The Massachusetts Bernedoodles Higher Education and Training Program

Updated June 22, 2019

The Massachusetts Bernedoodle Academy is in session! We offer the following board and train Training Degree Programs..

Level 1 – Foundations Training

Level 2 – Associates of Manners Degree

Level 3 – Bachelor of Off Leash Degree

Level 4 – Master of Canine Good Citizen

Level 5 – Companion Fellowship Degree

Level 6 – The Emotional Support Doctorate Degree

Doggie Training Programs are available from Foundations Training through Emotional Support Dog training! I offer elite training programs with the best of the best trainers around. These are “board and train” programs where your fur baby can learn everything from the basics to Emotional Support Dog certificates. Discounted rates are available when signing up for more than two levels at a time.

At no time will your fur baby be left at a training facility, like most other board and train programs are run. Just as I don’t agree with housing my dogs in a traditional kennel environment, my amazing trainer doesn’t agree with leaving your Fido/ette alone at night either. Every doggo/ette enrolled is trained in a home setting at my trainers house. They go on daily adventures for socialization too- see the Home Depot video below. However, at night they go home with Alyssa, my dog trainer extraordinaire, to become accustomed to living in a home (with manners)!

The options for training are limitless (well..learning to fly might be a challenge 😉 and vary in the time it takes to achieve the milestone you have in mind. Why? Because every pup is different. For some, just manners and basic obedience will do. For others and for various reasons, advanced training is a must! You’re decisions, after puppy pick day, include

A. What degree of training do you want your puppy to achieve?

B. Would you like your doggie back in between degrees until s/he is ready for the next level? Or do you want him/her to stay until the desired level is achieved? Many families choose to have their puppy back in between levels and sign their puppy up for the next level when they go on vacation! This way your puppy returns to you having more training and stimulation verses being kept in a kennel for 1-2 weeks and coming home stressed and full of energy.

And Finally..

C. Would you like a fully trained doggo prior to bringing him/her home? This is also know as a “Turn Key Puppy” .. NO work needed! Just maintenance! The Turn Key puppy will go from gotcha day to training and return to you at around 5-6 months old. They will have completed Foundations through the Master of Good Manners degree and be fully house trained. Once home, you will need to practice training with your puppy. As with anything and anyone… if you don’t use it, you’ll loose it!

*The cost and time needed to complete each level will vary depending on your choices and how well you maintain what Fido/ette learned from previous levels.

Level 1 – Foundations Training

This video demonstrates how the muscle memory work, as part of Foundations Training, is taught to your puppy!

Foundations Training begins after you pick your puppy on puppy pick day which happens when the puppies are between 8-9 weeks old. This training comes before basic obedience and sets The Foundation for a happy, well adjusted adult dog who is much more attentive to your commands.

How Long is Foundations Training? We want our puppy NOW …. Why do some puppies stay on for 2 weeks of training while others take just one week? This is important to understand.

As a gentle reminder, the goals for this training are crate training, house training (as much as a puppy that age can be-small bladders), socialization, learning through muscle memory that their default position is to sit or lay down when on a leash or when you stop walking and, finally, setting the appropriate foundation for your puppy that the humans in the home are the ones that call the shots! Not the other way around. I’m sure you have seen what this looks like through other people (of course) and their naughty doggo’s.

Here is how it works…

If the puppy cries/howls/barks or is otherwise stressed out for an hour in the crate on the 1st night, then we know we need to take crate training much slower and keep the puppy for a week if crate training and send the puppy to Alyssa to continue the crate training/house training and begin the Foundational work.

However, if on the 1st night in the crate, the puppy whines for 10-15 mins but then settles down for the night, s/he moves right into the Foundations work.

Why is this important? Because the neuro pathways for socialization close at 16 weeks for all puppies. The goal is to complete the crate/house/foundations work and get your puppy out into the world, with you, as soon as they are ready and without cutting corners on their training. This is why some puppies take two weeks and some puppies take just one week. Does that make sense?

Foundations Training Focuses on 4 Key Areas;

  1. Crate Training -The key to fast, successful house training and the easiest area to “mess up”, even for the most experienced dog owners.
  2. House Training – Who doesn’t want their puppy house trained quickly? Happy Wife, Happy Life, gentlemen and women..
  3. Socialization – Continuing the socialization process but in the outside world with outside noises. This can be individualized based on sounds the puppy will need to be familiar with once s/he goes home. For example, your pup will be born in the suburbs but may be living in the city with busy/loud streets and many many people. This can also be a safety must as well!
  4. Muscle Memory Training – The art of learning through muscle memory! Your puppy will sit next to your feet as their default position. For example, if you’re out for a walk and a neighbor is approaching with their new baby, grand baby or fur baby. You can actually choose to stop and talk rather than worry about what Fido/ette might do! Why? Because your puppy will have learned to sit at attention rather than yielding to their instinct to jump on your neighbor, jump in the stroller, pull you ahead or back out of his/her collar (which, of course, leads to a full on game of “chance the puppy” in 100 degree (or 0 degree) weather 😉

Foundations training concludes with the final training session where you, the owner,  will learn the commands and how to continue training both at group basic obedience classes and at home. We will also answer all of your questions & set the proper expectations for a puppy at 10 weeks old. Please text me at 774-452-5567 if you would like to schedule a time to talk and learn more about Foundations Training!

