chunkpuppyBeth Mills, an instructor at the Olean Kennel Club, is planning to start puppy classes again on Sep. 11 but has not set class times yet. The Puppy Skills and STARs classes are designed to build a better canine companion.

The class is appropriate for puppies who will be under 9 months of age on the day of the first class. To participate, pups should have had at least their first two puppy shots in the series. A rabies vaccination is not required to start the class, but most dogs should be old enough to receive this shot prior to the end of the class and proof of that, as well as the final puppy shot(s), if needed,  will need to be provided when they are received prior to “graduation.” Class size will be limited to 5-6 pups per class.

This is a great way to help get puppies and their owners off to a good start with basic knowledge and skills taught in the AKC (American Kennel Club) Puppy S.T.A.R. (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility) curriculum.  The class will go beyond the basics with introductory games and exercises designed to set the groundwork for a lifetime of fun and adventure with your dog regardless of your goal — be it your back-yard buddy, “weekend warrior” or full-time competitor.

Whenever possible, pups will be separated in classes based on age and adult size of the pups.

The pups will be given the opportunity to meet each other and briefly say hello to learn polite manners when greeting other dogs, but the meetings are all brief and on lead. The class will help you teach your pup basic manners such as sit, down, coming when called, greeting strangers and walking politely on a loose lead — all while in the presence of potential playmates and wonderful distractions.

Basics about puppy care such as grooming, housetraining, crate training and what the AKC expects from responsible dog owners will be included. In the later weeks of the class, pups will be introduced to some basic equipment to further build their skills and confidence. Equipment includes a “wobble board,” tunnel, chute, cavaletti jumps on the ground, etc.

A specific time has not been set for the class(es). At this time, Mills would like to know who is interested in attending and what time of day would be most convenient. Classes may start any time between 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Based on the responses, Mills will try to set the class time(s) to accommodate as many schedules as possible. To enroll or for more information contact, instructor Beth Mills at

Core class consists of eight weeks of one-hour lessons, plus an initial introduction and paperwork week (without pups). Cost is $95 payable in full at the initial class. After completion of a core class with the instructor, puppies may continue to attend the class on a drop-in basis ($12/class), if they wish, for six months or until they turn 15 months old, to refine their basic skills and continue to build a good foundation for other life goals as space in the current class permits.

Olean Kennel Club training building located in the Allegany Beverage Warehouse, 2410 N. Union St. Extension (Route 16) in Olean  (3/10 of a mile north of the Rt. 86 on/off ramp on Route 16).

For more information about the club and events, visit or