Puppy Prodigy Program


The Path To A Wonderful Life With Your Dog Starts Here

Your puppy may still be small, but we encourage you to dream big. With our experience training assistance dogs for people with disabilities, we know how much a dog is capable of learning.

Not only can we help you through those trying first few weeks, when you are struggling with potty training and chewed carpets, but we can guide you and your puppy through basic obedience to becoming a well behaved and helpful companion who will amaze everyone who meets your dog!

After completing our full Puppy Prodigy Program, your dog will be able to walk on a loose leash, sit and wait at curbs, lie quietly on her bed during dinner, ignore food in the hands of careless toddlers, greet new people by sitting politely and offering a paw, and will come roaring directly at you when you call from across a busy off-leash dog park.

Furthermore, she will have a wide variety of advanced skills, such as picking up your keys, handing you her leash, carrying her own poop bags, finding the remote control, playing soccer, dancing, even fetching you a drink from the fridge.

In other words, your dog can be the kind of dog that most people only dream of having.

But don’t worry – if right now, all you care about is teaching your puppy to poop outside, we’ll start there.

Our Puppy Prodigy Program is a curriculum which helps guide your dog forward while focusing on your own personal priorities and goals. You can pay for sessions as you go, or ask our trainers about package prices.

Preschool Level: 8-12 weeks

The goal of Puppy Preschool is to set your puppy up for success.

Before we can teach your puppy to be amazing, we need to teach your puppy – and you – the basics. This takes the average family around 3 sessions.

Training Goals:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Housebreaking
  • Eliminate on Command
  • Bite Inhibition
  • Socialization
  • Leave it
  • Give/Drop It
  • Respond to name
  • Shake a Paw/Target With Nose

*Wag The Dog is all about personalization, so if you have goals not listed above we will happily help you work on those instead of or in addition to these subjects.

Basically, we will help get your puppy settled into your home and help you over those frustrating early weeks when your puppy is stealing your socks, peeing behind the couch, and shredding your shoelaces.

About The Number Of Classes

Some people may be surprised that we can do so much in just three classes, whereas your standard group puppy class can take five or even ten classes to cover the same topics. That is because our sessions are in-home and one-on-one.

We can do FAR more in a devoted hour with just you and your pup than an instructor of a group class can with ten or more puppies to  deal with at once. That being said, every family is unique and every dog is different. Our curriculum follows your puppy, not a timeline.

Kindergarten Level:

3-5 Months

Now that your puppy has the basics down, we can start working on obedience and skill development.

Training Goals:*

  • Stay
  • Wait
  • Formal Recall
  • Off-Leash Heel
  • Loose Leash Walking
  • Formal meet and greet – sit and offer a paw to greet new people
  • Go to bed on command
  • Tricks of your choice – as many as we can fit in!

*Wag The Dog is all about personalization, so if you have goals not listed above we will happily help you work on those instead of or in addition to these subjects.

When your pup graduates kindergarten, they will understand the concept of stay, will have some basic manners under their belt, will respond promptly when you call, and will know a number of great tricks that you will just love to show off to your friends!

About Tricks

Let it be noted that we consider tricks to be an essential part of dog training! Not only are dog tricks fun for both the owner and the dog, but they are a vital part of dog-owner bonding, and extremely important when it comes to keeping the dog motivated to please and work for the owner. Furthermore, tricks are stepping stones to the skills she needs to make herself useful about the house, which we consider something everyone should expect from their dog.

The tricks we teach include but are not limited to:

Ringing a bell (to let you know he needs to go outside), pressing a button, fetch, sit pretty, play dead, weave, roll over, high five, close the cupboard door, jumping over your leg, tugging a door open, pushing a door closed, speaking on command, rolling a soccer ball, backing up, crawling, taking a bow and spinning in a circle.

If you work at it, we can even have your dog taking out the trash!

Elementary Level

6-12 Months

Time to take this excellence out for a walk.

Now that your dog has what we consider to be the minimum essential skills for any canine citizen, we can start working on your dog’s ability to control herself in public, behave safely on the street, and start making herself useful around the house!

This level usually takes 4-8 sessions over the course of several months. Some skills – mostly ones that involve self-control – don’t become reliable until the dog hits emotional maturity. We will give you exercises to do which help build your dog’s self control, as well.

The goal is to have a dog who is a pleasure to take for walks, follows basic street safety, and comes reliably when called.

Training Goals:*

  • Moderate distraction stays
  • Moderate distraction recalls
  • Moderate distraction leash walking
  • Moderate distraction off leash heel
  • Street Safety – sitting at curbs
  • Formal retrieve, including fetching items for you.
  • Tricks of your choice – as many as we can fit in!
  • Advanced skills of your choice – as many as we can fit in!

*Wag The Dog is all about personalization, so if you have goals not listed above we will happily help you work on those instead of or in addition to these subjects.

Much of the tasks covered in this part of the curriculum involve what we call “proofing” – which means teaching your dog to resist distractions. This involves building self-control – a skill that won’t be completely perfected until your dog is a mature adult.

It is highly important, however, to practice and proof to work that self-control capacity if you want a dog who can resist distractions like other dogs, squirrels, crowded places like farmer’s markets, and who stops automatically before running into a busy street.

By now, your dog may qualify for a novice trick dog title!

Dogtorate Level


The Ph.D. “Dogtorate” level is for those who want their dogs to excel even under high distraction situations.

If you want a dog who can hold a down-stay while other dogs roar by, who can resist an ice cream that a toddler is waving under his nose, and can fetch you a beer from the fridge, then this is the course you need.

Most dogs cannot fully achieve PhD level until they have reached emotional maturity at 1-2 years of age.

Training Goals:*

  • High distraction stays
  • High distraction recalls
  • High distraction leash walking
  • High distraction off leash heel
  • Advanced retrieve (deliver to hand, take item to other locations)
  • Advanced tricks and skills of your choice

*Wag The Dog is all about personalization, so if you have goals not listed above we will happily help you work on those instead of or in addition to these subjects.

Basically, everyone will think your dog is the next Lassie.

And in our minds, this isn’t going above and beyond normal dog ownership.

This is what every dog could and should be!

About Advanced Obedience Skills

These skills are tasks that don’t fall under the category of “traditional obedience” but which we consider important for any dog.

Dogs were bred to be helpful to people, as hunters or sheep herders or guard dogs or professional companions. Today’s owners have dogs who are perfectly capable of being helpful, but don’t know how!

These skills include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Putting away dog toys
  • putting stray laundry in the hamper
  • handing you the leash
  • picking your keys up off the ground
  • carrying his own poop bags
  • fetching the phone when it rings
  • opening the fridge and fetching you a drink
  • finding lost keys/cellphones/tv remotes
  • wiping his paws on the mat when you come inside
  • turning on lights
  • bringing you the mail
  • putting trash in the garbage

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