Prep School FAQs
Training and Curriculum
What are the benefits of Pack Method Prep’s small student to teacher ratios?
Our ratio of 8–12 canines to one certified teacher and one teaching assistant allows dogs to be challenged with their peers as distractions while still leaving room for individualized instruction when needed.
The concentrated instruction is then supplemented with guided off-leash training (for socialization and exercise) and naptime (for mental stability and growth).
How quickly will my dog progress?
We define progress in terms of confidence, relationship building, and communication. Command training is just one of the tools we use to help your dog progress in these areas. We track command and social development progress so that we can keep you updated along the way. Every dog learns at a different pace, but typically parents see improved impulse control and responsiveness to commands in Month 1.
Will my dog need training outside of Prep School?
Prep School is designed to teach dogs basic skills and improve parent knowledge. Depending on your ultimate goals for your dog, additional training beyond Prep School may be needed. Some behaviors will require additional or specialized training because they are not included in the curriculum, do not appear at school, or require more customization (or a trainer that specializes in the specific behavior).
Prep School does include one FREE in-home private lesson with a Behavior Consultant. However, make sure to ask about any issues you’re experiencing during your initial phone consultation with the Prep School Admin Department to determine whether additional private training beyond that might be needed, or if a simultaneous group class might be of help! (Group Classes are held on-site and Specialized Private Lessons are offered through our sister company Zoe’s Dog Training. Both are an additional cost. *Discounts available for students in the 6-month program )
Will my dog get homework?
No, but you will! Each tuition package includes parent tutor sessions which take place here at PMP on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In these sessions, you will learn how to reinforce your dog’s learned skills in the home environment.
What is the best age for my dog to start Prep School?
The best age for ANY dog to start training in a facility setting is 4 months as their brains are still relatively spongey and the education tends to leave the biggest impression. However, there is also no WORST age to start training.
Students start Prep School at 10 mos, 2 years, or 5 years and STILL obtain huge lasting benefits.
What training method is used at Prep School?
Pack Method Prep uses a science based approach to canine learning with a heavy focus on positive reinforcement. For most of our students that means rewarding with treats! But we get to know each student individually so we can find which motivators work the best for them.
We also subscribe to the Humane Hierarchy. This means that when modifying a behavior we will:
- first make sure the dogs physical and emotional needs are met,
- we will make sure their environment is set of for success,
- we will reinforce any behaviors we want to see continue (with food, toys, affections, or enrichment) and
- we will teach alternative behaviors to replace any behaviors we want to see eliminated.
In the off leash room we may also use the word “no” or sound correction (a hand clap) or a squirt bottle if the safety of the group as a whole becomes challenged. We do not use slip chains, prong collars, or electronic collars at school.
Why is Prep School right for you?
- I want the best dog socialization and dog training environment possible.
- I need my dog to be supervised while I work and I want to maintain their previous dog training.
- I have a new dog (4 months or older) and I want to start them off on the right foot with proper training.
- My dog has trouble responding to my commands around distractions, especially other dogs!
- My dog gets too excited when he/she plays with or is meeting other dogs and could benefit from off-leash dog training.
- My dog doesn’t do well at traditional cage-free daycares due to disobedience and regressed behavior from a lack of training courses, structure, or individual attention.
Is Prep School the same as a "Board and Train"?
Short answer, No. The biggest difference is that our program is not overnight. It’s a day training program that takes place on 3 days of the week only. Science tells us that animals increase their ability to focus and learn more efficiently when they get good sleep. For this reason, our program has built-in rest days so that dogs can go home and fully reset from the stimulation of school before returning for more learning.
The second difference is that Prep School is 3-6 months, while most board and train programs are only a few weeks. Prep Schools length 1. allows students to be taught and learn without pressure 2. allows teachers to witness developmental changes and adjust recommendations accordingly and 3. allows training to be generalized for more long-term success.
The third difference is that our program prioritizes parent education and involvement as highly as the pups. Parents are more than just “looped in”, they are partnered with to create the most holistic support team possible for each student. Click HERE to read more about how Parents learn alongside their pups.
Schedule and Logistics
What are the drop off and pick up times?
Morning drop off takes place from 7:30am-9am. Early drop off is available for an additional fee.
Afternoon pick up takes place from 4:30pm-5pm. Aftercare is available from 5pm-6:30 for an additional fee.
What is the schedule?
Prep School’s schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Included parent tutor sessions take place on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Graduations take place on the weekends.
How long does my dog need to attend Prep School?
We offer a 3 month program and a 6 month program. Prep School is not a quick fix. It is meant to instill lasting effects. In order to do this, Students need the time to both learn the material and master it.
Should I enroll for 3 or 6 months?
Prep School is a 6 month program. Students are officially considered Graduates when they have completed 6 months of school. 6 months with your dog gives us the optimal amount of time to fully understand them and communicate our findings to you so that you can be set up for a lifetime of success! Optimal command training and socialization progress is made in 6 months. The 3 month option was created so that those who aren’t able to make a 6 month commitment can still benefit from Prep School. This program is a great introduction to life skills and will give you and your dog a perfect foundation for future training!
What happens if my dog gets sick?
Contagious illnesses are common in group settings and there is a chance your dog could contract one at PMP resulting in a mandated absence. For Kennel cough specifically, the Bordatella vaccine is recommended to help mitigate recovery time. With any illness, your vet will have to determine when your pup is safe to return to school. Absences, even health related, are not refunded, however the most common absences due to health, injuries, , spay or neuter, vacations, and personal days are expected and will not hinder your student’s progress.
When is Pack Method Prep closed?
PMP is closed on select holidays and for occasional staff development days. Prep School curriculum is also paused for 1 week in the summer and 1 week in winter for Teacher Break. PMP is still open the same hours for socialization during Teacher Breaks, only the studies have been paused. Exact closure dates are listed in the agreements you’ll sign upon enrollment.
Is there Prep School on the weekends?
There is no Prep School on the weekends but the facility is open for retail, group classes, and for monthly graduation ceremonies!
My dog is enrolled in Prep School, can he/she come on an additional day, outside their normal days?
No, Prep School is only offered on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. If you need care for your pup on their off days, the admin department can recommend a vetted local canine care facility or individual for you from our Library of resources.
Can I board my dog at Prep School?
Not at this time. In general we feel it’s best for students to go home at the end of each day to maintain healthy bodies and minds. However, if you require boarding, the admin department can recommend a vetted local canine boarding facility for you from our Library of resources.
About Parent Involvement
Do I come with my dog to Prep School?
Nope. You drop your dog off in the morning and pick them up in the evening JUST like human school!
How do I know what my dog is learning at Prep School?
Parent involvement is a core principle at Pack Method Prep. Parents are kept up to date regularly with weekly text updates, monthly report cards, and parent tutor sessions with their dogs’ Certified Trainer. Upon graduation, they receive a detailed canine behavior and personality assessment that will include recommendations for how to continue training beyond school. Parents also receive one FREE private in-home session with a Certified Behavior Consultant to assist with command translation to the home environment AND have ongoing access to the on-staff Behavior Consultant and School Resource Library for any questions along the way.
What is a Parent Tutor Session
These are your included sessions with your Certified Trainer consisting of command training, concepts, handling coaching, and social development updates all with the goal of improving your communication and relationship with your dog! Sessions are held in a group on Tuesdays and Thursdays at PMP.