FAQ's -- Started (16-17 weeks) and Semi-Started (10-11 weeks) and now Pre-Started Pups (see bottom of page)
How much are your Started Pups and what all is included?
$5000 which includes California Sales Tax. (Yes, we pay sales tax.) A healthy pup, it's gentle training, all shots, examinations and micro-chip, a crate, bed, The Dog Father's Perfect Dog training dvds with training collar and leads, "door bells", favorite toys, and a 26 month written health guarantee.
What does the pup learn?
By the time they are about 4 months old they will have had their training started in basic manners and will begin to understand what it means to listen and obey the simple commands below. They will also have their house and crate training started and be introduced to "ringing the bells" when they need to go outside. They should know: no biting, off (no jumping on people or furniture), sit, stay, leave it, quiet/no barking, go get it, drop it, come, heel, on your bed, in your crate, hurry-up (eliminate on command), and down. We will try to have them ready at 16 weeks; occasionally they need a few more days. If they are ready then but you need us to keep them longer, it's usually not a problem. We would check with their training family and if able, we'd be happy to continue the care and training at a rate of $25 for each additional day. (someone recently sent me a website link that places treat-trained started pups for almost twice as much and she charges an extra $85 per day!)
How can we secure a started pup?
Once you pick, meet or commit to a started pup in process, you will pay about half ($2500) and then pay the remaining amount when you "take delivery" around 16 wks. Should you change your mind for any reason, your deposit and any money paid for pup is always fully-refundable.
Can I pick a pup, name it and then have it trained?
Yes, in fact, the sooner you can give the trainer it's name the better. They will take pup to the vet to continue it's vaccinations and can use it's new name then. Otherwise the pup will continue to be identified by it's fingernail polish color.
Do Started pups ever have problems bonding with their new family?
We have placed a lot of started pups in the past 10 years and have never heard this to be an issue. Just the opposite really; we get reports back all the time stating how quickly their pup settled in and became part of their family.
Can you tell me about the trainers?
They are each from wonderful local families and they all love dogs; especially Labs. They are personal friends or family. They each have teen-aged, young adult kids that enjoy and are actually quite good at what they do. There are also now a few "empty-nester moms" who also love to nurture and train our pups. The pups go to their foster homes usually straight from the pick at around 7 weeks and live in their home as part of their family until their training is complete. We try to have the trainers at our place on pick day so that you can meet your's and exchange contact info when you pick your pup. Your trainer will then either send a weekly email update with pictures or texts; whichever your prefer. Jamie and Breanna have each trained our pups since 2010 and are still at it!
Can we come visit our pup from time to time?
Yes, absolutely! You would arrange that with your trainer. I just ask that you respect the time it takes out of the trainer's day:)
Can we take him to the park or home for visits?
No, not until their shots are complete (around 16 wks) and they are no longer in danger of picking-up Parvo.
Can we have him neutered or her spayed before bringing him home?
Yes, if you are willing to wait until they are 16.5-17 weeks to pick up; we can then arrange to have that done when they are 16 weeks (but not younger) and pass along the cost. It's usually $250 for the boys and $300 for girls plus the extra days at their trainers to heal a bit.
What can we do to prepare for our pup?
You will want to watch the dvd as a family before bringing your pup home. In fact, there may be a test on pick-up day! (just kidding:) Then you will be familiar with the philosophy and be able to use the same commands the pup has been taught. Though the guy on the dvd seems a bit harsh to me sometimes; I think it's because he isn't working with a young Lab. We've found they are usually so eager to please and in my opinion don't need to be treated harshly. Still, it's an excellent method that is not treat-based. Once home, the pup will have to learn your tone and voice and you will need to establish your authority in his mind. He/she will need to learn that the rules are the same at your house as they were at the trainers. That may take a day or two of proactive diligence and consistency and then you'll need to follow-through with maintaining the training your pup has received or they will easily unlearn what was taught and actually learn that they can get away with inappropriate behavior at your house. It's all about consistency; just like with our kids:)
What should the first days at their new home look like?
