Individual Coached Program

Puppy Foundations

Begins before your puppy comes home
Puppies 8 – 12 weeks of age

1 Detailed Planning Meeting +
1 Month of Immersive Coaching

Investment: $880
Limited Spots, By Application Only

 

Individual Coached Program

Puppy Foundations

Begins before your puppy comes home
Puppies 8 – 12 weeks of age

1 Detailed Planning Meeting +
1 Month of Immersive Coaching

Investment: $880
Limited Spots, By Application Only

 

 

Individual Coached Program

Puppy Foundations

Begins before your puppy comes home
Puppies 8 – 12 weeks of age

1 Detailed Planning Meeting +
1 Month of Immersive Coaching

Investment: $880
Limited Spots, By Application Only

 

Experience an immersive, all-encompassing, customized, terrier-specific puppy program. Raise your terrier with constant and complete expert guidance and support. Early critical prevention of common challenges, establishment of expert routines, and invaluable fast-tracked early learning.

How Does the Program Work?

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1 Planning Consultation + 1 Month of Coached Sessions

Week 1: Before Your Puppy Comes Home - The Planning Consultation

Before your puppy comes home we will meet over Zoom. In this meeting we will discuss your lifestyle and needs and I will lead you through ideal and customized early routines, supplies, and set-ups. It is invaluable to be completely prepared and ready before your puppy comes home!

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Weeks 2-5: A Month of Coaching

We will meet at a regular day/time weekly over Zoom during your first month with your puppy. In our sessions we will dive into routines, prevention of serious terrier challenges, and we will fast track your puppy’s learning with customized terrier-specific training. You will experience live demonstrations, customized advice, and you will be coached in real time and see your puppy excel.

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No Prior Tech Experienced Needed

All you need is WiFi and a computer, tablet, or smartphone, and we are set!
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24/7 Support During Your Program

Throughout your program you can text message and email me any questions you might have about any aspect of raising your pup. You are encouraged to send videos for review.

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Lots of Documentation

You will have access to organized documentation with clear and concise homework instructions, articles, videos, and more. All learning styles are supported.

Fun Fun Fun!

Puppy raising is a lot of work, but in this program you aren’t alone, and you have 24/7 access to a specialist. Gone are the days of stressful group puppy classes where your terrier puppy is wildly distracted and considered the “worst” in the class. In this program you will feel supported and see your puppy transform into a confident, relaxed, and friendly terrier who loves to work with you.

This program begins before you bring your puppy home

Already have your puppy, or is your puppy coming home very soon? Check out Foundations Plus+!

Finn’s Story

“Emma is the best trainer we have ever worked with. I bet we have worked with 6 different trainers over the years and she is definitely the best. She understands terriers and always knew exactly how to solve the behavior. Without our training I would have been lost with my terrier puppy. But since we got off on the right foot, I was never frustrated and the dog was never frustrated. We never got caught up in bad habits. It taught me how to teach my welsh terrier always with success.”

Donna
Missouri USA

Winston’s Story

“She has found her calling in life. There are not very many people that you can say, you were made for that. Emma has found her calling for sure. Without exception, every lesson that we finished up, I felt better than when we started. Even if we hadn’t done our homework perfectly, after our meetings, I always felt more enthused and just more upbeat. I can’t imagine raising our terrier puppy without the basis that Emma gave us.”

Debbie & Wayne
Indiana, USA

Griffin’s Story

“Learning how to create a connection with your pup through love, fun, positivity and mutual respect; I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the 1:1 Face Time sessions worked so that the training could be personalized to how Griffin was responding. It also helped to see Miles demonstrating some of the training methods. Emma – you know I love all you’ve done to make our special pup Griffin such a joy. You are so much more than a terrier trainer.”

Kim
Florida, USA

Tory’s Story

“When I brought my terrier puppy home at 9 weeks of age, I had 2 goals that I wanted to accomplish: good behavior and good socialization. Emma has such insight into the terrier brain and how they perceive things. Having had a Welsh Terrier before, it has been an exciting experience to see Tory’s responsiveness to the training. Whatever she learns seems to become imprinted very quickly into her brain.”

