Early Learning Focus
Early Learning Program Highlights
SURFice Dog Initiative
Service Dog Training
Pet Dog Training
How to Help
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Puppy Prodigies is a
unique program, located in San Diego county. Our program is designed to provide puppies with a long-term advantage at an early age
in an effort to
effect adult behavior tendencies.
In addition, our initiatives can be used for puppies
born at a shelter, or rescued from a dire situation to help counter-balance
their negative experiences. This program can also help reduce the number of pet dogs that
are relinquished to animal shelters for behavior related problems. Our
program works for any puppy, whether in training to be a service dog, rescued
puppies, or litter births at shelters.
Our early learning program is
based on concepts derived from
animal behaviorists, researchers, and experts in the field. We also incorporate our practical
experience in dog training, assistance dog training, and puppy rearing. Our program
integrates early learning and selection screening to identify puppies who
display the potential for assistance work.
When puppies are 49 days they can be temperament tested, and matched according to future endeavors,
or the pet home.
Our approach is multi-faceted:
- We provide a comprehensive early learning
and intervention program which is the first step to a puppy's training
journey. We focus on critical stages of development starting at birth by providing the
puppy with structured exercises and experiences such as early stimulation,
conditioning, imprinting, habituation, socialization, environment enrichment, and training. This early
intervention prepares the puppy for their future roles, and promotes more
successful outcomes. The purpose of our early learning program is to condition
the puppies so they learn to learn! Visit the
Focus page, and the
Program Highlights page for
- We support responsible breeding by
assistance dog organizations, and DO NOT believe anyone should "breed just to
breed". If you cannot dedicate 2 months of your life, 24/7 to the puppies, we
don't believe you should be breeding. But, we know there are people out
there breeding, so we hope this program will at least help the puppies that
are brought into the world... we owe it to them!
- We provide support to assistance dog
organizations, rescues, and shelters to incorporate the early learning that is
fostered at Puppy
Prodigies. It can be built upon throughout the puppy's training journey.
Behavior never remains the same – it’s always changing.
- If a puppy isn't the right fit for a service dog role after
advanced training, we encourage programs to focus on their strengths in an effort to find a
role in which they can still do something meaningful with their lives, or be
the best dog they can be.
The philosophy behind Puppy Prodigies is very simple… we're
passionate about puppy development. Education and training builds futures and
we believe it's a great way to start a young puppy on his journey. We specialize in providing
the education and resources that facilitate early learning which helps puppies prepare
for life long success.
The mission of Puppy
Prodigies is to empowers humans and animals. We build the foundation for future teamwork by providing
puppies with early interventional learning opportunities and environmental
influences at critical stages of development in an effort to positively affect
behavioral tendencies which will ultimately enhance their life, as well as their
human counterpart’s whether the puppy is destined for work, or a rescued pet.
OUR SURFice DOG INITIATIVE
The mission of our SURFice dog initiative is for our dog ambassador, Ricochet to achieve her highest paw'tential by serving in the role of a SURFice dog and assistive aid for people with disabilities, kids with special needs, wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD. The objective is that she act as an ambassador and live a lifestyle of helping others by pawing it forward while raising awareness and funds for human/animal causes. She is the catalyst that motivates and inspires others to focus on the CAN do's in life while letting go of expectations, accepting others for who they are, staying true to themselves, following their heart, and believing anything is possible. Additional information on this initiative can be found on our SURFice dog initiative page.
Our staff is comprised of a very talented team of volunteers.
We are committed to providing the expertise necessary to develop
protocols so puppies can reach their fullest potential.
name is Judy, and I'm the founder of Puppy Prodigies. I've been hanging out with, and training
animals since I was a young girl. I remember, when I was about 8 years
old, teaching my first golden retriever to jump through a "hoop", which was
actually an old bicycle tire (see picture below). About this same time, a dear friend of our
family's found out that her son was hearing impaired. I marched over to their house
holding my dog's leash with one hand, and my jar of pennies with the other...
determined to make a difference. I left the jar with them that day in
hopes they could buy a hearing aid, but in
retrospect, I should've left the dog!
Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and
due to the pain and degenerative nature of my diagnosis, I wasn't able to
partake in many of the extra curricular activities that my friends did.
So, I put my young heart and energy into charitable causes, finding great
fulfillment and realizing I could do more than just save pennies! I
stayed on my volunteer course for many years and finally came upon the
opportunity to combine my love for dogs with my desire to make a difference.
puppy raising for Canine Companions for Independence. Later, I
attended the Assistance Dog Institute's associate degree program, and explored
the work of Bonnie Bergin. After that I volunteered and trained dogs at several service dog organizations which has
given me a well rounded perspective of different techniques for training and
placing dogs within the industry, as well as using this knowledge for rescues. In addition to Puppy Prodigies, I
volunteer for Pawsitive Teams with my own
service dog as part of their goal directed therapy program working with children.
I also have a "change of career" dog from Puppy Prodigies name Ricochet. She is
now a SURFice dog who raises funds & awareness for human/animal causes as part
of Puppy Prodigies. You can learn more about her at
I have a bachelor's degree and my previous corporate life
included a career in healthcare administration/business development. I've also received certificates from San Francisco's Hearing
Dog Program and the Marin Humane Society's Canine Behavior Academy. I'm a
certified professional dog trainer, and know the value of education, so I stay current on
the latest training techniques, and attend many seminars each year taught by
some top professionals in the field of dog training. I stay abreast on the
research of puppy development, which includes interaction with animal behavior
researchers so I can make adaptations to the program as necessary.
But, it's the puppies who have taught me the most!
I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with them and see
first hand what they're capable of. To see the outcome of early
intervention. To observe their young minds developing. To watch them
flourish. To witness the transformation from young puppy to adult dog with
a deep rooted quest to be of service. It's this experience and passion,
coupled with the desire to make a difference and the physical limitations of my
childhood (that turned out to be limitless)... that I started Puppy
Prodigies. The puppies I have worked with have taught me more than
I could ever teach them, and it's my wish that I can share my experiences... and
my puppy love with you!
Me (on the left) at 8 years old teaching my dog to
"jump through a hoop" which was actually an old bicycle tire.
My cat Bailey, also jumping through a hoop!
taught me more than I could ever teach them"
4 1/2 week old puppy learning to "target"
4 1/2 week old puppy learning to "tug"
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