for the young puppy in your life

(9 weeks – 18 weeks)

Your puppy’s critical imprinting phase

Did you know that by 2 months of age a puppy should have met 100 different people, walked on 7 different surfaces, eaten out of 7 different containers in 7 different areas, and have begun learning how to be on her own…?

Get the idea? By the time people bring that adorable little fur ball home at 8 weeks, they can already be behind in their social and mental development. The first 4 months are the most important and influential in a dog’s life. This all too short period is what will determine how they’ll do in life (more so than genetics).

Other vital lessons include developing a gentle mouth, acquiring good social skills and getting used to all the different sights and sounds that are part of the world your dog will live in. By the time your pup arrives home at 8 weeks of age, the critical period to learn these is already half over. If you spend time on these while your puppy is still in this phase of development, your puppy will learn these things quite quickly and both of you will have fun doing it. You’ll be setting your puppy up for success by creating a more relaxed adolescent who already has some great skills started. If you don’t spend time on these with your young pup, you definitely will be later. After 5 months of age, repetition will be required for your young dog to learn these things. For some dogs, other learning will be stalled until you complete these lessons.

What's in a hipPUPS class?

Essential Skills and Socialization Class
For pups 9 – 18 weeks of age.

This class is designed to make the most of your young pup’s socializing period.
Every session will include supervised play to help your pup develop a gentle mouth, polite interactions and impulse control. Learn how to safely and effectively socialize, build essential skills and basic manners.

Here are just a few of the things you will learn:

Deal with nipping and housetraining

Help your pup be relaxed with day-to-day handling

Go on walks safely and comfortably

And teach your pup to:

Be calm and polite when interacting with family

Meet people without jumping up

Become skilled and polite when they meet other dogs

Don’t delay! Take advantage of the most influential period in your dog’s life and help your pup learn the things that really matter.

A well-run puppy class is an invaluable part of your puppy’s early learning.


Our small class size assures proper attention is given to each family and the unique needs of each puppy in the class. For those on the shy side, we have separate areas to allow them to gain confidence at their own pace.
Dog Days and hipPUPS use positive methods, proactive management and up-to-date information to educate parents and help create healthy, happy dogs.

Socials are held at various convenient locations on the North Shore.

Sign your puppy up with the North Shore’s Puppy Specialist! 

Can I just do some private training at home instead of a class?

Teaching your puppy to sit and getting help with basic management is important – that’s why they are included in any good puppy class. Your puppy will have the chance to learn and practice vital skills with other pups and people present in a puppy class. They will also get supervised exposure to things that you may not be able to provide in your environment – critical during the early development phase. Play with other puppies and interaction with socially-skilled adult dogs with the benefit of a knowledgeable guide on hand is invaluable for both your puppy and your learning.

We rarely can do as much as we hope to (even with the best of intentions) with our new puppy. Training time needs to focus on these critical lessons during this period. If you have extra time for additional training, great!

Do I need puppy class when I have another dog at home?

Another dog in the home can be very helpful. If you’re lucky, she will be emotionally and socially capable of teaching puppy about boundaries and polite behaviour. However, not all dogs are capable of this and many aren’t always skillful in their lessons. Some prefer not to interact with puppy, or others may be very playful but are incapable of setting boundaries for a puppy appropriately. Either way, your puppy is still only potentially socializing with one dog. To develop good skills young puppies need to interact safely with a variety of dogs – differing in type, size, personality and age – preferably with knowledgeable human supervision.

My puppy gets lots of socializing at the dog park. Is that good enough?

As youngsters, dogs, like humans, need role models to teach them good lessons and help them develop good skills. Typically, dogs are left to play for too long and without proper supervision at dog parks. Inexperienced dogs will learn that other dogs can be scary and that may cause them to become reactive as a means to protect themselves. Other dogs may learn that being rough and ignoring other dogs’ signals to back off is okay and bullies get created. Remember, the learning and experiences that take place during the first 14 weeks of your puppy’s life stay with him a lifetime – good or bad. If something goes wrong in the group, are you confident that the parents standing off on the sidelines can get to their dogs in time to keep your puppy safe? Keep in mind that socializing isn’t a benefit unless it is good socializing at this influential period in your puppy’s life. Also, these experiences are just socializing with dogs – there are still other critical categories of socialization that need to be covered, like humans (tiny, small, medium and large!), sights, sounds and other animals to name a few.

For more information, check out Dog Park 911.

How old does my puppy have to be to come to class?

Puppies are required to be home for 10 days before attending daycare or classes.

What vaccinations does my puppy need for class?

We encourage puppies to get started in our programs and classes as soon as possible to maximize early learning and positive development. Vaccine and immunology research conducted at Purdue University and the University of Colorado indicate that socialization and vaccination should occur simultaneously. Studies also indicate if socialization is delayed until puppy shots are completed, there will be a high risk of behavioural issues. These institutions have conducted puppy classes with pups starting at 9-10 weeks of age for more than 2 decades. We have followed the same protocols for 18 years.

Pups can join classes and socializing programs with one set of vaccines for Parvovirus and Distemper. We do not require Bordetella (Kennel Cough).

hipPUPS prices
Set of 6 Classes $175 and gst
Set of 5 Classes $150 and gst
Drop Ins – $35 and gst per session

Have Questions?

Want To Join A Class?

Getting Ready For Class

Getting ready for the first class

Thanks again for choosing our classes.We want to make your first class as comfortable as possible and help you and your young dog get the most out of it.

Please keep these points in mind:

  • Your dog should be relaxed and comfortable for class. Vet visits, grooming appointments, and any strenuous activity should be saved for another day.
  • Please have your dog in a body harness and a regular collar (buckle or clasp), along with a 4’ or 6’ leash. No retractables please.
  • Bring along a mat or towel for your dog’s resting spot. If you forget, no problem. We can provide one.
  • Before class, feed only a light portion for your dog’s meal. Bring the remaining portion in a non-breakable container to use as rewards. If possible, you can also bring a higher value treat cut up into VERY small pieces (a fraction of the size of the nail on your little finger).
    If your dog is on a raw or fresh diet, you can substitute the remainder of the meal with grain-free or meaty treats.
  • You are also welcome to bring a chew, stuffed Kong or something that your dog enjoys to keep them occupied between exercises.
  • And please remember that every dog is unique. Although your dog may be a social butterfly, not all those in class may be to start. We kindly ask that you keep your dogs separate while you come into the class. They’ll have lots of opportunities to interact during class, if appropriate. To ensure that none of the dogs feel overwhelmed or learn inappropriate social skills we encourage socializing to take place with the trainer present until you learn to supervise their interactions well. Don’t worry, we’ll get you started on that the first class!

Design Your Own Class!

Whether you want to create a class to cater to a specific need, such as a regular hiking group, hold one in your yard, or have it filled with just friends,

Design Your Own is for you!

Contact us for more information.

Our Cancellation Policy

We keep our class sizes small and therefore have the following policy:

– FULL payment due upon registration.

– Refunds ONLY with 5 or more business days notice of cancellation.

–  a processing FEE of $30 applies to any refunds granted.


Thank you for class today as always. We have really enjoyed them …Your classes are hands-down the best puppy classes I’ve been to. 


I am so happy to have ‘found’ you and for the opportunity to benefit from your experience through the hipPUPS class and Dog Days!