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Puppy Head Start is a board and train program for puppies up to 16 weeks of age.  Between 8 and 16 weeks your puppy is at their prime for learning and developing. I love working with puppies at this age as we are establishing a solid foundation from the start. We strongly encourage all puppies in this program attend puppy class with their owner to continue learning. Once your puppy is 4-6 months of age we discuss the next steps of training which could be our Beginner Novice class, privates or additional board and train options as the puppy matures.

What skills will your dog learn during their stay?


Your puppy will learn to accept handling. This is a critical skill for at-home grooming, veterinary checkups and grooming appointments. Your puppy will be worked with on a grooming table for nails, ears, mouth and coat care. We trim nails at least once a week and handle feet daily. As puppies mature it’s important this becomes routine so they continue to accept handling into their adult life. We will introduce them to restraint as they’d experience it at the vet or groomer. Your puppy will be introduced to both a nail clipper and dremel.

Confidence & Play

All puppies are played with incorporating fetch and/or tug. We introduce puppies to many props including ramps, tables, bosu balls, Fit Paws equipment and more.

Place Command 

We introduce puppies to a place command. As the puppy matures, this is a very useful skill for home and while traveling.

Crate Training

All puppies sleep in their crates and spend down-time in their crate. We work on loading and unloading multiple times a day as we want the puppy to cheerfully enter their crate and respectfully exit the crate. While in the crate we want our puppies to be calm and relaxed. We also work on car rides nearly every day in the crate as we commute to and from the facility. All puppies go home with us at night and to the training facility on training days (5-6 days a week).

Basic Obedience

All puppies are started on sit, stand, down and come on leash. We use food and toys for reward based training for all obedience. When your puppy comes home they will have a solid understanding of sit, down and come and will accept being put into a stand for examination/handling.

Leash Manners

We start all puppies on a collar and leash to learn to walk appropriately. It’s important to choose where we take our puppies as we do not want to overwhelm them so locations are chosen carefully. Puppies are leashed in the home too so they are not able to make mistakes when not supervised. Chewing/biting on leash is not allowed and will be addressed if this is an issue.


Our puppies are exposed to a variety of people, places and other pets. We want to be sure to have our puppies grow into confident adults that are neither overly-exuberant or fearful in new situations. Your puppy will learn appropriate greeting behaviors with people (i.e. not jumping or mouthing), be exposed to safe & well-trained dogs, work around children and be taken to new safe places to learn about the world they live in.

The minimum stay for board and train is 2 weeks. The cost is $1190.

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