We have done this since day 1! Just our normal Full Day Enrolment is needed.
To enrol your puppy (under 20 weeks of age) in our Puppy School, just head to the customer portal below, enrol for a Full Day! It’s that simple!
For youths over 20 weeks, just let us know what you’d like us to focus on!
Puppy School: Our Puppy and Youth Curriculum
Here at Wolfhouse, we have a puppy school with a difference! We can provide you and your new puppy with all of your educational needs from the critical learning period and on! In fact, educating puppies and young dogs is incredibly popular with us. On average, the majority of daily enrolments are for dogs aged 1 and under. That means we are able to dedicate some serious resources to educating these young doggos and setting them up for an exceptionally happy life! This experience has no additional costs to a full day enrolment with us either. It’s exactly why we exist!
16 Week Critical Learning Period
Now let’s talk Critical Learning Period. This might be a brand new phrase or something you’re quite familiar with, however it refers to the first 16 weeks of a dog’s life where it absorbs the most amount of information about it’s environment and how to respond. This period and what the puppy learns takes enormous steps in establishing an emotional, behavioural and socially balanced happy adult dog for the rest of its life. That’s all about exposing them to as much as possible and linking it with something positive! Now, sometimes you don’t always have the opportunity to do this. Potentially, you are unlucky not to have a storm or fireworks occur during that time. That’s where we come in! Our approach to educating puppies does just that. We expose them to a mountain of various scenarios, stimuli and environments and use positive reinforcement exclusively for appropriate behaviours. That ensures we build that confidence and nurture positive and appropriate behaviours!
Puppy School Experience on Campus
Given we are primarily a school for dogs, there is actually many similarities between the experience of an adult dog and a puppy. For example, the structure! Between 9-3 all dogs rotated between classes or periods in their assigned crew for the day, full of peers that are similar to them. These periods are structured to include specific adventure (enrichment) experiences tailored to each classes individual needs, rest periods, and educational (training) experiences structured to teach the dogs something new or to promote appropriate behaviours! This approach enables us to expose the puppies positively to a huge range of new things and promote appropriate behaviours to them. This has a significant advantage over weekly set time classes and alike. On the very first day on campus dogs are initiated into one of the 9 classes on campus which group dogs of similar energy levels, confidence and athletic ability together. Naturally puppies tend to start in 1 of 3 very similar classes then graduate as they grow. To learn more about our Initiation Ritual and the classes, head here:
Let’s explore the detail of what’s taught! By all means this list is not exhaustive, it is a minimum summary of what is taught over the critical period. Anything can be added or subtracted at your request. Click on each subject to learn more!
Confidence Building & Positive Association to Everyday Experiences
This part is critical to lay the foundation for appropriate responses and behaviours to new environments and building a confident dog! You hear the term ‘happy-go-lucky’ all the time. This is the goal of this area of the curriculum. To build these confident ‘happy-go-lucky’ dogs that are the right mix of energetic, chilled and unphased by almost anything! The focus areas include:
- Unfamiliar humans. Confidence around meeting people we haven’t been introduced to before.
- Human handling. Confidence and appropriate responses to being handled, with a focus on sensitivity to grooming areas and vet check up areas
- Dogs. Confidence around dogs of various sizes, energy levels, confidence levels, ages etc.
- Environment. Confidence with moving through, being around and standing on various textures, unusual ways of moving with the ground moving beneath them and even water!
- Acoustics. Confidence with common acoustic triggers such as loud bangs, storms, fireworks, appliance and power tool noise and even farm and unusual animal noises.
- Moving Objects. Confidence around usual objects that move such as humans on office chairs, crutches, skateboards, scooters and bikes.
- Back Ties. Also know as tie outs or tethers. Building separation confidence and appropriate behaviours with being placed in this position.
- Crate training. This can be added upon request as it is optional. We can continue the work you are already doing at home by enabling them time to rest in their crate/den/safe space when rest period arrives on campus.
The primary goal of this part of the curriculum is to build confidence regardless of the situation. This ensures the dog does not develop adverse responses to challenging stimuli and scenarios that will be required of it during the course of its life! Also to provide the dog with the core confidence needed to thrive in any new environment or change to situation.
