Puppy Training

Although they are typically fluffy and adorable, raising a new puppy can be stressful for families. The chewing, teething, short attention spans and lack of understanding about where to potty oftentimes leads new owners to become frustrated and concerned that their puppy isn’t what they had expected. 

Puppies go through expansive developmental changes for the first year or two of life. They change so rapidly, both neurologically and physically, that it can be difficult for their human family to keep up. From accidents to fear phases, seemingly uncontrollable excitation to “forgetting” everything they once knew, puppies can be an exhausting – and incredibly rewarding – addition to the household. 

Due to the rapid neurological development which occurs throughout puppyhood and adolescence, it is imperative to minimize the potential for behavioral issues to arise through educated puppy raising. By understanding how to maximize your puppy’s experiences through their critical developmental periods, you can prepare them for life as a confident, stable and pleasant adult. The skills learned during a well structured puppy program will build the foundation for the rest of your dog’s life.

Our Puppy Training Programs

Learn more about our puppy training programs below.

Puppy Foundations 101 Program (8 weeks)


Puppy Foundations 101 is the ultimate puppy program! Most appropriate for puppies aged eight weeks through six months, Puppy Foundations covers everything that your pup needs to be successful – in the home and outside of it. 

This intensive eight week program covers the primary basic obedience cues, including a “focus” cue or name association, sit, down, stay, loose leash walking and heel, recall, leave-it, drop it and a place command. It also covers crate training, potty training, and resolving common puppy behavioral concerns such as biting and jumping. 

Our Puppy Foundations 101 program covers effective puppy socialization skills, desensitization and habituation to environmental triggers, alongside beginning the process of generalizing cues in a variety of environments. This program will also teach new puppy owners how to understand their puppy’s body language, motivators and how to work through fear phases. This program can be customized for working puppy candidates to help prepare them for the demands of their future job. 

AKC STAR Puppy Program (6 weeks)


AKC STAR Puppy is the precursor to the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification. Puppies can qualify to take their AKC STAR Puppy exam until they are one year of age, after which they are required to take the AKC CGC evaluation instead. The AKC STAR Puppy program will prepare your puppy to master the basics of Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsible Ownership. After the six-week course has concluded, you can choose to take the AKC STAR Puppy test and have your puppy certified! 

Happy Handling Puppy Program (4 weeks)


The Happy Handling Puppy Program focuses on teaching puppies a highly useful set of skills which will significantly improve everything from veterinary visits to home grooming and first aid. 

Physical handling can be incredibly stressful for some dogs, but the risk of sensitization development can be minimized significantly through early training. When negative associations are made with handling, dogs will often respond with behaviors such as fighting, fleeing or biting. When dogs are not taught to tolerate handling procedures, it can become nearly impossible to do simple procedures such as nail trims, teeth cleaning or baths, and taking them to the veterinarian can require sedation for staff safety. 

The Happy Handling Puppy Program teaches puppies how to remain calm for at home grooming and care, as well as how to relax during standard veterinary procedures. If you intend to take your puppy to the groomer regularly, this can also be included in the Happy Handling Puppy Program. By combining the principles of habituation, desensitization, cooperative care techniques and positive reinforcement, you can prepare your pup for a lifetime of happy handling. 

puppy in training

Positive Puppy Socialization Program (4 weeks)


The Positive Puppy Socialization Program is a comprehensive socialization program for individuals who want to optimize their puppy’s environmental stability. This program is beneficial for working and sport candidates, as well as for puppies who will likely be exposed to many different environments as adults. 

Our Positive Puppy Socialization Program includes tactile stability work, effective socialization techniques with a variety of people and animal species and positive systematic exposure to a variety of visual, olfactory and auditory stimuli. Lessons are conducted in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments to build confidence and teach puppies how to engage with the world around them.

Puppy Pairing Program


Are you thinking about getting a new puppy but not sure where to start? Our Puppy Pairing Program matches you and your family with a puppy who is ideally suited for your circumstances, goals and lifestyle. 

Our program takes into account a number of factors, some of which include your home environment and schedule, members of your household, activity levels and training aspirations. When considering your puppy, we always take into account breed characteristics and lines, health testing and genetic testing, their breeder’s puppy raising program, puppy specific traits and evaluation results, location, parental history and litter specifics. A puppy can be a 14+ year commitment, and we want to help make sure that you are getting the right one. 

At Synapse Canine, we have the education and experience to bring out the best in your dog.

If you have dog training goals, we want to help you achieve them!

