Middle School is the next level of training for pups eight to 12 weeks old. Even though every Poodle Mojo puppy is worked with for an average of 250 hours, no puppy is ever perfect. Our Middle School is another intense 2 weeks where each section of training (House Training, Obedience Training, Socialization Training & Outside Training) is reinforced daily.
The extra schooling gives the puppies extra weeks to mature, solidify each command, be even more potty-trained and grow emotionally and mentally stronger. Every puppy has a different “light bulb” moment when the pup realizes it is being trained. Once that happens we see enormous growth in their training. An average Standard Poodle will have that moment when they are around 10-12 weeks old. This usually makes the additional 2weeks of training in Middle School crucial for pups to retain all the commands they have learned.
We stress four main areas of training:
Distraction Training – we continue to do the detailed training that is outlined in Middle School with the addition of distractions. This reinforces all the commands so they can be recalled throughout the life of the puppy. It also makes the transition period much smoother between the new owner and Poodle Mojo.
“Stay” Training– A good Middle School graduate will hold “stay” for 5 seconds. A good High School graduate will hold “stay” for 10 seconds and often up to an average of 30 seconds. Consistency and maturity are the key. We train each puppy to hold “stay” longer and longer every day. As they mature (there is a BIG difference in a 5 month old puppy’s maturity) then they are able and willing to “stay” longer.
“Come” Training– “Come” is the most difficult of all the commands but perhaps the most important. A puppy learns “come” at a young age (usually around 8 weeks old). A common problem typically occurs around 10-14 weeks of age….they don’t WANT to come. They understand the command but they start to develop a will, especially if there’s something they are more interested in like a stick, caterpillar or a tasty meal of grass, and they won’t come. Like our extended “stay” training, pups in Master’s Program are trained to come over longer and longer distances. With consistency and maturity a puppy will mostly outgrow their strong will and happily run to us…with a lot of bribery!
Extensive Socialization– Every week, our High School pups come in contact with dozens of people a week. We take the pups on field trips every week and also have many people coming in and out of the house because of business, church and friends/family.