Introduction to your puppy's instincts
You can make sense of puppy behavior based on their species and early experience.
Introduction to your puppy's learning style
You can change your puppy's behavior—with both of you enjoying the process.
Detailed guides to each of the 8 Civilizing Games
Written and video instructions to empower you to civilize your own puppy.
Applications of Civilizing Games to everyday life with your puppy
Use Civilizing Games instead of pulling on a leash to guide your puppy in space, and to direct his chewing away from your furniture even during his visits to your living room.
Civilizing Games as foundation for your puppy's higher education
Civilizing Games build a foundation for formal training. Learn which games provide the foundation for which life skills and obedience exercises.
Additional resources included as downloadable PDF files
Curated lists with links to recommended books, directories of trainers, online learning sites, and training supplies.
Praise for Civilizing Games for Puppies
Sarah Owings, KPA CTP
Faculty for ClickerExpo
Instructor & curriculum designer for CyberScent and Tromplo
Former adviser to Glendale Humane and Marin Humane Societies
Long-time pet owner and dog advocate
There is nothing more important than educating puppy owners about how to interact with their newest family members in ways that build a healthy bond.
Even in 2021, there is still plenty of misinformation out there about what pet ownership looks like. Civilizing Games counteracts this misinformation beautifully with respectful, humane training practices, founded on the principles of positive reinforcement and the science of behavior. Each game in the course is puppy-age-appropriate and beautifully laid out in simple, easy to follow steps. New pet owners will feel motivated to keep learning more, because the course sets them up to be successful, and they will have a lot of fun too!
As a long-time training professional, educator, designer of online courses, and shelter consultant, I highly recommend this course to colleagues and will be using it as a resource for my own clients.
Photo credit: Alice Tong
Sheree Norquist, puppy owner
I highly recommend Civilizing Games for Puppies as an enjoyable way for you to learn how to help your puppy acclimate to his new home and begin building a close, trusting relationship with you. Your puppy will love the games and, as you experience them together, you will appreciate the fun social interaction as well as the positive changes in his behavior.
Daša is my skilled and insightful puppy-training coach. I can attest to the fact that both the games and the guidance in positive reinforcement training that she gives in this course are of great help in puppy raising.
Both you and your puppy are sure to benefit from Civilizing Games for Puppies!
Helix Fairweather, KPA CTP,
Civilizing Games is a super boost for people with new puppies. Daša has created a simple, easy-to-use set of games for puppy parents to engage with their puppies as they teach them what to do with their teeth.
The puppy’s perspective is always clear and simple. I love this quote: “[Your puppy] may have been alive for only eight weeks, and capable of noticing his environment for only five weeks." Of course they have no idea of what we expect of them!
Since I’ve been creating online dog-training courses for over 20 years, I am particularly alert to design details that make a course easy to learn from. Daša dishes out instruction in small, manageable bites, using simple navigation – one click and you have your next step!
Marla Foreman, DVM, PhD,
Foreman Equestrian Arts & Science
The guidance presented in this course is solidly rooted in contemporary science of animal behavior, learning, and canine development.
I tested Week 1 Civilizing Games on a friend's three-month-old puppy when I took care of him for an evening. The games saved my fingers and heels as we learned to play together without him biting all the time.
One of the wonderful things about this course is that the demo videos show real-life footage of a young puppy only just learning the games. This way we get to see what to do when things don't go as planned in addition to perfect examples of the exercises.
If your beloved puppy acts like a land shark, you're not alone.
- Puppies arrive in human households with few inter-species social skills. Their instincts direct them to explore their environment with their mouths and to chase anything that moves. They play with their friends by chasing, tackling, grabbing, mouth-wrestling. Their teeth are needle sharp.
- Our human instincts direct us to interact with puppies with our hands, expressing our affection by stroking, patting, hugging, and picking up our puppies. Human hands are wriggly and the perfect size for puppy mouths.
- Because of the mismatch between natural interaction and play styles between humans and puppies, our first days (and weeks, and months) together tend to be filled with pain and frustration.
Imagine if you could avoid the painful part of puppy raising!
Imagine if your puppy
- Greeted you with eager attention, ready to pounce on a piece of kibble or a toy instead of at your hands and clothing
- Walked along with you calmly, without grabbing your ankles or pant legs
- Remained cheerful and relaxed when stroked or brushed, and when you put on a collar, harness, or leash
You can achieve all this and more.
The Civilizing Games for Puppies online course will
- Introduce you to your puppy’s instincts and learning style
- Guide you through 8 games that will be fun and safe for both of you, and that will teach your puppy how to interact with people calmly and gently
- Prepare you and your puppy for more advanced training
Fetch help now!
