Paws and Affection Training Philosophy
- We believe puppies raised with love, rewards, respect, and socialization make the happiest dogs.
- We are more effective when we build a strong bond and ASK them to do things rather than TELL.
- We take full responsibility for anything our dogs do that wasn’t what we wanted.
- If our dog doesn’t respond to what we are asking, it is our responsibility to ask differently.
- Our dogs are living creatures with their own thoughts and preferences.
- We give our dogs control over their bodies and actions resulting in more confident dogs.
Here is what we know...
- Getting a dog is wonderful!
- It is amazing and fun to welcome a furry family member who wants to spend time with you.
- Dogs love you unconditionally, forgive you for all your mistakes, and never hold a grudge.
- The greatness of your new dog is something every member of the family can agree on.
- We also know it’s hard.
- Having a dog is an added responsibility to your already full plate.
- When things go wrong it has to be dealt with right now. It can’t wait. These dramatic moments can be disruptive to what is already a stressful life.
We can help.
Training puppies ages 8 weeks to 2 years is our specialty! For our service dogs we start with the basics of house training, basic manners, and relationship building. We want to share our knowledge, expertise, and techniques with you!
We designed classes to meet your current needs.
- We teach YOU how to teach your dog what to do.
- We teach you to talk to your dog using comfortable conversation.
- We are not trying to make you a professional dog trainer.
- We help you cultivate a great relationship with your dog.
- We help you integrate your dog into your family.
These courses are for you if:
- You have recently welcomed a puppy into your family and you need some help.
- You are feeling overwhelmed by a young new furry creature to care for and educate.
- You have a new puppy you haven’t had the time to connect with and teach how to live in your home.
- You have been trying to solve new puppy challenges, but haven’t been successful.
What results can you expect?
- A stronger relationship with your dog.
- A clearer understanding of what makes your dog happy.
- A more confident dog that can make good choices.
- A dog that understands what your expectations are and how to meet them.
Why choose us as your training resource?
Paws and Affection brings 8 week old puppies into the program to train for a future as service dogs so the age bracket of your dog is one we are VERY familiar with. Despite their future role, our dogs start out the same way as your pet does - with the basics. We start with house training, basic manners, and relationship building. We believe puppies raised with love, rewards, respect, and socialization make the happiest dogs.
Paws and Affection was founded by two certified dog trainers who built the training program into what it is today. One of those trainers, Executive Director Laura O'Kane, will be your trainer for this course. In addition to her college degree in Management, Laura is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and also completed the Teach the Teacher Course at Canine Assistants in Atlanta, GA. Prior to starting P&A, Laura spent time in the classroom assisting in the training of in-home pets in basic obedience and manners. As the founder of P&A, Laura has been involved in every aspect of the training of all 21 puppies that have come into the Paws and Affection family since 2014 and still feels as passionate about her role as she did on day one.
- Each of the online courses has 6 themes. Work as a family or individually - your dog will always be eager to participate!
- Each theme has a video and a handout explaining the topic both verbally and visually.
- Each theme has a homework sheet so you can hold yourself accountable and measure your progress.
- You can watch the videos as many times as you like and the handouts can be viewed online or downloaded and printed.
- Our training staff is available for scheduled one-on-one virtual appointments to answer your questions, share new training nuggets, and give you an opportunity to show off!
- You can email questions or share successes anytime!
Levels and Pricing
Note: You do not have to have taken the Beginner Course to sign up for the Advanced Course.
Pet Dog Teaching Beginner Course
Take our 6 theme course teaching YOU how to train your dog! Learn all about the importance of the bond, how to crate train, how to work on jumping and nipping, how to teach puppy basics like sit and wait, and more! Upon registration you will have access to all six themes. You can work on them at your own pace. Our training staff is also available for scheduled one-on-one virtual appointments.
Pet Dog Teaching Advanced Course
Take our 6 theme course taking you and your dog to the next level! Learn about exercise and enrichment, going for a walk, calling your dog to you, settling, grooming, how to teach impulse control, and more! Upon registration you will have access to all six themes. You can work on them at your own pace. Our training staff is also available for scheduled one-on-one virtual appointments.
Curriculum - Beginner
Having a new puppy is fun, but it never hurts to learn new things along the way. Enroll in our Beginner Course to start building your relationship, learn about potty training, work on jumping and nipping, and more.
Theme 1 - Bonding and building your relationship
A strong relationship is the key to success. Once you have a dog that cares about you and knows you care about him/her anything is possible!
- Learn how to share a snack with your dog.
- Learn how to get your dog to focus on you.
- Learn how to get your dog to copy you rather than always telling him what to do.
Puppy Products and Supplies
Let us show and tell you all our favorite must haves and must NOT haves for your dog!
Theme 2 - Potty Training / Crate Training
In order for a dog to live in your house without you losing your mind, s/he has to learn to go potty outside - it’s a deal breaker.
- Learn how to be consistent, proactive, and patient while teaching your dog to potty outside.
- Learn how to reward your dog when s/he goes potty outside.
