Puppy Training Grand Rapids

Don’t “Wait” to Start Training!

Your First Step to a Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Best Friend

A happy, tired dog during play time at Kim's K-9's boarding and daycare facilityA small dog plays on a slide in the Tiny Tots outdoor play area at the Kim's K-9 daycare facility

Puppy Kindergarten is more than just an obedience and temperament training course for new puppies. It’s an everything-you-need-to-know crash course on how to raise a happy, healthy, loving dog that doesn’t bark at the door, jump up on guests, or nip at the neighbor’s kids.

This course for new puppies is educational, but it's also fun. From running through tunnels to completing obstacle courses to puppy playtime sessions at the end of each class, you and your furry friend are both sure to have a blast.

From basic hygiene to emergency preparedness, you’ll leave this class feeling confident and comfortable, with all of your most pressing puppy questions answered (and then some). Prepare to watch your puppy play, grow, and learn to encounter the world in a safe and healthy way.

Enroll in Puppy KindergartenContact Us

What Will We Learn?

Like all of our training courses, Puppy Kindergarten is tailored to you, your family, and your newest furry family member. While the real-world skills taught in Puppy Kindergarten stay the same, you will receive personalized time in a group setting with one of our most experienced trainers. Here are just a few of the skills you can expect to learn in Puppy Kindergarten:

Commands for Puppies

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Wait
  • Leave It
  • Off

We also teach important skills such as housebreaking, bite inhibition, and work to prevent unwanted behaviors like resource guarding. Our built-in puppy playtime sessions allow puppies a safe place to socialize while under the eye of our experienced training staff. We encourage rough dogs to take it easy on the timid dogs, and nervous dogs to come out of their shells.

Skills for Humans

  • Basic puppy hygiene
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Basic grooming techniques
  • Pet etiquette in public spaces
  • Common canine illnesses and how to prevent them

And more! Each class session ends with an exhaustive Q&A with the training staff to answer any puppy problems you’ve run into, from growling at the cat to questions about vet visits to the dreaded “what do I do if my dog eats their own poop” question. We’ve heard it all!

After graduation, you’ll leave with a packet of information from pet insurance to end-of-life care for your furry friend. Folks who participate in Puppy Kindergarten are eligible for the Kim’s K-9 Family Discount on all training programs and daycare for the entirety of their dog’s life. We can’t wait for you to join the family!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What age should my puppy be for Puppy Kindergarten?

Puppy Kindergarten at Kim’s K-9 is for puppies between 12 and 18 weeks old. Message us with questions or to reserve your spot as our classes fill quickly! If your puppy has passed this window, message us to learn about other options for obedience training for your pup.

Does my puppy need to be vaccinated?

All puppies must have had their first two rounds of vaccines in order to attend class. Puppies will not be fully vaccinated per the Kim’s K-9 standard at the time we start class because of their age. To prevent the spread of disease, we take full precautions and completely sanitize and disinfect the building where Puppy Kindergarten takes place prior to class each week. We also ask all class participants (even fully vaccinated puppies) to limit their puppy’s contact with adult dogs who don’t live in their home to help keep everyone in class safe. Puppies are not permitted into the Kim’s K-9 daycare and boarding building until they are fully vaccinated per our vaccine standards.

Can I miss a class?

While we discourage families from missing any classes if possible, we know that life happens. We allow clients to miss up to 2 classes and still be eligible to graduate.

Can I bring my kids?

Yes! Little ones love puppy kindergarten. We encourage puppies to bring along anyone who will have a significant role in their training (for most families, this means both dog parents come along). For families who need to or would like to bring children, we have a few requests. First, we ask that there be one parent present to pay attention to the kiddos, and one to pay attention to the puppy. Second, since class can be as long as 2 hours, we ask that you bring something for younger children to do to entertain themselves during the teaching portion, like a book or an iPad with headphones. Third, we ask that you bring no more than three humans per dog. If you have more than three humans who will need to attend class, please communicate with us beforehand so we can make sure we have enough space ready for your family.

Will we cover loose leash walking in Puppy Kindergarten?

No, because most puppies are not mentally mature enough to grasp the concept, and each pup is entirely unique. We recommend setting up a one-on-one lesson with one of our professional trainers (with our Kim’s K-9 family discount!) after puppy kindergarten to cover loose leash walking.

...what should I do if my dog eats their own poo?

Unfortunately, many dogs enjoy their own cooking, it is neither an unusual nor a particularly unhealthy habit, even if it is a nasty one. Send us a message at kimsk9inc@gmail.com and one of our trainers can give you advice on how to prevent that particularly unwanted behavior!

If your dog is too old for Puppy Kindergarten, but you’d still like to see them enjoy social time and training, check out our Training options for training and our Boarding and Daycare options for social time! Dogs must already be socialized to take part in our Boarding and Daycare programs. See you soon!

What our past graduates have to say:

Kim's K9 is a great place with great people that care for your pup! When I got a puppy, I knew Kim's K9 was the place to go for training. We loved the Puppy Kindergarten class, and had some additional 1 on 1 training after. I would highly recommend! Teddy loves everyone at Kim's K9!

Nate Weber
's human

We took our 15 week old Great Dane, Argo, to Puppy Kindergarten and we are so glad that we did! Argo was a bit timid at first but soon warmed up and became "one of the group." The class was so informative & fun. Kim has a great way to describe puppy thoughts! We learned a lot just in our first class... we will be forever grateful for this class & these trainers. Thank you Kim's K9!

Sonnya Clinton
's human

We attended our first puppy kindergarten class last evening and what a fun time it was! Not only is Kim an encyclopedia of doggie knowledge but a ninja at training! She had my 12 week old Cane Corso puppy doing things (sit, stand, lay) so quickly- I was in awe watching it! I am so excited for future classes and for everything that we will learn! I will recommend Kim's K-9 to everyone I talk to!!

Alicia Velting
's human

Just attended my first puppy kindergarten class at Kim’s K-9. I realized that I’m the one who needs the training and that Kim has an incredible and effective perspective on how to create success and happiness between every puppy and their families.

Carrie Kress
's human

We have done Puppy Kindergarten, day camp, and now the three week day training program. Kim's has amazing staff and our dog loves being there.

Teresa Robertson
's human

We brought our extremely shy and timid German Shepherd/Retriever mix to puppy kindergarten and it’s completely changed the personality of our dog. The skills and tricks we learned at the class are invaluable! I seriously cannot recommend Kim’s K-9 enough.

Kaitlin Jandron
's human