Give Your Puppy

A Pawsitive Start

At Pooch Pawsitive, puppies are our wheelhouse.

We know how overwhelming puppies can be. One minute you’re misty eyed as they fall asleep in your lap; the next you’re losing it as they zoom around the living room with your favorite socks.

The key to puppy survival? Don’t wait. Make puppy training your first step towards the happy and well-behaved adult dog you’ve always wanted.

Pooch Pawsitive will help demystify puppy raising, and provide a range of learning and socialization opportunities as your puppy grows.

Let’s make puppy raising a breeze!

 Our favorite part of the program was “meeting others and seeing that we were not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the puppy stage.” Jessic C. and Dodie

Puppy programs

We have convenient packages to get your pup off to a fast start!

Puppy Jumpstart Workshop

This workshop is for human attendees only, allowing you to focus and learn without distractions. We encourage you to get ahead of the game by attending before your puppy arrives!

Our 1.5-hour Puppy Jumpstart Workshop is the perfect place to start. In this group session, you’ll learn about:

  • Tackling Puppy Nipping, Biting, and Chewing: Learn how to redirect your pup’s behavior towards appropriate chewing and play.
  • Crate Training and Potty Schedule: Say goodbye to accidents with effective housetraining techniques and create a potty schedule that works.
  • Safe Socialization: Get insights into safely introducing your pup to the world and other dogs.
  • Q&A Session: We’re here to answer all your questions and provide expert advice.


Cost: $25 per family

Advance registration is required.

Our class options (Click class title to go to registration)

Puppy Socials

Puppy Social playgroups are tailor-made to help your pup thrive during this critical socialization period. Whatever happens to them during this period (good or bad) will shape their future outlook on life.  At Puppy Socials, your pup will meet other pups and their families and go home a bit tired!

Puppies are separated into age, size, playstyle and experience and are closely supervised by our trainers for a safe socialization experience.  They will learn how to use their mouth appropriately in play, while you learn what normal play looks like and how to redirect it when needed.

Puppies should start attending between 8 and 12 weeks of age, even before completing all their shots. If you are being told not to socialize your puppy until they have had ALL their shots, see our FAQs below.

To participate, bring written proof of at least one DHPP/DA2P shot and a negative fecal test from your own veterinarian (not the breeder or rescue group).

Read the AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization. 

Cost: $10 per visit

Advance registration is required.

Our class options (Click class title to go to registration)

Puppy Kindergarten Class

We love getting puppies off to a Pawsitive start! Join us to teach your puppy to pay attention, walk nicely on a leash, lay down, stay and wait, come when called, and be polite when meeting new people.

Puppies should be between 8 and 12 weeks to start and have 1 DHPP/DA2P shot and a negative fecal test. Puppy Kindergarten includes an Orientation session (for humans only) and 6 lessons with your pup.

When: Classes are open enrollment so you can start right away. Lessons are standalone modules, and you can take them in any order. If you miss a class, you can make it up whenever it’s available on the schedule.

Cost: $295 (orientation + 6 lessons)

Register for the Puppy Kindergarten Training Package and then use your “credits” to sign up for orientation and the 6 lessons. Advance registration is required.

Puppy Academy

To take the stress out of puppy raising, we offer the Puppy Academy for pups up to 24 weeks of age. This half or full-day program provides safe socialization experiences to novel items and experiences, helping your puppy cope in the real world. Alongside naps and chew time, puppies learn to take treats nicely, share toys and water bowls and ask for attention politely. They also build their social skills alongside puppies of a similar age and size.

Puppies should have been at your home for 1-2 weeks before attending our Puppy Academy.  Puppies must attend a Puppy Social first so we can assess their suitability. Puppies between 10 and 24 weeks of age are eligible for this program.

Advance registration is required.

To register for the Puppy Academy, please email us at and tell us your name, dog’s name, age, breed and phone number and we will contact you about next step in the registration process.


Want to see what goes on at Puppy Socials?

Watch this segment that appeared on WPRI TV’s Rhode Show program.

Keep training with us!

 for options beyond our puppy programs.

Got questions? Check out our FAQs!

When should I start training my puppy?

Now!  Puppies develop rapidly, leaving you with a short window to instill lifelong learning. In our experience, the more effort you put in at the beginning, the more success you’ll have long term. That’s why we offer a range of programs and services to facilitate every aspect of puppy raising – including socialization, life skills, basic manners, handling and confidence building.

Yes!  All puppies must have written proof from their own vet (not the rescue or breeder) of a negative fecal test for Giardia and Coccidia. Puppies should have at least one DAPP/DA2P shot to participate in any group activity. For detailed discussion on our vaccination requirements, please read Important Vaccination Requirements.

No. The crucial socialization window for puppies is up to 16 weeks of age. Based on the recommendation of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists, we suggest that puppies start with group socialization and training as young as 8-9 weeks old (before they have finished their vaccination series). If you are getting conflicting recommendations, please share this article with your dog’s healthcare provider.

Open Enrollment is a flexible way of teaching classes that gets you started faster!

Each Lesson is an independent module/topic and does not have to be taken sequentially. Once you’ve attended Orientation, you can then jump into the lessons. The goal is for you to take the 6 lessons in any order, on any day that it is offered. If you need to skip a lesson (think vacation, soccer game, illness) then you can take that lesson at any other time it shows up in the lesson schedule.  We just ask that you register for each lesson so that we know you are coming!  We’ll go over all this at Orientation!

Advancements in psychology, animal learning, and training have shown that we can get our dog’s full cooperation by rewarding behavior we like and ignoring, or redirecting, behavior we don’t like. Reward-based training techniques strengthen our bond with our dogs and also help them to be happy and willing participants. We use positive reinforcement methods and clicker training for efficient and effective training results!

Do you use food in training?

Reward-based training uses ‘rewards’ for doing the correct behavior. A ‘reward’ is anything that the dog wants at that moment. Food is just one of many rewards that a dog could want. It’s easier for us to use food in training because it motivates most dogs and is transportable. At home, you can use all kinds of things as rewards, such as the dinner bowl, throwing the ball, or going for a walk.

Puppies playing with other puppies are the best teachers of social communication skills and boundaries, including how to use their mouth nicely (called bite inhibition). They have sharp teeth, but no muscle in the jaw and can nip at each other and not hurt each other. We want pups to learn bite inhibition before they get their adult teeth (around 6 months of age) and this is best done through puppy play. Often an older dog will not ‘correct’ a puppy for biting too hard, and then the pup thinks it’s okay to bite that way.

Nope! During a puppy’s early development (up to 20 weeks of age) they are sponges for every kind of experience, good and bad. Our Puppy Socials are a safe and controlled environment, unlike dog parks. If another dog at the park frightens your puppy, this can have a lasting impact – we don’t want your pup to be scared of other dogs for the rest of his life!

I’m afraid you have a normal, teething puppy! Up until they get their adult teeth at about 6 months, they will try to nip, bite and chew everything because their gums and teeth are sore. They are also exploring their new world with their mouth. It’s important to give your puppy legal chew toys — stuffed Kongs and raw meaty bones are a good alternative to keep your pup happy with something appropriate, rather than you!

We love it when the family is involved!  We encourage everyone to be involved in training – the more consistency your puppy has, the better. (Well behaved humans are welcome!)

“As first time dog owners, Heidi truly walked us through everything and gave us the tools to mold our Walter into an amazing pup.” Mallory P. and Walter.

Ready to achieve Pawsitive results?