Choosing a Dog Training Program for Success: Important Questions Answered

Apr 6, 2023

You’ve decided on professional training for your puppy or dog, but how do you choose the right program?

The most popular and effective professional training programs can be found at Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center in Doylestown, PA. The resort specializes in combining training with either a resort lodging stay or participation in the dog daycare program.

Both training programs feature a customized training plan with socialization based on the needs of the dog. The immersive training experience of lodging or participating in a daycare program maximizes learning for quicker, more profound results than group training classes.

Why choose a Stay & Learn or Play & Learn training program at Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center? Our positive methods and unmatched results start with our expert training staff. They are here to support you now and in the future. Get to know our training supervisor, Laura, and senior trainer, Mark, as they answer your questions and share tips for success.

What is the best age for a puppy to start a professional training program?

Mark: Training starts the day you bring your puppy home. Potty training, crate training, and socialization come first. There are a lot of behaviors you can “imprint” on your puppy before formal training begins. Rewarding your pup every time he or she comes to you and the repetitive action of playing fetch are imprinting an expected behavior.

Why is a Stay & Learn or Play & Learn program successful for the dog and the family?

Laura: Our programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that teach foundational skills. Our resort environment is very conducive to learning those skills. The “natural” distractions a puppy or dog can encounter every day are present at the resort but with all the safety features for focused learning.

Mark: Our programs provide both the dogs and the pet parents with the framework for clear communication, both verbal and non-verbal, so that the dog understands the expected behavior. Dogs and people don’t speak the same language, so we have to create that middle ground for effective communication.

What are the benefits of an immersive program?

Mark: An immersive program, done properly, stimulates the puppy or dog in a positive way. It speeds up the learning process and creates a willing participant.

 What is your philosophy on training?

Laura: We enjoy working with the different dogs and pet parents. We firmly believe that all dogs learn best when positive reinforcement is the approach to training. Being patient is very important as well as consistency. The key is working closely with each dog during their program and encouraging pet parents to do the same at home.

Mark: We start training by teaching three important, but simple, words called “markers”. These mark the moment in time the puppy or dog offers a desirable behavior, an undesirable behavior, or a behavior we want to continue. We apply these markers to all the commands we give. We also use food enrichment and positive engagement as tools to build the dog’s desire to work with us.

What should every pet parent understand when it comes to enrolling their puppy or dog in a training program?

Mark: Training is a process. As such, pet parents need to communicate their goals and expectations based on their situation and their dog’s unique traits, behaviors, and physical abilities of the pet and parent. A firm understanding of how to apply the markers as a communication tool for the life of the dog is key. Consistency with the skills learned should be a commitment over the dog’s lifetime.

Laura: Additionally, training does not end with our program. We establish the language and expectations with the dog, but those learned skills have to be reinforced every day. The lesson before the dog completes the main program is taught with the pet parents. A video recap of all the commands the dog has learned—with a demonstration of the skill—is provided to the family. Both the lesson and the video enable the family to continue the learning and necessary practice at home. Learning, and in a way mastering those skills, takes consistency and practice—lots of practice. Your success is important to us so a Follow Up lesson is included. Plus, ongoing support is always available—don’t hesitate to reach out to our training staff with questions.

Call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center at 215-345-6960 to speak with the training coordinator about which program is right for your dog and you. A customized training plan that fits the needs of your dog and your goals is created. In both the Stay & Learn and Play & Learn programs, your dog will work with a trainer multiple times each day of the program. Your dog will participate in lodging activities or a daycare program and have periods of rest when not working with a trainer.


Coming in June 2023!

Announcing our new small-group class Heeling Workshop: Advanced Handling and Walking Skills.

A prerequisite for the class is completion of a Stay & Learn or Play & Learn training program. During the weekly sessions divided into three phases, the pet parent(s) will learn how to teach their dog the “art” of attentive heeling along with off-site application. This program concentrates on the interactive skills and teamwork between the dog and the handler.

Call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center today to book your pet’s one-of-a-kind vacation at our luxury pet care facility!