The Polite Pooch Program

The Polite Pooch Program

Our Polite Pooch Program consists of a series of classes to systematically take you step by step from beginning manners for the average family dog to the necessary skills to prepare your dog for a therapy dog evaluation or service dog public access foundations.

Group classes are a fun and economical way to work with your dog. All of our classes employ positive reinforcement and clicker training for working with your dog.

Group classes are not appropriate for all dogs. If your dog is reactive towards other dogs or people (barks, lunges, is fearful) private training is a better fit as it is less stressful for your dog. Several dogs in a small classroom can be overwhelming. Private training - in person or web-based lessons can be wonderful alternatives.

Head of the Class Dog Training LLC

Polite Pooch 1 and Manners and More / Owner's Choice Classes

Polite Pooch class is the perfect place for the average family to begin with a new adult dog, or older puppy to learn basic manners such as sit, down, heel, wait, stay, focus, etc. You will learn to communicate with your dog, and build a positive relationship.

We use an Open Enrollment system for Polite Pooch 1. Classes are ongoing at specific days and times, allowing you to purchase a class package to meet your needs and budget. Come as often as fits your schedule. Sign up and start the NEXT DAY!


Start right away! No need to wait for a new class – which may be WEEKS away!

You can go on vacation without “missing” a class, since class topics can be taken in any order

You and your dog progress at the rate that works for you – multiple levels of the exercises are presented in the same class

Attend any of the Polite Pooch 1 classes, or Manners and More classes – in either location – you are not locked in to a specific time or place. You can also apply your class credits to Polite Pooch 2, CGC Tests, Public Polite Pooch 3 classes, CGCA or CGCU Tests when you are ready to move up.

Please verify and sign in 24 hours in advance for each class you want to take- due to the open enrollment system, classes may be cancelled, or full - which can vary week to week


No-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours notice for any reason will count as a class used as it is too late to fill the spot from the waitlist.

4 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $170

expires after 2 months

6 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $245

​​expires after 2 months

8 Lesson Pack + Video Access $320

​​expires after 3 months

10 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $390

​​expires after 3 months

12 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $455

​​expires after 4 months

14 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $515

​​expires after 4 months

16 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $570

​​expires after 5 months

18 Lesson Pack + Video Access  $595

​​expires after 6 months

20 Lesson Pack + Video Access $650

​expires after 6 months

Single Class  $43.50 (Go to "classes" on calendar to choose single class option)

All class packages include treat apron and clicker

The class structure is such that each student chooses which skills they want focused help with, and is allotted a segment of time to use the entire training space with the instructor’s full attention - with other dogs on the sidelines relaxing on their mats or working a puzzle. Polite Pooch Class credits are valid for Manners and More / Owner's Choice Class

Depending on the number of students in the class, each dog team gets two or three 10 minute segments of time to work. Manners and More time can be used for tricks, basic manners, agility skills or booklet testing. Max enrollment: 3 dog teams per class.

Owner's Choice slots are only available to students already enrolled in a program. Puppy or Polite Pooch credits can be used for Owner's Choice time. Students in other classes, such as Tricks, Agility, etc. may purchase Owners Choice sessions.

Sign in for Owner's Choice! is required a minimum of 24 hours prior to start time. If there are no sign ins, the class will be cancelled for the session. Please plan ahead so we can be prepared.


  • Polite Pooch 2 is an open enrollment class that picks up where Polite Pooch 1 leaves off and is an intermediate level class that takes basic manners learned in the Polite Pooch 1 classes and adds challenge by increasing exposure to 3 of the 4Ds. (Duration, Distance, Distractions). If you and your dog have mastered the skills in the Junior High School Level of our Polite Pooch Program, you are eligible.
  • Topics include: LLW with another dog team nearby, recall past distractions from a distance, and the items on the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
  • Manners skills are practiced with more distractions in the environment, more distance between dog and handler, or higher expectations for compliance. This class works on levels 4 (High School level) of the Polite Pooch skills booklet received in Polite Pooch 1. We also work to increase speed and latency of responses, and decrease reliance on food rewards. PRE-REQ: Dog must have successfully completed Levels 1-3 of Polite Pooch Booklet or equivalent. If you are hoping to try Therapy Dog work or Public Access work, then Polite Pooch 2 is on that track.


  • The Canine Good Citizen program is offered by AKC and is often considered the first step to more advanced expectations for pet dogs. The CGC Test is one indicator that a dog may have the potential for Therapy work. A dog who successfully completes a CGC test can earn an AKC Title. Passing the CGC Test is one of our requirements for Owner Trained Service Dog.
  • The Polite Pooch Packages include the ability to sign up for Polite Pooch 2 classes, and a CGC Test as long as you have met the requirements listed above.
  • This class is for teams working on the “Undergrad” level of our Polite Pooch curriculum and above, dogs who already have a CGC and are working for CGCA, or CGCU. This class is a part of the Polite Pooch package. We alternate between AKC Community Canine and AKC Urban Canine Testing and Polite Pooch credits can be used for these tests.
  • This class meets in public locations to practice around typical and unusual distractions. Public Polite Pooch 3 is the next challenge for dog and owner looking for more reliable manners in home and out.
  • A Therapy Dog - therapy dog is a well behaved family pet who is invited to do community service visits with his/her handler by invitation. These invitations come from schools, libraries, nursing homes and hospitals.
  • A good therapy dog is friendly, approachable, and interested in meeting new people. He / she should not be fearful anxious, nor reactive to dogs or other animals, nor overly excitable.
  • There are several nationwide organizations that evaluate therapy animal teams. We use Pet Partners. See for evaluation requirements and program details.
  • Therapy dogs are only allowed in public places by invitation for a specific purpose or program.
  • A Comfort Dog is a special type of therapy dog who, with his/her owner has completed more intensive training in situations that could be traumatic and emotional. To become a Comfort Dog Team, or Crisis support Team, you must first be a successful and active therapy dog team in general situations for one year first. For more information about Animal Assisted Crisis Support, see HOPE AACR at
  • Are you interested in volunteering? Do you want to help your community by sharing your well behaved, social, happy dog with others?
  • While we do not have an exclusive "therapy dog class”, our Polite Pooch classes are designed to guide you and your dog in a logical progression from beginner family pet manners to appropriate public manners leading to successful therapy dog evaluation.
  • A Service Dog- A Service Dog is a dog that has had extensive training to behave appropriately in all types of public situations, AND has been specifically trained to perform a task for a disabled handler that the handler can’t do, or has great difficulty doing.
  • In general, this is a commitment of at least 120 hours of training in the course of six months, but in realty a service dog is constantly “in training” as they are always encountering new challenges when performing work in public.
  • Unlike a therapy dog, who is focused on many people, a service dog should blend into the background, ignore other people, and focus on the handler and his/her job.
  • Currently, the ADA allows owners to train their own service dogs. If you have a disability recognized by the ADA and are looking for help to train a service dog, we offer coaching to do so. The Polite Pooch Program is a great place to start as our classes build up to training in public areas.

While dogs are the animals most frequently used in Pet Partner Animal Assisted Therapy, they do test other species as well. Rabbits, cats, guinea pigs... even mini horses or donkeys, llamas and pigs can be Therapy Animals! To become a Therapy Team, you must take an onsite class seminar or the online course through Pet Partners, then schedule a Team Skills and Aptitude Evaluation. Find out more about this program from the official Pet Partners website

  • While we currently do no affiliate with any particular organization to do evaluations, our TYOSD/TD classes will help prepare teams for most Therapy Dog Evaluations offered by recognized registries such as Pet Partners, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Therapy Dogs International and others.