Class Descriptions

Entry Level Classes

Due to COVID-19, we are restructuring some of our Entry level classes. This will help reduce the number of students entering the building, and will allow us time to meet the demand of students needing classes.

These classes will be offered in two parts: a combination of remote learning and in-person review.

Complete Puppy Class

10 weeks $160

CLASS FORMAT
Complete Puppy is offered as a hybrid class, which combines remote learning (via emails) with IN-PERSON classes. Students receive several lessons prior to the first “in-person” class. These lessons give tips & training techniques for successful learning both at home and in classes. This hybrid schedule allows puppies as young as 9 weeks of age to enroll and start training at home earlier without the worry of vaccination protocols. This initial approach of training at home makes the first experience in a class, an easier and more enjoyable event for student and puppy!    

The emailed lessons are written with detail and include reference videos recorded at our facility. Students can train at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home. If for some reason a student cannot attend a class (due to an illness, school activity, vacation, etc.) they will not miss any training information.

The in-person classes give students the chance to ask questions, and the ability to practice lessons in a socialized setting with other students and puppies. Certificates of Completion are awarded for students completing the class. Currently, there are three (3) in-persons scheduled in each set (COLOR) of classes.

CLASS CURRICULUM
Basic obedience commands that are introduced in this class include: LOOK – pay attention to owner, THIS WAY – loose leash walking, and preliminary Left side walking activities (HEEL), SIT/STAND/DOWN positions, the COME command, a PLACE command, introducing the STAY command, teaching WAIT, and OFF – not jumping on people.

Social skills addressed in this class include teaching your puppy how to ignore distractions, have better door manners, crate training & housebreaking help/suggestions, puppy biting, basic grooming, and PROPER ways to socialize a puppy. A mini obstacle course teaching confidence, luring techniques, and fun ways to interact with your puppy is offered at the first ‘in-person’ session. You will discover what type of temperament your puppy has, and what the best methods are to teach your AWESOME puppy all the way into adulthood. 
 
REQUIREMENTS to register for COMPLETE PUPPY
  • ACCESS TO EMAIL IS MANDATORY. Facebook participation is highly recommended. We have a private FB group created for puppy class students for extra support and networking opportunities. 
  • Puppies must be A MINIMUM of 12 weeks of age, by the first in-person class.
  • Proof of vaccination FROM A VET’S office is required to attend classes. This can be sent with registration or MUST be brought to the first in-person class. Shot records from your breeder do not count as proof of vaccinations. 
  • Puppies from 3-10 months are eligible for this class. Dogs older than 10 months that are smaller breeds (such as a Yorkie) may be permitted to attend. Please ask.
  • Your registration and payment MUST be received by the registration deadline. You can mail it, or drop it off in the secured mailbox to the right of the front door at FDO.

Please be sure to refer to the COLOR and/or TIME of class you are signing up for. If you can do EITHER time, also please note that. Click here for the registration form.

After registration closes, you will receive the ‘Welcome” email, and other important information. First lesson emails include a ‘shopping guide,” your obedience lesson, and a lesson on teaching your puppy to “chill out.”

Classes typically run 60 minutes in length.

Please stay in touch if you are not able to attend an in-person class.  Students that do not check-in/show up may lose their spot in class to an auditing student.

This program is VERY successful IF YOU DO THE WORK! There are NO shortcuts. 

Click here to see the SCHEDULES page.

Puppy Gym

Puppy Gym class is a fun & unique opportunity to exercise your puppy, both physically and mentally. This class offers a variety of self-serve exercises and can include FitPaws & TotoFit equipment, Cavalletti’s, various obstacle challenges, basic obedience skills such as puppy push-ups, introduction to treadmills and suggestions for activities to perform in the fenced back parking lot. 

Please note: All exercises are done on leash, including the back parking lot circuit.  

Even though the class is titled “Puppy Gym” and was designed to further challenge our Puppy class students, we have seen many benefits for slightly older dogs (1+ yr) that have gone through other training classes/lessons at FDO. If you have questions about your dog’s eligibility for class, please contact Val for guidance. 

Puppy Gym exercises will show you how to improve your puppy’s fitness levels and body awareness through a combination of balance, strength, endurance, and stretching exercises. These activities can help to decrease the risk of injury for the growing puppy. Aside from the physical benefits, this class will build confidence, create focus and improve your relationship with your puppy as you build more life learning skills.

Puppy Gym consists of different ‘stations’ throughout the room with written suggestions/ideas to work on at each station. Each week those ideas will change, or create new challenges. You work at a pace and level that is comfortable for you and your puppy. Beginner, Advanced, and Expert levels are offered as students make progress. 

