Puppy Headstart Online

You must complete both steps above to secure a spot in your desired class.

Join the training team that has been voted Bangor’s Best every year since 2011 and rated as one of the Top 10 Dog Trainers in New England by Best Businesses of America for 2020 through 2022.


Puppy & Rescue Headstart – Online 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. You do not need to have the puppy to take the class. Increasing numbers of our students start the course before bringing their puppy home, so they are ready on the puppy’s first day with them.

You 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 consists of four sessions 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 Thursday 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 below.

Fees & Registration

Your space in class is reserved as soon as you complete our class registration application and contract AND pay the $89 registration fee. 


Please read, complete, and sign the electronic application and contract form at the link below.  Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.

Use this button to register and pay.

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
  • Canine and humans and how they can best communicate
  • How your puppy learns and the most effective way to train him
  • The power of reward-based training and the dangers of punishment 
  • 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, preventing separation anxiety
  • The role of nutrition in physical, mental, and emotional health

Additional Benefits to Class Attendees

  • Puppies 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 $25/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).
  • If you enroll yourself and your puppy in one of our Basic Manners within 90 days of completing Puppy Headstart, you will receive a $30 Green Acres Kennel Shop gift card at your first Basic Manners class.

A Few Words from Don

Don and his dog Tikken on his lap“I originally developed this class in March of 2020 as a response to the COVID pandemic. A puppy has a critical developmental period that starts when we bring them home at 8-weeks of age and ends between 12 and 16 weeks. It is not something that we can put off until a pandemic is over. My goal was to provide people with new puppies with the information they needed and an opportunity to ask questions about how to raise a puppy amid a society in lockdown. 

While this online program is not a complete replacement for in-person classes, it quickly became apparent that it provided a more convenient and efficient method for teaching people about typical puppy issues such as; housetraining, play biting, chewing, jumping on people, canine and human communication, and how a puppy learns. During an in-person Puppy Headstart class, we spend more time teaching people than training the puppy. Hence, an online format is ideal for addressing these topics.

Each online session is composed of four to five sections, and I break for questions at the end of every section of the class and again before the class is over. Being online allows more family members to be part of the class, and they can participate in the comfort of their homes. Also, a video of each class is made available to students who could not attend or needed a refresher. Supplemental written materials are provided as an online PDF file for those who learn best by reading.

When you combine our Puppy Headstart-Online class with our Puppy Daycare program, you and your puppy get a great start on a wonderful life together.” – Don Hanson