Our little fur-babies sometimes need a little help learning how to be the best while making sure they stay healthy thanks to a pup health guide. Pup Club is a training program for puppies 10 to 18 weeks old. Puppies attend two half-day sessions per week for six weeks. Owners attend a weekly training session to help reinforce their pup’s new skills. Pup Club teaches puppies 16 different foundational skills utilizing positive reinforcement. During their time at Pup Club, puppies also receive supervised socialization and group play.
“We cover the foundations such as potty training and basic commands like sit, down and leave it,” says Derra Mandl, trainer. “We also work on polite greetings, bite inhibition, chewing and leash walking. While the pups are here with us, they’re walked regularly on a leash, so they get used to going outside in any weather condition.”
The program’s cost is $150 per week, and participants must commit to the six-week program. Mandl notes it’s vital for pup parents to attend the weekly training sessions to reinforce skills learned at Pup Club.
“We welcome any family member living in the home with the pup at the weekly training session,” Mandl says. “We realize it’s not always possible for the whole family to come in, but each family member needs to be involved in training.”
Pup Club only utilizes positive reinforcement training. Sometimes that can be a treat, and sometimes it involves praise when the puppy completes a task. Mandl is a certified dog trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She practices positive reinforcement and fear-free training methods. She has been working with animals since 2013, and has been working specifically with behavior and training since 2018.
“Positive reinforcement training helps puppies learn much faster,” Mandl says. “It also helps lifelong learning. I primarily use treats, but as the puppy progresses sometimes I might use praise or play with toys.”
Pups can start training at any time from 10 to 18 weeks old, but Mandl says the sooner the better.
“A lot of people think when they’re young it’s too early to train, but they’re actually able to learn very, very quickly,” Mandl says. “Also, they haven’t been able to establish many bad-habit behaviors. It’s much easier to mold them.”
Pup Club members can choose a morning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) or afternoon (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.) session.
Pup Club is located at 921 North Rangeline Road in Carmel. For more information, call 317-669-2162 or visit carmelpupclub.com.
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