What is House Party?

We put this course under "crate training" skills because it frankly defies all categories and we had to put it somewhere. You shouldn't think of this as a crate training course though. Instead, you should think of it as a crash course in dog training fundamentals that merely looks like a crate training course.

Sure, this course will teach your pup to love his crate and to go in and out on cue, but it'll also teach him not to run out the front door or jump on strangers. It's also an extremely useful game for training "coming when called" too.

Instead of spending weeks training a bunch of different behaviors to figure out how your pup best learns, you'll spend a couple days playing "House Party." Your dog will grow in his abilities and perhaps more importantly, you'll grow as a trainer.

There's no better way to say it: If you're only going to do one course in Harper, then "House Party" should be that course.

Who Should Enroll in this Course?


This course is for pups of all ages and abilities. You can teach it to 8-week-old puppies as well as 12-year-old dogs. A dog that competes in agility will have as much fun and get as much mental stimulation out of this course as one that doesn't even know how to sit.

Similarly, this course is for beginner to intermediate trainers. It's great for beginners because it is easy to follow but still covers all the essential skills you need as a trainer. And to the intermediates, it offers another unique tool that can be useful for training other behaviors. **For some agility trainers, having a pup trained in House Party is like having a second set of hands.

What Your Pup Will Learn

  • The crate is an awesome place to be
  • A word that means "go to your crate"
  • A word that means "you can leave your crate"
  • Staying in the crate until you release him (no more rushing out as soon as the door is open!)
  • Holding a position even when there are distractions
  • Sitting still while you put his leash on and take it off
  • Most importantly: How to make his own decisions!

What You Will Learn

  • How to let your dog make his own decisions (it's less obvious than it sounds)
  • How to introduce cues the right way
  • How to shape a complex behavior by breaking it into small pieces
  • How to generalize a behavior so it works in any environment from the living room to the dog park
  • How to build desire for training
  • How to build speed into your pup's responses to cues

The Many Valuable Uses for "House Party"

  • Distraction training - It's hard to introduce distractions slowly (how do you slowly introduce a squirrel?) and House Party makes it easier
  • Going to a specific place on cue - You're starting with the crate, but the same methods apply to teaching your pup to go to his bed or wait for you at a specific place in your backyard
  • Not jumping on people - The best way to teach "not" doing something is to teach what one should do instead. House Party gives you a whole barrel of additional things for your pup to do instead.
  • Come when called - Because House Party teaches such a strong stay, it's really useful in getting some distance between you and your pup before you call him
  • Calm your pup down - Your pup is least likely to respond to you when he's at his most excited. A strong House Party gets your pup to make the decision to go into his crate which is a great environment for calming down.
  • Boundaries - The crate teaches your dog there are boundaries and lines you do not cross (unless you're told to). In House Party, that line is the crate door but, in the real world, that line could be the car seat, the front door to your house, or even the door way into the kitchen.

What are you waiting for? Let's get this party started!