Behavior problems start early and animals never stop learning.  We want to convey humane and safe behavior advice as early as possible because it sets the foundation for the rest of your puppies’ life.  The classes as well as private sessions, utilize a very effective form of positive reinforcement training called Clicker Training, which is easy to implement and fun not only for you but for your pet as well.

The puppy classes we offer are a great way to provide proactive, positive socialization in a safe and controlled manner.  All puppies have to abide by the same safety and health requirements in order to participate in the class, thereby removing the concern for risk and infection. 

What does the class cover?

  • Basic training topics such as sit, leave it, loose leash walking, attention, and recall.
  • Proactive socialization-Each class has a theme and puppies are exposed to new things according to that theme.
  • Body Language and safe/appropriate play behavior.
  • Problem prevention discussion topics (play biting, jumping, etc.) and prevention training exercises to help you know how to address and prevent and manage behavior problems.

What does the course include?

  • One hour orientation (for the owners only)
  • Four puppy socialization training classes
  • Puppy Start Right book
  • Puppy Start Right video series

How old do puppies need to be?

  • This class is designed for puppies 7-12 weeks of age but puppies up to 4 ½ months are also eligible to participate in this class.

What do puppies need in order to participate?

  • A recent exam by a vet and a signed health certificate (for non-clients)
  • 1 DAP and 1 Bordetella vaccine 10 days prior to starting class
  • Fecal testing
  • Proactive de-worming
  • Parasite prevention has started (flea, heartworm, tick, intestinal)

If your dog does not qualify for the puppy classes here due to their age or if a group class setting doesn’t fit for your puppy and you’re looking for advice on behavioral issues, our trainer would be happy to work one on one with you and your dog in a private, in-hospital setting. 

*If you’re experiencing aggression, severe anxiety or phobias with your dog, please speak to your veterinarian first before seeking advice from a trainer.

Meet The Trainer!

Stephanie is certified in Low Stress Handling, a Fear Free certified individual and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She graduated from UC, Davis in 2012 with her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology with an emphasis in behavior.  Stephanie received her certificate from the course, Living and Learning with Animals by Dr. Susan Freedman and has also volunteered at the UC Davis Behavior Service.  Due to her extensive background in animal behavior and training, Stephanie has helped develop an Animal Behavior Modification teaching program at Four Corners for the staff as well as the clients.  Her strong ambition to improve animal’s lives through positive training, has made this strength of hers shine through her work at the hospital.


We sat down with a Cynthia, a client of ours who has been working with Stephanie and this is what she has to say:

  1. How did you hear about the behavior sessions?

Cali and I worked with Dr. Becker who knew she was anxious coming in.  She suggested Acepromazine prior to visits which I used for a while.  I also brought her in for just quick visits to the facility without seeing anyone.  This helped, but not enough.  Dr. Becker suggested working with Stephanie.

  1. Why did you decide to sign up?

I wanted Cali comfortable coming to the vet and also realized that if there was an emergency and without her fear lessened, it would impact the care anyone could give her.

  1. What is the biggest improvement you’ve seen in your pet since starting?

She barks when I turn into the office and pulls me to the door.  She is so comfortable walking in and around the facility.  She will let people touch her and do the procedures that are necessary.  We still have the temperature to go, but will eventually get there.

  1. What have you personally learned about yourself and your dog?

Patience is the key.  With time her attitude has changed and I am very happy for it.

  1. How has this changed or improved your relationship with your dog?

She always trusted me and I am glad to see that now transferred to others.

  1. Through what you’ve learned in these sessions, is there any advice you have for other dog owners?

This has been a long process, probably 2 years.  I would say that the majority of people would think it could be solved in fewer than 10 visits but it depends on the dog and the issue.  I would say if you start the program, it will take longer than you initially think and you need to keep going as it will eventually work.  The first time we realized that things had really improved was when Cali had to come in for a visit with Dr. Campbell and Stephanie was not there.  Dr. Campbell’s comment was that Cali reacted like any other dog with what she had to do.  I knew then we were definitely doing the right thing for Cali.


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