New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Canine Handler Academy

COVID-19 UPDATE --  5/11/20

CANCELLATION NOTIFICATION: Due to University policies designed for the safety of your children and our staff, Canine Handler Academy has been cancelled. Refunds will be issued by May 15th to those who have already paid. We hope your child will join us in 2021!  

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.

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

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.
  • Topic: Search & Rescue
2020 Canine Handler Academy - Cancelled
  • Beginner Session #1     
July 6-10
  • Beginner Session #2     
July 13-17
  • Beginner Session #3   
July 20-24
  • Advanced Session
July 27-31 

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


How to Register

We have partnered with Capable Canine to manage and promote our classes. Visit to register now! 

Questions, email