- Learn how to prevent accidents and stay calm when they inevitably happen anyway.
- Learn how to help your dog love the crate so it is a happy place and an effective tool.
Theme 3 - Puppy Nipping
Puppies don’t have thumbs so they explore the world with their mouths. It is how they learn and gather information. However, their teeth are razor sharp and it hurts when they try to learn about you with those little needle teeth.
- Learn how to teach your dog to bite appropriate items and not humans.
- Learn how to teach your dog to "Trade" with you.
- Learn how to teach your dog what “Gentle” and “Ouch” mean.
- Learn how to teach your family members (especially little ones) how to prevent your dog from biting them.
Theme 4 - Puppy Jumping / Puppies and Kids
Jumping is a rude behavior and can become a bad habit. No matter the breed, it is not something you want and can even be dangerous with larger dogs.
- Learn how to meet your dogs where they are and give them what they need.
- Learn how to manage your dog’s jumping when people come over.
- Learn how to use your management tools to set your dog up for success and prevent jumping rather than addressing it after the fact.
Whether or not you have children, your pup is going to meet some in his/her life and you both need to know how to act around them.
- Learn what kids should and shouldn't do around your pup.
- Learn how to mediate excited children when they see your puppy.
- Learn different games both you and your children can play with your dog like "Find It!", "Dog Pong", and "Hide and Seek".
Theme 5 - Puppy Basics
Everyone wants to know how to teach their dog all the basics and this is where you learn them!
- Learn the basics behind the basics. What you need to know before your first training session!
- Learn how to teach new tasks by marking and rewarding.
- Learn how to understand what motivates your dog. Learn the difference and the value of food rewards vs. real life rewards.
- Learn how to teach your dog to problem solve.
- Learn the basic skills of sit, down, touch, and wait.
Theme 6 - Socialization
New puppies need to experience the world in a positive and happy way so they don’t show signs of fear later. They need to know from the very beginning that you are there for them and you want their lives to be filled with joy.
- Learn what exposures are important and what to do when things are scary.
- Learn how to show your dog new things in a positive way.
- Learn how to build confidence in your dog and give him/her choices.
- Learn how to introduce them to household objects, new people, and other animals.
- Learn what dog play should look like and how to keep it from escalating.
Curriculum - Advanced
Whether you have a brand new puppy in your mix or an older one, our Advanced Course might be just what you need to take your relationship and training skills up a notch. Learn about the benefits of exercise and enrichment, walking together, calling your dog to you, grooming, and more!
Theme 7 - Exercise and Enrichment
We always say a tired dog is a good dog and we think you will agree.
- Learn fun games you can play with your dog that will stimulate and tire both his body and his brain.
- Learn how to understand what your dog’s play preferences are so you can enjoy playing together.
- Learn how to use your dog's desire to sniff and chew to keep his brain busy.
Theme 8 - Walking on leash
One of the most fun things you can do with your dog is go for a walk. It gets you outside breathing the fresh air, moving your bodies through space and time, and it is a HUGE relationship builder! But it’s only fun if you are both enjoying it.
- Learn how to put on your dog’s gear so you are set up for success.
- Learn how to get your dog to choose to walk beside you rather than pulling or putting on the brakes.
- Learn how to teach your dog not to jump on others they see on your walk.
Theme 9 - Recall
You want your dog to come to you when you call him, but maybe he isn’t doing it. There are lots of ways to teach your dog that coming to you is the best decision s/he could possibly make.
- Learn how to teach your dog that coming to you has BIG payoffs!
- Learn the difference between calling your dog with his name vs. an actual cue.
- Learn how to get your dog more comfortable with you touching his/her collar and putting on his/her leash.
- Learn how to teach your dog a special word that is for emergencies only.
Theme 10 - Let's just chill
As much fun as it is to play with your dog, sometimes you need him/her to just settle in and lie down. This might be with you on the floor or on the furniture, but it also might be independently in his/her own space.
- Learn how to teach your dog to go lie down on his/her mat and have some “me” time.
- Learn how to teach your dog that being out of the way, but still part of the action, is very rewarding.
- Learn how to teach your pup to "stay".
Theme 11 - Grooming
Regardless of the type of hair your dog has, grooming is important to his/her health and it’s also a great bonding exercise!
- Learn how to use your tools without causing fear or worry in your dog.
- Learn how to make your dog more comfortable with getting brushed, bathed, and nail trimming.
- Learn the importance of handling your dog regularly to ensure good health, successful vet and groomer visits, and clean paws after the rain.
Theme 12 - Impulse Control
Teaching our dogs that having nice manners and the ability to wait or ask nicely for the things they want is a very valuable skill. Waiting is hard, but it’s important.
- Learn how to teach your dog to wait for things through real life practice.
- Learn how to use play as a way to teach impulse control without treats.
Puppy Prep School
If you are interested in a more extensive training program for your pup and live in the Philadelphia area, check out our Puppy Prep School Program! In this program, you drop your puppy off with us every day for him/her to learn and play with our team. We will also hold lessons once a week for you and your family.Learn More Here!