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Beginning class lessons
Entry level classes for puppies, adolescents & adult dogs who have not attended a previous class.
Which beginning class you choose will depend on how old your dog is when class begins:
Preschool (under 4 1/2 months), Kindergarten (under 6 months), Headstart (6 months or over)


Click here to go to the beginning class schedule 

Beginning classes cover: 


  • The philosophy of positive reinforcement training, selection and use of rewards, and the timing of a verbal marker "yes!"  

  • The dog learns how to make "yes!" happen and how to work to earn rewards.  He learns how to feel comfortable working in a busy classroom. 

  • The handler learns how to redirect and keep his dog's focus around distractions.

  • Dog and handler learn hand signals and verbal cues for sit, down, stand, come, wait, settle on your mat, off, leave-it and intro to loose leash walking.

Atention & Focus
Four on the floor (off)
Basic cues: Sit, Down, Stand - hand signals & verbal cues
Leave it
Socialization - learning to feel comfortable in new situations
Social Skills - learning to be calm and pay attention around other dogs and new people
Come when called
Loose leash walking
Self control & focus

"I loved our head start class and am looking forward to continuing the series. My 80 pound puppy was impossible to walk before the class. We had our last beginner class yesterday, and this morning he accompanied me to a large hardware store, no pulling or bad behaviors. He got many compliments and pets and responded calmly. As someone who has studied principles of reinforcement at the graduate level, I can say that our instructors really knew what they were talking about. They also had lots of great practical ideas for problem solving. Thanks!   - Karen A."


Intermediate class lessons
For dogs who have completed a group class using reward-based training.
All three of our beginning level classes advance on to the Intermediate Prep class.
The Intermediate class schedule is located on the Beginning class page.

What will we learn?  We will build on the foundation that you laid in your beginning class, adding an amazing communication tool called the clicker to mark behavior.  The clicker is a "power tool" when it comes to helping your dog understand exactly what you like about his behavior, so he is better able to give you the perfect response you are looking for.  The clicker is not forever, it's for building new behavior, for polishing and perfecting, and getting behaviors cleanly on cue.   We will build longer stays, more consistent leash work, attention and will work on expanding beyond food and on to real life rewards.   New exercises will be go to bed and stay, fast moving recalls from distraction, leashwork, as well as all-around good manners.

Clicker training!  Learn effective ways to teach complex behaviors.  Target your mat, go to bed and stay. speedy recall games, more focused leash work, getting the food off your person and working-to-earn real-life rewards.
Target your mat, down and stay
Go to bed and stay til released
(the opposite of begging at the table!)
Focused loose leash walkng
Free shaping
For clicker-savvy dogs who have completed an intermediate level group class.

Advanced class descriptions
Advanced class schedule


Advanced Classes

Once you've completed the intermediate level class, you may move on to any of our advanced classes.  Polish your skills in Finishing School, Control Yourself, Dastardly Distractions or Total Recall.  Earn your Canine Good Citizen certificate.  Take your training on the road, into the park and onto the trails.  Have fun in agility classes or become a member of the Ruff Revue freestyle group.

We hope you'll join us for more fun classes!

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