Here you can find answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.


Can’t find a form you need? Looking for an application? Check this section.


Find some of our most-referenced blog posts, including what we send to each training client.



Refund Policy and 'Guarantees'

Effective January 1, 2019 

All payments made to Hope2K9 Foundation and it’s affiliated trainers are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

Due to the extensive amount of time we have reserved for your dog’s Board and Train or Boarding stay, rescheduling is permitted with one week notice, but the full value of your program payment remainder must be used within 90 days of the originally schedueld date.

We begin our investment in YOU and your dog immediately via phone, email, and free in-person evaluations, as well as in the first program session’s commencement. You are responsible to follow through on your end of the homework given at all times, both in preparation for your dog’s success during Board and Train, as well as between private session appointments or following a Board and Train program.

Every dog is unique and follows it’s own process and path in relationship to age, genetics, environmental challenges, the human(s) in the environment, diet, health, and so much more. We cannot ethically claim a “guarantee” of behavior outcomes, but we can absolutely guarantee our work as fair, effective, ethical, and committed to you. 

Before engaging in a program or making any payment, you are respondible to ensure you feel informed of, and committed to the process. Your payment is a statement that you are confident in the desired direction we will go, you will partner with your trainer to serve your dog’s needs, you will comunicate reilably with your trainer and advocate for any questions or concerns you may have at any time, and you will allow Hope2K9 to support you with any complaint resolutions you may have. 

Once your payment has been received, you are stating to Hope2K9 that you are responsible for and committed to your own outcomes in training your dog. 

What training tools or systems do you use?

Our training program is heavily focused around creating calmness and control. Our clients seek to work with us because they want ultimately off-leash reliability, and safety when interracting with their dogs both in, and out of doors.

We begin our training process with leash work and often prong collar use, then we layer remote collar information in a fair and gentle way that each dog masters somewhat uniquelly. Puppies do not require these tools, nor are they ready for them when training at two to six months of age, but each case varies. 

Our process is systematic, steady, and respectful of your individual dog or puppy’s comfort and clarity level. Results vary in a three week to five week Board and Train stay, and long term outcomes are based on YOU and your dog. Your dog must experience your follow through and investment of time, not just your financial investment in the initial training program. 

Food rewards are often used to condition initial concepts or tools, but this is determined based on what is most helpful to each dog, as some dogs are overstimulated by food and this can become counterproductive when seeking to build more calmness, for example. 

Do I come and visit my dog during their Board and Train stay?

You do not visit your dog or puppy during their training, they are away at “school” to gain a consistent and intentionally immersive education that is away from you/home where often bad habits were formed. If your dog is in need of training due to Separation Anxiety specifically, then visits with you during their program can be completely confusing to them before they’ve detoxed and build new skills of self soothing and independence. 

In rare circumstances your trainer may feel it beneficial to schedule a training session at two or three weeks during a lengthier behavior modification program, but this will be identified as much as possible in the course of an initial evaluation – before booking. 

If you miss your dog and struggle when they’re away, it’s a good sign you have some beneficial work to do within yourself while your dog is enrolled in training. As we teach your dog to “place” and be okay in their own skin, we encourage you to build this same skill within your own heart and mind – meditation is a powerful habit to build that will help with this! 

What is the adoption process?

Hello, and thank you for your interest in adopting from Hope2K9 Rescue! In order to make the process smooth, and as fulfilling as possible for you, it is important that you will read the complete guidelines and procedures outlined for our adoption process below.

Unlike adopting from a shelter, you cannot simply pick out a dog you are interested in within our organization, and take it home the same day. We know this is hard for many to accept, especially if you see a dog on our program who truly tugs at your heartstrings, or feels like the one perfect fit you’ve been looking for, forever. Trust us, if it’s meant to be, it will be!

We are looking for you; kick-ass committed adopters, willing to show up, do the work, take the careful consideration necessary to ensure a perfect fit in their new family member. We are seeking folks eager to lead, give direction, structure, and boundaries to their dogs. We are looking for you even more than you are looking for your perfect match pup, and at Hope2K9 Rescue, we believe in careful, calculated placement decisions, to ensure the match is life-long and all around positive.

We have invested weeks and sometimes months into these dogs, training them, socializing them, proofing them to ensure they have rockstar life skills that we know you will positively adore if one of them should join your home and family. In order to preserve our work, and set both the dogs and adopters up for success, we have a proven screening and matching process that will save everyone a lot of heartache and wasted hours on the phone if the dog you admire is not going to be successful in your home.

So lets get to it… here’s how it all goes down:

The first step in adopting a dog from Hope2K9 Rescue is to submit an application. The application can be found HERE.
Once we receive your application, our team will notify you and let you know that we are reviewing it, and whether or not the dog you are interested in is still available. (Sometimes a dog could be matched and set for go-home, before the site may reflect their pending/adopted status.)

Once your application is reviewed, an adoption coordinator will contact you to further discuss the match, and answer any remaining questions you may have about the dog you’re interested in. If a good potential match is determined, you will be invited to schedule a meet and greet with the adoptable dog you’re interested in.

