WED-6PM-Puppy & Rescue Headstart-ONLINE Dog Training Class

Our Puppy & Rescue Headstart – Online dog training class is specifically for those people: 1) contemplating getting a puppy or a rescue, 2) getting a puppy or rescue dog, or 3) who already have a puppy or rescue dog. dog trainingYou do not need your new canine friend to take the class. Increasing numbers of our students start the course before bringing their dog home, so they are ready on the first day.

The class is offered on Wednesdays at 6 PM and Saturdays at 9 AM. It runs for four consecutive weeks and the cost is $94. It is an open enrollment class so you can start immediately. The class is held online via ZOOM so interest access is required. We recommend you use a personal computer or tablet for the best viewing experience.

Topics Addressed in Class

The class covers the essential things you need to know to meet your canine companion’s needs. That includes a discussion of canine behavior, emotions, body language, how your dog learns, and the most effective and humane way to teach them. Additionally, we discuss all the typical dog issues you must address, as found in the list below.

  • Socialization and habituation.
  • Housetraining & crates.
  • Play biting & bite inhibition.
  • Chewing & ingestion of inappropriate items.
  • Jumping up on people.
  • Getting you puppy to give up items they shouldn’t have.
  • Teaching your puppy to enjoy being handled.
  • The power of reward-based training.
  • The dangers of punishment-based training.
  • What to do when your puppy misbehaves.
  • Managing the puppy and its environment.
  • Handling for grooming and veterinary exams.
  • Playing with other dogs.
  • Alone training and preventing separation anxiety.
  • The role of nutrition in physical, mental, and emotional health.

The class consists of four sessions, held via ZOOM, each running for 90 minutes to two hours. You may complete the four modules in any order, allowing you to start immediately.

Don Hanson, a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A) accredited by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board, designed and teaches the course. He has been helping people with their pets since 1996. Don is with you in every class and is there to answer your questions about the information presented. He also makes himself available for questions 15 minutes before the class starts and at the end of each class.

The course includes a 100+ page handout as a downloadable PDF file and a copy of Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson (A $30 value).

You may enroll in a Wednesday evening session at 6 PM or a Saturday option at 9 AM. Classes run for four consecutive weeks with open enrollment, allowing you to start as soon as possible.

Your space in class is reserved as soon as you complete the application form and pay the registration fee.


Our goal is for you and your dog to become and remain best friends for life.

Additional Benefits to Class Attendees

  • Puppies under six months of age enrolled in our ONLINE Puppy Headstart class receive a coupon good for one free day of Puppy Daycare, a $25 value. Puppies must be current on required vaccines, and a reservation for daycare is needed. Currently, Puppy Daycare is available on TUE, WED, and THU. You may book additional days of Puppy Daycare if you choose, at a discounted rate of $15/day, up until your puppy is six months of age.
  • Puppy Headstart-Online students receive coupons worth up to $70 on various Green Acres Kennel Shop products and services, a copy of the book Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It (A $30 value)

Green Acres Kennel Shop/ForceFreePets has been voted the Bangor region’s Best Dog Trainer every year since 2011. The program is under the direction of Don Hanson, a Professional Canine Behavior Consultant (PCBC-A) accredited by the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB). Don’s accreditation requires ForceFreePets programs to follow strict ethical guidelines, which you can review at

The ForceFreePets team is committed to the Pet Professional Guilds (PPG) Guiding Principles, which state: “No shock, No prong, No choke and No Pain, No fear, No Force are ever employed in the training, behavior modification, care, or management of any pet. “. ( )

We reserve the right to postpone or reschedule classes for the following reasons:

  • Inclement weather.
  • Instructor or facility availability.
  • Public health emergencies.
  • Other unforeseen circumstances.


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