The Puppy Academy Online School Review 2024: An Expert’s Breakdown

Our Final Verdict

We give The Puppy Academy Online School a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

Quality: 5/5
Lesson Play Variety: 5/5
Ease Of Use: 5/5
Value: 5/5

Being a puppy parent is full of incredible experiences, but having your favorite shoes chewed and peeing in the house is definitely not at the top of that list. With so many puppy training options, I think that every pet parent (including myself) can feel quite overwhelmed with what to do when a new four-legged bundle comes home – but that’s where programs such as The Puppy Academy come into play.

Originally an on-location school in Southern California, The Puppy Academy has recently launched an online program so that pup moms and dads everywhere can access vital training programs. From helping your new pup walk on a leash to building confidence inside the home, it’s now possible to train from the comfort of the living room – fitting important classes into any schedule.

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About The Puppy Academy

Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

Complete with a homeroom, cute graphics, and well-thought-out lessons, The Puppy Academy very much mimics how a child’s school experience would be. They even use terminology such as “tuition” and “graduation.” After all, there are many comparisons between a puppy and a kid!

The Puppy Academy was masterminded by Ricci and Marco who found themselves being brand-new puppy parents. After leaving on a work-trip, Marco unexpectedly got stuck out of the country and Ricci had to raise their pup Coconut on her own as Marco figured out a way to get back home. Overwhelmed with the not-favorite-parts of raising a puppy, Ricci turned to a professional dog trainer for help. Throughout the training process, Ricci discovered just how much closer her bond with Coconut became, and a lightbulb went off.

Upon Marco’s return home, the two of them decided to open The Puppy Academy, a school and program the two of them wished existed when they first got Coconut. Structuring the program around how elementary schools function (with a timeline better fit for puppies of course!), The Puppy Academy opened as a physical training center in Hermosa Beach, California, that enrolled puppies as young as 10 weeks to as old as 9 months. With wanting to expand to all puppy parents having access to the Academy, and not just those in Southern California, an online version came to fruition.

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Online School Overview

Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

Here is an overview of the online version of The Puppy Academy Online School.

Pricing

The Puppy Academy Online Schools is priced at $299 for a 12-month subscription.

Access Duration

Puppy Academy Online School is intended for one year access. Your puppy lessons are complete in 60 days.

What to Expect and The Types Of Lessons

The Puppy Academy Online School really is structured like an elementary school for children.

Upon being granted access, there is an orientation which familiarizes you with the online school.

Lessons start in the Homeroom, which on the virtual space represents a place to meet the two trainers that lead you through the courses, some foundation philosophy for training, and puppyhood expectations.

The Library offers a slew of resources on every topic of puppy care and rearing. ;

The Courses are all of the lesson plans. Lessons cover fundamental topics such as potty training, separation anxiety, biting and nipping, jumping up on people, crate training, walking on a leash, socialization with other dogs and people, and much more. There is even a lesson on heel training!

The Weekly Live Q&A and Coaching offers live access to the trainers you grow familiar with during the courses.

Additional resources and bonus materials are available at the bottom of the webpage, such as a supply guide for new puppy parents.

There are over 30 core lessons, with new videos added weekly from the live trainer Q&A replays answering more of your puppy questions.

The Trainers

The online trainers for Puppy Academy Online School are Sparky Serka and Bethany Wilson. Both trainers have many years of experience training puppies (Sparky has been training for over a decade and Bethany has dedicated tens of thousands of hours to studying the science of training puppies).

For additional impressive credits, Bethany is a part of the International Association of Canine Professionals, and is one of the country’s top leading Dog Behaviorists. Sparky is certified by the American Kennel Club to perform and evaluate CGC, CGCC, CGCU (Public Access), Therapy dogs, and is one of SoCal’s best-known and desired trainers.

The Training Methods

All of the training methods are positive reinforcement based, with an inclination towards food motivation and rewards.

Pros & Cons

  • Train from anywhere!
  • Detailed lesson plans to build the core foundation for your puppy
  • Weekly live sessions with trainers
  • Proven effective training methods that are backed by science
  • Bonus offerings online such as a puppy blueprint!
  • The price is very good for a full year of classes
  • Your puppy will have their foundation set in about 60 days (two months)
  • The online school is limited to one year, and you lose access to the class material after one year

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Key Features

Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

Training In As Little As 15 Minutes Per Day

Lessons are all set to conclude in 60 days, but require as little as 15 minutes of training per day. This helps training fit easily into any lifestyle and schedule.

Lesson Topics

The training topics include:
  • Crate training
  • Leash walking
  • Heeling
  • Potty training
  • Handling separation anxiety
  • Stopping nipping
  • Stopping chewing
  • Stopping jumping
  • Noise desensitization
  • Socialization
  • Basic commands such as sit and stay
  • Recall
  • Doorway boundaries
  • Distraction training
  • Grooming and handling desensitzation

And likely even more that I forgot to include in the list. There are over 30 training videos total.

