Puppy Prodigy Program

Looking to add a puppy to your family but not sure where to start? Don’t have the patience for potty training? Not sure how to set your puppy up for long term success? Let us help you by selecting and raising your dream puppy!

Our Puppy Prodigies undergo an extensive board and train program that includes 16 weeks of training. Puppies start training with us at 8 weeks old and transition to their forever homes at 6 months of age.

Our Puppy Prodigy Program utilizes a unique approach that allows people to experience the joy of a young puppy, but skip over the challenging aspects of puppy training. We provide this program to help families set their puppy up for success and create happy, obedient dogs from day one. We understand that puppies are a lot of work and require a lot of attention. This program ensures your puppy is well socialized and comes home with an amazing start to their life.

Current Puppy Prodigies

Introducing our newest puppy prodigies – Joplin, Canyon, Clementine, and Hera! All four puppies were bred by Kary Love of Seasons Gold Golden Retrievers. 

Seasons Gold is one of our favorite local breeders. They breed exceptional goldens, many of whom have been a part of our puppy prodigy program. Their goal is to raise the healthiest, best natured puppies possible. Their goldens all come from top champion lines and generations of health clearances. 

Joplin, Canyon, Clementine, and Here were hand selected by Seasons Gold and the KeenDog team based on rigorous temperament testing. 

Update as of May 2022: Hera has found her forever home! Joplin, Canyon, and Clementine are still looking for their forever homes and will be ready to go home in mid August.

How It Works

Your puppy will be ready to join your family after they complete 16 weeks of training! During this time they will live in home with one  or more of our KeenDog trainers and will be raised as a member of their pack. Training will include house breaking, crate training, socialization in a wide variety of environments and with different dogs and people, on and off leash, advanced obedience, and more!

If local to the Greater Charlotte area, we welcome families to participate in training with us throughout the 16 week program. This will jump start your learning and help develop a bond with your puppy. If not local to the Charlotte area, we still welcome you to come visit, but will also travel to wherever you live and stay for 3-4 days to transfer the training over smoothly (detailed below). 

We recognize that most people aren’t dog trainers, so what comes natural to us isn’t so natural to most. The most important thing when receiving a trained dog is to know how to continue training them yourself! By the time your puppy goes home it will have a very solid foundation, but follow through and continued practice are essential to long term success. That is why we take multiple days to hand off puppies at the conclusion of training, typically fitting in 9 go-home lessons. We do multiple sessions in home and wherever you go around town such as restaurants, coffee shops, parks, athletic events, etc. We want all family members to be comfortable with how to communicate properly to your dog in whatever environment you are in!

Training Curriculum

  • Marker training (markers detailed below)
  • On & off leash obedience (commands detailed below)
  • Loose leash walking
  • Correction command for stopping unwanted behaviors: NO
  • Building engagement with handler
  • Manners including greeting people calmly without jumping or barking
  • Management of your pup including crate training and housebreaking

            –   Puppy will sleep through the night in crate and relax during the day for hours at a time; will enter crate on command
            –   Puppy will be able to hold it for up to 8 hours day or night in crate

  • Introduction to bathing, brushing, nail trims, dental care, and fur trims
  • Proper socialization

            –   Carefully monitored interactions with a variety of dogs and people
            –   Increased patience with other dogs, humans, etc.
            –   Pack order mentality – assists puppy with knowing it’s place in its home and lessens dominant tendencies

  • Environmental exposure and confidence building

            –   Extensive socialization excursions (parks, stores, trails, etc.)
            –   Confidence building exercises such as pool feeding, box feeding, obstacle courses, etc.
            –   Exposure to different textures, sounds, water, etc.

  • Guidance through typical puppy challenges

            –   Support through “fear periods” – puppy will not make negative associations with potential fear factors
            –   Management through teething – puppy will learn what to chew on besides its owner

Commands

  • NAME RECOGNITIONlook to you for direction when name is given
  • HERE recall to handler
  • SIT sit and remain in position until released, automatic sits in heel position
  • DOWN down and remain in position until released
  • PLACE go to a specific boundary and remain within boundary until released (bed, crate, car, etc.; extended staying ability 30+ min)
  • TOUCH two paws on object, typically a rubber feed bowl
  • HEEL walk on left side, nose to knee, automatic sit when handler stops walking
  • SWITCH switch from left side to right when heeling
  • LETS GOfollow along, less structured loose leash  walk
  • WATCH make eye contact with handler
  • NO stop unwanted behaviors
  • OUT drop a toy
  • KENNEL enter crate when asked and wait patiently to be released

Markers

  • KEEN/CLICK terminal marker / release word for food reward direct from handler; builds drive, enthusiasm and engagement
  • GET ITterminal marker / release word for toy reward or food reward delivered indirectly by handler (tossed out)
  • FREE terminal marker / release word with no reward (freedom is the reward)
  • GOOD duration marker; let’s your dog know you like what they are doing and to keep doing that behavior
  • UH-UH lets your dog know that they are on the wrong track

Investment

Our puppy prodigies are each available for $15,000. This includes the cost of the puppy, 16 weeks of training, and training tools (detailed below).

What's Included

  • 16 weeks of training
  • Training updates (in person, via text/email, and or Zoom depending on client location)
  • Multiple go home lessons
  • Email follow up with detailed notes on all aspects of training
  • Open invite to group classes for lifetime of dog
  • Access to exclusive KeenDog social community
  • Access to KeenDog boarding services
  • Full membership access
  • Vet care during training (records to transfer to owner when puppy goes home)
  • Go home items:

            –   Health records
            –   Health guarantee and contract from breeder
            –   Microchip registration
            –   AKC registration
            –   Prong collar
            –   Pro Educator 900 e collar set from E Collar Technologies
            –   Place cot

Travel

Clients from all over the country (and even Canada!) have participated in our Puppy Prodigy Program. Once the puppy is ready to go home, one or more KeenDog trainers will travel with the puppy to their forever home. This trip will include three days of intensive training to ensure the information has transferred to the new owners. Travel costs are NOT included in the price of the puppy and vary by location.

NOTE: It is expected that puppy prodigies will experience an adjustment period when adjusting to their forever home. Long-term success with training will depend on the owner’s dedication to continuation of training. Training never really ends! They will need practice and reinforcement until at least 1 to 2 years of age. 

2022 Puppy Prodigies

Lemon and Lucille – Both have found their forever homes! 

Born December 23rd, 2021, Lemon (formerly Blitzen / hot pink collar) and Lucille (formerly Dancer / yellow collar) were bred by Courtney Wise Higgins of Golden Wise Goldens. 

Golden Wise is one of our favorite breeders for many reasons. They breed with a focus on health and temperament. They emphasize socialization, exposure, and development through Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Early Scent Introduction (ESI). They introduce obstacles, toys, food puzzles, sights, and more to enrich puppies and instill confidence. Before the age of 8 weeks, they are exposed to litter box training, the crate, car rides, new dogs, new people, and the clicker to ease the transition into training.

Lemon and Lucille were hand selected by Golden Wise and the KeenDog team based on rigorous Avidog Puppy Evaluation temperament testing (APET).