How do I arrange to sign up for class and what can I expect?

Call or email me and get we will get you booked in to start puppy classes.

During Puppy Level 1 I will teach you about puppy socialization and canine enrichment. I will give you solid plans for potty training, puppy biting, and crate training. In addition to these concepts, we will cover how to prevent unwanted behavior like counter surfing or chewing off-limit items.  We will also work on games and basic behaviors that you will want your pup to do, such as settling on a mat or coming when you call.

Perfect Puppy Foundations is designed to help you understand your puppy, meeting their unique canine needs will go a long way towards preventing unwanted behavior. You will feel confident and comfortable during the early months with these new skills in place. Next, we start to refine behaviors with continued education and support during your pup’s adolescence.


How is the class structured?

For Perfect Puppy Foundations, there is a class plan that we will follow. I will provide you with this at our first class. One of the many bonuses of the private class is that I always allow for particulars that may come up that you want to understand, and problems that need immediate attention. You will find many of the exercises and games that we work on explained and illustrated at ultimatepuppy.com.

For the 4-week sessions with Puppy Reset, the curriculum is tailored to your specific needs.

I learned so much from Sydney about how to interact with my puppy, and how to teach my puppy skills beyond just regular obedience training. Socialization and prevention exercises were something I never would have thought of, and are so important in having a happy, stress-free dog in the future.

Marlowe Tucker


Is there support in between classes?

Yes! Let’s deal with stuff as it comes up. Reach out with questions via email, a phone call, or text I will get back to you. Depending on the nature of the query, I may wish to discuss it over the phone.


What supplies will I need for our classes?

A treat pouch treats, and a favorite toy, as well as an appropriate puppy harness, flat collar, and long line.
We will also need traction for class. Puppies don’t feel comfortable sliding around on slippery floors. Please avoid hanging poo bag holders on the handle of your leash or tying knots in the leash. All of these items are pieces of equipment with particular uses. They need to be unencumbered, well-fitted and maintained.


What type of puppy training methods do you use?

freshpuppy training methods are force-free, science-based, puppy- and puppy parent-friendly. We will use food, puppy toys, and games.

You will learn what motivates your pup and how to pay her for a job well done. Despite popular myth, pups aren’t born wanting to please us. Dogs don’t work for free; for many dogs, food is usually the number one motivator. We can build a beautiful, trusting bond, this is for sure. But this takes know-how, patience, and an understanding of what makes your dog tick and what she finds reinforcing.


How long is each class?

Each class is 45 mins to 1 hour long.


Is there homework between classes?

Absolutely! I will give you clear instruction, guidance, and support material, but to see results in puppy training, you have to put in the time and effort. Think quality versus quantity. Think preparation and understanding. There are some time-sensitive things to attend to with the young pups as well. Raising a puppy does take time, and will require your attention, but besides the first week or two of sleep deprivation to get potty training habits rolling, it shouldn’t be unpleasant or too stressful. I will help you get organized and give you a game plan for how to work on all the things you want to teach your pup.


What are the best treats for training a puppy?

The best puppy training treats are whatever your pup loves and gets him happy to engage with you. Soft, smelly treats work well, so the puppy doesn’t get distracted by crunching. I like to use a variety of cooked, unseasoned meats, cheese, and veggies for times when we need to up our game with higher value pay for the puppy. Many pups are food motivated, but sometimes a favorite toy and a good game of tug are more rewarding.


My vet advises not to take my puppy out before his vaccinations are complete. It is safe to socialize my pup before he has had all his shots?

Yes, it’s safe! Besides that, it is also critical to your pup’s wellbeing. Puppy socialization does not mean going to a dog park. It is the process of exposing your pup to a wide variety of sights, sounds, surfaces, situations, and people and pairing this with something the pup loves. If a puppy doesn’t have a robust list of things they have encountered before they are a few months of age, the chance of them being afraid of people and different situations is very high. This will negatively impact the life of the dog and you. Early puppy socialization is a no-brainer! It is fun, easy, and safe. It does require your time and attention though. It is also time-sensitive. Attend to this important aspect of raising a puppy before 4 months.

Maternal immunity and active immunity in new pups is not a straightforward process. This is the reason puppy shots are given at different intervals. While working on puppy socialization always use care and common sense. Avoid heavily populated dog areas. Pick up your pup when there is an unknown dog approaching. Visit dog-friendly shops in your neighborhood. Have a puppy party and invite friends over to meet your pup. Take a bus ride, a car ride, and walks around noisy construction sites and kids’ playgrounds. Check out the socialization checklist at ultimatepuppy.com to get inspired and be sure to read the position statement on early puppy socialization by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.


Is it safe for my puppy to meet other dogs?

Not always. Be careful and selective. Lots of adult dogs do not tolerate puppies well. We don’t want the puppy to get bitten and injured. Friendly, well-socialized, healthy dogs that enjoy puppies are fine for your pup to meet. Puppy playtime with other pups in a controlled environment is a great way for your new puppy to meet and play with other dogs.


How long do I need to use a crate?

There is no hard and fast rule as to how long to use a crate for. You can usually bank on 1 to 2 years. It is a tool to help you raise a healthy, happy pup. Used properly the crate has many advantages. It helps with bathroom training. It provides a cozy spot for very important puppy sleep and downtime. It helps with attention for teaching sessions, and it is a safe place for the pup to spend time when you are not able to focus your attention on him. We want to set the puppy up to succeed in life. The crate helps us do this.

Gradually as the pup gets older, and you feel confident about your puppy’s potty training, you will probably start to grant him more free time. I feel like the progress unfolds as three steps forward and maybe one or two back. You will test the dog: if things are feeling crazy and too wild, add more crate time back into the equation. I always say shortcuts make for long journeys! Don’t be in a hurry to get rid of the crate. Your dog will let you know when the time is right.


How do I teach my puppy not to bite?

Puppies bite! Be prepared when you get a new puppy to get some puppy bites too. Sometimes it will be an accident; other times they are aiming for you and will make contact with their super sharp puppy teeth. While this is very unpleasant, it is something likely to happen. When the pup does bite too hard, getting up and leaving the area or turning your back and just completely disengaging from him are good strategies to employ.

Examine how much free time they are getting. Are they gotten overtired and overstimulated? Maybe they are due for some downtime in their crate. Always have a good stash of your pup’s favorite chews available and redirect the puppy to something appropriate to gnaw on.

A puppy must learn to not bite too hard. This important puppy skill is called acquired bite inhibition. A pup first starts to learn about his bite by playing with his littermates and Mom. If he bites another puppy too hard, the pup will cry out in a high-pitched yip, and maybe bite back. Your pup will continue to learn how to inhibit the force of his bite from playing with other pups, as well as from the feedback you give him.

It is very important that you allow your puppy to mouth you. This way you know how hard his bite is. If you never let your pup get his mouth on you, you can’t teach him to have soft gentle jaw pressure. Essentially, your pup is learning to inhibit the force of his bite based on your feedback and response. Puppy biting is normal dog behavior. The key is for us to become active, understanding, and knowledgeable participants in teaching our pups how to use their mouths appropriately.


How do I teach my puppy to walk with me and not pull or stop?

Keep walks to about 10 -15 mins early on, learn how to use a long line, and take lots of yummy treats!. Learning to walk on a leash is something that will take time to master. It is not a natural behavior for a pup to trot along beside you paying attention to what you are doing. It is perfectly normal when pups quit or pull ahead on the leash. They will also be very interested in picking up all kinds of things that they find on the ground. It is okay to pick your puppy up for breaks while walking too. With patience and practice, your pup will start to learn to walk with you.