Serving Northern Virginia & Surrounding Areas.

Call/Text (703) 586-8968

Puppy Training

Puppy Training Northern Virginia

Puppy training is the foundation of your dog’s long term success. Establishing communication between you and your puppy is critical for learning to occur.

Remember – “the more you talk, the more you confuse. The less your talk, the more you communicate” (Aaron Taylor).

Your puppy does not speak English or any other verbal language. Too often we unknowingly and unwittingly encourage undesirable behavior by reinforcing behaviors through excitement and play that we do never intended to.

Our goal for your puppy is to establish marker training “communication” while maintaining enthusiasm, motivation, and your puppies’ natural drive.

Marker training – best known as “clicker training” is the foundation of teaching puppies desirable vs undesirable behaviors. While we start all puppies on the clicker, we quickly transfer them off the clicker and bridge a marker word in its place.

During puppy training, we will establish marker training and teach your puppy HOW TO LEARN. Learning from a human is not a natural or instinctual trait in dogs. Your puppy must learn how to learn. Engagement is the next step that runs in parallel with marker training.

Teaching your puppy how to learn and how to engage are truly life lessons that will follow your puppy throughout its adult life. The key to success is maintaining motivation during your puppies’ education and keeping it fun. While working with your puppy environmental exposure is the next link in the learning process.

Your puppy will be exposed daily to new environments with daily field trips. While on field trips, marker training and engagement routines will take place reinforcing the classroom learning your puppy received in real-world environments; thus making the transfer back home more successful and measurable as the puppy is not being conditioned solely on the trainers home environment.

All aspects of obedience are introduced to the puppy following a shaping and free-shaping methodology using marker training to communicate both positive and negative behaviors in a way the puppy will understand with clarity. Providing clarity over confusion is vital for learning to occur. Shaping and free-shaping obedience behaviors of sit, down, place, and heeling provide the most powerful learning to take place. Marking training, engagement, shaping, and free-shaping all follow the principles of learning and conditioning and flow together as one methodology perfectly complimenting one another.

Puppy training is NOT adult dog obedience training. It is impossible to make a 3-month-old puppy act like a 3-year-old dog. Puppy training is step one in your dog’s education. Much like primary school is not the same as college. When a puppy comes home the trainer will work with you to ensure that you have all the information and training necessary to continue working with your puppy daily to reinforce with consistency the foundational training your puppy received.


Get your dog professionally trained by Ridgeside K9.


Interested in getting your dog professionally trained by Ridgeside K9? We’d love to help. If you would like to learn more about our training programs complete the form below or call us directly at (703) 586-8968