REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAINING CLASS
We believe that every dog has the right to receive training so they can lead happy, adventurous lives. We gladly welcome all dogs and do not discriminate. If your dog poses a danger or threat towards other dogs or humans, we may require private training sessions or special management techniques before admitting your dog into a group class. We require that your dog be vaccinated. Since dogs easily pick up on "vibes", we also require that all humans be respectful towards fellow humans and canines when in class.
PREPARING FOR OBEDIENCE CLASS
Preparing for dog training class is just like preparing for any other class. Like learning any other art or skill you need your instrument (your dog), your tools (your treats, training pouch, leash, etc) and you need to have done your homework!
What you will need: We recommend six foot leashes. Please do not bring bungee leashes or zip lines to class. For basic obedience we also recommend you use a flat collar or martingale style collar worn tight. Test it to make sure it cannot slip over your dogs head when buckled. An easy-access treat pouch that can be secured to your waist (see more info below). Specialized equipment will be discussed in class and each dog's needs will be assessed. You may also want to bring a portable water bowl.
Treats: The kind of treats you bring to class can make a HUGE difference in how successful you will be. In the beginning stages of training (before you learn to train with tugs, toys or praise) food is the motivator for everything. This means your dogs treats must be so "high value" that they keep his attention the entire class long. You must prepare for class by taking the time to find out what food motivates your dog the most. Create enthusiasm for training by saving the high-value treats ONLY for class or training sessions. Use less yummy treats the rest of the time. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your training class:
Find out what your dog likes by trial and error. Buy a bunch of treats and find out which one your dog likes the most. Save the higest-value treats for class.
Prepare your own pea sized dog treats (suggestions below). This is often more economical and lots more yummy than the store bought treats.
Bring a variety of high value treats so that you can switch treats if your dog gets bored of one.
We recommend that you bring AT LEAST 80 pea-sized pieces of treats MINIMUM.
Here are some simple treats you can prepare yourself! All treats should be PEA SIZED so that your dog can swallow them without chewing.
- Seared or boiled steak, chicken or liver, seasoned and cut into small pea-sized cubes.
- Any kind of cheese, cut into tiny pea-sized bits.
- Chicken or turkey hot dogs cut into tiny bits.
- If you want to get even crazier, try hot dogs with the cheese inside, YUM!
- Cooked sausage, cut into bits.
- Canned chicken or tuna from the supermarket. Its already in little chunks and dogs love it.
- Freeze dried liver or tripe. (most natural pet stores carry this)
- Sandwich cold cuts such as turkey, chicken or ham, torn or cut into tiny pieces.
So, at next class, lets see how creative you guys have been making your treats. Make a little extra to share with your classmates, we can all trade treats and see what your dogs like best!
Now, lets talk about TRAINING POUCHES.
The whole reason to have a pouch is about speed. Your pouch is like a gun holster, it enables the quick draw! If you are unable to quick draw your treat like a gunfighter then you are dead in the water. Don't put your treats in your pocket. Get a pouch that stays open and sits right at your hip next to your "shooting hand"! Ziplock baggies are useless, don't use them! In class you will be using sounds and treats to mark behaviors on the very INSTANT that they occur.Your ability to dispense treats must be quick, slick and seamless.
The objective is to always have the dog look forward to working with you!
If you properly prepare for training, practice your homework and stay consistent (no matter what!) your dog will progress MUCH faster and you will get A LOT more out of class. We can teach you the language and show you the moves but the success of your dog is entirely up to YOU. And dont forget to do your homework! This involves two short training sessions per day, practicing the above. 15 mins per session is ideal but always keep in mind not to train longer than the attention span of your dog. Its imperative to end on a positive note, and to keep your dog engaged. If your dog is beginning to "dis-engage" or loose interest, end on a high note of success and begin again later for another quick session.