Pup Club teaches dogs basic skills
Screenwriter / Renée Larr
Our little fur babies sometimes need a little help learning how to be the best. Pup Club is a training program for puppies from 10 to 18 weeks old. The puppies attend two half-day sessions per week for six weeks. Owners attend a weekly training session to help reinforce their pup’s new skills. Pup Club teaches puppies 16 different fundamental skills using positive reinforcement. While at the Pup Club, puppies also benefit from supervised socialization and group play.
“We cover the basics like potty training and basic commands like sit, sit and drop,” says trainer Derra Mandl. “We are also working on polite greetings, bite inhibition, chewing and leash walking. While the puppies are here with us they are walked regularly on a leash so they get used to being outside in all weather conditions.
The cost of the program is $150 per week and participants must commit to the program for six weeks. Mandl notes that it’s essential that puppy parents attend the weekly training sessions to reinforce the skills learned at the Pup Club.
“We welcome any family member living at home with the pup for the weekly training session,” Mandl says. “We realize that it’s not always possible for the whole family to come, but every member of the family should be involved in the training.”
Pup Club only uses positive reinforcement training. Sometimes it can be a treat, and sometimes it involves praise when the pup completes a task. Mandl is a certified dog trainer by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She practices positive reinforcement and fearless training methods. She has been working with animals since 2013, and working specifically on behavior and training since 2018.
“Positive reinforcement training helps puppies learn much faster,” Mandl says. “It also helps with lifelong learning. I mainly use treats, but as the puppy progresses I may occasionally use praise or play with toys.
Puppies can start training anytime between 10 and 18 weeks, but Mandl says the earlier the better.
“A lot of people think it’s too early to train when they’re young, but they’re actually able to learn very, very quickly,” Mandl says. “Furthermore, they were unable to establish many bad-habit behaviours. It’s much easier to mold them.
Pup Club members can choose a morning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) or afternoon (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).
Pup Club is located at 921 North Rangeline Road in Carmel. For more information, call 317-669-2162 or visit carmelpupclub.com.