Bright Beginnings Puppy Program
Where puppies can get the beginning they deserve.
Bright Beginnings Puppy Program (BBPP) was designed to give rescue puppies the best possible chance of success in their new beginning. The unfortunate reality is not all puppies that enter rescue organizations have had a great start in life. However, this program is intended to help give them the best possible chance of success in their future. The beginning stages of their lives are the most formative when it comes to socialization, training, animal/human interactions and basic handling. Therefore we believe starting them off on the right foot, can help ensure success for their future.
All puppies who enter the program spend 2-4 weeks living in a home environment with a professional canine behaviourist. Puppies are individually assessed in order to understand their individual temperaments and overall requirements for a successful future. Puppies will begin basic training, undergo our separation anxiety prevention program, environmental conditioning and proper socialization. All puppies will come with LIFETIME TRAINING through our virtual training program www.trainingdogsonline.ca. This will allow us to ensure success as puppies age and go through different developmental stages.
but not limited to
As much as we would love that proper training alone can help ensure puppies become perfect citizens, the reality is that their individual temperaments and genetics play a role as well in who they are and will become. Therefore having a complete understanding of their individual temperaments is crucial in helping adopters understand who that puppy is and what they need to thrive.
Lifetime Dog Training Support
Training Dogs Online
All puppies will come with LIFETIME TRAINING through our virtual training program www.trainingdogsonline.ca. This will allow us to ensure success as puppies age and go through different developmental stages.
Separation Anxiety Prevention
Comfortable being left alone
Life can easily get in the way of properly crate training puppies. Most adopters either work full time or maybe just don't have the proper environment to go through the sleepless nights or the daytime cries of crate training puppies. This is why all puppies complete our separation anxiety prevention program to help ease the burden to adopters of the "screaming" puppy phase.
Puppies will live with a canine behaviourist
All puppies who enter the program will spend between 2-4 weeks living in a home environment with a professional canine behaviourist.
All puppies must be under 13 weeks of age to participate in the Bright Beginnings Puppy Program.
The Story Behind the Project
As a professional who has been in the industry for 15 years, I saw a need for a program that would allow rescue puppies to be given better opportunities for success once adopted. I have come across MANY adopted puppies that have really struggled adapting to their environments, which becomes very apparent once they began to mature. The common theme among these now mature dogs was clients telling me “they were nervous as puppies”, “they never liked being handled” or “they never enjoyed being crated”. These puppies were struggling from the moment they were adopted. Instead of always being at the tail end of the problem, I wanted to create a program that allowed me to get in front of the problem. Offering boarding school options to puppies is nothing new, in fact, many professional dog trainers work carefully with breeders to offer puppy training BEFORE a puppy is sold. The reason being, is a good breeder wants to ensure their puppies have the best possible chance of success in their new homes. If this opportunity can be given to a well bred, genetically solid puppy, why can’t it be offered to rescue puppies who need it the most? The Bright Beginnings Puppy Program was created because I think rescue puppies deserve that opportunity as well.
What The Program Offers
Complete Behavioural Assessment
Puppy temperament testing helps measure a puppy's stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in order to predict and manage potential future behavioural problems. Once each puppy completes a behaviour assessment, we can then begin creating a tailored training plan to help ensure that puppies success in the future. Completing a proper behavioural assessment on each puppy in the program will allow puppies to be properly matched with potential adopters. It not only give us a clear picture of what type of environment the puppy needs in order to thrive, it also gives adopters a clear picture of what they’re getting in to. This will help increase rescue organizations success rates with adoptions and remove the potential heartbreak to adopters.