Training & socialization are a continuous process and should be attended to throughout a dogs’ life. If they don’t use it, they will lose it!

Level 2

Associates of Manners Degree

The skills your best buddy will learn include phenomenal leash training and the introduction to the exceptionally impressive “Place” command. These skills will make taking a walk, run or hike a breeze! The “place” command is especially useful during meal times to avoid begging and other disruptive and sometimes even embarrassing behaviors. It’s especially helpful when having guests over and those yummy, irresistible chicken wings are out along with many other tantalizing dishes (which were slaved over all day) are out for your human guests to enjoy. Your beautiful Massachusetts Bernedoodle will be learning to stay in his/her place until the release command is given. Wow, Good Dog! However, level 3 is when the “Place” command becomes concrete (verses the introduction/foundation) and takes place when your puppy is 4.5-5 months old.

Let’s follow Motek on his Journey through his Associates Degree and onto his Bachelors Degree! Please see this video below which also demonstrates our methods of training.

Demonstrating his amazing manners and budding obedience training, this young adolescent is practicing the skills he learned in the yard but in a real world scenario. Super important!

Level 3

Bachelor of Off Leash and Recall

Isn’t this what every dog owner strives for? A good dog that comes when s/he is called and knows “chase the dog” isn’t always a fun (or safe) family game to play? The front door was left open? You have several guests leaving including their toddler who insists on walking (“I do! I do!”) very slowly through the door all by her/himself? Not a problem. This is where the “place” command is reinforced so your puppy stays in his/her place.

“Fido, Place”

Your dog will come home responsive to your “come” and “place” command. What a great dog!! Please see the video below to follow Motek’s progress from Associates Degree to Bachelors Degree!

This program is especially useful for people who love to adventure and would like to give their dog(s) the freedom off leash while maintaining full control. If you like to hike, go to the beach, play fetch in an open field and you want your dog to be consistently reliable off leash then this program is for you!

Many people say “My dog is great off leash and will stay with me except when he she see’s (insert catalyst)__________.. I think we’ve all experiences this! You CAN have a dog that is controllable in these situations. Off leash training provides the safety net while enjoying the freedom of being off leash.

What if your dog approaches an aggressive dog while off leash and doesn’t respond to your recall? It’ll be too late and your dog may have a traumatizing experience that could stay with him/her for a lifetime. Having your dog off leash trained also has added safety benefits. You will also be able to reinforce basic obedience commands such as sit, down, stay, heel, come and place all from a distance. You can expect to hear onlookers saying things like “WOW! That’s impressive! Where did you have your dog trained?”

We can start off leash training with a dog as young as 5-6 months old. However, to set appropriate expectations, your dog won’t be mature enough to be consistently reliable off leash until s/he is a year old. Following the private session with the trainers where YOU learn how to continue the training at home, you can have yourself an impressively obedient off leash trained pooch by the time s/he is a year old!

Training is a continuous process and requires specific timing and lots of practice. Can you skip levels and go straight to off leash? Yes, of course! It will take longer and therefore cost more but it can be done. I personally recommend progressing through the training levels for the smoothest and most pleasant experience.

Level 4 – Master of Canine Good Citizenship (CGC)

The goal of the CGC program is to promote good citizenship for all dogs. Some insurance companies offer a discount for CGC certified dogs and many apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The goal is also to make life with Fido/ette as rewarding as possible! The evaluation for the Canine Good Citizenship certificate includes 10 objectives including;

1. Accepting a friendly stranger

2. Sitting politely for petting

3. Allowing basic grooming procedures

4. Walking on a loose lead

5. Walking through a crowd

6. Sitting and laying down on command and staying in place

7. Coming when called (off leash, recall)

8. Reacting appropriately to another dog

9. Reacting appropriately to distractions

10. Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner

All 10 items must be completed satisfactorily or the team (owner and dog) fail the test. But, don’t worry! The trainers will practice with you many times before you go to the test. If the team fails, your pup will have more training and then can try again! If you pass then you’ll receive a special dog pet tag from the AKC stating that your dog has earned the status of Canine Good Citizenship.

The CGC program is a prerequisite for service dog training and the backbone of other exams such as those given to therapy dogs and is a good foundation for more advanced training, if desired. A “Turn Key Puppy” will have completed all four levels and passed the CGC test. The AKC processing fee is included with the cost of the training.

Stay tuned for more training videos! This page is currently being updated to include more details about each level of training.

Please inquire if you are interested in learning more about these training programs. Please text me (Kim) at 774-452-5567 to schedule a time to talk.