Welcome to our puppy training programme

Your puppy’s first few months set them up for the rest of their life.

You only get one shot at this critical period.

Rushing your puppy’s education and skipping things along the way is like trying to live in a house built without any foundations – constantly worrying about the roof falling in and patching up the cracks that keep appearing in the walls rather than enjoying a beautiful space that brings you joy and makes you feel safe.

Your new family member is going to share your life for maybe 15 years – the skills and knowledge for this to be an easy, wonderful, enjoyable time for both of you don’t come from a few sessions of training for an hour once a week in a hall or field. Puppies need and deserve so much more than that – and so do you! 

Our puppy programme sets you up not only for puppyhood and adolescence but for a lifetime of happiness. We call it building the Canine Thinking House of Harmony and we love the success it brings our puppy clients.

Here's why I stopped traditional puppy classes....

Whether this is your very first puppy, or you are an experienced dog owner, learning in your puppy’s safe space at home and in familiar environments gives them a better foundation for life outside and makes it easier for both of you. Here’s why.

Reason 1

Traditional classes simply don’t set puppies up for normal day to day life, doing the things you want to do, in the places you normally do them – time and time again we see puppies who can’t learn at all in class because they are too worried or over-excited or tired or hungry…… or who can do the training in the hall but can’t apply that learning anywhere else! 

Reason 2 

Puppies are so vulnerable in their early months, it is vital to ensure they are not overwhelmed and one of the most common problems we see is puppies who have been exposed to too much, too soon in class environments they can’t cope with or who haven’t learned to apply the skills in real life situations. These are the puppies who pull like a steam-train on the lead, bark at people and dogs, stall on walks, jump at noises or strange objects, race round at the park like you’re invisible and just can’t listen to you outside the house, to name just a few things.  And it can lead to a world of problems as they grow.

Reason 3

We know that group environments, especially in a training hall, mean your puppy has to cope with far too many distractions and it can cause significant stress (like fear or overexcitement) – how well would you learn like that? Starting with online learning and then putting it into practice at home and in REAL environments means your puppy can relax and so can you.

– You can focus on the information you’re learning without having to worry about what your pup is doing

– You don’t have to worry about your puppy being tired/hungry/travel sick or just ‘not in the mood’ and wasting a lesson – you learn when you are both able to concentrate.

– When you put things into practice, you can give your puppy your full attention – great for both of you.

– You both learn faster, more easily, that learning sticks and you simply weave it through normal everyday life, not an hour a week.

Reason 4

Puppies learn every second that they are awake, whether you think you are ‘training’ at that time or not! They don’t wait for classes once a week, so it’s up to you to make sure that your puppy is learning what you want them to, every moment of the day. With the easily accessible short lessons and expert support in between, we help you simply weave your puppy training through your normal, everyday life – exactly where it needs to be. 

Reason 5

Classes mean you have to wait for vaccinations to complete, by which time you’ve missed a vital early development and learning window and may find you already have problems creeping in which could have been avoided. In fact, the best time to start is BEFORE your puppy comes home. You can’t do that in a face to face class.

Over the 12 weeks we cover….

Homelife essentials

  • Sleep well (both of you) – especially the first few weeks!
  • Everything you need to know about toilet training in easy steps
  • How to chew the right things (not fingers or shoes!)
  • Learn to settle quietly so you can get on with your own work
  • Independence training so they can spend time happily on their own – you get to have a shower by yourself and pop to the shops!

Playtime and enrichment activities

  • Understand your puppy’s needs and exactly how to meet them, while balancing them with yours.
  • Easy games to play that have secrete training skills weaved in.
  • Enrichment activities to calm and relax your puppy without excessive walks (and which help with training too!)

Going out and about and socialisation

Essential skills for enjoying walks together and handling REAL life situations:

  • Loose lead walking and paying attention to you when you need it
  • Reliable recall formula
  • Learn to visit new places calmly and happily – the park, pop into town, go to a friend’s house
  • Car travel without the sickness
  • Develop excellent skills for polite, confident interactions with other dogs

Key training skills

  • Respond to their name instantly
  • Get on and off furniture when you ask
  • Swap and share toys
  • Leave things alone
  • Wait at the door without being asked
  • Learn how to greet people politely and calmly, with paws on the floor!

Brilliant communication

Want a puppy who really listens, even  with distractions? This is where you will learn to read your puppy’s body language so you know exactly what they are saying and how to respond so that you can be your puppy’s most trusted person and safe space.

Confidence

A confident puppy will become a confident dog.

Helping your puppy become resilient to new situations, people, places and knowing how to support them when they are anxious is the key to confidence AND a strong relationship with you. 

