Puppy Day School Policies
Puppies ages eight weeks to six months old are eligible to enroll in Puppy Day School. Once your puppy begins attending Day School, they may continue for as long as you would like - there is no upper age limit. Dogs over six months of age at the time of enrollment are eligible for our Intensive Training Programs.
New students must have lived in their current home for at least 7 days prior to starting Puppy Day School, and have been examined by their owner's veterinarian (not the breeder/shelter's vet) including a negative fecal test.
Health Requirements: We require vaccination for parvo, distemper, and bordetella (kennel cough) as well as a negative fecal test result from your veterinarian (not the rescue/breeder's vet). Rabies vaccination is required at 4 months of age per RI state law. Click here for a printable PDF with our vaccination and testing requirements.
Reservation & Cancellation Policy: All private appointments must be booked a minimum of 48 hours in advance. Payment is due at the time of booking. Cancellations of private appointments 48 hours before the appointment are non-refundable & non-transferable. There is a 7 day cancellation policy for Puppy Day School and Educational Daycare attendance. Cancellations made less than 7 days will not be made up at the end of your dog's program.
Sanitation Protocol: Our facility, toys, bowls, and bedding are sanitized daily. For this reason, we cannot accept bowls and bedding from home.
Meal Protocol: We feed puppies two times per day. Please do not feed your puppy before bringing him to Puppy Day School. On your puppy's first day of school, please provide us with two gallon-sized Ziplock bags full of kibble. We will measure your puppy's breakfast (and lunch, if applicable) each day. We will let you know if we are running low on food for your puppy and will return any leftover food at the end of your puppy's training with us.
Yes, we are open and accepting new clients for Puppy Day School during the COVID-19 situation. Puppy Day School is an essential service that provides socialization with other dogs and people that right now, your puppy can't really get anywhere else.
Please see our blog post on COVID-19 for details on our contactless pick-up and drop-off area and other safety protocols during this time.
Puppy Day School program hours are 9AM to 3PM. Drop-off is between 7AM and 9AM and pick-up is between 3PM and 6:30PM.
Please view our Tuition & Enrollment page for the most up-to-date information.
Puppy Day School isn't a daycare program, just like a Montessori school isn't a daycare. Our program is staffed by professional dog trainers, and the primary focus is training, not playtime. Enrolling your puppy with us is an investment in your dog's future behavior.
We also keep a very low dog-to-staff ratio. Industry standard for dog daycares is 15-25 dogs per 1 staff member. Our standard is no more than 5 dogs per trainer.
If you are ready to get started, you can pay for tuition. You will receive an e-mail with instructions for scheduling the included evaluation.
After booking your evaluation, send us your dog's health records. For pups over 12 weeks of age, we need proof of vaccination against rabies, parvo, distemper, and bordetella (kennel cough). We also need proof of a negative fecal test result. (For pups under 12 weeks of age at the time of enrollment, rabies vaccination is optional.) You can scan and e-mail these records to us, or have your vet send them to us. Our fax number is 401-330-5892 or they may e-mail them to us as well. Click here for a printable "Health Requirements" PDF you can download and bring to your vet.
When you come to your evaluation, bring your puppy and a list of goals for her behavior. Ask yourself and your family members: what do we want to be able to do with our dog when her training is complete? What behaviors do we need help with right away? Write it down (post-it notes are encouraged!) and we'll chat about it all during the evaluation.
We don't offer any "part time" enrollment options in Puppy Day School. When we first started this program in 2015, we did offer part-time (2-4x/week) enrollment, and found that the part-time puppies did not make as much progress as the full-time puppies. Our focus is on providing the best possible education for young puppies, and it's not possible to do that with part-time attendance.
If you have a scheduled vet appointment, groomer appointment, or vacation, you can adjust your puppy's schedule with at least a week's notice, but this is meant for occasional absences.
Thanks to modern medicine, this well-meaning advice is outdated. The current recommendations of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior are to begin puppy socialization as soon as possible, especially before twelve weeks of age. Puppies have a "critical socialization period" from six weeks to sixteen weeks, and it is crucial that training and socialization begins during this time. Click here to read the AVSAB position statement on puppy socialization.
Puppy Day School's vaccination and health requirements exceed those set by AVSAB.
Your Puppy Day School evaluation will take approximately an hour. We'll start by double-checking your contact details and getting emergency contact information. Then, we'll go through a questionnaire to learn more about what your puppy's daily routine is like, what you're feeding her and how often, what she's learned so far, and what your goals are for her behavior.
We'll give you tips you can start acting on immediately to help with issues you're experiencing like nipping, potty training accidents, crying in the crate, and jumping up. If time allows, we may also demonstrate a training exercise you can practice at home.
After we gather the information we need to take great care of your puppy and customize their training plan, we'll help you sign up for the included Flex Classes and Puppy Teacher Conferences and determine when your puppy can start in our program.
We require our puppy parents to be involved in the process of training their puppies. Your Puppy Day School tuition includes weekly 30-minute Puppy Teacher Conferences, which are private lessons with a member of our training staff where you will learn what your puppy is learning at school. Your tuition also includes access to our Flex Classes, held 7 days a week, to get hands-on practice with your puppy. Your entire family is welcome to participate in this continuing education.
Puppy Day School clients can also e-mail us at any time with questions about training, behavior, play, etc. Think of us as your puppy coaching staff!
Puppy Day School is a comprehensive program for owners who want to go beyond a weekly hour of group instruction. In our experience, a weekly group training class is not enough support for most puppy parents. There is so much about puppy raising that cannot be covered in a busy group atmosphere. This is why we do not offer a "puppy kindergarten" class.
We teach all of the "basic obedience" skills you're familiar with, and much more. The training skills we work on with puppies include sit, down, stay, come when called, relax in a crate, and loose-leash walking.
Our program focuses on self-control. Your puppy will learn to behave politely around food and toys (without jumping up & trying to steal them) and wait for permission to go through doorways and to exit her crate. All of this is without nagging your puppy to "leave it" or "get off."
Because your puppy will be under our direct supervision, your puppy will not get to practice these common, frustrating behaviors: jumping up on people, chewing furniture, nipping people, counter-surfing, and pulling on leash.
Your puppy will also socialize with other puppies and polite adult dogs to learn good social skills and habits. Playing with other dogs improves nipping and mouthiness and will help your puppy learn to use their mouth gently during play.