Are You a New Puppy Parent?

Operant Animal Training: Ethical Training for Puppies in the Greater Toronto Area

Do You Want Your Puppy to Become a Well-Behaved Dog?

There are many reasons to love dogs: they’re affectionate, intelligent, loyal and fun! They make amazing companions and can greatly enrich the lives of their families, but we know they are also a lot of work, especially when they are young and untrained!

At our Puppy Academy, we specialize in the early behavioural conditioning of puppies so they will grow into confident family dogs. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to help dogs and their people live together happily.

Do You Know What the Critical Socialization Period Is?

In dogs, this period typically occurs between 3 to 16 weeks of age, and requires careful planning.

During this window, positive exposure to a wide range of stimuli, such as various people, animals, objects, sounds, and environments, helps puppies become well-adjusted and confident adult dogs.

Ask us about how to prepare to socialize your puppy from the day you bring them home!

At Operant Animal Training, we know that learning is the repetition of success, which is why we offer our day school training program.

Your pup will spend their days with certified, professional trainers gaining the reps of success they need to grow into confident, family dogs. And they’ll spend their evenings with you bonding and relaxing!

Why The Puppy Academy Program Works:

Enhanced Effectiveness:

Unlike other approaches, our program offers multiple, planned, daily training sessions. This consistent reinforcement accelerates learning, allowing your puppy to grasp cues and behaviours with confidence.

Real-World Adaptability:

We believe in proofing your pup’s behaviour in different environments. Our day school format exposes your furry friend to learning in various indoor and outdoor settings, and teaches them to be engaged with you no matter where they are.

Trending Excellence:

Our innovative approach, combining the benefits of daycare socialization with the expertise of a professional trainer, has gained significant traction. Your pup not only gains social skills but also receives targeted guidance during crucial developmental stages.

Skillful Socialization:

Social interactions play a pivotal role in a puppy’s growth. Our program facilitates supervised interactions with peers, helping your pup develop positive behaviour traits that last a lifetime.

Professional Expertise:

Our seasoned trainers bring a wealth of experience to the table. With a deep understanding of animal behaviour and effective training techniques, they ensure that each session is tailored to your puppy’s individual needs.

What Does The Puppy Academy Program Include?

•  Orientation

    • This is a one-hour consultation where we outline the fundamentals and get to know you and your dog

  Minimum 4x daily training sessions

    • Customized to your dog and conducted by a certified trainer

•  3x transfer sessions

    • We ensure that you acquire all the necessary knowledge and skills to maintain your dog’s newly-shaped behaviours

•  Exceptional daycare at our indoor/outdoor facility
•  Supervised play sessions for socialization and exercise

•  Daily video progress reports
•  WhatsApp support for the duration of the program
•  Clicker, treats, report card, and graduation certificate

What Do We Work On?

  • Engagement
  • Appropriate Play
  • Targeting
  • Recall
  • Stationing
  • Loose-Leash Walking
  • Self-Regulation
  • Handling Desensitization
  • Socialization
  • Car Travel
  • Crate Training
  • Preventing Unwanted Behaviours
  • House Training
  • Ignoring Distractions
  • Environmental Desensitization
  • Calm greetings
  • CKC Canine Good Neighbor Program Test Qualifications


    $600/Week for 5 Weeks


    Need to add a sleepover? Reach out for more details!


    8-10 weeks

    Going home and settling in. Getting used to a simple daily routine. Having positive interactions with everyday people and things. Limited interaction with suitable dog playmates. Sleeping in a crate. Hand feeding. House training. Getting used to a collar, harness, and leash. Clicker introduction. Name response. Handling desensitization. Preventing unwanted behaviour. Appropriate toy play (Tug). Recall indoors and yard.

    10-12 weeks

    2nd vaccination. Outdoor socialization begins. Building attention span. Grooming desensitization. Preventing unwanted behaviours.

    12-16 weeks

    Daycare socialization. Basic on-cue behaviour training begins.

    16-24 weeks

    Formal training period. Final vaccinations.

    24 weeks - 12 months

    Continue practicing in all environments, maintaining criteria, plan for sterilization with veterinarian and training refresher immediately after.

    Dog Training Rules

    1. You Get What You Reinforce

    Always ask yourself the question: what is reinforcing the behaviour in question? What can I do differently to achieve the behaviour I want to see?

    2. Maintain Appetite

    Your dog should always have an appetite and their daily diet should be measured out. Meals have a time limit, and dessert is a useful tool.

    3. Marker Signal

    Make sure you are using a precise indicator to let your dog know the exact moment they respond correctly. Immediately follow with reinforcement. The most important aspect of good training is precise timing of reinforcement.

    4. Socialize, Desensitize, Exercise

    Regularly expose your dog to different people, places, objects, and animals beyond their usual routine. This exposure helps them become comfortable with novelty and teaches them to react calmly. Starting at 12 weeks, engaging in play sessions with other suitable dogs in off-leash settings becomes crucial. Know your dog’s energy and social needs and ensure you are meeting both!

    5. Crawl Before You Walk

    When it comes to taking your dog for a walk, start with just them being able to follow you with enthusiasm indoors. Then try a circuit outdoors and increase the difficulty by practicing in new environments.

    6. Comfy in a Crate

    You may not end up having your dog sleep in their crate or stay in it when you go out, but you will probably still need it on more than one occasion. Train them to love hanging out in it and we guarantee you’ll be glad you have one.

    7. Short Sweet Baby Steps

    Plan the behaviour you want to shape like the steps of a ladder, with the goal to achieve small victories and gradual progress. When you are working on those steps, make your sessions short and positive.

    8. Turn Up Toys

    Pairing your dog’s toys with food makes them more exciting. Reinforce tug, fetch, and anytime they are entertaining themselves appropriately. Elevate the worth of your pup’s favorite toys by keeping them just out of reach and playing with them selectively.

    9. Manage Bad Behaviour

    Do not allow your dog to rehearse behaviour you don’t want to see. Some undesirable behaviours need outlets as they are natural canine behaviours. It’s up to you to teach your dog when and where it is acceptable to practice them. This includes things like digging and chewing.

    10. Choice is Choice

    Craft scenarios where your dog making a decision to listen to you is the best decision they could make. This is how they will trust you implicitly in any situation.

    Are You Ready to Set Your Dog Up for Success?