Hampton Roads Obedience Training Club

Since 1947

Recommendations For New Pet Owners

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy: The puppy level of Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

The goal of The S.T.A.R Puppy program is to reward responsible dog ownership. By graduating from a 6 week puppy obedience class your new family member will earn a S.T.A.R. Puppy certificate and medal and you will receive the AKC's ongoing monthly email letter which includes training tips and up-to-date information. Best of all, you and your puppy will be off to a lifetime of positive experiences and opportunities to explore many different dog activities.  AKC CGC Responsible Dog Ownership Pledge

If your new pet is a puppy 6 months old or less:

Puppy Kindergarten

This class is for puppies 2 thru 6 months old, a critical socialization period for dogs. Puppies exposed to new sights, sounds, surfaces, and people during this time are more able to handle new situations with confidence for the rest of their lives. In this class we will present puppies with new experiences as well as teach basic puppy manners including "paying attention to you", "sit", "down", "recall", "loose leash walking", "wait" and how to greet people and other dogs appropriately.  A positive reward based approached is used. 

Click here to read more about The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Position Statement on Puppy Socialization.

If your pet is between 7-12 months:

Puppy Elementary School

This class is for dogs 7 thru 12 months of age. This is a time when your previously well mannered puppy may act like he has never heard the word "sit" or been to an obedience class before. It is very important to maintain consistent expectations and continue training during this time. In this class dogs will practice obedience behaviors with a higher level of accuracy and duration. Off leash work will be introduced. The goal will be to have a dog that is a well mannered member of the family and that you can feel comfortable taking anywhere. 


If your pet is 12 months or older or has completed our puppy classes:


Basic Obedience
The Basic Obedience classes are based on simple behaviour modification techniques using a reward system to teach basic behaviours such as sit, down, stand, com heel and an off command to leave things alone and to stay off people and the furniture, etc. With these basic commands and behaviours you can teach the dog the rules of the house, have your dog evaluated for the Canine Good Citizen Test and as a future pet therapy dog. 

It is a good place to start for future adventures in Intermediate Obedience, Competitive Obedience, Rally, Agility, or any other performance event.