Puppy Parents: Where to Start with the Academy

You’ve got a puppy! Congrats. I’m sure you dreamed about this for ages. 

But now that Sparky’s actually here, you’re thinking, “soooo what now? How do I turn this bitey, poopy gremlin into the Man’s Best Friend of my dreams?”

This page will explain:

  1. Which courses to take first
  2. The most important thing to do with your puppy
  3. How to put it all together
  4. What to do if you’re REALLY frustrated and overwhelmed
  5. How to get more help
In the My Courses section, focus on the courses with the Puppy Survival School logo in their thumbnail, like this:
The logo to look for

1. Which courses should I take first?

Puppy Survival School is a set of nine courses within the broader Academy.

Start with Understanding Your Puppy. It explains the most crucial things to know about puppy behavior and body language. It should help you make sense of that weird thing your puppy does.

Then check out Foundation for a Happy, Well-Behaved Puppy. It’ll help you establish good habits, get problems under control, and be a lot less overwhelmed. Everything else in Puppy Survival School builds on this course, so it’s important not to skip it.

After that, head to whatever course looks relevant to your current biggest struggle:

Biting – All about puppy biting. Learn what normal puppy biting looks like, the four reasons why they do it, and how to survive this phase.

House TrainingAll about potty training.

Puppy Life Skills Covers nighttime whining, crying when left alone, nail trims, preventing food aggression.

Your Puppy and Your Other PetsHow to help your puppy learn to coexist with your cat or older dog.

The WTFWIT phaseGot a bad case of the puppy blues? This is for you.

Baby Obedience Training Useful skills taught at an age-appropriate level. Leash training, leave it, coming when called, etc. Plus how to structure training sessions for best results.


2. What's the most important thing to do with my puppy?

After you’ve checked out any of the above courses that cover your current biggest challenges, it’s time to focus on the biggest factor (the biggest one within your control, at least) in raising a well-rounded puppy. 

If you want your pup to grow up into a dog who:

  • Can focus on you in the presence of distractions
  • Politely interacts with other dogs and strangers (when you want them to)
  • Doesn’t bark and lunge at strangers on the street
  • Can behave calmly in public
Proper socialization is your best shot at achieving all that. Check out the Socialization course for all the details.

3. That's a lot of information! How should I put it all together?

With the Putting It All Together roadmap, of course. This is a suggested order of operations for how the first month should go.

4. HELP! I'm really frustrated and the thought of going through all of that material makes me feel even more overwhelmed and hopeless.

I feel you. See the Emergency Quick Start Guide. You’re also welcome to just come straight to the WTFWIT Phase Support Group and let us know what’s going on, so we can give you personalized recommendations.

Speaking of which:

3. I have questions! Where should I ask them?

Come on over to the forums! To start a conversation with us and your fellow members, feel free to post in the Member Hangout and Puppy Survival School forums.

We also have twice-monthly live Q&A sessions/group coaching sessions on Zoom. You’ll find the date for the next one on the Dashboard

Can’t attend live, but want us to answer your question live? Post it in the Live Q&A Questions forum. We’ll answer it on the Zoom session, and then you can watch the replay later.

For technical help or customer service-related questions: email Jake at contact@3lostdogs.com