Please note: These stations involve using SIGNS, so reading is required…bring reading glasses if needed 🙂

CLASS FORMAT

Due to the self-serve nature of the class, you can arrive at any time during the designated class time.  Some classes may work as long as 90 minutes depending on the number of students participating. You may run through the stations once, or several times, depending on factors like the number of students, what time you arrive, the number of stations, and your puppy’s fitness level and stamina.

Pay-as-you-go – $20 per class

ONE TIME “TRY IT” – $25  Available for students new to FDO. A coach will be assigned to work with you for one class. An appointment is required, and some restrictions apply. Contact Val for details. 

There are no refunds, or make-ups outside the scheduled class dates for Puppy Gym unless for some reason FDO needs to cancel a date. 

Family Dog Obedience is proud to be a member of the AKC’s FIT DOG PROGRAM and Puppy Gym is an approved activity for that program. Follow this link for more information about the AKC FIT DOG PROGRAM.

Basic Manners 1 Class

6 weeks $175

The focus of Basic Manners 1 is to reinforce the basic skills that most dog owner’s desire: The dog will already sit and lie down on command, but will learn how to stay in place, how to come when called, and improve leash walking skills. Time is spent discussing different tools, such as collars and leashes, that can be useful in training, as well as brief discussions on adolescent behaviors and challenges. Basic Manners 1 may also include a Leave It command, a PLACE command, a right side walking command and several other “Mind Your Manners” practices depending on student readiness. This is a great starting point for students coming in from other training schools.  Class size is limited to 6 dog/handler teams.
 
CLASS FORMAT
Lessons are emailed to students 1 week in advance, so students have time to practice each week before actually participating in a group or “in-person” class. This format may change depending on the current health/pandemic situation. 

REQUIREMENTS –For dogs ages 1 yr &  up. We do not permit dogs that have aggressive tendencies towards people or other dogs in our group classes.  Owners with dogs that are unruly or disruptive, or shy/nervous, should do  a private lesson before attending this class to help everyone have a more successful experience.  Unneutered MALE dogs need prior approval in order to attend this class, due to marking/peeing behaviors.  No female dogs in heat in any classes. 

The SNIFFING Sports

Class details & costs will be coming soon.

Many fun activities involve the natural instinct for a dog to use their nose, to hunt for, and find “things.”

Any age, breed, shape, or skill level can do these activities. The activity creates confidence and helps to build trust between dog and owner. Many times dogs with reactivity issues can work this activity because often the searches are performed with only ONE DOG working at a time. It is also a great exercise for older dogs to learn, such as dogs retired from other dog sports, because they will ALWAYS be able to sniff!

Family Dog is working on several new methods and formats to add these classes to our schedule & teach these activities without having a lot of personal contact. If this is something you wish to learn more about, please let us know which level you would be interested in participating in. 

Beginner Level – Sniff & Find games

This will be done through several ‘virtual’ teachings via email and a Facebook group. There will be videos for instruction & reference. The lessons are short and require very little experience, training, or equipment.  Students will be requested to submit videos for instruction and critique. Many of these games can be done inside the home so it is a perfect activity for when the weather is not cooperative, or for students that have a small living space, minimal yard space, or limited time. 

Intermediate Level – “Noseworks”

Noseworks is a sport that combines the search/hunt skills you have learned in Sniff & Find with a new skill. This level of training will introduce pairing the ODOR of BIRCH during the searching with a reward. The goal is to eventually work towards having your dog search ‘just’ for odor.  This activity is similar to the training that police dogs receive when searching for drugs, etc. This will also involve some ‘virtual’ learning, (email & Facebook) and some ‘in person’ sessions to move forward with instruction and guidance.  

Advanced Level – Sniff N Go

Various setups for Interior, Exterior, Container, or (occasionally) Vehicle searches, using Birch as the hide. This will be done similar to a ‘testing’ experience, where each student has a block of time assigned to come in and do the searches.

Follow this link to see more information about the AKC’s Virtual title in Scent Work Activities

Intermediate Level Classes

Intermediate level classes require one or more Entry Level Classes. Please note the additional requirements listed after each class. Intermediate Level Classes are not confirmed via email unless there is a problem with the registration.

These classes will be offered in two parts: a combination of remote learning and in-person review. 