Start the course that will help you and your puppy build a harmonious relationship.
This is Daša, the creator of Civilizing Games for Puppies
(pictured with Irving, my very civilized adolescent Labrador)
- Graduate and Certified Training Partner of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior
- Instructor for Puppy Start Right socialization classes
- Member of The Pet Professional Guild
- PhD-level scientist
- Expert in early puppy education
- Experienced online coach of puppy-raising and dog-training skills
Over 30 years, I have used positive reinforcement to train dogs for
- Competitive obedience in the UK and the US
- Wilderness and urban search and rescue
- Public access
In the last decade, I have specialized in coaching owners of young puppies under the umbrella of my company, The Puppy Project, LLC. Online courses are my new way to help even more students raise their puppies into delightful dogs.
I created Civilizing Games for Puppies in response to the same problems brought to me by most new puppy owners:
- Puppies bite their people at their slightest move—whether the they are trying to play with the puppy or just to walk across the room
- Puppies jump up and scream when their meals are being prepared, but show no interest in food or praise during a designated training session
These problems are ubiquitous because they are an expression of two universal puppy instincts:
- To chase and grab fast-moving objects
- To repeat whatever worked for the puppy in the past
Fortunately, we can use the same principles that get puppies in trouble to teach them how to behave like gentle and courteous companion dogs.
Civilizing Games for Puppies will teach you how to civilize your own puppy, and how to have fun on this journey together.
Here is what you get when you buy
Civilizing Games for Puppies
- Lessons on puppy instincts and on the basic principles of learning as they apply to puppies and dogs
- Detailed guidance on how to choose the toys, treats, time, and place for educational play with your puppy
- Step-by-step written instructions and 20 instructional videos on how to play the 8 Civilizing Games
- Applications of Civilizing Games to essential manners, husbandry, and obedience skills
- PDF documents with links to additional resources, including toys, online learning, and books
Introducing the 8 Civilizing Games
1. DROP OFF & PICK UP
teaches puppies to approach you with paws on the floor and prepares them for polite walking by your side.
2. BITE THE BOX
gives puppies an approved target for mouth play and teaches them to keep their teeth off your furniture.
3. HAND-TO-MOUTH DELIVERY
teaches puppies to approach you calmly and touch their muzzle to your hand carefully, without using their teeth.
gives puppies an approved target to chase and bite and teaches them how to control their teeth around people.
5. CHASE & PICK UP
teaches puppies to turn away from treats in order to race back to you and prepares them for coming when called.
6. TUG & RELEASE
teaches puppies to share their most fun possession and allows them to practice advanced tooth control.
7. LOVE THE GEAR
teaches puppies to enjoy grooming, veterinary care, and dressing up in collar, harness, and leash.
8. SQUEAK & SWAP
teaches puppies how to follow your direction on which object to chase and which object to leave alone.
How does an online course work? Do I need a special program?
My puppy is already signed up for a puppy preschool class. Do I still need Civilizing Games for Puppies?
How long will I have access to the course?
I have purchased Civilizing Games for Puppies. Do I still need to take my puppy to a puppy preschool?
How long will this course take?
My puppy is a terrier (or a Malinois, or a rescue). Will Civilizing Games for Puppies work for him?
Do I have to learn all the games?
My puppy is very shy. Will Civilizing Games for Puppies work for her?
How long should I play Civilizing Games with my puppy?
What is your refund policy?
Who is this course for?
Civilizing Games for Puppies
are for you if
- You have a young puppy who uses his teeth on his human family, their clothing, or their furnishings more than is comfortable.
- You want to develop a warm, trusting relationship with your puppy or new adult dog even before starting formal training.
- You want to be your puppy’s best friend but keep finding yourself in the role of a disciplinarian, blocking him from following one disastrous idea after another.
- You have attempted training your puppy but can't engage or retain her interest.
Civilizing Games for Puppies
are not for you if
- You don't have a dog or a plan to get a dog.
- You have an adult, fully trained dog.
- You have an adult dog who just needs more training.
- You have a dog with a behavioral problem such as aggression or resource guarding.
- You have a comfortable relationship with your puppy, and see no need for change.
- You have raised dozens of puppies and enjoyed their early puppyhood tremendously. You could teach me a thing or two.
Learn how to channel
your puppy’s instincts
- Teach your puppy how to behave in human society
- Prepare your puppy for formal training
- Simplify puppy management and socialization
Imagine where you could be two weeks from now
- Armed with a deeper understanding of what drives your puppy’s behavior and of how to influence it
- Skilled in playing fun and safe Civilizing Games with your puppy
- Improving your puppy' behavior and strengthening your bond every day
- Continuing your puppy's education and deepening your own understanding of dogs, training, and learning