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Puppy of the Month

Bear is a 6 month-old Labradoodle.

 

Favorite Activity:
Joining the family for rides in the van.

 

Life's Ambition:
To wear all the shoes she has stolen.

 

Favorite Socialization Spot:
The children's bus stop.

 

OS Certified Trainer™:
Patti Hight of WOOFS! Dog Training Center LLC.

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FAQs For Dog Trainers

Non-Member FAQs

  1. What is Operation Socialization™?
  2. What services do you offer professional dog trainers?
  3. What is the cost of annual membership for dog trainers?
  4. Are OS materials designed for group classes or private lessons?
  5. What is the difference between a Dog Trainer Member (OS Certified Trainer) and Business Member (Socialization Destination)?
  6. How do I know if I am eligible to become an OS Certified Trainer™?
  7. How do I become a member?
  8. Is it possible to become a Dog Trainer Member only and not get certified?
  9. Does my membership apply only to me? Can OS materials be used by trainers employed by me?
  10. I own a dog training business and would like multiple trainers employed by me to get certified. Can we get discounts on their memberships?
  11. Do you provide socialization services for adolescent or adult dogs?
  12. Are there eligibility requirements for participating puppies?
  13. What is a Socialization Destination™ Network and how does it work?
  14. Do Business Members (Socialization Destinations) pay a membership fee?
  15. If I become an OS Certified Trainer, and there are no Socialization Destinations in my area, am I required to enroll them?
  16. Can I send my clients to Socialization Destinations in my area that I didn’t enlist myself?
  17. I am already certified as a dog trainer by several different organizations. Why do I need to go through your certification process?
  18. What topics are covered in the certification exam?
  19. What books are recommended for the OS Certification Exam preparation?

Member FAQs

  1. What is the cost of membership renewal?
  2. What do I get when I renew?
  3. Will I be notified if a Socialization Destination doesn’t renew its membership so I know not to send clients to that location anymore?

1. What is Operation Socialization™?

Operation Socialization is a membership organization that promotes early socialization education while giving R+ trainers a marketing advantage.

2. What services do you offer professional dog trainers?

When you become an OS Certified Trainer™, you will be listed on www.OperationSocialization.com. That identifies you as a trainer qualified to help puppy owners raise their puppies. You also get:

  • 1 Socialization Success CD: Customizable handouts created for your clients with information about socialization, How to Create Positive Associations, What to Do if Your Puppy is Scared, and more.
  • 1 Professional Socialization Guide CD: Tips on how to integrate OS into your curriculum, how to use OS to market yourself, and how to enlist business members.
  • 30 Puppy Passports: A pocket-sized socialization curriculum-and-progress-tracker with room for your recommendations. You get 30 passports as part of your membership package and can order more in our online shop anytime. See samples here.
  • 30 Puppy Bandannas: Bandannas that identify puppies as Here to Socialize! to encourage the public to interact with them during socialization outings. If you need more than 30 bandannas in one year you can order more in our online shop anytime.
  • 150 Socialization Success for Puppy Owners brochures: Brochures designed for puppy owners with socialization tips and information. Add your business card and give to Socialization Destinations, vets, rescues and promote early socialization and yourself.
  • 30 Become a Socialization Destination brochures: Brochures designed to help you enlist business members with a spot for your contact information.
  • Tools to create your own Socialization Destination Network. A plan of action (with suggested language) for signing up local businesses you know and trust to recommend to your clients as Socialization Destinations. Socialization Destinations stamp Puppy Passports and create incentive for clients to take their puppies on outings. And if you sign up 5 businesses, you get a year's FREE renewal. See terms.

3. What is the cost of annual membership for dog trainers?

$325 for first-year membership
$200 for renewal membership

4. Are OS materials designed for group classes or private lessons?

Both. Our Puppy Passport program is a 6-week protocol that can be used equally well in group classes or for private instruction.

5. What is the difference between a Dog Trainer Member (OS Certified Trainer™) and Business Member (Socialization Destination™)?

Dog Trainer Members aka OS Certified Trainers actually help clients train and socialize their puppies, using OS materials, through classes or private consultations.

Business Members aka Socialization Destinations provide a safe, clean, puppy-friendly environment for puppy owners to visit and get stamps in their pocket-sized socialization protocol referred to as the Puppy Passport.

6. How do I know if I am eligible to become an OS Certified Trainer™?

Trainer eligibility requirements:

  • A Positive Reinforcement Trainer who does not use choke, shock, prong collars, force or intimidation training methods.
  • A High School diploma or equivalent.
  • 3 years of experience training puppies as a lead instructor (not apprentice).
  • Understanding of: Class instruction techniques, normal puppy development, humane dog training techniques, general husbandry, behavioral knowledge, learning theory.
  • 2 references from an Animal Care Expert.
  • A proven history of commitment to continuing education. A minimum of five dog training and/or behavior seminars attended in the past three years.
  • Professional and ethical business practices and conduct. Review our Code of Ethics and Trademark Usage Rules.
  • Carry business insurance or be covered by an employer policy.

