2005 Graduations at 
San Rafael, California

February 5
March 12
April 16
May 21
June 25
July 30
September 3
October 8
November 12
December 17


lab with morterboard

2005 Graduations at
Boring, Oregon

February 12

March 12
April 9

May 7
June 4
July 30
August 27
September 24
October 22
November 19
December 17


From Puppy Raising Advisor
    When a dog in training goes into class at either campus, the raiser will be notified right away through the leader. However, details as to who the student is and where they are from will not be available at this first contact.  Student information and contact phone number in the dorm will be provided to raisers in the pre-ceremony letter that arrives via mail shortly before graduation.


 Here are some tips from folks who have been to San Rafael or Boring to attend a pup’s graduation ceremony.

1.    This day is for the Graduate, the immediate raisers, and the dog graduating. Leave current puppies being raised, pets, and career change dogs at home, or in the care of someone in the audience.  Only active pups-in-training will be allowed inside the building for graduation. But never in the dormitory prior.  Please arrive on time.

2.    Common courtesy suggests that you greet the Graduate before you greet your dog. Remember, this person has worked hard to get to this day, in a 2, 3 or 4 week program, They are often just as excited and nervous about meeting you!

3.    Ask permission or wait until the Graduate gives you the okay to interact with the dog. Often graduates prefer to remove the harness prior to greetings to be consistent. The person may let the dog become ecstatic to see you, or they may want to keep the dog mannerly and under control.  It’s their choice, as it is their dog. Either way is fine. You will have time alone with the dog when the graduate is seated for the ceremony and shortly before the ceremony, so concentrate on the person while you’re together.

4.    Say good things about the dog, and avoid comments that might hurt, or undermine the graduate’s confidence.  This dog is relatively new to them and you don’t want to leave a negative impression at this critical time in their bonding process. 

5.   Many raisers remember the Graduate with a gift, but not required.  Some ideas in the past have been a photo album of cute individual puppy pictures of their dog, a audio tape of happy fond memories, a frame for the graduation picture, or some other keepsake. Save your puppy’s favorite toy to give them at graduation, or buy a new version of their favorite toy for them.  Remember that most will be traveling home by airplane, so the smaller and pack-able the better.  You can mail something larger later, if you want.

6.    Graduation is a big deal.  The instructors will be dressed formally in suits, and many people in the audience where “church type” attire.  The graduates themselves often wear suits and dresses. Corsages & boutonnieres may also be worn. Publicity photos are taken of raiser, graduate and dog together, and sent to the home town of the graduate.  So be sure to dress appropriately and make your attire fit the day.

7.    You will be allowed to say a few short words about your puppy raising experiences.  Have a short speech prepared to give on stage beforehand–write it down if you have to! Tell a cute story about your puppy or give your heartfelt good luck wishes for the graduate’s lives together.  Some raisers even present checks from the club during this part of the presentation.

8.    Some raisers provide the trainer with a gift or a puppy photo, but this required or expected.

9.    Bring lots of tissues! Graduations can get very emotional!  And inspiring!  A copy of the ceremony on video tape, will be sent to you after the ceremony along with your photo with the graduate.