Puppy and Training Classes



Our Puppy Preschool program is filled with fun interactive exercises, teaching the foundations for engagement through positive reinforcement learning theory with marker training.
We aim to embrace puppies’ natural curiosity and energy, teaching them ‘how to learn’, while setting the stage for their willingness towards obedience as they mature.

Puppy Kindergarten targets this most important development period as a critical time to gently introduce your puppy to everything it will be exposed to in its life with you and your family. It is a key period to instill a calm focused demeanor in your pup. It is a short window of opportunity to naturally socialize your puppy, to develop self confidence and avoid the many fear and anxiety-related disorders common in adult dogs that have not been properly exposed to other dogs, people, places, or things.

We will teach you to learn about your puppy’s play style and help to shape that into healthy interactions. Our trainers will teach you quick interactive exercises that correspond with the puppy’s short attention span and can easily fit into your busy schedule. If you are interested in at home one-on-one instruction for your new pup, please head to our Private Classes page.

Puppy In-Home Starter Program: Age 8-12 weeks (2-3 months)
This program is available online through zoom, or through private visits at home by one of our experienced puppy instructors. Our focus will be on family bonding, physical handling, establishing a daily routine including settling and housetraining. We will begin preschool engagement and ‘learning how to learn’ exercises. Our extensive consulting sets you up for success through prevention and management of unwanted behaviors, and positive reinforcement of desired behaviors. Individual issues can be quickly and effectively addressed in this format. Our instructors are using the latest positive reinforcement training techniques to balance nature with nurture for a calm confident puppy.

Puppy Kindergarten: Age 12-16 weeks (3-4 months)
Led by two of our experienced puppy instructors, we will introduce puppy engagement and focused work in small group classes. Included are calming and settling exercises, puppy leash walking, and preparation for grooming. We will continue to shape behaviour through prevention and management of unwanted behaviors, and positive reinforcement of desired behaviors. We will introduce games including leave-it, drop-it, and retrieval, along with pre tracking and search exercises! We will encourage the puppy to be neutral to environmental stimuli by developing engagement and the handler /pup relationship.
Puppy In-Home Starter Program or equivalent private sessions until puppy is ready to join the group class.

Puppy Level 1: Age 16-20 weeks (4-5 months)
Led by one of our experienced puppy instructors, we will continue with puppy engagement and focus work in small group classes. We will enhance on calming and settling, junior leash walking, greetings, manners, recall and grooming. We will continue shaping behaviour through prevention and management of unwanted behaviors, and positive reinforcement of desired behaviors. We introduce advanced qualities to the leave-it, drop-it, and retrieval games, along with tracking and search exercises. We will further develop engagement and strengthen the handler /pup relationship as it gains confidence in the ability to be non-reactive to environmental stimuli, leading to a well socialized puppy!
Prerequisite: Puppy Kindergarten or equivalent private sessions until puppy is ready to join the group class.



At K9 Leadership, students follow our Dog Leadership Training Program, by beginning at Level I, and working to Level 3 if desired. After graduating from Level 1 you may choose to move on to more advanced training programs such as Level II Intermediate Boot Camp and Level III Advanced Boot Camp. Other complimenting courses like tracking, followed by search and rescue are also available.


Following is a basic break-down of our Dog Leadership Training Program:


Here we begin with the basics of leadership training which focuses on you, the leader, providing your dog with a new language, instilling security and a calm confidence in your communications with him through positive reinforcement marker training. We educate you about the unique language of dogs, and how to read what your dog is saying. Level I is an indoor or outdoor class on the North Shore.

In Level I we focus on real-world scenarios so that students may take their education out of the classroom and into their lives. Here of course, students are acquainted with the introduction to basic cues: sit, down, stand, wait, heel, recall, greeting (“go say hello”), this way, and behavior modification techniques. We focus on connection through leash walking with innovative positive reinforcement marker training techniques.

General Info:

Course length is 6 weeks consisting of 6 evening classes, 1.5 hours in length, plus one theory/orientation evening without dogs. Maximum attendance is 6 dogs per instructor — an intimate number so that all pairs of paws get the adequate learning attention they deserve (this includes you, too!)



Otherwise known as ‘Intermediate Boot Camp’, this is where you will generalize your Level 1 training to real life settings and situations in urban environments and parks. You will expand your dog’s attention and connections to you at greater distances with increasing distractions. Our goal is to create confident handlers with dogs who are welcome in public areas.

Evolve your basic commands:

. Introduction of new verbal commands
. Basics of commands at a distance
. Transitioning from one command to another in ‘drills’
. Advanced heeling techniques
. Advanced greeting exercises
. Generalized recall with distractions

Intermediate Boot Camp is ongoing and can be maintained or improved upon over time. Students must be approved to graduate to Level III.

General Info:

Course length is 6 weeks (excluding civic holidays) consisting of 6 Saturday afternoon classes, 1.5 hours in length. Maximum attendance is 6 dogs per instructor – an intimate number so that all pairs of paws get the adequate learning they deserve (this includes you too!)



