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What is the AKC GoodDog! Helpline?

The AKC GoodDog! Helpling (GDH) is a live telephone service that offers individualized training advice for all owners and their dogs, ranging from new puppies to senior dogs exhibiting new, unwanted behaviors.

Many satisfied owners have learned that for happy, well-adjusted dogs, good training goes well beyond puppyhood. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is there for you for every phase and new behavior, as your one-time cost for a subscription is good for the life of your dog.

Terrier waiting by its owner to go on a walk.

Training Your Dog

Whether you’re looking to train your dog as a family companion, as a champion in dog sports, or get into show dog competitions, the AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainers have the experience to get your dog where you want to be. They use positive, reward-based training methods, helping puppy owners with house-training, basic manners, leash walking, socialization and more.

Training your dog during COVID-19 can be difficult without access to in-person training classes. That’s why we are here to help you virtually!

Erin R.

Our Trainers

The AKC GoodDog! Helpline team is here to help you get the most out of your relationship with your canine companion. Out dedicated trainers have decades of experience in training dogs and helping their owners build and foster a long-lasting bond. The AKC GoodDog1 Helpline trainers are passionate about what they do and are committed to your success in every stage of training.

 AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainers have decades of experience and have been giving priceless advice to owners for more than seven years. 

Join Now

Ready to access the GoodDog! Helpline? Sign up today for instant access to a team of trainers available 7 days a week for all your dog behavior questions.

I really had two or three problems but mainly he (Boomer) jumps on family members; whether entering the house or just coming out of a room. The trainer was very supportive and understanding and her advice was so simple and spot on. The service is well worth the money. If you're having issues with your dog, don't hesitate to join this helpline. I'm so thankful I did.
Christy W.

Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, December 15, 2020 7:30pm-8:30pm ET

Join AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainers for a webinar on at-home puppy training tips and advice during quarantine. This webinar will include a discussion with Penny Leigh, a Certified Trainer with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and GoodDog! Helpline program lead. Penny will answer some of the top training questions she has been receiving during COVID-19. The webinar will then open to a brief Q&A session. 

Online Puppy Training

  • If you have a new puppy, then you need puppy training and basic obedience tips from professionals that you can trust. +

    The American Kennel Club’s GoodDog! Helpline team offer puppy training at home and provide online dog training support.

    These expert dog trainers are available seven days a week for help with training and behavioral issues, including house training a puppy, barking, crate training, recalls separation anxiety, chewing, biting and more.

    All GoodDog Helpline clients receive a toll-free number that is a hotline to the trainers 12 hours a day Monday through Friday and six hours a day Saturday and Sunday.

    The GoodDog Helpline is available for a one-time fee and is for the life of your dog, meaning you can call our training team any time you have a question – from 8 weeks to 8 years and beyond!

Positive Puppy Behavior Training

  • Our trainers practice only positive reinforcement, reward-based training that is easy and fun for you to implement with your puppy or dog. They will explain how to use high value treats to shape your puppy’s behavior and create a dog that loves to learn and work for you throughout its life. +

    Common issues that they can guide you through include:

    • How to socialize your dog
    • How to potty train a puppy
    • Excessive dog barking
    • How to train a recall
    • Crate training a puppy
    • How to stop a puppy from biting
    • How to prevent separation anxiety
    • Dog Obedience Training – basic commands through advanced skills

    Our remote puppy trainers provide individualized help to our clients, collecting background information on each owner and dog so they can provide the best solution for their situation – as what works for one dog does not always work for every dog.

Puppy Mental & Physical Training

  • In addition to training help, our team can give ideas for keeping your puppy active both physically and mentally. +

    This can include the best chew toys for puppies, mental stimulation toys and mental stimulation games for dogs. They also can help you find puppy training classes in your area offered by AKC Training Clubs and AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluators.

    All our trainers are also competitors who have earned honors with their dogs in a variety of exciting dog sports, including agility, dock diving, flyball and rally. They can guide you on how to continue your dog’s training and advance their skills as dogs can continue learning through their lives and enjoy being active with their humans.

    The GoodDog! Helpline team loves dogs and loves helping owners with their new puppies or long-time family pets. We hope to hear from you today!

Frequently Asked Training Questions

What is puppy socialization?

  • The first three months of your puppy’s life include a socialization phase that, along with genetics, will shape his future personality and how he will react to his environment as an adult dog. +

    Puppy socialization means introducing your puppy to the world by providing positive experiences with a wide variety of people, places, and situations.

When does puppy socialization begin and end?

  • The period from about 3-to-14 weeks is critical. +

    Remember that socialization involves more than meeting lots of people and other dogs. It includes exposure to sights, sounds, and textures that your dog will encounter throughout his life. Your puppy should be exposed to most of these things before 16 weeks old. If your puppy is older than 4 months, you can still provide many positive experiences to new things; socialization is important throughout a dog’s life.

How and when should I start training my puppy?

  • Puppies can begin learning at very young ages. +

    Many breeders start teaching their puppies simple exercises as young as 4 weeks. You should begin training your pup as soon as they come home. This can include basic commands and tricks, as well as housetraining, crate training and walking on a leash.

How do I housetrain a puppy?

  • Crate training, supervision and keeping a schedule are vital to house training a puppy. +

    Learn the signs that your puppy needs to eliminate, and keep a constant eye on them if they aren’t in their crate.

How do I crate train a puppy?

  • Crate training is essential to owning a dog and isn't ''imprisoning'' your dog. +

    Training your dog to stay in their crate calmly keeps your house and your puppy safe. It also creates a quiet private place for your pup to escape the hustle and bustle of the household.  It’s important to create positive associations with the crate through the use of treats and games.

How do I stop my puppy from barking at everyone?

  • Determining the root cause of barking will help you figure out how best to curtail it. +

    Some breeds are naturally more vocal. Some dogs bark to get attention; others bark when excited; and others alert bark to let you know someone or something is in the yard. A tired dog who’s had adequate physical and mental stimulation is less likely to bark.

How do you teach your dog a reliable recall?

  • Learning to come when called, or recall to you, is one of the most important skills your dog can learn. +

    Your puppy should always associate coming to you with positive experiences. Never call your puppy for anything they perceive as a negative and give plentiful treat rewards when they come.

How do you mentally stimulate your dog?

  • Physical exercise is great and necessary for a dog, but it’s only half of the equation. +

    Your dog also needs mental exercise in the form of tricks, games, and puzzles. These games are especially helpful when there is bad weather, and you cannot exercise your puppy adequately outside.

How do I stop a puppy from chewing?

  • Puppies, just like human toddlers, need a puppy-proof area, either a dog crate or pet-gated room so they do not chew on items when you aren’t watching. +

    If your puppy grabs a forbidden item while you are watching, trade him for a treat or a toy. Make sure you puppy proof all rooms that your puppy has access to, removing anything that the puppy should not have.

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How can I socialize my puppy when I have to maintain social distancing?

Just seeing new people and things from a distance is beneficial for your pup.

Take your puppy for car rides to places where he can see and hear different people and sights.

Join GoodDog! Helpline for personal advice for you and your good dog!