At your meet and greet, you will be advised if the placement of that dog in your home is something our team feels would be good, and whether or not you are free to decide on adopting the dog. Meet and greets should be something your entire family, and/or existing dogs attend so we can be sure EVERYONE is on the same page.

Before the dogs in our program go “home,” you are required to participate in TWO one on one training sessions which take place on back to back days, showing you how to work the dog, the tools involved, their commands and specific personality traits, as well as any other trouble shooting for behavior which may present in your home. These two sessions are critical to everyone’s success, as your dog has been given a language with which to move through the world successfully, and you too need to learn this language in order to be your dog’s best advocate and ally. Your go home sessions are also SO FUN, as you discover the “new toy” your trained dog will become, locked and loaded with awesome skills to fully enjoy life by your side. Again, the entire family should attend these sessions, and we will advise whether or not your current dog(s) need to be there too.

In some cases we can and will schedule the meet and greet to INCLUDE the first go home training session, if we feel the likelihood of the match is going to go through and that we can save you some time and travel. This way we can also allow for the necessary time to move from getting to know you, to starting to train you, on the spot.

PLEASE NOTE: There are no exceptions to this process of booking TWO go home training sessions, please know that we have done a ton of work over the years to discover that breaking up the go home training sessions like this is most successful way for both the dog, and the adopters involved, to start off as a solid team/family. Your three to four hour investment ends up being a drop in the bucket when it comes to the overall time commitment you must make to the life of your dog.

The Adoption Fee is currently $1200 per dog. Your tax deductible adoption fee will be collected when you complete your adoption contract, and is used to cover the cost of the dog’s training tools, trainer time, dog food, medical care, and much more that we provide during each dog’s stay.

Do you accept dog fro re-homing from private owners?

 Hope2K9 is not currently accepting owner-surrendered dogs. If you’re a dog owner, facing behavioral issues or life circumstances that threaten your ability to keep your dog, Hope2K9 exists to provide support and training solutions to help your dog remain in your home. We invite you to attend one of our FREE community classes, or reach out with a training services contact form and include notes about financial hardship if necessary, so that we can adequately counsel you regarding your options. If you require immediate placement for your pet, please contact San Diego Humane Society, or another local non profit organization.  

Who can foster a dog?

More information on fostering can be found in our downloadable foster manual and in the How Can I Help FAQ, but we welcome you to review our foster application (HERE) and get the ball rolling to determine is fostering for H2K9 is a good fit for all of us!

Fostering with our organization is a bit different than with most rescues (did you really think we’d be average at this point??), as we only request that you commit to one week at a time (you CAN provide more, but it’s not customarily open ended with us), and we book out the entire year for the “block weeks” we need coverage. This means you can very much plan ahead and decide when it works for you to schedule yourself in for a week of support, and there will always be times when you can do more if you wish.

What have the dogs been trained to do?

..Your new dog will have experienced a comprehensive training program to address all of the standard “family home” challenges he/she may face once added to your life. They will be crate trained, have learned to not pull on leash or rush through doorways, to not jump on people, take food or other items without permission, and to remain calm on command – allowing them to go anywhere with you and enjoy simply being by your side no matter the environment or stimulus.

Our base commands empower you to share a common language with your new dog, to guide and direct them through adjusting to your home and routine, as well as to continue to develop them as they settle in and bond with you. The training in place is a powerful tool to developing a healthy and intentional relationship from the start of your journey together, rather than winging it and sending your new dog mixed messages.

Your dog will know to wait for permission before taking their food, to sit when you stop in heel on walks, and that “let’s go” means come along with me and keep track of me. They will also know the following most commonly used commands:

Place – for the dog this means “lay down and stay put with a calm mind until I tell you differently.” This is your dog’s off switch. Teaches calm on command, so you have a chill dog when you need it.
Come – come directly to you when called.
Heel – walks politely at your side without pulling/off leash (off leash reliability developed through our remote collar training program)
Out – our “leave it, drop it, give it up, never mind” command (addresses resource guarding as well).
Off – get down off of furniture or other objects.

Do you adopt out of state?

Yes, we do! We still require the above listed adoption procedures to be followed, including and especially the training sessions before your dog goes home – to properly pair you with your new dog and their training language on board. If you’re interested in a dog in our program and you are not local, we can discuss a custom solution to making this match happen if the fit is just too good to pass up

Why can't I just come and meet the dogs before I submit an application?

Hey, we get it, most people have been conditioned to expect to enter a shelter environment and browse a bunch of kennels until they find “the one,” much like cruisin the cereal isle and deciding on the flavor of the week for breakfast the next day.

In our case, H2K9 Rescue is located on a gated and private residence, so we cannot accomodate a steady stream of open traffic, nor do we want to set up for rescue dogs to simply be a quick fix for a companionship craving. It is critically important to us that your pursuit of one of our dogs be part of a careful process of self-assessment, and true committment to the long haul. We are a careful match making program (not a quick Tinder date) for rescue dogs and their rockstar owners. ;D

We have poured our hearts and souls into these dogs, providing intensive training and rehabilitation, specifically setting them up for a forever life that will honor both their general dog-ness, and their specific and individual needs or interests. Based on your application, and further dialogue through phone or email, we can determine if a meet and greet will be worthwhile, and in nearly all cases we are right on – moving straight into the beginning stages of go home training that same day.

