Recorded Orientation

Graduation Homework & Certificates

To Graduate S.T.A.R. Puppy

In order to graduate and receive your S.T.A.R. Puppy Certification, you must complete the following items.


Attend SIX Classes 
Hopefully we are able to meet in person again soon, if not I will be tracking website activity for attendance. 

I.D. Tags
Send a message to me telling me which type of I.D. tag (I.D. tag on their collar, microchip, etc.) your puppy has.

Poop Bags
Send a photo of your puppy and their poop bags to me.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Pledge
You can print this out, sign it, and send me a photo of it.

Exercise Plan
Just like the pledge, you can print this out, fill it out, and send me a photo of it.


Once all of these items are completed, I will send you a PDF file of your S.T.A.R. Puppy Certificate. Once we are able to reopen, we can issue printed copies of the certificates and offer official AKC Registration paperwork. 

Kaitie's email:




Not only will you all be working towards your S.T.A.R. Puppy Certificate, but you will have the opportunity to earn THREE other certificates along the way! One goal is great, but three is even better!


Plus, if you pass S.T.A.R. Puppy, you will also be able to register your puppy with AKC and earn an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy medal too! Just look at how cute that puppy is in his AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy medal!


We discussed socialization and how puppies have a short window were it is critical to socialize them to new things so they don't become afraid of them as adults. We will focus A LOT on environmental socialization and preventing fears throughout class. Often times people get hung up on making sure their puppy is well-socialized with other dogs and up overdoing this socialization and end up neglecting environmental socialization. We actaully see far more problems arise with puppies that have been over-socialized with other dogs.

Your goal is to expose them to new things, at a distance where your puppy can still focus on you when requested.  Your puppy should have a neutral or positive experience with the stimulus. Click the photo below to view and print your Puppy Socialization Chart. Please also be sure to read the article, Socialization Beyond the Dog Park.


Freak on a Leash

We learned the dangers and fallout from allowing leash greetings. As a general rule to prevent leash reactivity and other issues, teach your puppy that leashes mean it's time to pay attention to you, not time to scout other dogs to play with. Click the photo to read more about Freak on a Leash.

We also watched a video about Barrier Reactivity and learned how fences, leashes, and even windows are barriers which can evoke barrier reactivity. Click the fence fighting photo to re-watch that video.


Loose Leash Walking

We discussed multiple ways to positively teach our dogs to walk on a loose leash, including humane tools such as the head collar. We also watched a heeling video.

Specifically, we talked about how there are three ways to train our dogs to heel.

  • We can punish them when they get out of heel position
    • Dogs will continue to "test" the boundaries all their lives, so punishment will need to continue in some capacity their whole lives.
  • We can use positive training (use a lot of  luring and click/reward on walks)
    • Dogs will need life-long maintenance because the smells on the ground will always be more rewarding than heeling
  • We can use a tool like a headcollar
    • After tools are initially trained, they are the easiest to maintain


You can begin working on the "Introduction to the Nose Loop" section as shown in the video this week. Click HERE to view and print the full Headcollar Training Plan.

Required Supplies

We talked about the required supplies for class, what we will use them for, and where to find them. Click the photo to see your Required Puppy Supply List.

As a reminder, we require a specific harness for this class, NO EXCEPTIONS (see required supply list for details). Additionally, we do NOT allow harnesses that clip over the shoulders used on the property (due to safety), including PugLife and step in harness, to give a couple examples. Click for details & photos.



We talked about punishment. PLEASE talk to me before introducing an aversive to your puppy. I want to have a conversation with you about it - JUDGEMENT FREE - so that we can discuss the potential fallout and how to minimize it.

Spaying and Neutering



We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of spaying and neutering, but remember if you choose to wait you must do so responsibly.  There are no accidental pregnancies! Click the photo to view AKC's Stance on Spaying and Neutering


Daily exercise is important for both our dog's mental and physical well being. A tired dog is a good dog! Click the photos below for more information on the Importance of Exercise and how to make sure your dog receives Exercise Rain or Shine.



We went over Janesville city ordinances. If you live outside of Janesville, Google your city & Pet Ordinances to review those for your town. We also talked about what to do if your dog gets away from you. Click the photos below to review the Janesville City Ordinances and what to if you have a Lost Dog.




We covered house training and management practices to teach our puppies where to go potty and what is acceptable to chew on. Click the photo to read the article on Housetraining.

Littermate Syndrome


We discussed littermate syndrome and the importance of training our puppies away from any dog housemates they may have. Click the photo to read more about Littermate Syndrome.


Charge the Clicker!


Our dogs don't speak the same language as us, we have to teach them what our words mean.  Clickers are great makers that make it clear to our dogs that they have done something right and a reward is coming.  To teach your dogs what the clicker means, please "charge the clicker" this week.  To do this click and then treat your dog without asking your dog to do anything (repeat 20+ times).

Treat Holding, & Effective Luring

Practice holding a treat as shown in this video and luring your dog.

When you hold the treat as shown in the video, you have TONS of control over your dog's head and it will be FAR easier to get them into the positions you'd like them to be in and to get them to do what you'd like them to do.

Plus, cookie fingers HURT! Getting a puppy tooth in the side of your finger nail is awful! Using the method show in the video will help greatly in that respect.

Kong Recipes


Kongs are great tools for lots of things! They can be used as a fun way to feed your dog, they can be used as a tool when crate-training, and they can be used as a tool when you just need 5 minutes of peace - we've all been there! Click the photo to see TONS of different recipes to try!

Puzzle Feeders

Looking for a way to keep your puppy entertained and busy? Puzzle feeders are a great option! They exercise your puppy's brain which will exhaust them much quicker than physical exercise. Linked below are a few of my favorite puzzle feeders!


Additional Resources

Below are some additional resources for you including Class Rules, a S.T.A.R. Puppy Brochure, a Class Flow Chart, Recommended Reading, and our Online Library.