Level III ‘Advanced Boot Camp’ is a demanding dog training class that is executed primarily for off leash training. It is a course for those looking for a higher degree of focused attention and responsiveness from their dog. The focus of Level III is to deepen the student’s understanding of training concepts and the human/dog bond with higher levels of reward events for greater actions achieved by the dog.k9_jumpingmastiffdark-14

Explore new territory:

. Commands at a distance
. Off-leash heeling drills
. Recall from distractions
. Stop or drop upon recall
. Advanced greetings
. Distraction training





Targeting is one of the foundation skills for all training. It can help build focus, engagement, confidence, and is the start of many basic and advanced obedience skills. With a target skill you can help reduce frustration in your training while giving your dog a fun way to interact with you and the environment.

This class will have a fun mix or both practical skills and tricks. We will teach dogs to target with both the nose and paws. In this course we will cover skills such as hand targeting; which can be turned into a fun game, the start of recall practice, polite greetings, and moving your dog without frustration. We will also learn to target items such as a bed, and other unique objects. Paw targeting can help with many skills such as lifting your dog’s feet without added pressure, closing doors or pushing in chairs, and standing on objects (start of heel position) and is great for nervous dogs to learn to interact with their environment on their terms.

Overall, having solid target skills can help you move and position your dogs with precision, getting you from point A to point B with ease. It can help nervous dogs get comfortable near unknown or scary objects, it can help over excited dogs greet politely, and it can help you redirect and interact with over stimulated dogs.
A target skill can be worked into fun games as well as having many practical uses. A foundation built on targeting skills is an excellent and fun way to start your obedience adventures!


Students who are enrolled in our Puppy Program / Dog Leadership Program / or Privates are invited to join our Group Walks with Instructor David Wagner. The purpose is to put into practice what we have learned, while having fun with our dogs and camaraderie with others who are working on the same issues.
During the walk the group will practice the Active Walk, Easy Walk and Heeling, work on redirections, reactivity, distractions, greetings, and address any other issues that may present along the way.

The walk lasts 1-1 ½ hours – usually along North Shore sites that are safe and provide ample distance from traffic.
Evening Pack Walks April to October
Daytime Pack Walks November to March



Urban agility, what we have named “Barkour”, introduces activities like jumping, balancing, moving over, through, under, and around objects in the natural and built environment. It is a fun way to build relationship with your dog, give your dog conditioning exercises that go beyond the simple walk, refocus your dog’s attention and energy in stressful situations, and challenge your dog’s mind and build his confidence. It adapts moves from agility and adds some new moves to make every walk an adventure.


You will need:
Your dog should have a harness with a ring on the back and a 4-6 foot leash, and you should bring lots of high value treats.

Topics and activities include:

Gear and safety
Conditioning exercises
Spin right, spin left
Two feet up on an obstacle
Four feet up on an obstacle (jump up)
Balance two feet on wobble board or moving obstacle
Back up on the flat
Walk along a low wall or other obstacle
Go through – pass between two obstacles that are just greater than the width of the dog
Go under – pass under an obstacle that is the height of the dog
Go around – move around an obstacle to the right or left
Jump over an obstacle (less than shoulder height of the dog)
Rebound off a board of up to 45 degree angle


This builds on Level I by:

Introducing different types of obstacles and surfaces
Working off leash if appropriate
Working at a greater distance than the length of the leash
Combining moves to create sequences
Increasing difficulty of moves:
Two feet up on an obstacle that moves slightly
Four feet up on an obstacle (jump up) – wait while handler moves around the obstacle
Balance four feet on wobble board or moving obstacle
Back up on an incline or up stairs
Walk along a low wall or other obstacle – increase/decrease height and width
Go through – pass between two obstacles that are the width of the dog or may be a passage or tunnel
Go under – pass under an obstacle that is lower than shoulder height of the dog
Go around – move around an obstacle to the right or left from a distance, in a figure eight
Jump over an obstacle (up to shoulder height of the dog)
Rebound off different surfaces, greater angles

Examples can be seen HERE.



This course will enhance the relationship between you and your dog, even before you cue the dog into action.  All training starts with engagement.  This means willing participation from your dog.  If we don’t have that, we cannot start training.  

Creating engagement can begin simply by giving food as the reward for a specific action.  I teach how to move your body in ways to ignite your dog’s interest, along with effective presentation and delivery of food to your dog- making it a reward event, and finally the transition to toys as the reward.  

It’s all about timing with marker training.  I will teach you to mark and reward engagement through distractions so your dog will learn to focus on you while becoming at ease and more neutral to its environment.  This course will enrich your relationship and build a foundation for high engagement obedience.


Establish an easier, more rewarding life with your dog.
Follow the Feel will build trust and communication through the leash and methods of touch which along with engagement are fundamental in helping you to realize the potential in your relationship with your dog for the years to come.
Don’t miss this fundamental building block!


The first step to becoming a qualified Service Dog is good manners.  This means polite social behavior.  Ellie will teach you what that means for a dog, and how to develop it while sharpening obedience.  Your ability as a handler and the aptitude of your dog will be important factors in determining the directions available to you in the future, such as passing the Canine Good Neighbour Test or training as a Therapy dog. Our goal is to provide the foundation for future success in these areas, while strengthening your relationship with your dog.
Prerequisite: Dog Leadership Level 1 & 2 or equivalent


Would you like your dog to have impressive obedience skills and engagement with you but your schedule does not allow for classes? Or perhaps you would like your dog ‘trained’ but there is just no time to do the training yourself? Go one on one with Ellie.