Fear-Free, Force-Free

Puppy Head Start

Puppyhood does not last long, and it’s the most important development period in a dog’s life. Our Puppy Head Start program sets your puppy up for a thriving adolescence and well-adjusted adulthood here in the District.

What Is Puppy Head Start?

Led by our Puppy Specialist and our team of certified dog trainers, our Puppy Head Start program consists of two 6-week sessions. This is a drop-and-train style class (meaning you drop your puppy off with us) that takes place each Tuesday and Thursday at our Columbia Heights location.

Puppy Head Start is all about teaching dogs how to learn, play with others, be independent, and recognize that new things are good. We do this in a way that is purely positive and force free for each puppy.

Our Puppy Head Start classes are extremely small, based on individual attention, and focus on the mental, physical, and emotional needs of each puppy. We also set goals and create lesson plans for each puppy based on your lifestyle and future with the puppy.

We support you, the puppy parent(s). Getting a new puppy and integrating them successfully into your household is an enormous commitment and a lot of work. We’ll help you, support you, and serve as a resource throughout your journey.

Meet The Team
View Our Curriculum

Puppy Head Start Curriculum

Healthy, well-behaved, and well-mannered puppies through socialization, training, and parental support.


Our Puppy Head Start program operates on a 6-week cycle and consists of two parts:

  • Part 1: If your puppy is between 8 and 11 weeks of age at the start of the class, they should enroll in Part 1.
  • Part 2: If your puppy will be between 12 to 16 weeks, they should enroll in Part 2.

Each day of Part 1 has play time, nap time, training skills, active and passive socialization, grooming skills, and introductions to new dogs and people. In Part 2, each day includes play time, nap time, novel events, passive socialization, training skills, grooming skills, and walks.

Active socialization includes objects and events that need a careful introduction, such as a blow dryer, thunderstorms, or an opening umbrella.

Once the puppy completes both classes of Puppy Head Start, they should be able to thrive in an urban environment, a group setting, a full grooming session, and have a foundation for basic manners training. They will also receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of each 6-week cycle.

Enroll Now

Puppy Head Start Schedule

Each session operates on a 6-week cycle. The class will take place at the Columbia Heights location (3303 11th St NW) on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a total of 12 classes. Attendance on Tuesday and Thursday is mandatory, and no refunds or credits will be given for missed classes.

The program has a morning and afternoon class which is determined by the age of the puppy.

Part 1 (Puppies 8-11 Weeks of Age):
8:30am to 11:30am, with 8:00am-8:30am drop off and 11:30am to 12:00pm pick up.

Part 2 (Puppies 12-16 Weeks of Age):
2:00pm to 5:00pm, with 1:30pm-2:00pm drop off and 5:00pm-5:30pm pick up.


Ready To Start?

Pricing: $840 (6-week cycle)


  • Age: At least 8 weeks old at the start of the class. No older than 16 weeks.
  • Vaccinations (Minimum): 1st round of Distemper, Parvovirus, Bordetella
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Meet Our Trainers

What Makes Us Special?

No Shock, No Prong, No Choke

All of our trainers are Pet Professional Guild members and adhere to its guiding principles: respect, do no harm, do good, act fairly.

Fear, Force &
Pain Free

Our code of ethics is based on a least intrusive, minimally aversive effective behavior intervention policy.


The knowledge and skill of our trainers is independently certified by the leading certification programs in the industry.


Easily combine with our other services for a comprehensive approach to care for your pup.

Simple Flat Rate Pricing

Clear, easy-to-understand pricing.