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Certificate Course: Puppy Kindergarten Classes For the Real World: How to run the world's best off-leash Puppy Classes!

Course Description:
Group puppy classes are the best thing for your community and your business, because they prevent serious behavior problems while developing awesome early relationships between people and excellent trainers. But, to do this, puppy Kindergarten must be so much more than a basic manners course! It must be focused on preparing dogs and people to safely enjoy freedom and choice in a human-centric world, while also cultivating the kinds of exceptional cross-species communication systems that keep those relationships magical.

This course will teach you how to run the best puppy classes in the industry. Your classes will be about teaching great off-leash skills that are reliable even in the nuttiest of circumstances, by facing the chaos of life, instead of avoiding it. We will focus on using off-leash playtime to install bomb proof communication between humans and dogs, preparing them for safety and reliability during group play, and ensuring that the humans know how to enjoy continuing their training adventures. You'll learn the basics of running a Puppy Kindergarten class. Then, we'll dig into the more complicated issues that arise. Demonstration videos will focus on the things that go wrong, and how they can be fixed and prevented, as well as digging into things that come up day to day when running this essential group service.

Our communities are counting on us, as the leaders in our field, to provide exceptional starts for puppies and people. In this course, we will come together to take our most essential service to the next level!

To view the full course syllabus click here

Course Start Date: April 7, 2024-
            End Date: May 4, 2024
Scheduling: This class will run as a live virtual class with discussion and Q&A once each week. The virtual class will be recorded as well. For those who cannot make the live event, it is fine to watch it later. You will have a week to watch the recording if you have to miss the live event, but the sooner you watch it, the more you will benefit from message board discussions. There will be homework on your own required between each class.
The live events will take place at noon EST on the following Tuesdays:
April 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th
. *Live sessions will be recorded and posted to the course.

Instructor: Amanda Gagnon, MSc, CDBC, CPDT-KA
Amanda Gagnon is an anthrozoologist, dog behavior consultant, and dog trainer. She is the founder and training director of Amanda Gagnon Dog Training in New York City, where she directs apprenticeship programs, group classes, private training, shelter programs, and more. She is a sought after speaker for professional dog training organizations, corporations, and non-profit events around the world. Her anthrozoological work focuses on the relationships that develop between dogs and people in different cultures and communities.


Level of Knowledge:
Prior to attending this course, it is assumed that all students:

  • Have a working knowledge of teaching basic manners, understanding canine and human body language, the basics of socialization, and the basics of house training techniques for puppies.
Learning Outcomes:
After completing this course, students can expect to be able to:
  • Complete a full curriculum design for their new or redesigned puppy kindergarten class.
  • Be well-versed in the necessary safety precautions when running a puppy kindergarten classes.
  • Gain confidence in running successful puppy kindergarten classes that are good for both puppies, dogs, and instructors.
  • Develop creative problem-solving skills, based on witnessing and discussing real puppy kindergarten classes.
  • Confidently offer in-person, group puppy classes that work!
What to Expect:
The class will begin by focusing on the logistics of launching and running a class, supplies, curriculum designs (including example curriculum that you can keep and use), and safety considerations.

Following a deep dive into structure and logistics, we will review raw footage of real puppy classes and use key moments to discuss what elements create a great class experience for puppies and people. We will also watch video of things going poorly, and even completely wrong, so that we can learn from other people’s mistakes and prevent mishaps in our own classes. There will be an in-depth focus on off-leash play sessions and socialization procedures that set puppies up for success in our chaotic world.

This class will not focus on how to teach basic cues, house training, and other similar puppy training skills. It is expected that students already have a working knowledge of dog training, and are looking to expand their offerings to include puppy kindergarten or are currently offering a puppy kindergarten but want to improve or expand the experience.

To become an APDT member and get member pricing click here
*Note you have access to the course content for up to one year, certain content you can download to keep in your records.