Duckhill Kennels Puppy Headstart Program (I think they are missing all the in house stuff a puppy needs to see, but the other stuff is very impressive.)
The most critical learning period of a dog’s life is the first six months. During this period a puppy is the most open to learning. This is when he learns the fastest, when he most readily masters new tasks and when he adapts most readily to new environments. Our puppy headstart program is designed and structured to maximize the opportunity provided by this age period.
Our puppy headstart program focuses on 4 basic facets of the learning process:
1. Development of the learning process — Puppies learn and are thoroughly programmed to offer behaviors in order to "buy" rewards, such as treats or play or retrieving.
2. Development of self control — Puppies learn to inhibit and control reactive responses, and to sit quietly in scenarios of great temptation.
3. Programming of the core behavioral skills.
— Puppies are programmed on
(1) Calmness and steadiness in a high distraction environment
(2) Retrieving and delivery to hand
(3) Sniff and sit
(4) Hunting on rubble piles
(5) Whistle stops and directional casts
4. Development of desensitization and adaptation skills when faced with new and strange environments — puppies learn to experience a number of new and strange environments in order to build their adaptation and coping skills in the face of new and strange scenarios. We give puppies a great deal of exposure and desensitization in the following areas:
(2) Cannon fire
(3) Combat noises
(4) Heavy equipment noise and vibration
(5) Emergency vehicles
(6) Multiple obstacles and terrains
(7) Unsteady footing on a variety of surfaces and heights
(9) Dark confined spaces
(10) Groups and crowds of people
(11) Urban areas
(12) Vehicle traffic
From weaning puppies are required to sit to "buy" all meals with a sit. Puppies are well socialized and exposed to a variety of stimuli through trips to neighboring towns and with nature hikes throughout our 200 acre establishment. Basic obedience is taught through operant conditioning with positive reinforcement. Puppies are pre-programmed to bark on cue. Puppies are exposed and accustomed to a wide spectrum of noises including: gunfire, cannon fire, combat noises, sirens, fireworks and heavy machinery. Puppies are taught to master a "confidence course" composed of: Aluminum boat, Swinging bridge, tight tunnels, stairs, ladders, concrete rubble piles. Puppies are pre-programmed to offer a "sit alert" in the presence of a target odor.
All of these activities are accomplished before the puppies are 16 weeks of age.