Puppy TrainingNYC Doggies2023-09-06T08:48:18-04:00

Our Approach To Puppy Training

A puppy undergoes major neurological changes in the critical period between 7 and 16 weeks. The experiences she has or fails to have during this short window will profoundly influence her behavior for the rest of her life. Thus, during this stage of development, parents must devote their full attention and effort to properly nurturing their puppy. In the hands of an educated, caring parent, a puppy successfully transitioning through this stage will be a happy, well-behaved, and dependable companion who also offers joy and support to her human caretakers.

In our puppy training program, we educate puppies and their parents by focusing on the following:

  • Acclimate the puppy to the diverse, noisy, and crowded urban environment, ensuring she can navigate her world with a calm and confident state of mind;

  • Socialize the puppy with people of different races, ages, sex, and demeanor, and get her used to being handled in gentle but unusual ways;

  • Socialize the puppy with dogs of different breeds, ages, and energy levels, and facilitate her learning the rules of dog interaction;

  • Teach the puppy and parent clear communication as the critical tool for encouraging/discouraging behaviors and establishing boundaries and rules;

  • Teach the puppy manners such as house rules, potty training, how to share food and toys with other dogs, and how to properly interact with people;

  • Teach the puppy and parent how to play interactively to improve communication, and set the stage for obedience training;

  • Introduce exercise and mental stimulation routines to meet the puppy’s needs, while also preventing the development of unwanted behaviors;

  • Teach the puppy what to do when faced with mild stressors.

Puppy Golden retriever

To learn more, read our book, and articles, and watch our YouTube series, “Raising Skye.

Board Training For Puppies

For those with demanding work/life schedules or who need a little more help, we provide a board-and-train program just for puppies.

Puppies stay with NYC Doggies owner and trainer Ovidiu and his family for a total of 20 days, five days at a time, at intervals over the course of a four-month period.

Private Sessions &

Zoom Consultations

With the proper guidance, we think urban parents who have time can successfully learn to train their puppies themselves. For these clients, we offer a wealth of information on our blog and in our book, as well as Zoom consultations and private sessions.

Consider This

Rethink puppy training

When training puppies, we teach the motions associated with certain obedience commands (“come,” “sit,” “down,” and “heel”) through teaching-games, but we do not yet pair them with a verbal command, nor do we demand obedience from the little pup.

Time and again, we see new dog parents spend a lot of time and energy teaching their very young puppy how to sit or lie down on command, while ignoring or not dedicating enough time to the actual needs of the puppy’s developing brain.

When parents and trainers focus on teaching tricks and commands to puppies under six months, they are misallocating the most scarce resource they have: time. The precious time and attention we get from puppies in the first critical weeks and months of their lives should be spent on socialization, exposure, building trust, teaching communication and manners, attuned playtime, teaching-games, and exercise because, for most of these, the clock cannot be turned back. These are the foundation for everything else, and if done right, obedience training will be a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the board-training days distributed in your puppy training program?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T11:21:05-04:00

Our puppy board-training package consists of:

  • 20 days of board-training;
  • four 30-minute private sessions with the dog’s parents;
  • four Zoom consultations;
  • free transportation to and from the client’s house.

Puppies start board-training with us when they are between 8 and 10 weeks old, and initially, stay with us for five days at a time, Sunday through Friday, every other week. The last five days included in the training package will take place when the puppy is between 16 weeks and 20 weeks old.

The 30-minute private sessions will take place when the puppy is dropped off at home, after each 5-day board & train period.

The Zoom consultations will take place mid-week, a couple of days after the puppy is dropped off at home, after each 5-day board & train period.

We will pick up your puppy from your house on Sunday evening and bring her back to you on Friday afternoon. However, clients are welcome to drop off and/or pick up their pup themselves from our house.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

What activities will my puppy partake in while board-training?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T10:46:03-04:00

The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is also true for puppies raised as companions and family members (as opposed to working dogs).

These are just some of the things that we do when board-training puppies:

  • Constant supervision to teach housebreaking;
  • Constant supervision to teach the puppy to safely navigate a home environment and learn what things are allowed and what things are not allowed;
  • Daily playdates with other friendly, healthy dogs;
  • Daily meaningful interactions with our extended family, friends, and strange people;
  • Playdates with lots of little kids;
  • Daily rides with various means of  transportation;
  • Trips to NYC and walks on its busy streets;
  • Weekly hikes in nature;
  • An introduction to swimming (during the warmer months);
  • An introduction to teaching-games, to set the stage for obedience training later on;
  • Last but not least… lots of attuned playtime and cuddles!

Raising a puppy properly can be intensive and requires help from a lot of people and dogs. For those with the time and means to provide everything mentioned above, in-person and online consultations should work just as well.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.