Jeanette
New York, USA

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  1. We are so glad we found Emma! Working with her was so easy; you can tell she cares and she really knows her stuff! She helped us strengthen our connection with Maia, our young Welsh Terrier. Emma was so fun to work with and we never felt judged for our lack of knowledge or prior mistakes in training. Her training methods are kind, gentle, respectful, positive, and never harsh. We wish there were more “Emmas” in the world, as she is truly one of a kind! The training was easy to follow and the results have been amazing. We will definitely be working with her again in the future, and will wholeheartedly recommend her to other people!

    Image #1 from David Dachauer
  2. My spouse and I are lifetime dog people, and previously raised a Welsh Terrier from puppy-hood through to old age. He was the most challenging (and special!) dog I had ever known. After he passed, he left a enormous hole in our lives, but we did not feel totally up to the task of raising another Welsh. We also have a senior Wire Fox Terrier, and we were concerned about how she might adjust to having a puppy in the house.

    That’s when I found Emma’s blog and her Terrier Academy. I contacted her with the intent of maybe adopting a puppy, and she was so enormously kind and helpful. We started talking about a year before we even adopted. She worked with our Wire Fox to prepare her for puppy life, and put us in touch with an amazing WT breeder. Contacting her in advance (before our puppy was even whelped!) set us up for total success, and was the best thing we could have done.

    We had so many issues with our previous WT that we raised on our own (including digestive, potty training, and behavioral); Emma is well aware of all of these, and has detailed plans for how to *prevent* them (prevention is key!). We aren’t experiencing ANY of these issues with our new puppy.

    Puppy-hood is never easy, but with Emma on your side, you can learn to truly understand your developing pup and build important habits that will carry on into adulthood. If you’re considering adopting a terrier, especially a Welsh Terrier, don’t hesitate to reach out to Emma in advance; I am so, SO glad that we did. She is truly the Terrier Oracle, and we cannot recommend her more highly. Thank you so much, Emma and Miles!

    Image #1 from Katherine McGonigle
    Image #2 from Katherine McGonigle
    Image #3 from Katherine McGonigle
    Image #4 from Katherine McGonigle
  3. We are so pleased and fortunate to be working with Emma Kesler (and Miles 🐾). We have always had a dog but in the past failed to get serious about training. This time around, with Griffin, our Welsh Terrier puppy, we are learning so much more about a dog’s behavior as well as our own behavior towards dogs. Emma shares insights that make so much sense, that are so logical from a dog’s perspective it only makes the lessons that much more enjoyable for ourselves and Griffin. Emma has helped us realize just how smart Griffin is and the potential she has. We truly understand how important this short period of time we have, during Griffin’s time as a puppy, to shape her behaviors and skills. Emma has provided us the knowledge and guidance to be successful in training and bonding with Griffin. A true joy and rewarding adventure Emma has embarked us on.

    Image #1 from Hugh Hollister
  4. We did Emma’s Puppy Foundations program for our new Border Terrier, Mila. We knew we needed some guidance as I’d had terriers in the past and there were always some difficulties. Little did we know this would turn out to be the most worthwhile thing we could have done for our dog, and the best money I’ve ever spent on a service. Emma teaches you not only to train your dog, but understand them. She teaches you how to raise a happy, healthy dog whose needs are met, specifically terrier needs. Our puppy is 5 months now and the early training we did has already paid off immensely. I only wish I had done this work with my previous terriers. I can’t recommend Emma’s services enough and we will definitely be working with her again in the future.

    -Christabelle & Xavier

    Image #1 from Christabelle Pausey
    Image #2 from Christabelle Pausey
    Image #3 from Christabelle Pausey
  5. Turns out you can teach old dogs new tricks. Steve and I have had Welsh Terriers in our life for 25 years and are starting again with our new puppy, Rowdy. We will be pushing 80 years of age if this puppy lives as long as our last Welshies and we are determined to have a dog that brings us our slippers at that point in life. Emma came recommended to us by our breeder. Who knew there was such a thing as a Terrier Trainer? We immediately made arrangements with Emma to help us before we even knew a dog would be available.

