Training Tips


STEP ONE: Stop Feeding Your Dog From a Bowl!

Your dog has a magic bowl. Food appears in it every day. No hunting. No foraging. No tracking. He just goes to his bowl and Poof!, there is the food. So, what does he do with all that extra time on his hands? Well, he has probably decided to eat your book or your shoes and start his own barking choir that is not making a huge impression with the neighbors. So put the hunt back in the food for him! Well, sort of.

Here are five ways to feed your dog, starting today!

1) Scatter food in your yard or home or hide small piles for your dog to find. Help him out in the beginning by showing him where it is.

2) Teach your dog to play catch for his food. Toss a piece of kibble or a treat right in front of your dog's nose. He'll probably watch it fall to the ground and then eat it. Keep working at it and he will eventually catch it. I use this one at night when I want to watch TV and entertain my dogs at the same time.

3) Stuff a Kong or Havaball - take your dog's regular kibble and mix in just enough peanut or almond butter, whipped cream cheese, or canned dog food to coat the kibble so it sticks together. Then, stuff it into one or two Kongs and serve! The peanut or almond butter ones can even be frozen first for an extra long lasting treat!

4) Use some of your dog's meal kibble for rewards during the day. Ask your dog for a behavior or trick and reward. Keep some at the front door to give to friends that come over. Your dog will soon learn to love the sight of new people. Not only is your dog working for his dinner, but there are no extra treats to make your dog gain weight!

5) Last but not least, make knotted toys out of rags. Take old margarine or yogurt containers and put yummy, smelly treats in them. Tie an old rag loosely around the container and encourage your dog to untie the knots and find the treats. This one must be supervised so your dog doesn't eat the rags or plastic containers. You should supervise your dog with Kongs, Havaballs and Squirrel Dudes (toy by Premier) until you are sure he can use them safely on his own. And, supervise or separate multiple dogs so you don't
have any battles!


Obedience Training

All of the classes in our family dog program are geared towards teaching you how to help your dog become a fun, well behaved and well-adjusted family pet. Basic manners and obedience are emphasized using dog friendly methods. No choke chains or pinch collars are used. You will learn how to "think dog". We will help you avoid the most common problems and prevent the most common bad habits. Each session consists of one class once weekly for six weeks.

Our goal in all of our classes is to help create a lifelong friend in your dog by making your dog more obedient, confident, well-mannered and more enjoyable to be around. Your dog will become a more well-behaved and well-adjusted family pet. Our focus is on training you to train your dog with respect, consistency and trust. Teaching your dog manners strengthens the bond between you both and through better communication you'll have a lifetime of companionship. We will teach you how to build rapport with your dog using positive, reward based training methods. These methods foster trust and learning. No punishment, no jerking.

Obedience Classes

Please go to the Schedule section to see what classes are currently scheduled and to sign up.

Focus Foundation

Learn the basic obedience and communication skills needed to build a better relationship with your dog, or to start competitive dog sports. This class is the foundation for all future training and is perfect for improving the manners of your favorite pooch. It will increase communication and awareness between you and your dog. We will train or improve basic obedience skills such as sit, down, stay, loose leash walking, come and no jumping. Some of the skills we will cover include attention, ability to work around other dogs as well as people and distractions, drive and motivation, and confidence. The focus of the class is on improving manners, gaining skills, and increasing confidence to build a more enjoyable relationship. We utilize clicker training in this class.

This class is a prerequisite to Intro to Agility as well as a great prelude to any obedience class.

At the completion of Focus Foundation the handler should be able to:

  • Heel or walk on a loose leash with the dog at the handler's side
  • Maintain Sit/Stay and Down/Stay on command for 30 seconds
  • Maintain Stand/Stay for 10 seconds
  • Come when called on cue off-leash with some degree of distraction from a distance of 20 feet.
  • Leave a treat within reach until released to take it
  • Learn to pay attention and "watch" you
  • Improve manners such as issues with jumping up

    Obedience II

Obedience II is an intermediate obedience class for dogs and their handlers who have completed Focus Foundation, or Obedience I or equivalent, and for those handlers who wish to improve their companion dog handling and the dog-handler relationship using positive reinforcement. It is also for those handlers and their dogs that have an interest in entering the Obedience sport and want preparation before taking the Obedience III class. To enter the Obedience II class, the human/dog team should be able to accomplish all of the final tasks of the Obedience I Class.

At the completion of Obedience II class the human/dog team should be able to:

  • Heel (or walk with dog at side) with the dog on loose leash to off-leash (or simulation of off-leash with umbilical cord, leash-over-shoulder or lure techniques), do about turns, left and right turns, move at a normal, slow and fast pace.
  • Heel with the dog on loose leash or off-leash, Heel in a Figure 8 pattern, and to perform some "Rally doodles" such as spiral left, spiral right, circle right, circle left.
  • Maintain a Sit/Stay, Down/Stay and Stand/Stay off leash for a specified time.
  • Come when called off-leash with some degree of distraction from a distance greater than 20 feet.

Obedience III

This is a 6-week course designed for dogs and their handlers who have completed Obedience II or equivalent training. It is intended for those handlers who wish to continue in improving fluency in handler-dog teamwork. Obedience III provides opportunity for experienced handlers to work in an environment similar to a more formal obedience ring. Entry to this class requires the ability to perform the skills of the Obedience II Class.

At the completion of Obedience III class the human/dog team should be able to:

  • Complete a qualifying AKC Novice routine.

    Practice, practice, practice!
    Join the Club and make your dog a Lucky Dog! Get a membership and use the facility on your schedule to practice whenever there is no other class or event.


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Photo Thanks:
"Punch" (Beatcha to The Punchline) (tri Aussie) - Kim Waldron;
'Kaya" (Aussie/Husky) - Shari Sprague