What are the benefits of puppy training?

Whether you intend to train your puppy to be a family pet, a working dog, a sport competitor or a service dog, structuring their training in such a way that adequately prepares them for this purpose is critical. Having professional guidance to help you navigate this journey can make the difference between hours of frustration, counterproductive training and the development of undesirable learned behaviors and having the dog you had dreamed of from the beginning. Some specific benefits of puppy training programs include:

Having a more well-mannered, controllable puppy.

Is your puppy chasing you and your family members around the house while biting at your ankles and hands? Are they running away from you outside? Are they constantly eliminating in the house? Effective puppy training programs can help teach your puppy desirable alternatives to these behaviors, and will lead to significantly less behavioral outbursts and physical pain.

Puppy training can help you feel confident socializing your puppy.

Many people find it unpleasant attempting to socialize a rambunctious, out of control dog. By the time most puppies are four months old, they no longer tire quickly and they begin displaying some more intense behaviors that people are not always prepared to deal with. Leash biting, barking at other dogs, jumping on people and pulling on the lead tend to lead to less outings at a time where puppies really need them most. Puppy programs help to teach your puppy how you expect them to behave out in public, and can drastically lessen these common issues. 


Puppy programs help develop confidence and environmental stability.

A lack of self-confidence is a significant risk factor in the development of concerning behavioral responses. Reactivity, separation anxiety, destructive behaviors, certain forms of aggression and an ability to respond to familiar stimuli in novel environments are all common issues derived from fear or discomfort. Effectively building confidence in a puppy can make a significant difference in how they process the world around them as adults. The environmental stability accompanying self-confidence and an effective, structured socialization program oftentimes makes the difference between a focused, trustworthy dog and an unpredictable one.

Puppy programs teach owners how to socialize correctly.

There is a common misconception that puppy socialization means that they should intact directly with as many new people and dogs as possible. Unfortunately, exposing your puppy directly to so many novel stimuli without understanding their limits can be traumatic and counterproductive. Unfamiliar dogs are not always friendly, and many do not understand how to play appropriately with puppies. Shy puppies are often bullied by other puppies, and this can cause them to feel threatened and uncomfortable around new dogs. Some dogs are naturally more aloof, and forcing them to interact directly with touchy strangers can create aggression issues as adults. Socializing naturally social puppies incorrectly can create adult dogs who refuse to listen in public or get so over-excited when out that they are uncontrollable. Working with an expert who can teach you to correctly socialize your puppy will oftentimes prevent trauma, work them through fear phases effectively and eliminate the chances of certain future behavioral issues occurring. 

Puppy programs teach owners how to understand their puppy.

Just like every human child is an individual, every puppy is an individual as well. Effective puppy programs will teach you how to understand the puppy in front of you, what motivates them, how to read their body language and how to get the most out of your training with them. These programs can oftentimes catch potential behavioral issues before they escalate, and they will teach you how to work with your puppy’s strengths and limitations. An effective puppy program will also teach you about your how your puppy’s developing brain works and what to expect developmentally from puppyhood until adulthood.

Puppy programs can save you a lot of money down the road.

Puppies can be very destructive, impulsive and expensive. Potty training can save hundreds of dollars in carpet cleaning or replacement. Implementing enrichment techniques can save your furniture and wall trim from being chewed to pieces. Obedience training can save your food from being eaten off the counter, and your dog from running away and potentially being injured. Puppy training is an investment which can save you quite a bit of money in the future. 


Ultimately, puppy training programs help to build an unbreakable bond of trust and respect.

The relationship that can be built between a human and a dog is truly unparalleled. No other species reads human expressions from left to right – just like other people do – apart from dogs. The magnificent relationship between humans and dogs has saved countless lives, healed the broken and provided hope for a future where there otherwise may not have been one. Puppies can indeed be challenging, but by taking the time to understand them and establish this incredible bond, they will become a valued partner and best friend. 

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Schedule your puppy training with Synapse Canine today.

Get a head start on your puppy’s future. Our puppy training programs are built around providing all of the foundational skills that you and your puppy need to excel in any future discipline or lifestyle. 

Our puppy programs are tailored specifically to combine your puppy’s distinctive personality with your goals for them. Each of our puppy programs begin with a comprehensive evaluation and are customized for your puppy’s age, temperament and lifestyle. Whether you want the best possible companion or plan to use your puppy for a working discipline, our programs will set you and your pup up for success.

Contact us today to ask about our puppy programs or to book an appointment.