    Our first appointment with Emma, before the dog came home, was filled with preparation suggestions that just made so much sense. This was the help we needed. We got busy preparing for puppyhood and soon our little Rowdy arrived. Emma was there to meet us each week. During the one on one Zoom sessions our concerns were addressed and new material was introduced. Her website is so easy to use and an exceptional support to the classes. The included demonstration videos were referred to frequently as we checked in on our techniques for training Rowdy. During the week, training questions or various other issues would arise. Emma encouraged us to text and/or send video of those moments. She would thoughtfully reply and provide us with the help we needed at that time.

    The Puppy Foundations course has taught these old dogs new tricks. For the first time we feel prepared, equipped, and relaxed raising a new puppy. Our heightened sense of observation is teaching us how to communicate with our dog and Rowdy is showing us her eagerness to learn. Emma’s sincere care and support has been the key that has us all developing a warm relationship based on trust. We look forward to having a dog that is as crazy about us as we are about her, even if she steals the slippers as quickly as they are delivered.

    Image #1 from Cynthia Lee
    Image #2 from Cynthia Lee
    Image #3 from Cynthia Lee

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can't I just do a local puppy class? Why invest in Puppy Foundations?
  1. Puppy classes can be overwhelming experiences for terrier puppies. Socialization shouldn’t mean over-exposing or overwhelming a puppy with new experiences. It should mean exposing a puppy to a variety of optimal experiences. 
  2. Puppies go through what are commonly refered to as “fear periods” where they suddenly become concerned about their environment. If you are enrolled in a weekly group class, the chances are that your puppy will go to class during one of these periods. If your puppy is going through a fear period during a group puppy class, the overwhelming sights, sounds, and smells in class can elicit negative associations that can be lasting.
  3. Even if there is a good curriculum, puppy classes are highly distracting environments. It is unrealistic to expect that you and your terrier puppy will learn strong foundations to last a lifetime there.
  4. Puppy class is often the first experience a puppy will have on-leash around a group of other dogs in an enclosed enviroment. Terrier puppies in particular are at risk of having their first “accidental training session” of rehearsing leash “over-reactivity” — where the puppy/dog pulls on the leash frantically, frustrated, and wanting to get to the other dogs, and with increasing intensity. When you are out walking, you know “that dog,” and we don’t want to teach our puppy to be “that dog” early on!
  5. Playtime can be a free-for-all, with all different sizes of puppies, none of whom already know appropriate play. If the puppy class is not expertly run, your puppy is at risk of of learning poor routines, or even having a negative experience that shapes the future of how they view other dogs. Terriers tend to be the ones that are playing too roughly, and other puppies typically won’t be good at helping your puppy learn to reduce their roughness. Instead, often your terrier puppy will learn that they can be as rough as they want. This is a common challenge I see in adolescent terriers that did group puppy classes when they were younger.
  6. Terriers are prone to many complex behavior challenges. These challenges are often not addressed in-depth in group puppy classes (and/or can easily be accidentally begun and practiced there) and they are the most common reasons why terriers, especially rare breeds, have a high re-homing rate.
  7. You will be on your own for the majority of your home routines and post-class questions in a group puppy class. You won’t have someone to text message in the evening when you feel worried or unsure.
  8. If you plan on attending a group class instead of this program, please look for a program that is rewards-based, that is very careful about the interactions between puppies (often with more than one instructor/facilitator present), that has non-slip flooring, and that strictly limits the ages of the puppies. Fear Free (designed by veterinarians and behavior experts) advise that introductory puppy classes should be rigid about capping the age of entry to 16 weeks of age (just under 4 months of age).

