A Day in the Life of Puppy Day Camp

First of all, congratulations on your new puppy! You’ve already done all the prep work, gotten all the gear, and hopefully enrolled in puppy kindergarten at Paws 4 Training. What’s next?

How do you continue to socialize your pup while teaching appropriate play and receiving guidance to help shape your puppy’s behavior, setting everyone up for success? Our Puppy Day Camp is offered Monday through Thursday from 7:30 to 11:30 AM for puppies 9-20 weeks of age or under ~30 lbs. Space is limited to five puppies with two qualified trainers to ensure puppy play is properly managed (keep your eyes on this space for more on appropriate play!) and everyone has fun learning! In this blog, I will break down a typical day at camp to give you a fuller picture of your dog’s day with us.

Let’s get the boring technical stuff out of the way first…
Once you’ve registered your pup for the week (Monday through Thursday), first-timers will need to provide proof of the first round of vaccines. If your pup has already attended any classes or groups at Paws 4 Training, there’s no need to worry about this. We recommend bringing kibble or low-value treats along with some higher-value treats from home to minimize tummy upset. However, if you don’t bring any, we usually have extras to share. Bonus if there’s a chew stick provided for puppy downtime. We work on three behaviors with each pup. Let us know what you’d like to work on, or feel free to ask for suggestions and advice. We’re here to help!

Now the fun is ready to begin! Drop-off is at 7:30 AM.
For safety, we ask that you close the door fully behind you before we open the gate to let your puppy in. We’ll greet you at the entrance for handoff. Most pups are ready to greet each other and start playing as soon as they come in, but we always facilitate new introductions at each puppy’s individual pace. We use room dividers if we need to separate the group based on temperament, size, age, etc., but if everyone gets along, we like to open the space up to let everybody run and romp freely.

After about 30 minutes to an hour of play, the puppies are starting to get their initial zoomies out and are more ready to focus on us for some training.
We use science-based, force-free methods to help give you and your pup tools to shape desired behavior. We work on three behaviors for each puppy, ranging from basics like sit, down, or stay to slightly more advanced behaviors like recall, leave it, drop it, or loose leash walking. We’re also knowledgeable about cooperative care (everyone is fear-free certified here!) and handling. Let us know what you need help with!

Each puppy gets a personalized session with a trainer lasting 15-20 minutes, give or take, which might not sound like much, but I assure you it’s plenty! Think of it as “leaving them wanting more.” If the session ends while your puppy is still having fun and hasn’t gotten over-stimulated, they will continue to look forward to training time! Training for all five puppies usually finishes around 10 AM, at which point we encourage the puppies to settle, if not nap, sectioning the room as needed to give everyone their personal space with their chews, kong, or other puzzle toy. Sometimes they don’t all want to settle, in which case play will continue as long as everyone is getting along.

While the puppies are relatively calm, each trainer takes their turn to write their daily reports detailing what we worked on and how your puppy played with the group. We’ll send the reports to the email we have on file. These reports have all the tips and tricks you need to continue practicing at home, plus most of our clients think they’re cute and fun to read. Once reports are finished and sent, the puppies typically resume play while we start to tidy up and get everyone ready for pickup at 11:30. Expect your puppy to come home pretty worn out from all the excitement—they’ll likely be ready for a nice, long nap!

Our Puppy Day Camp is oodles of fun for your new family member!
We take pride in caring for your puppies, providing them a safe environment to play, learn, and become their best selves! Let us take the guesswork out of socialization and training, give you all the guidance you need to help your puppy flourish, and provide an excellent outlet for all that big puppy energy!

We invite you to enroll your puppy today. You won’t regret it.