Some of our dogs are dog selective, or fearful of people, and it’s due to the second (or last!) chance nature of our program that these dogs have a shot at happily ever after. If we allowed them to be constantly bombarded with interested parties that we did not carefully vet, their chances of having one too many bad experiences is just too great.

We so appreciate your understanding and respect of our process. Our main goals are to do right by the dogs, to train humans to experience freedom and peace of mind in their relationship with their dog and their life as a whole, and to stop the flow of dogs dumped in shelters or rescues where their chances of euthanasia increase drastically.

Why is your adoption fee higher than a shelter or other rescues?

Our adoptable dogs have been through a $3000+ training program, $200-$350 in vet services minimum, come with training collars, leash, three hours of one on one training for new adopters to ensure smooth handoff, and lifetime training support virtually or in person if needed.

Our adopters are paying for knowing up front what they’re getting, and knowing they’ll have the resources to remain committed. Our adoption fee is now equivalent to three weeks of boarding your dog, only they come back with incredible life skills and known assessments and evaluations.

How can I help?

Thank you for asking!

There are several specific ways you can help Hope2K9 Rescue meet our goals and give rescue dogs all that they need to flourish.

Direct Donations:

Needless to say, Hope2K9 Foundation relies on donations and fundraising to keep this mission moving forward in so many ways. Directly supporting the rescue with cash contributions allows us take on special needs cases that require more care (medication, nutrition, vetting, hospitalization, time, etc.), while restoring health and happiness to any friend that comes through our doors. We have dog expenses (training tools, food, trainer time, veterinary care, flea/tick prevention, bedding, toys, and more) as well as business expenses such as cleaning products, administrative materials, and utilities.

You can donate securely and conveniently through our Text to Give program; simply text “hope2k9” to 1-844-544-7171, or donate via Paypal here, and of course we can accept checks mailed to us directly.

Helping Us With Supplies and Necessities:

Another way you can directly help the Rescue is by helping fund items from our Amazon Wish List. These are the exact items we currently need, in order of importance, and you just can’t go wrong with any of these choices. This list will be maintained and kept current, so you always know exactly where your donation dollars are going. If you want to choose how you specifically impact the special dogs in our care, our Wish List is a great option for you.

Sponsor a Dog:

Another amazing impact you can have is through a complete corporate sponsorship, which is a gift of $1750. This is the average full cost required to help just ONE DOG through our training and rehabilitation program. By funding a sponsorship for a dog in need, you allow us to provide low or no cost training solutions that often mean a dog in trouble can STAY in his/her existing home. Behavior issues can threaten housing solutions, put children or other pets at risk, and any dog entering the shelter/rescue system is drastically increasing their risk of euthanasia. This is why we believe so strongly in providing education FIRST.

What’s in it for you:

Tax deductions!

Free promotion in our posts and videos on social media (We’ll use your # too)!

Feature your logo on our website as a sponsor!

Your (business) marketing materials (as provided by you) will be included in our Go Home Swag Bags, featured at our events, and included in website copy.

You can also help us a great deal by VOLUNTEERING or FOSTERING!

We often have needs for time spent walking, playing, or training the adoptable dogs in our care who are waiting for their forever homes. Please feel free to reach out to us about volunteering, we have an application process for volunteers and fosters, and you’ll be connected with our head trainer, Kerianne, to address which contribution is right for you.



If you are looking to adopt one of our fully trained rescue pups, your first step will be to fill out this form.


If you are looking to surrender a dog to our foundation, fill out this form first and we’ll look at every avenue available to help you.


Are you looking to have a more personal, hands-on approach to supporting rescue? Consider joining our foster network, or spending some time with the pups!


If you’re looking to become a foster, or already are and you would like a copy of our Foster Manual, here you go!


How the structured walk can give you a better dog overall.

How the structured walk can give you a better dog overall.

Q: Should I let my dog sniff and pee whenever he wants on the walk? "He gets pretty distracted, and sometimes refuses to keep going when he finds something he’s pretty interested in. I also have a problem with him lunging and barking when we pass other dogs." One of...

Place command, a foundation for training a calm and managed dog.

Place command, a foundation for training a calm and managed dog.

If you're a dog owner, rescuer, or dog trainer who spends any amount of time with our team, you will be coached on the concept of our "Place Command," otherwise known as your dog's Off Switch. Whether you're working on your own to resolve or improve behavior issues in...

Responsibility educates.

Responsibility educates.

Hey friend, we have to talk about why you should keep your dog. (And for those of you who never considered an alternative, perhaps this message runs deeper yet... hang with me.) I know we always try to say things in a way that will be more comfortable or "supportive,"...


We have so much fun here, and want to ensure you're included. From free classes to online programs and one-off live events, make sure nothing sneaks past you! 

Excellent choice, you are IN!