Terrier Academy foundation programs are immersive, full of one-on-one Q&A with an expert, and are conducted in your “real daily life environment.” We discuss all aspects of healthcare, behavior, routines, and more. Throughout Puppy Foundations, you will have access to an expert in terrier behavior 24/7 for the critical periods of your puppy’s development. Because I only work with terriers, I am very well-attuned to what I see. You will avoid early traumatic experiences for your puppy, you will learn how to safely socialize your puppy, and none of your questions on any aspects of raising your puppy will be left unanswered.

How important are a dog's first few months of life?

The critical canine socialization period is considered to begin before you meet your puppy at around 3 weeks of age, and to close between at 12-16 weeks / 3-4 months of age. This is the very special period where young puppies approach new experiences with minimal hesitation or fear. Puppies in the socialization period are like little sponges open to learning! As puppies mature and the critical socialization window closes, they begin to be more cautious about new experiences. The reason behind this shift is natural: as puppies become more mobile and independent, they need to be more careful not to put themselves at risk in their environment. Therefore, learning can be accelerated during the socialization period, and can be a bit slower and/or more complex the older the puppy gets. Many behavior challenges can be traced back to socialization problems.

Traditionally, people begin puppy classes and thinking about routines and training AFTER the critical socialization period closes. This is a major missed opportunity for terrier types, as these types of dogs typically need extra help learning how to be “pets.” The socialization period is very brief and precious for terriers. Remedial (catch-up) socialization will never offer the same advantages of early socialization, and requires a great deal more skill and effort.

If you are set up properly before your puppy comes home and begin working with your puppy right away, you and your puppy will have a beautiful foundation that will last a lifetime.

Help! I am struggling with my puppy!

Please check out Foundations Plus+. If you are struggling, that means that challenges are already established and getting immediate detailed help now will be invaluable for preventing long-term challenges.

My puppy is older than 4 months of age...

If you have raised an older puppy (over 4 months of age): If you raised your terrier puppy and they are over 4 months old, you will be applying under Foundations Plus+. Head over to that page to learn more!

You are getting or have an older puppy: If you are expecting to bring home an older terrier puppy (4+ months of age), or already have a new-to-your-family older puppy and want to apply for Foundations, you will be applying under Foundations Plus+. When you apply, please provide as much detail about your puppy’s background as possible (who will be or has been raising/fostering your puppy? What else do you know about your puppy’s background? Any details are useful!), and please describe your own situation and lifestyle. Terrier puppies at this age are at the peak of activity level and will already have some established routines. It isn’t uncommon to need to do a bit of “catch up” at this age and possibly remedial socialization. By talking together at length, we can develop a plan to fast track your more detailed work up front and get you on the right path, right away.

I already have a dog(s) and am going to add a puppy to my family...

Terrier puppies, especially certain breed types, can be intense for an pre-exisiting dog. To avoid challenges, it is ideal to expect that you will want to put in extra work in to helping the dogs adjust.

If you are applying BEFORE getting your puppy:

Option #1: Apply for Puppy Foundations well before bringing puppy home! If you need extra help integrating the dogs, you may end up wanting to add additional sessions onto your program.

Option #2: You may want to opt for a Behavior Assessment before Puppy Foundations (I will subtract the cost of the first week of Puppy Foundations from your Assessment) so that we can talk in depth about your home layout, your lifestyle, the personality of your current dog(s), the breed type of your future puppy, and so that we can get you set up for success long-term from the get-go. My Behavior Assessments include a customized 6-10 page document detailing all of my suggestions so you will be on the right foot with a plan for intergrating the dogs. Please put your intent to proceed in such a manner in the notes of your application form.

If you already have your puppy and there are challenges:

Begin with a Behavior Assessment. Don’t worry, Puppy Foundations are still on the table, but we will want to meet for a much more in-depth meeting before proceeding. Read more about Behavior Assessments here.

Do you work with other breed types of dogs, or mixed-breed dogs?

Any dog with a spirited terrier-style personality is welcome! I love working with rescue dogs with unknown genetic lineage who are clearly part of the terrier family. I foster tough cases now and then and am a big fan of giving misunderstood dogs a second chance.

