppy is redirected to the right choice and rewarded.  There are lots of rewards for trying new things, exploring, and making good choices.  

During this week, we also assess puppies for any potential flags that need special attention.  A flag can be behavioral, an attribute that might affect how well they match the client’s needs, or health-related.  Any flags that are noticed are immediately discussed with the client and addressed with a mutually agreed-upon plan. If we notice any flags in future weeks, they will be addressed in the same manner.

If your puppy turns 9 weeks old during this week of training, they will receive their 9-week puppy vaccination.

Week 2:

In Week 2, we introduce the obedience commands (Name, Sit, Down, Leave It, Come, and Touch) in a formal way.  We focus on the helper commands (Sit, Name, and Leave It) for use in future training.  The puppy is on a leash (Long, 10-30 feet) most of the time he is out of his crate. Having the puppy on a leash sets him up to be successful by minimizing his opportunities to make bad choices, and focusing his source of rewards on repeating good choices. 

Socialization continues this week by adding new sights, sounds, smells, and textures in the household and neighborhood.  

Crate training should now be progressed to being able to hold potty 6-8 hours overnight and barking is very minimal.  We continue to stay ahead of the puppy’s needs for potty breaks, limiting accidents in the crate and in the home, and rewarding heavily for making potty in the proper location. 

We continue to work on manners by putting the puppy in situations where it is easiest to make the right choice, and rewarding those right choices.  

Week 3:

In Week 3, we continue practicing obedience.  The puppy should have a very good understanding of the feedback words at this point. The puppy should also have a good understanding of his Name, and the helper commands Sit and Leave It.  We are still rewarding for correct choices with manners, but now able to use the feedback words when wrong choices are made.  We can then use the helper commands to direct the puppy to the right choice.  

We are still staying ahead of his needs for potty, but we can now introduce a pause at the door and have the puppy touch the bell before going out.  Puppies should now be able to spend 8 hours overnight in the crate and barking is rare.  This week we can begin to transition the puppy’s schedule to a schedule that mirrors the needs of his new owners.  

Our socialization training this week will focus on mastering any experiences that may have been difficult for your puppy up until now, making sure that he is completely comfortable in a home environment.

Week 4:

In Week 4 obedience is becoming more consistent, so we begin adding difficulty using the 3 D’s: Distance, Duration, and Distraction.  At this point, there is a good foundation of right choices that have been rewarded, so the puppy is allowed more (supervised) freedom and off-leash time around the house this week. We can now begin giving the puppy a chance to make the wrong choices, receiving feedback if he makes the wrong choice and rewards when he doesn’t.  

House training continues, with puppies beginning to go to the door on their own this week. They will still need prompting however, to remember to ring the bell.  If we are not supervising, or do not notice him go to the door accidents will still occur.  Crate training at this point is very good.  The puppy’s schedule is now as close to your schedule as we can get it for the puppy’s age, while still achieving the goals set each week.  

Manners are continuing to be developed with feedback words and rewards for good choices.  We will begin working through our Socialization Scavenger Hunt, exposing him to new things in the home environment.  

If your Puppy turns 12 weeks old this week they will receive their 12-week puppy vaccination.

Week 5:

Week 5 is typically a practice transition week.  It is vitally important when puppies are with us for more than 4 weeks, that they practice a transition.  This is to ensure they do not become too attached to the family training with them and to give us an idea of what the client will experience when the puppy transitions home.  

This week is all about getting through a transition as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.  We will recognize any potential transitional issues and work through them, providing you with guidance on how to do the same when your puppy comes home.  

Once the transition is complete we continue obedience training, focusing on the Sit, Stay, and Leave It commands in preparation for next week’s big adventure.  We may go back on a leash this week for a period of time to work on manners and other training.  A lot of socialization happens this week with the transition to a new household and neighborhood.  

Week 6:

Weeks 6 is big (and big fun) in the training of your puppy. Your puppy has now entered adolescence, and we expect to see them test limits and boundaries. Puppies usually hit a growth spurt around this time, and their energy increases as well.  This higher stamina allows us to extend training sessions and expect more results. 

In this part of our training, we will take your puppy on his first big “out and about” adventure to work on his obedience training in real-world settings. Manners are practiced with new people as we continue our “socialization scavenger hunt.” 

We are also working on your puppy being more controlled while being walked on a leash. Potty training is becoming more consistent this week as the puppy is actively trying to go in the right places and hold it in the wrong ones.  

Week 7:

There is so much going on in Week 6, we use Week 7 to reinforce the progress made the previous week to create consistency and reliability. 

Week 8:

Week 8 is typically when puppies can be spayed or neutered.  If this is scheduled for your puppy, we will take him to and from the vet for the procedure.  Your puppy will continue on his schedule and practice routine, but distractions will be minimal during the quiet 7-10 day recovery period.  If your puppy isn’t spayed or neutered, we will continue practicing this week on all previous training and adding to it.  This creates consistency and reliability.

If your Puppy turns 16 weeks old this week they will receive their 16-week Puppy Vaccination & Rabies Shot. 

Week 9-12:

In Weeks 9-12 we continue with practice and socialization, requiring puppies to give better behaviors for the same rewards and exposing them to new experiences.  This builds reliability and consistency in potty training, manners, and obedience. We will be focusing in areas most important to the client and any areas the puppy is having difficulty.  

Puppies will do another practice transitions during this time, transitioning to another trainer’s home as they would yours. 

Adolescence is in full swing now, and the puppy continues learning by testing limits and boundaries and getting clear feedback as to what is and isn’t appropriate behavior. Teething is typically going on during this time.   

Week 13-15:

In Weeks 13-15 we apply all finishing touches to socialization and potty training.  The puppy’s schedule should now very closely mirror your requested schedule.  Obedience is solid and reliable in most settings, and we are giving him many opportunities to practice his training. Manners are very good at this point. 

If the puppy is still in adolescence and teething, the trainer may have special instructions for working with him when he comes home.

Week 16:

By the 16th week of Prep School, we’ve trained your puppy through the difficult puppyhood phases that lead to most problems with new owners. They are now capable of controlling when they where they potty.  They are through the critical socialization phase and are no longer getting into everything.  For the most part, they are done with the “testing your limits and boundaries” phase, and their training is reliable now.

There is an anticipated transition period puppies will go through when first arriving home. Thanks to your puppy’s “practice transitions” with our trainers, we can provide excellent guidance on how to get through it as quickly and seamlessly as possible.