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Pet Program classes are taught in small group format and have enrollment sizes of 2-4 client dogs. Each "class" consists of four sessions of 50-60 min each. At the end of each 4 session cycle, clients may choose to renew tuition, test (if ready) or pause enrollment. Readiness to test for an AKC certificate or title is individual to the dog, with some dogs showing readiness  after one or more classes. Below is a list of Pet Program Classes that may be taken with the goal of testing, or simply for with the goal of learning and practicing one or more of the fun and practical skillsets identified below.

If you'd like your dog to learn an AKC skillset or  similar skillset, but live outside of our typical service area or prefer individual instruction, we offer in-person sessions or interactive, individualized videocall work: both of those options are scheduled at an instructor's hourly rate. Some AKC tests may be administered via videocall upon request: please contact us for more information.

Click here for tuition rates and click here to see instructor bios and credentials.


PHD has instructors who are certified through the AKC (American Kennel Club) to teach the curricula below and to administer the official tests. These programs are open to dogs of any breed or to mixed breed dogs. Our 4-session classes  prepare students for the AKC tests, which may be scheduled as an optional additional session, to earn an official AKC certificate OR title. Whether or not students choose to test, the skills learned are practical and fun and the atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable. If you would like to schedule a test, please email PHD for availability and tuition rate.

STAR Puppy

This program is open to dogs up to 1 year old (or approximately 1 year if the exact age is unknown). The instructor will check for necessary vaccines. 

Learning objectives of the STAR Puppy Program include:

  • free of aggression toward people

  • free of aggression toward other puppies

  • tolerates training gear

  • handler can hug or hold puppy

  • allow handler to take away a treat or toy

  • allow petting by someone other than handler

  • allow grooming and touching of ears, feet

  • walk on lead

  • respond to sit and down cues

  • respond to recall cue

  • can stay on leash with a person other than the handler


Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

The CGC skillset is a foundational level of training that prepares a dog for dependable, consistently respectful interactions. Also, CGC is a title that can be earned upon successful completion of the official test (optional): it is recorded in the AKC registry and may be used as a suffix after a dog's name.


Dogs applying for admissions to PHD Helping Dog Programs (such as service dog) must show competency with the CGC skillset. 

Objectives include:

  • accept a friendly stranger

  • sit politely for petting

  • permit grooming and examination

  • walk on loose lead

  • walk through a crowd

  • sit and down on cue, then stay in place

  • recall

  • nonreactivity to other dogs

  • nonreactivity to distractions

  • handle supervised separation without distress

CGC Urban Canine

Info coming soon!

CGC Community Canine

Info coming soon!

Trick Dog

Info coming soon!

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