If there is anything that you’d like us specifically to work on every visit, then jumping on one of our tailored EMOD programs is a great way to achieve this! These enable one on one learning with one of our Academic Team members to focus directly on a specific area of development. These can be added to a full day enrolment in the Addition Services section when you enrol. Like all packages, passes and services, they can be purchased online here:
Early Start Canine Education
Not to be confused with our Standard Obedience Primary Certificate, which is our first certification in obedience education. Our Early Start Canine Education is an introduction to the education of your puppy to ensure their first attempt at learning something from a human is extremely rewarding and positive. Whilst it does cover many basic obedience requirements, the primary goal is to increase drive to learn whilst exposing the puppy to basic tasks. This will include:
- An introduction to human communication and markers (yes/click) and the foundation in charging these markers to better communicate when desired/appropriate behaviours have been completed.
- Leash behaviours and what appropriate behaviours we are asking for when on leash.
- General manners encouraging appropriate behaviours from the puppy to prevent undesirable behaviours such as jumping up on humans, attention seeking barking and entry/exit manners to name a few.
- An introduction to basic obedience ques such as drops/downs, holding positions, targeting and place, recalls and more!
This is a great place to start prior to entering the Standard Obedience Primary Certificate (SOPC) as it sets an excellent platform to further educate your puppy in obedience. The SOPC ensures your dog is competent in completing obedience commands when commanded. If you would like more info on this certification, email us! Or if you’d like to enrol in the certification, head to the link below to purchase then select the Obedience Enrolment Type when you enrol next time!
This area of development is key for all dogs to live that go anywhere, do anything life, full rich life. Given it’s the area we spend the majority of our time teaching with adult dogs with special needs, socialisation education during the critical period could not be more important! Here are the critical areas of canine socialisation education:
- Appropriate meet and greet behaviours with various dogs. This includes dogs of all ages, various excitement levels, confidence levels, and dogs with special needs. Meeting these dogs the right way is the first step to a positive relationship with canine socialisation. Here we teach how a calm, confident and controlled meet displaying the right body language and position achieves the first step in a positive socialisation experience.
- Play style adaptation. This is all about teaching a varied approach to playing with others. Adaptation in playstyle is an important skill as it enables the puppy to socialise freely with all dogs with reciprocating desires to socialise.
- Appropriate force in socialising. This is important for all dogs regardless of size. Using appropriate force when playing and socialising is the next skill to master as it is critical in ensuring either dog does not become uncomfortable or unsure how to respond if the force becomes inappropriate. This could be excessive mouthing, mounting, jumping, tackling or take downs where the force becomes too great. Understandably important to reduce the negative impacts of ‘rough’ play.
- Appropriate body language and play behaviours. Another key area of development, as this enables the dog to clearly communicate its intentions to another dog. Which could be, yes I want to play, I’ve had enough, I prefer to play like this etc. It’s also important to teach the right way to go about socialising and playing. This further reduces the impact of any undesirable or inappropriate behaviours and their consequences to your puppy and others!
Achieving a high level of education in this area will enable your puppy to freely socialise with all dogs! This will reduce the risk of being restricted to socialising with only certain types or breeds of dogs. It also prepares the dog for what to do when confronted with another dog that is still learning, not social or simply does not want to meet or socialise.
Another key area of education as the stakes are high here! When this is not taught correctly during the critical period, it can lead to disastrous consequences that take years of education to undo. What we want to teach is appropriate behaviours with all forms of resources around both humans and other dogs, regardless of how highly the dog values the resource. This is also an important area of human education as well as it is very dependant on your structure at home and your response to inappropriate behaviours around resources. Here are the common highly valued resources we provide education on in the campus environment:
- Water and bowls
- Toys such as balls and tugs
- Their ‘place’ or position in the environment
- Humans and receiving affection
For examples where the area of education is specific to an environment off campus, such as your home, we can come to you! Simply book and Off Campus Consultation with one of our Academic Team using the Portal link below! Simply select request services then select Consultations then finally Academic Consultation!
All dogs gain access to our swimming pool territory Waterfall Springs! Whether it is for enrichment or education, it’s a very popular territory on campus. For puppies we focus specifically on several things:
- Confidence around and in the water
- How to swim, especially for certain breeds where physically this is quite challenging
- Appropriate behaviours around and in the water
Our mission for all dogs in the education component of this experience is to ensure dog’s are understanding of what to do when confronted with water. In a country surrounded by water with a vast majority of the population living in coastal areas and in water catchments, water confidence is an important component of their education. At the very least to prepare them tackle the challenge of water during an unexpected scenario such as escaping in a weather event or a mishap whilst out exploring!
*swim school classes dependant on pool availability which can fluctuate due to maintenance closures
The Academic Checkout Process
One of the most frequent questions we get asked with Puppy School is, what’s my role as the owner in the education? If you do it all on campus what’s left for me?