Tailored Training Plan
A training plan will be customized based on the puppies individual behavioural assessment. Due to the thorough and in depth assessments, we will be able to identify specific behavioural traits and potential struggles puppies are or will experience as they mature. Training plans may include but are not limited to: confidence building, counter conditioning, desensitization, separation anxiety prevention, resource guarding prevention, aggression prevention, a proper socialization plan or an environmental conditioning plan. All training plans will begin the moment the puppies have arrived and completed their personal behavioural assessments. Adopters will then be given specific strategies to follow, implement and maintain for their particular puppy. Since all training plans will have already been implemented and practiced during their stay, puppies will have a solid understanding of each plan, making it even simpler for adopters to continue.
Proper Socialization and Environmental Conditioning
The main focus of the Bright Beginnings Puppy Program is proper socialization and environmental conditioning. One of the main reasons puppies develop behavioural issues as they mature is improper or inappropriate socialization and exposure to environments. We ensure that all puppies are socialized and exposed to new environmental stimulus appropriately in order to help prevent future issues. This part of the program allows us to understand how the puppy feels when presented with new socialization experiences and new environmental challenges. Let’s face it, life is stressful and there are some stresses in life we cannot avoid. Starting puppies with a proper socialization and a proper environmental conditioning plan will help them learn to deal with the every day stresses of life.
When implemented correctly, at an early age, proper socialization helps puppies feel comfortable when introduced to new people, dogs and animals. During the puppies stay with a canine behaviourist they will have the opportunity for proper socialization with dogs of all sizes, different people and early exposure to small animals such as rabbits. It is important to note that early exposure to small animals will not remove a dogs natural prey drive. If a puppy demonstrates a strong instinct to chasing prey, they will not be allowed to be adopted in an environment where small animals reside. Our concept of socialization is not about the quantity of exposure, but the quality of exposure. If we simply focus on the quantity of exposure, we tend to miss or ignore how the puppy is feeling emotionally. We want to make sure that every socialization opportunity makes the puppy feel good and allows the puppy to feel comfortable with future socialization.
Environmental conditioning will focus on building the puppies confidence when introduced to new environments, as well as new objects, surfaces and sounds. When puppies are faced with new environmental challenges, we want them to feel brave and secure doing so. Our concept of environmental conditioning is all about building confidence when puppies are presented with something “new”. Environmental conditioning includes walking on different surfaces, visiting new environments and hearing different sounds all while ensuring the puppies emotional well being and capability of recovering if a stressful event occurs.
Adopters will be given a customized socialization and environmental conditioning plan based on their puppies requirements. These requirements are based on the puppies individual temperament and will explain to adopters how to ensure socializing success and how to help the puppy recover if a stressful event should occur.
Although puppies under the age of 6 months old cannot be reliably house trained, the beginning stages of where and when to potty can begin being implemented. This consists of puppies learning not to soil in their kennel or play pen and creating a positive association with going potty outdoors.
Puppies who complete the Bright Beginnings Puppy Program will have:
a positive association created with using the bathroom outdoors
the ability to hold between potty breaks for up to 3 hours during the day
the ability to be crated up to 7 hours during the night without accidents
In order to help puppies house training transition be as successful as possible clients will be given a schedule to follow. This will include a breakdown of the puppies potty training habits , schedule and their personal cues indicating when they have to potty.
Crate Training and Confinement
All BBPP puppies will be crate trained and playpen trained before completing the program. Crate training and playpen training not only allows for piece of mind when leaving puppies unattended, it also helps create a smooth, comfortable transition for puppies once transferred to their new homes.
Puppies who are able to be confined quietly and comfortably are 90% less likely to develop separation anxiety in the future. Preventing separation anxiety from developing is a key component to ensuring their success and longevity in a new home.
Puppies who complete the Bright Beginnings Puppy Program will:
be able to be crated up to 7 hours during the night
have the ability to be left for short periods during the day
feel comfortable traveling in a car in their crate
be comfortable and quiet when secured in a playpen.
enter their crate or play pen with a food lure
have all the skills needed to prevent them from developing separation anxiety
Basic Handling and Grooming
An essential skill for all puppies is being able to calmly accept basic handling and grooming. This can be tricky for some puppies and without proper conditioning, will result in a squirmy, mouthy, unruly puppy. As they mature, these behaviour can escalate making it impossible to physically handle or restrain puppies for grooming or medical appointments. We begin handling techniques and conditioning exercises the moment puppies arrive in our program.
