Saturday Morning Class ... First Class Orientation at 9:00am

10-16'ish weeks of age

Our Puppy Program emphasizes the significance of understanding how puppies learn and how to communicate with them. Come learn the encouraging language of positive reinforcement that will provide a rewarding, respectful, lifelong relationship between you and your puppy!

The biggest concept of positive reinforcement is managing the dog's environment to produce positive, successful learning opportunities. Eliminating the puppy's opportunities to make bad choices [a.k.a. avoiding the unwanted possibilities] while teaching your puppy how to survive, thrive and deal with the household rules and human culture. This is also called puppy proofing ... do not let the puppy practice anything you do not want the puppy to do as an adult dog.

This weekly class is designed for puppies who have received their first set of shots (atleast) and a healthy vet check-up. These puppies are usually 9'ish-11'ish weeks old.

We Play Games! 

Games we focus on...

  • Discovering new novel stimulus [a.k.a. socialization: new surfaces and strange objects]
  • Focus and attention games are played which helps your transition into Basic Manners
  • Coming when called and leash manner are emphazised
  • Controlled interactions with people, puppies and common situations [the foundation of impulse control]
  • Question / Answer Time [this is the most popular since puppy owners have allot of questions]
  • Learn how to channel and manage your puppy's natural desires [jumping, nipping, pullyingetc.]
  • Tips on house training with follow up phone conversation, if needed
  • Bond-building games and tricks that will start a solid foundation for loving to learn and comply to your requests

Your puppy can participate in our Weekly Puppy Class at Any Time.
Contact us if you have any questions.  After or during your puppy class participation, private lessons are available. There individual attention is given. During your class and after class the instructure is available for more questions, but private lessons are encouraged if you feel you need more help. 

These classes meet EVERY Saturday, unless it falls close to a major holiday. If your puppy is appropriate age, you can start at ANY TIME!!  

To enroll, simply scroll to the bottom for more enrollment information ... hit the register now botton.

Class Date

EVERY Saturday of every month at 9:30AM - 10:30AM  [First class orientation at 9:00am ... please call me 828-712-4245 if interested]


Gail Hubbard   [828-712-4245 Please call if you are interested in participating]

What to Bring

Bring your puppy on a 6 foot leash. No retractable leashes please. Bring your puppies shot records if we haven't already seen them.
Bring something motivating for your puppy:  favorite toy, allot of small soft food treats (think variety) and your enthusiasm and joy!


$20 / pay per class
$90 / pay for the set of 5

PRIVATE OPTION:     Gail Hubbard     [828-712-4245]
Private Lesson on Campus:    $80
Private Lesson at Home:    $95

Register Now

Four Important Aspects of Raising a Puppy to Consider

Controlled Social Interactions

Different types of activities encourage social interaction with each person and puppy in the clinic. Owners will learn to teach their puppies how to inhibit biting, while also learning how to properly socialize their puppy. Puppies will experience many new things that are a part of everyday life, such as people wearing hats or carrying different objects. Puppies will also be allowed time to interact with each other and to play.

Discovery Walks

Habituation to a variety of surface textures, objects, and situations is another important element to expose your puppy to. During each clinic, your puppy will be exposed to things like: metal crates, agility equipment, umbrellas, bicycles, wheelchairs ... etc. It's important to make attention and focus as clear as possible by teaching them in different made-up environments. 

Basic Puppy Manners

Each clinic will cover the essentials for every puppy through exercises and games, such as attention, leash walking, coming when called, and learning how to play with you and other puppies. We encourage you to continue onto our Basic Manners Program after your puppy gets 4-5 months of age. Adolescence starts at five months, and we are here to help you deepen your relationship BEFORE they reach this critical time.

Problem Prevention

We discuss how to prevent behavior problems, such as separation anxiety, house-training problems, resource guarding, destructive chewing, jumping, digging, nipping ... etc.

Good Socialization

Recent studies show that puppies that are calmly and softly handled each day by different people at an early age were able to better cope with stresses that came later in life. If you have a puppy, socialization should be your main focus in the weeks and months to come. That involves novel situations that come from everyday life within your family (people, surfaces, sounds, sights, smells, etc.), always making sure the event is not too stressful.

Puppies that are not well-socialized often have problems with aggression or manners later. Puppies who do not experience many new things are not comfortable with the world they live in and are less able to cope with change than they should be. People are often told information that scares them about the potential germs that their puppy might encounter out in the world. But the major killer of dogs in the U.S. is NOT disease, it’s problem behavior, which is directly correlated to a lack of puppy socialization and training. For most of the dogs, their futures could have been changed through participation in a good puppy kindergarten class that doesn't solely consentrate on puppy play.