Easy-To-Follow Lesson Plans

All of the lessons are aimed to be as easy and simple to follow as possible, with plenty of recorded information. You don’t need to be a puppy expert (or even be aware of any training methods) to easily use the courses.

The Core Values The Puppy Academy Online School Follows

The Puppy Academy, both in-person and online, strictly follows their 5 core values:
  • Leading with empathy, kindness, and effective guidance when supporting new puppy parents in order to build the bond they have with their puppy and make puppyhood a positive experience for all involved.
  • Providing an exceptional customer-service experience via the trainers and school itself.
  • Effectively socializing and training a puppy early on increases their quality of life later on.
  • The promotion of healthy food and treats for training and daily care.
  • Celebrating puppies and all of the joy that they bring to their people.

Puppyhood Made Easy® Blueprint

The blueprint offered with the subscription is a step-by-step formula on puppy rearing, checklists for training and vet visits to help keep organized, and a customizable daily puppy schedule. All of this provides a good foundation and takes much of the guesswork out.

Puppy Training Tracker

The training tracker includes cheatsheets for tips and tricks on effective puppy training and weekly schedules to make it easier to sort out what lessons to tackle.

Weekly Live Q&A And Coaching Sessions

Probably the biggest bonus for this online school, there are weekly live Q&A with the trainers from the Puppy Academy so you can have your questions, comments, and concerns addressed in real time.

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Is The Puppy Academy Online School a Good Value?

Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

Hands down, The Puppy Academy Online School is an excellent value for both its price and the value it brings to anyone experiencing puppyhood.

Think of it this way: Weekly puppy classes are (on average) $250 for a group six week course (not private lessons). Private lessons can range anywhere from $360 all the way to $7,800 for a puppy. In both cases, the span of time doesn’t come out to a year (most class sections are 6 to 8 weeks in duration). Comparable online programs are about $250 for 6 weeks as well.

The Puppy Academy Online School is a flat rate of $299 for the entire year. You do the math!

In regard to the quality of the lessons, they are top tier. Led by professional trainers Sparky and Bethany, each lesson is really easy to understand and follow. That in and of itself is worth every penny.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How old do puppies have to be to benefit from The Puppy Academy Online School?

The Puppy Academy Online School enrolls puppies as young as 10 weeks old to as old as 9 months old. The online school is targeted towards younger puppies, so the sooner you start the program, the better!

Can you do both in-person and online training?

As The Puppy Academy Online School started as an in-person training facility (and continues to be one to this day), you can enroll in both. However, enrollment is very limited for the in-person training, so it is best to apply early. The online school is open for enrollment at any time and is not limited.

How long until my puppy is trained?

The lessons all conclude in 60 days each (but are intended to be worked on at the same time). However, training is a life-long endeavor, so you shouldn’t stop after 60 days.

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Our Experience With The Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

Puppy Academy Online School

My dog is by far not a puppy anymore (she is eight years old), but I really enjoyed checking out the online version of The Puppy Academy (and wishing this was something I could have done all those years ago!).

On a technical front, The Puppy Academy Online School does not require a smidge of technical knowledge to use. Upon enrollment and being granted access, there is just one button to push to open up the Academy. The school page is very simple, with everything you need divided into convenient categories (Orientation, Homeroom, Library, Course, Live Q&A + Coaching, and Resources). Each category opens into subcategories that are also easy to follow along. On the side of the page, you have biographies of the two trainers that you see in the videos, helping familiarize yourself with them and their credentials.

Opening the lessons prompts a video page, with lesson details and a button to jump to the next program. You can sometimes see comments by real time users underneath all of the summaries, and the conversations they have with The Puppy Academy. I found that sometimes people asked very important questions and the Academy answers helped a lot! There is also homework to download after each lesson that helps continue the training at home.

All in all, I thought that The Puppy Academy was very well-thought out, I loved the comparison to elementary school, and you can really feel how much time and effort was placed into the creation of the Online School. The trainers in the videos were very knowledgeable, and the classes really were so easy to follow along. The bonus materials on recommended products for your pup was also a neat little addition!

I plan on bringing a puppy into my home next year, and this is absolutely the program I’ll be investing in. I appreciate the emphasis on positive training and food motivation, while also being a productive program that teaches me (the human) as much as it does my puppy.

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Conclusion

The Puppy Academy’s online school is an excellent option for dog parents that want access to this desired training school but may either not live in Southern California or not have the time to take their puppy there.

Open for enrollment by anyone with no limit, The Puppy Academy Online School will help make the puppy years an easier time by building the foundation for a happy adult, helping enforce your current bond with your puppy, and giving you (the parent) the skills for a happy life with your dog. We cannot recommend it enough!

Thank you Lisa for all the detail and thought you put into this! Much appreciated and really enjoyed reading it.


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