Manners and Obedience

This is where most families begin their dog’s education. Many enjoy basic training so much, they go on to earn their CGC and Therapy Dog certification. Some even get “hooked” and join our Agility and Competition Obedience programs! All participants receive a detailed Lesson Booklet covering the week-by-week lessons for each class and a copy of “Training your Family Dog,” an extensive reference tool covering all types of behavior problems, nutrition discussions, nail trimming & tooth brushing instructions, plus answers to commonly asked questions. Each class includes time for student questions & problem solving. Toenail trimming & teeth brushing are also demonstrated.

As professional dog trainers and class instructors, our primary goal is to train the human members of the families who come to us for help with basic obedience and household manners. We believe that our job is to provide clear instruction and easy-to-follow techniques that are based on dog behavior and communication.

Our philosophy is to be proactive: to anticipate and prevent problem behavior before it begins, such as teaching the dog to sit for greeting before it learns to jump up on visitors. When problems do occur, redirection is the first thing we recommend, as in teaching the dog to trade the owner’s shoe for a wonderful doggy chew toy. If proactive techniques do not work, we will introduce corrections (mild at first) to teach the dog that the bad behavior must be stopped. In all cases we believe in being fair to the dog and getting to the root of the problem.

There are progressive levels that comprise our home obedience program. Most dogs will achieve basic obedience and on-leash proficiency (assuming their owners follow through at home!) after two 6-week sessions of classes, Puppy Manners and Beginning Home Obedience for the youngest dogs, or Beginning Home Obedience and Advanced Home Obedience for the older puppies and mature dogs.

Owners desiring reliable, off-leash control will find it beneficial to continue their dog’s education through the CGC Preparation class. This class continues to practice basic exercises in preparation for the CGC test, plus off-leash control, drop on recall and stays out of sight. Graduates of this class will be prepared to take the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, which is open to all breeds, regardless of pedigree.

There is nothing like the feeling you experience when you see your dog bring joy, love and happiness to a child or adult in need. Dogs have that beautiful, wonderful ability to communicate without words, to aid in therapy and rehabilitation and to fill a lonely life with love and companionship. Our Therapy Dog Preparation class builds on the skills learned in our CGC and Advanced Home Obedience classes preparing students for Therapy Dog work.

Dogs who successfully complete Advanced Home Obedience qualify for participation in our Agility classes, Therapy Dog classes, the Canine Good Citizenship Test and other advanced activities.