Thanks to the QK Trainers, specifically our Lead Trainer Jordan Wells for coming up with a new training format here at QK. For nearly 15 years we have offered in house training and dogs could come here at any time to begin their puppy, gun dog, obedience or behavioral modification training, as long as we had availability. While this was most convenient for our clients, it left us scrambling at times with either not enough dogs or an over flow of dogs with wait lists. Most confusing and frustrating for the trainers was that at any given day each trainer could have 8 to 10 dogs all at various levels of training. This proved very challenging at times.
Our new format is going to take 1 to 2 months to properly establish, but we will now be developing a program based on 2 week intervals. The shortest training program that we offer to new clients is 2 weeks long. This includes puppy basics program, gun dog puppy introduction or leash training. We will begin classes on the 1st or 15th of every month. Our goal will be to pre enroll for 1 month at a time so that the trainers know their schedule, the dogs that they will be training, and this will give them a better opportunity to teach a group of dogs all arriving and leaving at similar times. This means that on the 1st of each month, we will have ‘slots’ open to pre enroll your dog. The nice thing here is when we have a group of new training dog come in, all of the trainers will spend time evaluating them and they will collectively decide which dog matches best with each trainer. For example Joe will have most of the head start puppies, Keeley likes her rescue dogs, Sharon loves her German Shepherds and future therapy dogs (as well as those hard headed dogs), Jordan like his gun dogs, and our new trainer Samantha will be assigned dogs that best fit her styles and capabilities. This will also mean that every 2 weeks we accept 4 new puppies for the 2 week program, so we will always have a small pack of puppies to be able to play, socialize and train together all ages 13 weeks to 6 months.
This is just an example:
Puppies arrive. Overall health and wellness exams, read about the pups and their owners, meet and greet puppies and watch them interact together. Assign to trainers.
Training begins. Crate and manner training. Introduction to the leash. Learn to walk with their trainers. Pack play in the obstacle arena. Patience work on the tie out chain.
Day 3 to 4
More crate and manners training. Leash work to include teaching how to go up, down, over, through on onto the challenging obstacles in our arena. Patience work on the tie out chain. Group play. Introduction to chasing birds IF gun dog puppy!
Day 5 and 6
Time off from training but lots of employee interaction play and exercise to work on social skills. Important rest time for those youngsters!
Owner updates to discuss pups progress, make recommendations and trainer evaluation. Continued training, socializing, handling and pack play with the puppies.
Field trip, car ride, visit to new places and people to socialize to new environments.
Day 9 to 11
More leash training to build confidence on challenging obstacles. Work on touch and desensitizing all over, clip nails, groom, accept all types of handling. Goal is complete leash point of contact work to walk with handler and be still. Chase more birds IF gun dog puppy!
Day 12 and 13
Weekend off! Puppy rest time from stressful training. Play with the pack, socialize with the QK crew, practice good crate and patience skills.
Graduation! Review leash work, obstacle course work, light training cues to follow us on leash. Groom and send home for take home lesson.
We plan to pre enroll and take deposits well ahead of arrival time so this will enable us to offer clients exact available training dates rather than put them on a wait list. We truly feel that this will allow us to better organize, manage and train our dogs. We will spend the first few days just getting to know the pack, socialize and exercise them, and figure out the best personalities to mix and match as well as assign to each trainer so that each trainer has a diverse pack of dogs, not an ill matched group of problem or aggressive dogs. Additionally, we will only take a certain number of puppies, gun dogs, obedience dog or behavior problem dogs every two weeks to again allow for a more stable overall pack at the kennel.
We are starting our first official puppy class for in house training on June 1st. We still have a few spots open, and then every 2 weeks we have open spots. We are trying to enroll dogs now into the longer term 4 to 6 weeks courses, but we will not be able to officially initiate that program until July 1st because we already have dogs in our program now as well as arriving over the coming weeks.
We plan to advertise these classes and schedules on our new www.QKdogs.com website that was just launched on May 1st. You will be able to look ahead at our available training classes, pre book your dog and know the schedule ahead of time. All classes are based on 2 week time blocks, EXCEPT for any returning client refresher dogs. These dogs can come and go anytime during the course of the week and will be charged for daily training rates as tune up training.
We are excited about this new format!