Socialize (exposure to people, surfaces, sounds, sights, smells, etc.) your puppy now in a positive way (a big space so your puppy can seek relief) by coming into our Puppy Program. Because of our current understanding of the importance of behavior, and because of vaccine advancements, we start socializing puppies earlier than we used to. Most of the new puppy vaccines can be started at 6 weeks old and become effective for relatively clean environments about 10 days later. Previous vaccines would fight with the immunization given by the mother through her milk and thus lose effectiveness. But newer vaccines have solved this problem, so we can vaccinate earlier than we could years ago. After your puppy gets his first round of shots, he is ready to be carefully exposed to the world. We still need to minimize risks for disease until the vaccinations are complete (usually 3 sets of combo shots) and keep the socialization fun for your puppy. That’s the key to everything – making socialization a fun experience for your puppy. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) recommends starting puppy classes 7 days after your puppy’s first set of shots, in most cases. At A Good Dog’s Life, we work hard to minimize medical and emotional risks. We have a clean facility and ask all puppy owners for proof of vaccination as well as to avoid the dog park while they are in our puppy program.

Another Myth

People used to tell you that you couldn’t start obedience training with a puppy until it was six (6) months of age. This is because years ago the techniques (escape and avoidance) involved physically correcting the dog for any errors it made. A dog's mind and body needed to be strong to withstand this heavy-handed training. Well, with our positive methods you do not have to wait. Positive, dog-friendly training can start as early as 6 weeks. Because it is fun.

Your puppy is learning, associating and socializing right now, every second that s/he is awake. Puppies are like sponges and the experiences they encounter will stick with them forever! So start teaching your puppy to LOVE to follow you and run toward you NOW! Many say that the primary socialization period starts at the breeder and ends at 12 weeks of age. From 12-16 weeks, they are still learning and associating, but not as quickly as they did before. Every new experience for your puppy should be positive - have a plan of fun, take treats everywhere and exhibit appropriate praise every time you take your puppy someplace new! Up until 6 months you should consider having your puppy in as many different clean appropriate environments that you have “solid” control over.

Nicole Martinez shared a status

Gail had great advice to help us get our fearful Uli into the car without him freaking out so much! We still have a long way to go but as least traveling got easier!

student stars

  • studentstars brewster

    OWNER: Maggie Brindell-Watt 
    I have to tell you we went to our Neighborhood Christmas Party and I was singing your praise.  Many of my neighbors that walked by our house daily commented on how well Brewster is behaving.  They were impressed when he barked at them and I can come out and tell him to be quite and he actually does listen to me.  So, in general they were just impressed at how well he is behaving for such a young dog.  So, I just wanted to say "thank you" for helping us, couldn't have done it without your help. We still have a lot of work to do but we are on the right track.

  • studentstars roux

    OWNER: Cindy Hartman  
    "Gail, thank you VERY MUCH for reviewing our runs from last weekend, your comments were very helpful! You make some great points. I appreciate your keen eye and willingness to help us become a better team! Can't wait for class on Thursday!"

  • studentstars rigel

    OWNER: Susan McKenzie
    Rigel (2 ½ yr old black and white retriever/hound mix) took basic manners class and Pedals (6 mo old brindle lab/pit mix) attended both the puppy and basic manners class at A Good Dog’s Life  When people visit our home, I often receive compliments on how well behaved my dogs are.  They do not try to counter surf and I can ask them to stay on their beds to get out from under foot.  I am a strong believer in challenging dogs physically and mentally and intend to take further classes at A Good Dog’s Life.  They both enjoy it.

  • studentstars elke

    OWNER: Tanya Alstott 

    I was happy with the content of the class.  I think these type of puppy class are limited in what you can expect out of your dog, mainly due to age and the inability to focus for any length of time.  Socialization was my main goal and I feel like Elke got that from the class.

  • studentstars sky

    OWNER: Peggy and Bob Dellinger 
    Gail, WE loved class today. I had read most of the book "tracking from the ground up" but boy you made lots more sense then the book!

  • studentstars franklin

    OWNER: Lisa Wester 
    You are Wonder Woman Dog Trainer. My son and I did a short session with Franklin today. Did not jump any. We did five or six meet and greets. Michael did three short walks and Franklin behaved very well letting Michael pet him.
    Hope to do a session Fri and Sun.
    Thanks so much!

  • studentstars eiko

    OWNER: Anna Ferguson, Vibrant Heart Yoga 
    Eiko and I have had great fun learning with Gail from A Good Dog's Life. We have done classes at her wonderful facility and also some private lessons. I am always impressed by Gail's knowledge, patience and obvious love for dogs. Her training tips and handouts were crucial for great puppy training, and we really enjoyed our puppy classes. We now have a wonderfully well-behaved, intelligent dog that is our best friend! I recommend her all the time to new puppy owners to get started on the right paw!

contact us

A Good Dog's Life

33 Hidden Acres Drive
Asheville NC 28806
Office 828.667.3221