My puppy is 4 months old and is anxious around people, dogs, and on the city streets. Can you help?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T09:21:43-04:00

If a dog is not properly socialized with people and dogs and exposed to the environment in which she lives during the 7~16 weeks window (the period between 8~12 weeks is especially critical), on a daily basis, for many hours each day, it is very likely that the dog will develop behavioral issues such as anxiety and/or fear-aggression.

If this window is missed or the puppy training process starts late, the dog will most likely show signs of anxiety for the rest of her life. With proper guidance and a lot of effort, the dog can make progress in particular cases (i.e., with specific people, dogs, sounds, streets, etc), but will not be able to generalize that to all people, dogs, and environments. For these cases, we offer guidance via Zoom consultations.

For more details, contact us, and we will get back to you shortly.

I only need help with potty training my puppy. Can you do that?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T09:22:56-04:00

By following the advice that we give in our article and book, most parents should be able to successfully potty train a healthy puppy. When parents struggle, we’ve found that these are the most common culprits:

  • Medical conditions (i.e. a UTI). Consult your veterinarian;
  • An irregular feeding/activity schedule;
  • Nonrealistic expectations: puppies have small, underdeveloped bladders. They should be given plenty of opportunities to go potty in their allowed space;
  • A lack of clear communication;
  • A misunderstanding or incorrect application of our advice;
  • Specific unusual circumstances.

We can help identify the problem with a Zoom consultation and then decide the best course of action.

For more details, contact us, and we will get back to you shortly.

My vet advised me to keep my puppy away from other dogs and to not walk her on the streets. Why is your advice to the contrary?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T09:20:46-04:00

DVMs (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) are not dog trainers. By analogy, an M.D. is not the ideal person to advise on how one should raise and educate a human kid. The opinions of an experienced psychologist, teacher, and scientific consensus are more valuable.

However, a good DVM that stays up-to-date with dog-related science should know better than to advise parents not to socialize their young puppies. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) published a position paper in 2008 that landed firmly on the side of early puppy socialization. In further support of the AVSAB position, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) published a review of literature in 2015 that unequivocally advocates for early puppy socialization.

If a DVM is giving the outdated advice to avoid socialization, they are likely prioritizing the risk of disease over the risk of behavioral problems that are, in fact, more dangerous.

Learn more about the subject from our article: “The Silent Killer of Urban Dogs.

For more details, contact us, and we will get back to you shortly.

Will the relationship between me and my puppy suffer from us being separated during board-training?NYC Doggies2023-09-01T13:39:42-04:00

Absolutely not! Your puppy will still spend most of her days with you. She will just, temporarily have this other family to shower her with love and attention.

Where will my dog stay while boarding with you?NYC Doggies2023-09-09T00:44:29-04:00

We offer boarding and training at Ovidiu’s suburban home in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

The home environment allows us to build a loving and attuned relationship with dogs who join us in our daily activities and adventures.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

Will my dog be crated while boarding with you?NYC Doggies2024-02-07T11:19:37-05:00

We do not crate the dogs that stay with us. While crates serve specific useful purposes for travel, healthcare, and managing the environment of dogs with severe behavioral issues, in everyday use,  the harmful side effects from crating puppies/dogs far outweigh any perceived benefits.

Dogs boarding and training with us have almost unrestricted access to our house, and can sleep wherever they feel most comfortable: a sofa, a dog bed, or the cool floor.

We’d recommend reading our Substack article “Every Puppy Needs a Crate? Think Again.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

Can I visit my dog while she’s boarding with you?NYC Doggies2023-09-09T00:39:34-04:00

Clients are always free to visit their dogs while they stay with us. We’ll even offer you a snack and a chat:)

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

Will I get any updates while my dog is boarding with you?NYC Doggies2023-09-09T00:40:00-04:00

All dogs that stay with us in boarding and training will have their own private online album where we regularly post photos and videos of their adventures with us.

We are also always available to respond to questions and concerns via email or phone.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

What should I pack for my dog’s stay with you?Ovidiu Stoica2023-09-09T16:32:20-04:00

We’ll need the following:

  • Collar with the dog’s up-to-date registration & rabies vaccine tags;
  • Leash;
  • Your dog’s food, provided you don’t want us to feed her our homemade dinners, which are an add-on service;
  • Your dog’s shampoo if she has sensitive skin;
  • The medications your dog is on;
  • An email from you with your specific care instructions ;

We don’t need the following:

  • A harness… we won’t use it;
  • Food bowls… we have plenty;
  • Dog beds… we have plenty;
  • Crates… we don’t use them;
  • Toys… we have plenty, and they’ll just get destroyed;

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

How do I get started?Ovidiu Stoica2023-09-05T23:28:17-04:00

Please fill out our Contact form, and we’ll get back to you shortly with answers to all your questions.

Puppy Training Rates

Zoom Consultation
$150per 1 hr session
    Private Session
    $300per 1 hr session
      Puppy Board & Train
      $6000per 20 days of board training + 4 x 30 min private sessions + 4 Zoom consultations + transportation
        Teaching Games
        $2000per 7 days board training + 1 hr private session
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