Grooming and vet visits

Critical for wellbeing throughout their life, it is really important that vet and groomer visits are super easy and low stress. Learn how to clean teeth and check ears and paws without any struggle and wash away a muddy walk without getting soaked. Taking care of your pup’s wellbeing will be SO easy. 

Preventing future behaviour problems

You will recognise the early signs of behaviour problems like separation distress, excessive barking, problems on walks, guarding food and spaces, sound fears and other common issues and know exactly how to prevent them in adulthood. 

And anything else you need a hand with! We’re here to support you at every step of the way.

What our puppy clients say

 

“Never having owned a dog before, Lisa’s introduction sessions were invaluable, and it was reassuring to be able to call on Lisa for advice when we experienced difficulties in the first days.

Lisa’s training has been excellent, she promotes a positive reinforcement approach for both dogs and owners, it has resulted in a much calmer and happy border collie puppy in our home.

 

It is easy to understand what we need to do as owners as Lisa explains and demonstrates so well. She also provides guidance notes which was really useful for references as there is so much to learn as a new owner”

Sarah and David with Freya

An incredible programme to set your puppy up for success. 

THREE 30 minute coaching lessons each week

Do them when your puppy is ready to learn and in their safe space, so it is super easy for both of you and making sure you don’t overwhelm and stress your puppy during their most vulnerable development period.

 

A toolbox of skills

Everything you will ever need is inside here. You will learn the essential skills YOU need, not only to train your puppy easily and effectively but to help them become the happy, content adult dog you are looking forward to sharing your life with. We know every puppy and home is individual and there is a choice of exercises you can practice between the weekly coaching so you can completely tailor the programme to your puppy and lifestyle.

 

Expert support whenever you need it

And… there is a place for you to land to chat and share videos in case you have any questions, or you need a troubleshoot. We support you from start to finish with help when you need it rather than having to wait to the next class.

 

FACE TO FACE socialisation with our ‘Out and About’ and ‘Puppy Social’ training groups WHEN YOUR PUPPY IS READY! (optional)

    • Exclusive access to book onto our fabulous ‘Puppy Social’ and ‘Out and About’ groups (an additional fee applies)
    • Maximum 4 puppies in a group so lots of individual support
    • We go together to the sorts of places you want to go in real life (no training halls!) so you gain the necessary skills to feel confident with what real life throws your way! 
    • Help your puppy interact politely with dogs and people and really focus on you. 
    • Practice all the skills you need for recall in the park, nipping into town, having a coffee, going round the garden centre, walking up the canal or round the duck pond – we even pop to the pub!
    • All under the expert guidance of an experienced trainer

Priority access and discounts on one to one coaching, courses and more

    • Includes an invitation to join our Circle of Paws membership after you graduate from the Circle of Tiny Paws!
    • 10% off everything in the Canine Thinking shop, which has all you need to keep your puppy happy and occupied

see FAQs for more details

Total Peace of mind that you’re giving your puppy the best start and setting yourselves up for a lifetime of happiness together.

A note from Lisa….

“I love supporting clients as they navigate the magical early weeks and months with their puppy. Building the right foundations not only makes this special time much easier for both of you, it sets you up for a whole lifetime of happiness together and that’s what it’s all about. I can’t wait to see you in there.

The details…

Location:

    • Online Lessons (via our online course hub, facebook and zoom) 
    • Locations for optional out and about and social groups vary. We have regular groups around Nantwich (East Cheshire) and Chester (West Cheshire). 

Puppy ages for this course: 

    • The younger your puppy is when you start the better!
    • You can even start BEFORE you have your puppy
    • This course is for puppies up to about six months old, but sometimes is appropriate for dogs older than this too – give us a call to chat!

Times and how to participate:

    • Our next course starts officially on the 18th July, but you can enrol at any time and we’ve released a module early to get you started! 
    • We release lessons every week and you can access them at any time, so it works best for you and your puppy.
    • Live coaching times are posted in the group each week
    • Optional face to face puppy social or ‘out and about’ group times and costs are shown with the location at time of booking 

Want to know anything else? See our ‘FAQs‘ below, email hello@caninethinking.com or just give us a call!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is online training more effective than face to face group classes?

Puppies are so vulnerable in their early months, it is vital to ensure they are not overwhelmed and one of the most common problems we see is puppies who have been exposed to too much, too soon and who can’t cope. It can lead to a world of problems.

We don’t take our own puppies into class environments until they have the right foundation skills, so we wouldn’t ask you to either. 

  • We know that group environments, especially in a training hall, mean your puppy has to cope with far too many distractions and things which cause fear and stress. Starting with online learning means your puppy can relax and so can you.

