The Academy of Dog Behavior

at Lily's Legacy Sanctuary

in Petaluma, CA

Would you like to learn more about your dog?  Or other people's dogs?  Are you interested in becoming a professional in the Dog World...or sharpening the skills you already have?


The Academy of Dog Behavior might be just the first step you need.   Our classes are casual, interactive, enjoyable, and very informative.  Though the course is aimed at people, we include live evaluations, consultations and training sessions to give students a more hands on experience. 


What the academy is:  An intense examination into the animal that is our best friend and has been for upwards of 20,000 years.  We discuss the origins of dogs, their emotions, instincts and motivations....and what we humans can do to help dogs who have behavior problems. 


What the academy is not:  a dog training class!  It's a class about dog training and behavior We do work with actual dogs and their owners, but mostly one on one in consultation form.  With rare exceptions, students don't bring their own dogs to class.


There are two ways you can take Academy classes - Live, in Petaluma, at Lily's Legacy.... or online.  The online foundation course is 40 hours, and will prepare you for other classes.  12 hour modules are also available online.   Many of the courses offered eligible for CPDT and IAABC CEU's. 


Give it a try - sign up for one of the 9 hour Academy Modules.

Regular Three Week (9 Hour) Academy classes 

  • Each class is 9 hours – three Sundays at three hours each 11 am to 2 pm (please note time change)
  • $185.00 for the three week class
    • Discounts:  Lily’s Legacy volunteers  15%; Other shelter/rescue volunteers:  10%
    • Multiple sessions:  10% for 2; 15% for 3 or more
    • Each participant eligible for just one type of discount
    20 participant limit for each class - CPDT CEU's Available for some classes


Instincts, Emotions & Body Language

Learning to watch and interpret dogs language provides a strong foundation for any person wishing to become a dog pro...or just learn about dogs!

Available online - to be scheduled live

Multi-Dog Households

Introducing a new dog into a household, Facilitating a happy home life, preventing and solving problems

Available online - to be scheduled live

Anxiety - Separation and General

Recognizing different types of anxiety, managing and alleviating the problems

Available online - to be scheduled live


Working with Dog to Dog Reactivity -- FULL

Managing and training on and off leash reactivity or aggression (second week on a Saturday because of conflict)

December 3, 9, 17, 2017

Problem Solving in Real Life --  FULL

Analyzing what humans and dogs are able to work on with their problem dogs - and helping them do so

January 7, 14, 21, 2018

Working with Fearful dogs - FULL

From socially deprived to genetically fearful, this course will concentrate on management and improving behavior

January 28 February 4, 11, 2018

Working with Breed Types

Herding, Bully, Terriers, Small Dogs

March 18, March 25, April 8, 2018

Evaluations - In Shelters and Homes

Safe handling, Aging dogs and Predicting behavior

April 15, 22, 29, 2018

Aggression - Dog and Human
May 26, June 3, June 10, 2018

Growth, Needs and Socialization

Puppies, Adolescents and Adults

Available online - to be scheduled live

Instincts, Emotions and Body Language

Where do dogs come from?  Why do they do what they do?  In this  course, we will discuss the origin of the dog, their emotions, instincts and the way they communicate

Available online - to be scheduled live


Multi-Dog Families

This is an Intermediate Course.  Some experience is expected.  

Available online - to be scheduled live

Many people have more than one dog, and many others would like to add to their families.   In this Intermediate course, we will discuss how to choose a second or third dog, how to manage a larger canine family, and how to prevent civil war

Anxiety - General and Separation

Available online - to be scheduled live

Anxious dogs can have a variety of issues, including physical ones, like digestive problems.  This class will focus on identifying the causes and what we can do to help. 

Working with Dog to Dog Reactivity

December 3, 10, 17, 2017

This is an Intermediate/Advanced Course.  Some experience is expected.

One of the most common behavior problems in our pets, dog to dog aggression comes in many forms, from leash frustration to actual rage. This class will cover what causes dog aggression, and what we  can do to help our pets get through it. 

Real LIfe Problem Solving

January 7, 14, 21, 2018

This is an Intermediate/Advanced course.  Some experience is expected. 

There's theory...and then there's life, and often the two don't jibe.  During this class, we ascertain not only what dogs need, but what owners and guardians are capable of a kind, empathetic and useful manner