I am just one person, so I dedicate my time to terrier types. If I feel your concerns are more general, I will provide you with an expert referral.

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Non-terrier-types are 100% welcome to apply for Terrier Academy Courses or On-Demand programs. Training that is effective for terriers has to be pretty dang rock-solid… For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the following video of my sister who is a very busy professional with her cats. She only had time for two sessions with me and these are the results for her rescue cats:

Do I need to be technologically savvy?

Nope! Many of my clients had done very little on a computer, tablet, or smartphone before working with me. As long as you have a smartphone, iPad, tablet, or computer and a WiFi connection, you are good to go! I use Zoom and will be happy to help you with it.

How do I book live online coaching?

Live online coached programs are by application only. Please look carefully over the different programs and pricing, and once you are ready, apply by clicking the “apply” buttons and filling out the intake form. I read applications carefully and admit clients if they are the right fit. After reviewing your application, I will email you know if you are a good fit for the program, and from there, we will discuss details and scheduling. Foundation Program spots are limited, so please try to apply as much in advance as possible.

Can you send me your supply list ahead of our first meeting?

This is a great question!

I think I get this question a lot because we are all used to a very traditional dog “training” approach: you get the list of supplies, you get the puppy, you “train” the puppy.

The fallout of the old approach is that it is one-size-fits-all is rule-based, and every single person and every single dog will have very different needs. Traditionally when the end result wasn’t good, the person or the dog was blamed. Blame is so silly when we all lead such different and unique lives!

In our first meeting, I go through all of the big topics that you will want to know before you bring your puppy home, and all of those cross over with the supplies you will need. All of these needs and routines will vary significantly based on your needs and lifestyle. My approach is based on customization for your and your puppy’s needs. Usually problems arise when the big picture isn’t adding up. Through Puppy Foundations I want to help you with the big picture – not just a one-size-fits-all “training list.”

For the Coached Sessions, can we meet at different days/times or with gaps in the schedule?

Puppy Foundations is all about setting up a strong foundation for a successful present and long-term future for both you and your puppy. For the Coached Sessions portion of the program, is important that you are able to meet once a week with Emma on a set day/time. The good news is, even if your location shifts during the program, meeting virtually is very accomodating for travel or location changes. 

Puppy Foundations programs are not scheduled where there will be planned gaps outside of the weekly format for the Coached Sessions. The first 4 weeks you share with your puppy are absolutely critical. If you foresee that that this sort of scheduling may be challenging in the first month with your puppy, you will want to consider Foundations Plus+ (you will still want to apply ahead of time, but you can state that you aren’t available until ____ dates to begin foundation coaching with your new puppy).

* Terrier Academy books on holidays, but never on weekends.

What do "Online Coached Sessions" actually look like??

Puppy Foundations includes a 45 minute planning session, and a month of weekly Coached Sessions. Each Coached Session is 45 minutes long and typically looks like this:

  1. We check in about how everything is going in puppy land! I answer all of your puppy questions. We talk about anything and everything puppy.
  2. I will explain the week’s topics, and run through the homework that is in your Terrier Academy account.
  3. Usually I will then demonstrate the exercise(s) with my dog Miles so you can see what you will be doing this week.
  4. Then you get to try! If you aren’t tech-savvy, don’t worry at all. I am a master at online coaching as I have been doing this for over a decade now. You will feel supported and relaxed as you try the exercise(s) with your puppy.
  5. I get to watch your puppy and observe how they learn and what motivates them. I can offer really exciting and unique tips and insight as we work together.
  6. At the end of the session, we check in again to ensure all of your questions are answered.
  7. After the session, you will have access directly from your Terrier Academy account to Puppy Foundations course materials, and the ability to text message or email me any and all questions you might have and you can send me video for review if you like.
  8. Don’t worry, the homework is very attainable. If you are busy, you can practice the homework as little as 5 minutes a few days that week and you will be on the fast-track. If you are an over-achiever, feel free to practice as much as you like.
What happens after I complete Puppy Foundations?