I tell new "parents" to do what many teachers do at the beginning of a new school year; start out tough and then ease up rather than visa-versa. There will still be lots of opportunities to show your new pup love, but don't give into the temptation of allowing any behavior as a pup that you wouldn't want to see in your adult dog. In other words, keep the end goal in mind. If you don't want an adult dog on the furniture or in your bed, or barking in it's crate when it just wants out, or scratching at the door when it wants in, or begging at the dinner table, then don't let it happen as a pup. They have been taught to understand and obey "no", so don't be afraid to use it when they get to your home.
What's the best way to get them acquainted with their new house?
I recommend that you limit your pup to just one room at first; the one that has the door they will use to go out and it should have their "door bells" hanging from the knob. For the first week or so, he should be in the crate whenever you aren't actually watching or playing with him. At this point they can now hold their bladder and bowels for several hours (unless they just had huge drink), so you should be the one to decide when you take them out. (except for first thing in the morning:) I would do that every hour or two at first. Head immediately to the door, tell them to "ring the bells" and make them touch their nose to make it ring, then say "good boy" and take him straight to the place you want him to eliminate. Do this simple task over and over until the path to the door and your chosen elimination spot is well known. Once that is accomplished, you can slowly add another adjoining room to their domain every several days or so. If there is a part of the house you don't want them in, just tell them "no... out" and if the boundaries are not clear, you may need to "draw a line in the sand" by putting a piece of blue painter's masking tape on the floor temporarily. No need to yell unless you want to train your dog to only respond to your raised voice. Just give command in a pleasant voice and if he doesn't obey the first time, gently correct him using his collar until he understands. Say it once; correct twice. Then let lots of praise be their reward not food or treats.
I'd like to obedience train myself, but hate all the accidents and getting up at night. Do you ever offer Semi-Started pups? Yes, we sometimes do and for those who want to do most of the training themselves, it's a great way to save some money and get your pup sooner. Semi-started pups are usually ready for their homes at 11 weeks. By then, they will have had their crate training started and can usually (but barely) make it through the night without needing to go out. They also are mostly content in their crate and no longer cry/whine. Most will have been taught sit, stay, and "leave it" by then. They will have had a 2 sets of shots, a worming, a flea treatment, as well as a microchip, but it would be up to their new owners to finish their needed shots as well as altering (spay or neuter). Their price is $4500 includes sales tax you get: A healthy pup, some very basic obedience training, a good amount of crate training, some shots, a micro-chip, crate, fleece bed, The Dog Father's Perfect Dog training dvds with small-size training collar and kit, "door bells", favorite toys, and a 26 month written health guarantee.
Started or Baby?
As I mentioned at the top of this page, those with deposits on Started Pups may get moved up in the pick in front of those wanting babies; unless I don’t have enough trainers available. Please let me explain: If I have trainers that want to start our pups, and I have families that want their pup started, then those pups and families will get priority. If there are more pups available than there are trainers, then pups will be made available as 7 week old babies. Pups that are started are guaranteed a wonderful life because someone has invested in their training and that’s the ultimate goal for each of my dogs. Some seasons are too busy with school, so all or at least most of the pups will be available as 7 week old babies. I hope that all makes sense. Thanks for understanding.
Jan 2015: Another batch of started pups on our same bench; just a bit older than those above. These just happen to be four of our PupWeisers; (L to R) Maggie, Hops, Budster, and Ivy
Next batch of available started pups should be ready by March 2019.
See FAQ & Wait List page for specifics
This started pup got to meet a horse.
Here's when and what you can expect your pup's trainer to be working on:
Your trainer will introduce new commands weekly as they continue to work on and review the previous ones also.
We can also keep and continue working on the following commands after 16 weeks charging additional $25 per day (to base price of $5000). That extra cost will also cover food, any needed vaccinations or other expenses during that time.
Pups being started at our home over the years
Ever wish you could find a beautiful, healthy, well-mannered pup from the very best lines that's had it's training to listen and obey started, and was socialized, immunized and ready for you to take places and enjoy?
Early Spring 2011: I went outside to see how the kids were coming on their chores. Instead of working, I found them dressing their pups up in bandannas and taking these photos of Dewey, Khloe and Logan; the three pups they were training. It was a great idea and they started a bandanna trend. I loved the photos and the chores got done eventually.
Jan 2015 - 16 week old Started (all guardians) PupWeisers with their amazing trainers.