My dog sometimes barks at other dogs. Can I still take a group class?
Our adult dog classes are intended for dogs who are able to be comfortable and focused around other dogs in a relatively small space. Although a little bit of barking at the beginning of class is acceptable, dogs who bark throughout class or at other dogs are not good candidates for group class. You may wish to consider our Rowdy and Reactive program or private lessons.
What should I expect my first class?
The first week of class is often more difficult than expected for dogs and owners. The dog is in a new environment and may be excited or nervous about the other dogs and people in class. Being prepared for class, including items to help your dog settle (chew item, mat) can help. (Click here for suggestions on what to bring.) Be aware that dogs sometimes struggle to focus their first week, so even well-trained dogs may need rewards for attention to the handler and other tasks that they do easily at home. Most dogs settle in to the routine by their second week of class and do very well.
I have to miss one of my scheduled classes. Do you offer a make up?
No, unfortunately we do not offer make ups. Most of our classes are offered as 3-week modules that can be taken in any order, so if you know you will have to miss a week or two, you might consider skipping that module and signing up for it when it is offered at a different time.
I unexpectedly had to miss a class. How do I find out what I missed?
Come to class next week! Although the content builds from week to week, you will still be able to participate in class and improve your training skills even if you missed a class.
I am feeling very behind. What should I do?
Dogs enter our classes with a wide variety of prior training and experiences. Some dogs have had lots of prior training with a handler who has trained many dogs using positive reinforcement methods previously. Other dogs are brand new to the household or are young dogs. We encourage teams to judge progress relative to where you were previously, not relative to others. If you have questions about how to best spend your outside of class training time, please ask your instructor during class.
My dog gets sick eating treats. Can I just bring his regular dinner instead?
The group class environment is typically a challenging environment for most dogs. Bringing a variety of high value rewards will help your dog learn and help you both benefit the most from class. Our suggestions of cooked steak, chicken, or fish, canned dog food, string cheese are high value and tolerated well by many dogs. However, if you cannot feed your dog these items, please contact us before you start class. We would be happy to provide suggestions that are specific to your dog’s food needs (allergies, special diets, etc).
Settle, Stay & Self Control. Teach your dog the concept of “duration”. Practice calm waiting and settling on a mat. Teach your dog to inhibit his or her impulses around progressively more tempting distractions. Highly motivated dogs can learn to have self control!
Come When Called. Use exciting and fun rewards to build a solid, automatic come-when-called behavior. Teach your dog to come quickly, from and through distractions, and to come all the way to you. Understand why your dog sometimes does not come when called, and what you can do about it. Some exercises in this module are performed off-leash.
Polite Greetings. This module focuses on the skills needed for successful greetings, including approaching and leaving people, holding still for petting, being approached by a stranger, greeting sitting and standing people, door manners and more. Mannerly behavior around people will allow your dog participate in more social situations.
Walking With Your Dog. Enjoy a nice long walk through the park, in town, or just around the block. With some smart techniques, you can learn to walk together. Teach your dog to keep a nice loose leash even with distractions, and learn how to get and keep your dog’s attention when you most need it.
SETTLE, STAY &
Even highly motivated dogs can learn to have self control!
Teach your dog the concept of “duration”. Practice calm waiting and settling on a mat. Teach your dog to inhibit his or her impulses around progressively more tempting distractions.
Three Week Series
Part of Family Dog Basic Skills Series
Loose leash walking in the real world
Enjoy a nice long walk through the park, in town, or just around the block. With some smart techniques, you can learn to walk together. Teach your dog to keep a nice loose leash even with distractions, and learn how to get and keep your dog’s attention when you most need it.
Three Week Series
NICE TO SEE YOU
Part of Family Dog Basic Skill Series
From doorway manners to street smarts…
This module focuses on the skills needed for successful greetings, including approaching and leaving people, holding still for petting, being approached by a stranger, greeting sitting and standing people, door manners and more. Mannerly behavior around people will allow your dog participate in more social situations.
Three Week Series
Off Leash Control. Distance Work
Activities in Off Leash Control include sending your dog in a specific direction, recalls, changing positions at a distance, and off leash walking.
Distractions & Challenges. Perfecting Known Behaviors
This module focuses on improving your polite greetings, recalls, stays, and walking skills. Dogs will be challenged with harder and varied distractions, learn to go longer between rewards, and to be able to continue working as rewards are faded out.
Canine Good Citizen. Test Prep
This class will give structured practice and training to help with the training and handler skills needed to take and pass the Canine Good Citizen test.
Real Life Prep. Polite in Public
Whether walking in a crowd, passing strangers on the sidewalk, settling on the patio of your favorite restaurant, this class will help your dog learn the manners needed to succeed while out and about.
Modules may appear in any order, all four skills will be covered over the 12 week period. Modules may also be taken separately.
Therapy Dog Skills
Preparing for therapy dog examination & work.
Are you interested in therapy work but not sure if your dog would be comfortable with the work involved? Would you like to help your dog have more proficient behaviors and be more secure and comfortable performing therapy related tasks? This short program can help you discover your dog’s strengths and uncover (and work to overcome) many shortcomings.
Different therapy dog programs and organizations have different requirements and expectations. This class is general in nature, and will help to prepare you for many aspects of therapy dog testing and work.
Three Week Series
For focus & relaxation.
This class closely follows Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed
Give your dog controlled and systematic practice opportunities to practice calm and focus around other dogs and distractions. Activities are themed on relaxation, focus, and self control. Your dog will learn to make good choices in increasingly challenging situations. This class is great for dogs who have finished Puppy Class, manners class graduates, and/or distract-able dogs who want to work in agility or other sports.