You **insert slightly judgey, Uncle Sam propaganda like pointing at you poster here** are the most important part of the education process. Your approach, structure and discipline in the process will be the defining factor in your puppy’s development.
Simply, our approach to ensuring you are this defining factor lies in a few areas. Whilst we are the educators on campus, you need to be us everywhere off campus. To teach you the skills you need to do this, you can book a free of charge consultation with one of our academic team. This does not need to be each and every time, it can be when-ever best suits you. This service we offer is popular and our trainers’ time is highly valued so you do need to book this with us. It’s a must to ensure the learning is consistent at home and on campus. In this one on one consultation the Academic team member will load you up with home work and the ability to teach it. It’s also a great source of information for any questions you might have, or odd things you are observing that you would like explained! You can book this service by adding it as an additional service to your enrolment through the PORTAL.
Our progressive, tried and tested approach has had educational progress which is success with all, yes that’s ALL puppies that have enrolled with us which is hundreds of families over the past few years. Heaps of which have continued on with us into their adult life and over multiple dogs! Our approach means that you have canine professionals and trainers laying the foundation and getting heaps of learning completed on campus. Plus, the experience is uninhibited by your own learning process, whilst still providing you with the skills you need to continue the education through our Academic Checkout Consultation service.
Before we get into enrolling, there are some important pieces of info you should have in structuring your experience on campus for your puppy:
Wolfhouse does not support any socialisation with dogs that are unvaccinated or in areas where unvaccinated dogs have been present.
We require all dogs to be vaccinated on campus and as such puppies are required to have their first vaccination prior to being on campus. Our disciplined approach to cleaning after each waste event is critical to destroying any potential viruses and bacteria remaining on surfaces. Together with an added 3 stage facility clean, this significantly reduces the transmission risk. This is critical to establishing a safe environment for all dogs to learn whilst puppies are building their immunity during their first 3 rounds of vaccinations.
Given the critical learning period of up to 16 weeks is the most important time in its life, our ability to provide this critical education for dogs during this period is one of the core reasons we exist. This is why we have all of these measures in place to ensure we can safely take advantage of this short yet extremely vital 16 week window.
In our indoor environment, the risk of nasties like parvovirus being introduced campus from paws or shoes or other outdoor sources is the same as any other indoor environment where shoes can track in outside matter, even inside the home! We have the advantage of using specialised cleaners that destroy viruses however, to balance the risk of increased traffic.
We are here to provide for your puppy’s education in a safe environment!
We only have 2 entry requirements to gain access to our environment. Firstly, all dogs are vaccinated. Secondly, all dogs over the age of 6 months are de-sexed. Given dogs’ meeting sexual maturity can vary from breed to breed, individual to individual, it is something we need to be strict on. The line in the sand is 6 months. Unfortunately, that does mean if your dog is entire at 6 months and 1 day, they will not be able to gain access to campus.
For doggos where they have received veterinary advice that the de-sexing should happen later, this does make it really tough for families! Especially where the puppy has special development needs or requires their education to be continued on from 6 months of age.
What we recommend is having an open conversation with several vets to ensure they have all the information needed to advise correctly. Raising a healthy, emotionally, behaviourally and socially balanced dog is your only priority during this period. Commonly we see 2 scenarios for these dogs in this situation!
Firstly, you have a puppy where the education on campus is able to take a pause and transfer to education being performed at home, or the health risks of de-sexing an individual due to underlying conditions means that the physical health of the dog needs to take priority. For these doggos we can continue their learning at home by working with our Academic team in a home consult capacity! This is ideal for certain areas of education, but not as effective in others so it’s important to consider the individual and their needs.
Secondly, we have puppies where the emotional, behavioural or social development requirements of the puppy outweigh the negligible generalised breed risks of de-sexing outside of the ‘ideal’ window for the breed. For these dogs, families need to carefully weigh up the overall risks to the dog’s standard of living over the course of their life to make the decision. Thee decisions need to be made taking in the advise received from trusted veterinarians and our Academic team in making the decision.
What do I need to bring?
- Food – if your puppy is having breakfast, lunch or dinner on campus
- Leash – even if you are lifting your puppy I and out of the car, having it on leash in our check in/out area is a must
- Collar – even if you have your puppy on a harness, a collar is incredibly important as it is a necessity of our emergency evacuation procedure.
So! Are you ready to enrol??
Enrolling is super simple. Whether it’s just for the Campus Introduction to check the place out or to enrol for day one. Everything is done through our portal and you can set yourself up with access below: