Canine Academy 2018

Canine Handler Academy


The education mission of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center includes a focus on our next generation. We believe it is a mutually beneficial endeavor to expose today’s youth to the amazing talents of various workings dogs and to help build a sense of community. Our goal is to educate and inspire the next generation of veterinarians, working dog handlers, and canine enthusiasts.

This summer we offer four opportunities for incoming 7th, 8th and 9th graders including two beginner sessions and two advanced sessions. Counselor opportunities for high school students are also available.

Students will gain hands-on training experience, learn from guest presentations, and enjoy various working dog demonstrations.

2019 Canine Handler Academy Dates
  • Beginner Session #1     
June 24-28
  • Beginner Session #2     
July 8-12
  • Advanced Session    
July 15-19

Beginner Sessions

  • Introduction to detection dogs and their many different jobs. Learn search, obedience, and fitness techniques while discovering the benefits of positive reinforcement practices.

  • Prerequisite - Must be an incoming 7th, 8th, or 9th grader
  • Session I: June 24-28, 2019
  • Session II: July 8-12, 2019

Fee: $650/week

Advanced Sessions

  • A full week dedicated to in depth exploration of specific working dog topics

  • Prerequisite - Must be an incoming 7th, 8th, or 9th grader who has attended at least one beginner session.
  • Session: July 15-19, 2019  [Topic: Search & Rescue]

    Search & Rescue Dogs have been in the news demonstrating their amazing ability to locate people impacted by hurricanes, floods and even wildfires. This Advanced Session is a unique opportunity for the public service-minded camper to learn what it takes to train Search & Rescue Dogs and see how they help to save lives. Campers will further develop the training tools they learned in the Beginner Session and get the chance to explore real K9 handler skills such as knot tying, compass, navigation and much more!

    For those returning students, not only are we adding new K9 handler skills, but this year will offer multiple search scenarios and the chance to experience many different roles in the search team.

  • Fee: $650/week

Counselor & Counselor-In-Training

  • The learning never stops! Our students do not "age out", but rather have the opportunity to become counselors. If your student has been with us before, they are eligible to apply as a Counselors-In-Training or a Counselor.

  • Must apply and receive acceptance prior to registering. 
  • Qualifications for Counselor-In-Training (CIT)
    Completed at least 1 beginner session
    Completed at least 1 advanced session
    *Incoming 9th graders may only be CITs for beginner sessions
    *Incoming 10th graders+ may be CITs for advanced sessions

  • Qualifications for Counselor
    Completed at least one Counselor-In-Training week
    Incoming 10th grader or older

  • Fee: $650/week (Counselor-In-Training); $250/week (Counselor)

  • Apply today!

Scholarships (sponsored by Nutramax®)

  • Must qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

  • For Campers and Counselors-In-Training only. Counselors may not apply.

  • Provide a statement from the student describing their interest in attending Canine Handler Academy.

  • Scholarship application closed.

How to Register

Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. If applying for a scholarship or Counselor/Counselor-in-Training position, you must complete those applications and wait for notification before registering.

Please note we partner Capable Canine to manage the registration and 

Register for 2019 Canine Handler Academy!



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Thanks to Nutramax for its generous support of the 2015 Canine Handler Academy.


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