After you complete Puppy Foundations, your terrier will understand how to work with you and focus when working, and you will both have great socialization and home routines under your belts. Your puppy will be a well rounded terrier. At this stage, you may be inspired based on your success to go to the next level.

Advanced Foundations delves deeper into more advanced life skills.

After completing Advanced Foundations, the sky really is the limit for what you can achieve with your terrier! Check out Terrier Academy Courses!

I need help picking my future companion. Help!

If you are thinking ahead and want to email me general questions about picking a puppy/breed, I am happy to help. I really respect people who research!

I offer limited consultations to really motivated people who have lots of questions and really want face-to-face Q&A session with an expert. These meetings are 45 minutes and are conducted over Zoom. They are not listed anywhere else on this website. If you want to book such a meeting, email me. Common focuses are what breed is going to be the best fit for you, what age of puppy/dog would be best for you, and how to interview breeders based on your needs. I don’t recommend specific breeders because there are many wonderful terrier breeders, and each prospective home will have different needs. I will help you figure out how to find and interview breeders to suit your needs.

Looking for a hard-to-find type of terrier?

Keep in mind that excellent breeders select homes based on which applications seem like the best homes, not based on a lottery or line-up system. Instead of being asked about money right away, the breeder should ask you about yourself. And speaking of money? Rare breeds bred well are rarely cheap. Please remember that breeders who don’t do health testing can put you at risk for seriously expensive challenges. And wait time? Wait time for a puppy should NOT be a deterrant, it is a good sign! At first, you may be told a long wait time. Please keep in mind if the breeder feels you are the right fit, you may not ultimately have to wait as long as you think. Other considerations? Look into why certain breeds are “rare.” Typical breed descriptions aren’t always useful… Check out this article for some extra insight about why breed descriptions aren’t as helpful as another way of learning about a breed.

If you’ve had a rare breed before:

If you’ve had a rare breed before, please also consider that each dog will be different, and if you’ve had smooth experiences before, there will always be that one dog that isn’t as easy as the last several. Many of my behavior clients found me because they were looking forward to retirement with their favorite long-time breed, and ended up with a full-strength working dog. It is really worth considering the worst case scenario on the breed’s spectrum and imagining if it is still the right fit for you where you are in your life, here and now.

Looking for a purebred dog?

If you are looking for a purebred dog, I strongly recommend that you begin by looking at national breed clubs that have active websites with breeder listings that require all listed breeders to be club members in good standing and to sign a clear code of ethics. This is different than any marketplace, no matter what the marketplace is called. Active breed clubs with active websites and code-of-ethics breeder listings are usually non-profit, care about who they list, and often really try to regulate their listings. Keep in mind that a lot goes into dog breeding. Additionally, do not overlook your gut feelings if you are able to visit a breeder’s home – dog breeding facilities shouldn’t look “rough.” Do the breeding dogs live without walls outdoors? Do the puppy or parent areas seem unclean? Also remember, quality breeders of purebred dogs should have you sign a detailed contract. Contacts aren’t just for show dogs – they are also meant to protect the puppy and you!

Looking for a rescue dog?

It is critical not to support absolutely anyone who mistreats animals, or recommends outdated and abusive methods. Not all rescue groups are ethical or kind to dogs. Often we assume this as a given, and sadly, it is not the case. Asking a rescue group or individual how they recommend handling common “behavior challenges” can be telling. A big red flag is recommendation of methods that function to startle, scare, or that employ force on a puppy or dog. Such methods include: holding a puppy firmly against the your body until they stop squirming, stepping on a dog’s leash to force them into a down, spraying water from a spray bottle at a dog, shaking a can of pennies to scare a dog, a person biting(!) a puppy, e-collars, prong collars, choke chains, etc.

Raise a confident, well-adjusted, friendly, wonderful canine citizen.

All aspects are covered to get you on track and enjoying life with your intelligent and hilarious terrier. 

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