This will include the beginning stages of creating positive associations:
when puppies are picked up
when puppies are help or carried
when puppies are brushed
when puppies have their paws held and nails trimmed
Adopters will be given customized training plans based on their puppies requirements.
A Foundation of Obedience
An obedience foundation for young puppies, simply consists of an understanding of the positions used in basic obedience. Puppies under the age of 3 months are not required to obey specific obedience commands, instead we like to create confidence and an understanding of required future obedience positions.
All puppies who complete the Bright Beginnings Puppy Program will have an understanding of our 3 core obedience commands:
Teaching confidence and muscle memory in performing positions will allow adopters to easily pair words with future commands.
All puppies will be conditioned to respond to a positive interrupter. This means puppies will respond quickly to direction when the positive interrupter is used. We typically use the word “pup pup” as our positively charged word. This technique is not only used to interrupt unwanted behaviours, but to get attention when needed. Think of a positive interrupter as a clicker. When a puppy hears the sound of a clicker, it is meant to be followed be a food reward. Our positive interrupter is a verbal cue, pup pup, used to get the puppy to come towards us for a reward.
Introduction to Leash Walking
A basic understanding of walking on leash and even wearing a harness can be overwhelming to some puppies. Especially puppies whom have never experienced the sensation of wearing an item or the restraint of a leash. SSRP will begin the ground work on creating comfortability while wearing a harness and walking on leash. Our goal with puppies is not to create a loose leash walk, but to help them develop the confidence and the skills needed to safely explore the outdoors.
The Financial Cost
In order for the program to be feasible to rescue organizations, that already carry large daily financial costs, BBRP costs will be directed to the adopters. This allows the rescue organizations the opportunity to enrol more puppies into the program, without worrying about the financial cost of the program.
The financial cost associated with puppies who have completed the program, is well worth the cost to the right adopter. Regular boarding school costs for puppies is between $100 and $150 per day, with most facilities requiring a 2 week minimum. That is between $1400 to $2100 for boarding school training. The cost to hire a professional dog trainer for private lessons ranges between $100 to $200 per hour, per lesson. Since puppies go through several developmental periods, most clients require 3-5 private lessons in the first 3 months of puppy ownership, that is a cost of upwards of $2500.00. This does not include the initial purchasing cost of the puppy.
Adding an additional $1100.00 on top of your regular adoption fee will allow for adopters to not only save money on professional dog training in the long run, but give them the piece of mind and tools needed for a smooth, successful adoption!
Isn't 8-12 weeks too young for this program?
The "Golden Window" of puppy training occurs between 8 and 12 weeks of age, when your pup is actively working on social skills and is still in a highly eager-to-please mindset, as they look to other pack members (older dogs and confident people) for advice.
Will I have to continue training the puppy?
Absolutely! Puppies will have an adjustment period when it must learn it's new environment & people. Setting aside time to work with your puppy daily for the first weeks he/she is home will set you both up for success. The puppy needs to practice his/her training with you in order for our work with the puppy to transfer to you.
Can a 12 week old puppy be fully housetrained?
Even the very best trainers would be hard-pressed to produce a fully house trained 12 week old puppy! A 12 week old puppy is simply not developmentally mature enough to achieve certain training milestones. The program begins the conditioning stages of creating positive associations in appropriate potty areas.
Why adopt a puppy through our program?
Puppies are lovely, but the crate training stage, the sleepless nights, proper socialization and the general time commitment required to train puppies can be overwhelming, especially if you have a hectic schedule. Utilizing our program when adopting a puppy with an unknown background can help ensure your success and give you the piece of mind that you are truly helping them be the best versions of themselves.