7. How do I become a member?

The application process includes:

  • Online application ($15 non-refundable fee is applied to your membership fee if you are accepted)
  • 2 references from Animal Care Experts
  • A qualifying score on the OS Knowledge Exam (exam is sent via email and submitted online)
  • A qualifying score on OS Phone Interview (case-by-case basis)

The first step is to submit an application and non-refundable fee of $15.

8. Is it possible to become a Dog Trainer Member only and not get certified?

All professional dog trainers must go through the certification process to ensure they are puppy experts and are using only positive methods in their classes. Therefore if you are a Dog Trainer Member you are also an OS Certified Trainer™. The terms are interchangeable.

9. Does my membership apply only to me? Can OS materials be used by trainers employed by me?

As part of the membership process we are certifying you as a puppy expert. That means that any classes using OS materials must be run by an OS Certified Trainer. However, if you are unable to attend a class a non-OS Certified Trainer can substitute for you.

10. I own a training business and would like multiple trainers employed by me to get certified. Can we get discounts on their memberships?

If several trainers working for the same business would like to become certified and they all apply at the same time, discounts are available. Contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for details.

11. Do you provide socialization services for adolescent or adult dogs?

We don't, no. Our focus is on early socialization because of the huge, positive impact it can have on a puppy’s development. For this reason our program is designed for easy integration into group classes or private training for puppies 6 months and younger (when they begin the curriculum).

Operation Socialization is not appropriate for adult dogs or dogs with behavior problems.

12. Are there eligibility requirements for participating puppies?

Yes, puppies must meet the following criteria to participate:

  • Maximum 6 months of age (when they begin the program)
  • Minimum 8 weeks of age
  • Always accompanied by an adult
  • Examined by a veterinarian and deemed in good health
  • Must have received a minimum of one set of vaccines 7 days before participating in a group class or visiting a Socialization Destination.

We also ask our puppy parents to take the Puppy Owner's Pledge.

13. What is a Socialization Destination™ Network and how does it work?

Socialization Destinations™ are business members of Operation Socialization that provide Puppy Passport stamps and a safe, clean, dog-friendly place for puppy owners socializing their puppies. We are actively recruiting such dog-friendly businesses all the time, and hope you will help. As part or your initial membership we give you 10 free, one-year business memberships to award to businesses you know and trust, making it easy to set up your Socialization Destination Network.

14. Do Business Members (Socialization Destinations) pay a membership fee?

Yes, all businesses pay an annual membership fee of $75. Their membership includes:

  • A listing on www.OperationSocialization.com
  • A Business Action Kit including:
    • A Fact Sheet for their staff.
    • 50 Puppy Passport stickers.
    • 1 Socialization Destination window decal.
  • Easy online shopping for additional OS materials
  • Quarterly e-newsletter with tips and marketing ideas.

15. If I become an OS Certified Trainer, and there are no Socialization Destinations in my area, am I required to enroll them?

Yes. The core principle of our organization is that we provide socialization opportunities for clients outside of the classroom or private lesson. To do this, Socialization Destinations need to be in place before the Puppy Passport can be successfully used. If you need help putting your network in place or have any questions about how to enlist businesses, do not hesitate to contact us.

Keep in mind that a healthy Socialization Network can be as few as 5 Socialization Destinations, (for maximum benefit we recommend 10) which is usually easy to find and enroll.

16. Can I send my clients to Socialization Destinations in my area that I didn’t enlist myself?

Yes, you can. But keep in mind that the trainer that makes first contact with a business and brings them on as a member stands to receive the most referrals from that location. It is definitely to your advantage to build those relationships yourself.

17. I am already certified as a dog trainer by several different organizations. Why do I need to go through your certification process?

Well, then you sound like exactly the kind of trainer we want on-board. Our process was not created to certify you as a dog trainer in general, but as a puppy expert who uses positive methods and is able to identify problem behavior early on. We want to assure the public that you are qualified to help them raise a behaviorally healthy puppy, and certification is the best way to do that.

18. What topics are covered in the certification exam?

  • Class instruction techniques
  • Normal puppy development
  • Humane dog training techniques
  • General Husbandry
  • Behavioral knowledge
  • Learning theory

19. What books are recommended for the OS Certification Exam preparation?

EXCEL-erated Learning, Pamela Reid
Before & After Getting Your Puppy, Ian Dunbar
The Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson
Mine! A Practical Guide To Resource Guarding in Dogs, Jean Donaldson
The Other End of the Leash, Patrica McConnell
Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, Karen Overall
Click to Calm, Emma Parsons

*Also see study tips for the exam.

Member FAQs

1. What is the cost of membership renewal?

$200 (one Dog Trainer Action Kit included).

2. What do I get when I renew?

Each renewal comes with one Dog Trainer Action Kit that includes:

  • 30 Puppy Passports
  • 30 Here to Socialize! bandannas
  • 150 Socialization Success for Puppy Owners brochures
  • 30 Become a Socialization Destination brochures (for dog-friendly businesses)
  • If applicable, an updated Socialization Success CD and Professional Socialization Guide CD.

3. Will I be notified if a Socialization Destination™ doesn’t renew its membership so I know not to send clients to that location anymore?

Yes, we will notify you twice a year via email about updates on Socialization Destinations in your area.