AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs is an after school program designed for students in grades 6-12. AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs is an advanced version of the original AKC Canine Clubs. AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs can be hosted by a teacher or group leader in any school or youth organization. The goal of this club is for children to learn about dog training and behavior.
We have provided all of the resources and lesson plans needed to make this a fun and educational program. Register your Canine Club to receive important updates, resources and support.
AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs was adapted with permission from the research and work of Camden Olson of Princeton University.
About the Curriculum
This curriculum will be conducted in forty-five-minute sessions over the course of ten weeks. It is intended for middle school/high school students and can be addressed for students with socio-emotional trouble or those who have trouble paying attention in class.
This curriculum is tailored to be presented by someone knowledgeable in dog training. If a school is interested in this Club, but does not have a staff member knowledgeable in dog training, an experienced Canine Ambassador can help. You can find one in your area using this directory.
These sessions are best run with no more than 6 students per session.
These lesson plans can be downloaded and printed.
Week 5: Service, Working, Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs
Week 7: Skill Building Example
Week 9: Training Skills Practice
- Resources +
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs take place?
This club can be hosted at schools, community organizations or anywhere else that children are interested in learning about dog training and behavior?
What is the target age for this club?
This club is best for children in grades 6-12.
I have younger children. Can they do this program?
This program is not idea of children younger than grade 6. For children in grades K-5, we recommend our original AKC Canine Clubs. You can learn about them here.
Can a teacher/staff member host AKC Canine Clubs-Community Dogs?
Yes and no. A teacher or staff member will be needed to facilitate the club, but the instructor should be someone that is experienced with training therapy and/or service dogs.
We don’t have anyone at our school with dog training experience. Can we still do this club?
Yes. You can find an AKC Canine Ambassador to help you by searching our directory.
Will the dog be a trained service dog at the end of the ten weeks?
No. The purpose of this club is to teach children training techniques. It is NOT a replacement for traditional dog training and the dog will not be a qualified therapy/service dog at the end of the ten weeks, unless they already are.
Where can I get additional resources?
Register your Canine Club to receive important updates, resources and support.
I have more questions.
Please contact us.
About Camden Olson
Camden Olson is a Princeton University student who will graduate in June of 2019. Olson’s love for dogs and service dogs began when she was a young girl. Since then, she has spent time at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, Canine Companions for Independence and the Arizona Canine Cognition Center. Next year, she will be writing standards for medical alert dogs at Dogs4Diabetics as part of a Princeton fellowship she received.
Olson created this curriculum as part of her senior thesis. She successfully taught four sessions of the program and looked at the effect of this curriculum to improve executive functioning skills in middle school students. The curriculum was found to improve a student’s confidence in their executive functioning skills. Olson also trained a diabetic alert dog, Koa, as part of her thesis, and successfully placed him with a Type 1 Diabetic. Students worked with Koa while participating in this after-school program. Olson is incredibly thankful to the AKC for adopting her curriculum. She hopes others will enjoy the curriculum as much as she does and that it can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.
You can learn more about Camden’s research and work here.
If you’d like to speak with Camden about her research, you can contact her below.