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K9 Academy - Operation Socialization

Get your pup started on the right paw.

A new way to train your puppy! With goal-based self-contained lessons, you can jump into a class at any time and not miss ANYTHING. Each week’s activities are built around problem solving a real-life situation—like polite behavior around guests or a successful neighborhood walk or part outing—keeping you engaged and makes learning basic manners a blast.

Operation Socialization at a Glance

Check out the Curriculum


Operation Socialization

Setting up your Pup for SUCCESS.

Lifelong Goals

This class is based on life-long goals for students.  The class is intended to help students:

  1. Build effective relationships with their dogs based on effective interspecies communication, thus: increasing the bonds between owners and their dogs; avoiding the rise of unwanted behaviors and the use of punishment due to human misunderstanding of the needs, desires, and intentions of dogs; avoiding the rise or reinforcement of unwanted behaviors due to poor human to dog communication

  2. Choose a positive, problem solving approach when faced with new challenges or situations over their dog’s lifetime 

Happy Pup
Three Big Puppies

Course Goals

To support the Life-Long Goals, every detail of this course is built around achieving the following course goals. 

By the end of this course, students will:

How Dogs Learn

Understand how dogs learn by association (classical conditioning) and consequence (operant conditioning), and the implications of these learning modes for training and living with dogs.

Fear and Aggression Prevention

Understand the importance of bite inhibition and socialization in preventing aggression. Be able to provide positive social experiences for their puppies and install bite inhibition.

Basic Needs

Understand the basic physical and mental stimulation needs of dogs and how to provide for them.

Behavior Management

Understand the importance of and be able to implement management strategies to prevent unwanted puppy behavior.

Reinforcement & Motivation

Understand what is reinforcing for their puppy and be able to use this knowledge to effect positive training outcomes.

Handling and Focus

Be able to achieve and maintain control of puppy through safe, positive leash handling and positive methods of focusing puppy’s attention.

Situational Awareness

Understand the importance of and learn to always be aware of one’s surroundings and be ready to respond proactively as needed to keep dogs and humans safe and comfortable.

Work at the Dog’s Level

Understand the importance of and be able to set reasonable expectations for and assess puppy’s behavior and progress based on one’s own skills, the pup’s experience, and the surrounding situation.  (Criteria setting, proofing, and rate are built into the exercises designed to teach this goal.)

Say Please

Understand and be able to use the Say Please Policy to train and reinforce their puppy in real life situations. (You can teach this akin to Nothing for Free, Some Things for Free, or whatever version of this concept you prefer.)

Problem Solving

Be able to apply class learning to problem solve positive approaches to real life situations.

Classroom Environment Goals

In order to create a space in which students can achieve the course goals, this course is organized to meet the following Classroom Environment Goals: 


Offers opportunities that foster the supportive sharing of ideas.

Comfortable & Safe Learning

Encourages creativity and experimentation by placing an emphasis on students’ progress rather than dogs’ performance success.

Real World Context

Provides ample opportunities and real-life contexts for practice and problem solving that can be applied to real life situations.

Calm & Focused Learning

Provides a calm and focused learning environment by making classroom management and handling & focus techniques an integral part of the curriculum. The goal is to create a truly calm space rather than simply managing problems.

Puppy on the Beach

Frequently Asked Questions

The Answers You Need

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment means that dogs and their people can start at any point in the class. Say you a class has started and two weeks into that class you decide to register, but the class only has 4 sessions left. With open enrollment you don’t have to wait! Simply join the already-in-progress class. 

In open enrollment, all students attend six weeks in a row after an initial group or one-on-one orientation .But some may start with session one, others in session 2, still others in session 5, and so on. If your start class in session 3 you and your dog will attend sessions 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2.

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