Wellesley Animal Hospital Puppy Socialization Classes

Wellesley Animal Hospital x When Hounds Fly

Puppy Socialization at Wellesley Animal Hospital

Temporarily Suspended During Covid-19 State of Emergency

We encourage you to take Virtual Classes instead!

Or, apply at one of our other three locations (Dundas West, Pape Village, Queen West) which are resuming in-person classes.

Classes Offered Sundays

The same curriculum and instructors from our Dundas West and Pape Village locations will be running our veterinarian-recommended Puppy Socialization program out of Wellesley Animal Hospital’s new location at 535 Yonge Street starting January 2020!

This is for you if…

You can finish the six week program before your larger-breed dog turns 17 weeks old, and your smaller-breed dog can finish by 21 weeks. That means your larger breed dog is no older than 11 weeks old by their first class, or your smaller breed dog is no older than 15 weeks old by their first class.

The Program

Six classes, once a week, for six weeks in a row. Classes are organized around basic clicker training exercises, best-practice advice and exercises to raise your puppy, and structured on and off-leash socialization and free time with your puppy’s classmates.

Humans-Only Module (Leave Your Puppy At Home in Confinement Area):

  • Learning Theory: How Does My Puppy Learn?
  • Problem Solving Common Puppy Problem Behaviours
  • Student Basics (Class Policies, Training Equipment, Reviewing Vaccination and Deworming Paperwork)

Module 1:

  • Socialization Exercise: Resource Guarding/Food Bowl Safety
  • Training: Walk with Me

Module 2:

  • Puppy Topic: Visiting the Vet and the Groomers
  • Socialization Exercise: Accepting Handling, Restraint, Grooming
  • Training: Lay Down

Module 3:

  • Puppy Topic: Body Language, Preventing Fear, Anxiety, and Aggression
  • Training: Greetings with Consent

Module 4:

  • Puppy Topic: Alone-Time Training / Housetraining
  • Socialization Exercise: Practice being left alone
  • Training: Hand Targeting (Touch)

Module 5:

  • Puppy Topic:  Nipping and Biting / Appropriate Play
  • Training: Recall Games (Come)
  • Training: Tug of War / Drop It

“My husband and I took did the Puppy Socialization classes with our pup when we first got him. Two years later I still think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far as pet “parents”. In addition to teaching him the basics and teaching us how to properly train our pup, I think the early socialization made a huge difference in terms of how he interacts with other dogs. We take him to doggy daycare a few times a week and every time we pick him up the staff comments on how good he is with other dogs (even the ones who don’t typically play well with others).
The classes at When Hounds Fly were fun, informative and taught us how to train our dog instead of just focusing on teaching obedience and tricks. If you have a new puppy, I highly recommend the Puppy Socialization class.”
– Lauren K.

Why It’s Important

To reduce the likelihood of a puppy growing up and developing fear, anxiety, or aggression problems, it is important that prior to complete vaccinations, the puppy must have a rich socialization history. A well-run puppy socialization class is a key component of that.

Puppies without complete vaccination should not be taken to dog parks or dog daycares mixed with adult dogs. Therefore, a puppy socialization class with strict age limitations in a sanitized environment is a crucial component to early socialization towards a variety of breeds of dogs.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. Do not wait till your puppy has received all their boosters, or else they will likely be too old to participate in our program.

“Given the fact that behavior problems are the No. 1 cause of relinquishment to shelters, along with the fact that 56% of dogs that enter shelters in the United States are euthanized, and that puppy classes help prevent behavior problems and increase the likelihood of retention in the home, there must be evidence of phenomenal risk of infectious disease transmission associated with early socialization classes to warrant holding puppies back. And there is no such evidence to date. In fact, renowned behaviorist Dr. R. K. Anderson, a longtime advocate for early socialization, has more than a decade of experience and data supporting the relative safety and lack of disease transmission in puppy socialization classes in many parts of the United States.

Program Tuition: $187.50 per dog plus HST

For details regarding class/training policies, please see our Policy page.


  • Each 6 week program accepts a maximum of 4 puppies
  • Due to the limited number of sessions and spaces available, No Refunds, Class Transfers, or Exchanges are available under any circumstances
  • Similarly, No Makeup Classes are available if you miss a class under any circumstances
  • Puppies which are found to be older than the acceptable age range for the program will be removed from classes with No Refunds, Class Transfers or Exchanges

Upcoming Dates

Start Date End Date Time Status
March 1, 2020 April 5, 2020 11:00AM Closed
March 15, 2020 April 26, 2020 (Skips Easter) 12:00PM Open
March 29, 2020 May 10, 2020 (Skips Easter) 1:00PM Open
Suspended during Covid-19 Pandemic

Apply for Admission

We would be pleased to review your application to our program.

The process for joining Puppy Socialization at Wellesley Animal Hospital is:

  1. Please fill out our Admissions Form (below).
  2. Allow us 48 hours to review your admission form to verify suitability. We’ll write back confirming your admissions status.
  3. If we confirm your fit, we will email you the link to our checkout page to pay for and finalize admission into your 6-week program. We accept Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, or Interac E-Transfer. Spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.



Apply for Admission