  • You can focus on the information you’re learning without having to worry about what your pup is doing, and when you then put it into practice, you can give your puppy your full attention.
  • You can learn at a time that suits you and your puppy, rather than having to attend at a specific time each week, no matter how hard a day you might be having. Life with a puppy has ups and downs, online coaching is really supportive and allows you to work around that – and means learning is faster and more effective.
  • This programme also enables you to start as soon as your puppy arrives rather than waiting for vaccinations to complete, by which time you’ve missed a vital early development and learning window. In fact, the best time to start is BEFORE your puppy comes home. You can’t do that in a face to face class.
    I need to socialise my puppy. How does this work with an online programme?
    • Years of experience tells us it works far more effectively than in a training hall! Socialisation is not about exposing your puppy to as many dogs and people as you can, it’s about introducing your puppy to the right dogs and people, at a time when they are ready, in a place they feel safe, and when they have a few life skills in place so they can cope! 

    • Our optional face-to-face ‘Out and About’ and ‘Puppy Social’ groups are available after week 3 to make socialisation as successful as possible – the online part of the course prior to this helps you get your puppy ready to socialise. The groups are then structured to avoid the social stress that often arises in typical class situations – we have a maximum of 4 puppies and the activities we do are specifically designed to give your puppy a fabulous experience. And if you’re not joining us for those, the programme itself takes you through how to do this safely just in the normal places you go to. No classes required. 
    • The first part of what people often call ‘socialisation’ is actually ‘habituation’, which means helping puppies get used to new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures and experiences. This has to start at home (where we bring these things to your puppy so they can explore without being overwhelmed, and sets them up for a lifetime of confidence) and then gradually extends to new environments. This then makes introductions to other dogs so much easier, as your pup copes far better with the environmental distractions and can focus their attention on learning lovely social skills.
    • Introducing puppies to other puppies or older dogs before they are ready, or in a way which causes stress, is a really common cause of behaviour problems with other dogs later on. We see lots of dogs who were totally overwhelmed and stressed around other puppies in class environments who just don’t cope well with dog interactions later in life – it’s so sad when this happens and something we want to help you avoid.
    • Remember – the only thing worse than no socialisation, is poor socialisation. Bad experiences early on can have a catastrophic impact on puppies and cause lifelong issues. 
      How do I book onto the 'puppy social' and 'puppy out and about' face to face groups? And how much are they?
        • Our exclusive face-to-face ‘Out and About’ and ‘Puppy Social’ groups are carefully structured to avoid the social stress that often arises in typical class situations – we have a maximum of 4 puppies and the activities we do are specifically designed to give you and your puppy a fabulous experience with expert supervision and support.
        • We list the available dates and locations inside the Complete Puppy Life Skills course (these groups are only available to puppies on our programme). These are run primarily in and around Nantwich and surrounding villages and there is usually at least one per week, although sometimes we add more and new locations depending on the puppies we have registered. Yes – you can let us know the sort of places where you need more help and we do our best to schedule in a suitable session for you!
        • It’s £25 per session and if you book three we offer you a 10% discount for those three sessions and any others you book later on.
        • These sessions are open to puppies up to about 6 months of age. After that you are also welcome to book onto our ‘out and about’ groups for teenagers and beyond!

         

          Why is this a 12 week programme rather than a typical 6 week 'puppy class'?
          • Your puppy is precious and we want you to be able to live your happiest life together. It is vital that you can meet your puppy’s needs, balance these with your own and there are some critical foundations that give your puppy the skills to cope in a human-led environment. You simply cannot teach these in six weeks. 
          • Puppy training is not about teaching ‘sit’ and ‘down’, it’s about helping you and your puppy navigate the essential early months where development is rapid and helping you build a toolkit of skills to set you up for the rest of your life together. Learning happens every minute of every day, not in class. Our 12 week programme gives you a carefully planned series of short lessons with all the extra help you need in between in a way that is impossible via typical 6 or even 8 week face to face courses. 
            Can I still have one to one coaching?
            • Of course! You can book one to one coaching sessions from 30 to 90 minutes (either face to face or online) as a top up to the programme and we give you a 10% discount.

             

            • Or some clients prefer to join our fully personalised one to one Very Best Paw Forward programme which is centred around 12 weeks of individual sessions (face to face or online) and offers the ultimate puppy settling in and development support. This includes direct phone access to an expert trainer whenever you need. And you still get all the online resources as a bit of extra help. For more information about this, please call us on 01270 629 289 and we’d love to chat to you about exactly what you need.
            We love chatting all things puppy! If you have more questions or want some advice and a plan,
            click here to book your free puppy consult