Due to the pandemic, we have changed how we offer Day School. We are now offering either Drop-Off Day School or a combination of owner lessons and day school. With Drop-Off Day School, we offer you contactless drop-off and pick up of your dog or puppy at our Hadley location. Your dog receives skilled one-on-one training with our head trainer. You get a transition lesson with your dog at our Hadley location or online, depending on what works best for your dog.
In some cases, we may also be able to offer day school lessons in your yard, so your dog gets skilled training and then you get a lesson in how to continue the good behavior. Get in touch for the current day school offerings in the age of COVID.
Day School is our most efficient and intensive option for pet dogs. It also is the ideal for in-home service dog training. Day school is highly effective because it offers the intensity of a board-and-train but with the convenience and reduced cost of having your dog trained in your home.
Day school offers intensive training for people who want their dog’s behavior improved as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s a terrific option for puppies, service-dogs-in-training, and wild adolescents (ages 6-18 months).
What Is Day School?
With Day School (also known as “day training”), a trainer comes to your home and works one-on-one with your dog or puppy on the training goals that matter most to you. You do not have to present for these training sessions, but you can be, if you like. Day school is most effective if your dog has several lessons per week (a minimum of two and maximum of five). In most cases, we recommend three or four days a week.
We base our training plan on what you want your dog to learn and where you want him to learn it. Typically we train your dog in your home because that’s where you want your dog to learn to be a good pet! But if you have a puppy who needs socialization, a service-dog-in-training who needs public access training, an adolescent that needs to learn leash walking skills, or you bring your dog to work with you, we can pick your dog up from your workplace, take your dog on walks, or do socialization outings with your puppy in a variety of settings.
Periodically — usually once a week — your trainer will meet with you for a “transition lesson” where you’ll learn how to maintain and continue the new skills your dog has learned.
Day School Service Area
Day School is offered in Pioneer Valley towns within 30 minutes of Hadley or Northampton, including Amherst, Deerfield, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Hadley, Holyoke, Leeds, Leverett, Northampton, South Hadley, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, Sunderland, and Williamsburg.
Gloria and Jim contacted us for day school for Layla, their adolescent Boxer. Although Layla had been through a basic manners class, it was hard for Gloria and Jim to train her at home because she was so high-energy that she literally could not hold still even for a moment. Layla was painfully hard-mouthing members of the family, barking at them when they ignored her, and jumping on them at every opportunity. With four young children in the house, Layla was crated most of the time as a matter of safety. After a three-week day school package, Layla was on the road to being integrated into her family as a better-behaved, safer, and more under-control young dog. Read Layla’s Day School story.
Benefits of Day School
- Scheduling flexibility — The trainer will tell you the dates and approximate times they will arrive to train your dog, but you can choose whether to be present or not. You can go about your work, school, or family obligations worry-free, knowing that your dog or puppy is getting top-notch training while you attend to other activities in your busy life.
- Ultimate efficiency — Day school is the best of both worlds: Your dog learns one-on-one from a skilled professional trainer several times a week. And once a week, so do you! This setup reduces training time for you, making your training with your dog easier and more successful from the get-go. Your dog’s training moves along much more quickly than it would at group classes or if you had to start all your dog’s training from scratch. Both you and your dog are getting skilled tutelage where you need it the most.
- Professional training gives your training efforts a boost — When you are learning how to train your dog — which can be a fun and bonding experience — both you and your dog are still on a learning curve. Day School gives your dog’s training a serious boost because your dog is learning from a skilled trainer with decades of experience. This means your dog learns as quickly and efficiently as possible, making your job much easier when it’s your turn to train.
- Observe a professional work your dog — Many people love Day School because they don’t have to be home for it and can focus on other things while their dog is trained. However, for people who want to train their dog to a high level — including future therapy dogs or service dogs — one of the benefits of day training is having the opportunity to watch a skilled trainer bring out the best behavior in your dog. This is a great source of learning for some of our clients. If you learn well by watching, day training is like two services in one — your dog gets trained and you get a private tutorial all at once!
- Private lessons tailored to your needs — During transition lessons, you get patient, skilled instruction in how to be the best trainer you can be. This allows you to maintain and advance your dog’s training within days of your dog learning a new skill. It’s fun and effective for you and your dog!
- You continue to enjoy your dog’s company — Day School offers some of the benefits of boarding your dog with a trainer (intensive training every day with a skilled professional) without missing your dog while he’s away. With Day School, your dog gets great training but is still there to welcome you home every evening. Isn’t that why you got a dog in the first place?
Is Day School Right for My Dog?
It is perfect for these situations…
- Puppies! — We strongly recommend Puppy Day School, especially for first-time puppy owners, busy people, or people with limitations that prevent some types of handling or socialization work. Puppies have a lot to learn, and they also go through psycho-social stages — learning “windows” — that are only open for a few weeks, including the all-important socialization and handling windows. It can be very challenging to deal with housebreaking, chew training, and basic manners and obedience while also attending to handling and socialization. With a month-long Perfect Puppy Day School Package, your puppy will have intensive training in all the most important areas for her development — and you can still live your life!
- Service dogs in training or future SDiTs — We have gotten the best results for service dog teams that start with Day School to build a strong foundation. Once both dog and handler have acquired a high level of skills, we transition to Owner Lessons or specialty Group Classes. Additionally, while there are many tasks that a disabled owner can train very well on their own, some situations may pose barriers, such as stairs or crowds. If you find that your dog’s behavior falls apart in public, where the dog needs skilled training the most, Day School may be the answer. When a professional trainer does your dog’s public access training, obstacle training, or alert training, you get the benefit of skilled training and handling without the stress of trying to navigate inaccessible or overwhelming situations — or a freaked out dog — by yourself.
- Dogs who need to learn fast — Sometimes there are situations that feel urgent: When the dog is jumping up and a child or elderly relative is at risk. When the dog’s barking is causing problems with neighbors or landlords. When a SDiT prospect is badly needed for assistance. Or sometimes just when you cannot stand your dog’s bad behavior anymore! For these situations, a Day School package may be the most effective and efficient solution.
A Day School package of 16 lessons (four lessons per week for four weeks) starts at $1504 with our head trainer. A package of 12 lessons starts at $900 with our assistant trainer. We will help you choose the package that’s right for your dog, whether a puppy needing socialization, an unruly pet that needs to learn manners, or a service-dog-in-training that needs assistance task training.