Graduate Puppy Class

4 weeks $80

For dogs who have fulfilled the requirements of the COMPLETE PUPPY CLASS at Family Dog. This class includes training exercises such as leash walking/Heel training, adding variations to the STAY command, and more work on COMING WHEN CALLED. The extra benefit of GRADUATE puppy is that it is the learning level is above and beyond other entry level students, so Agility obstacles, CGC behaviors, and more detailed discussions about dog behavior are addressed. Students are also familiar with each other, and friendships between humans, and dogs are being formed.

Graduate Puppy also includes a Leave It command, a Right-side walking command, and different ways to prevent a dog from jumping up on you or other people. Different dog sports such as Agility, Rally Obedience, AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate, etc are also discussed. Graduate Puppy is 4 weeks long.

CLASS FORMAT

This class will be a combination of remote learning and in-person review. Students in Graduate Puppy will receive emailed lessons one week in advance to the 4 in-person dates. These lessons are completely written out and include videos for reference. This allows students to practice material weekly and then ask questions and / or demonstrate the skills being taught. 

REQUIREMENTS – ACCESS TO EMAIL IS MANDATORY. Facebook participation is highly recommended, as there will be a private group created for puppy class students to ask questions and network. Dogs must have completed the Complete Puppy Program with Family Dog Obedience, or get prior approval from instructor by having a placement test scheduled.

Rally Class

4 weeks $80

This introductory level class will educate students on the sport of Rally Obedience. Students will learn the general rules, how to interpret each rally sign and work towards perfecting the required obedience skills with their dog. The class format will be to focus on a select group of rally signs for each class. Students will work through each sign to understand the proper performance and how to improve their dog’s skill level and/or train new skills. Our objective over time is to prepare students to be confident and prepared for the Virtual or in person Rally Novice title, should they be interested.

Rally is a fun and exciting team sport for dogs and their handlers. Dog and handler teams navigate a course  with numbered signs indicating different exercises to perform. It is a fun test of obedience and builds trust and teamwork between dog and handler. You can talk to your dog all your want and the beginner levels are on leash! Rally is fun for all—family dogs, teams beginning show careers, teams retiring from more physically demanding sports, and teams who just enjoy a good, challenging competition in a friendly atmosphere. There are even special provisions for dogs with certain handicaps. All dogs, purebred and mixed breed, small or large, young or old, are encouraged to join in the fun. 

REQUIREMENTS – It is recommended that your dog has attended Complete Puppy classes and/or Basic Manners classes with us in order to enroll. Dogs must be well-socialized and non-reactive to people or other dogs to participate. 

For more information about Rally, please visit the American Kennel Club website.

Advance Level Classes

Advanced level classes require one or more Entry Level Classes and one or more Intermediate Level Classes. Please note the additional requirements listed after each class. Advanced Level Classes are not confirmed via email unless there is a problem with the registration.

Versatility Class

Pay as you go

These sessions are designed to offer more challenging exercises for both the dog and the handler. Versatility classes help you strengthen the connection between you and your dog by introducing distance/duration/distraction elements during training practices, achieving a higher level of learning with your dog.  New skills that will be taught include “touch/targeting” practices, various ‘leave it’ exercises, and continued practice of the “place’ command. Classes may also address the different aspects of dog training activities, such as exercises from Rally Obedience, CGC skills, beginner Agility obstacles and maneuvers, teaching tricks, introductory Fit Fido practices, and clicker/marker training skills.

REQUIREMENTS – It is recommended that your dog has attended Complete Puppy classes and/or Basic Manners classes with us in order to enroll. Dogs must be well-socialized and non-reactive to people or other dogs to participate. We will not be limiting the size of Versatility class, but if more than 10 people participate, we are requesting that you wear a mask during class.

AKC Canine Good Citizen

Class $20; additional $10 for CGC test

Family Dog Obedience offers the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, as a same-day “class & test” option. This is open to dogs and handlers that have participated in basic dog obedience training classes, and have some knowledge of the CGC program.

Students will participate in a class that offers practice time for each of the 10 required exercises. Students will practice using other students as needed, such as in TEST #8: Reaction to Another Dog, or TEST #10: Supervised Separation. At the end of the class, students who feel ready to take the test will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, and prepare to take the test with the CGC evaluator, as required by the American Kennel Club. Students who do not feel ready to take the test may remain and watch the test, and even participate if needed for the Walking Through a Crowd portion. 

Pre-registration is required for the class portion, and students should bring their own brush for their dog. 

REQUIREMENTS – For dogs 6 months of age and older. It is HIGHLY recommended that your dog has attended Complete Puppy classes and Basic Manners classes with us in order to enroll. Dogs must be well-socialized and non-reactive to people or other dogs to participate.

For more information about the CGC test, and its requirements, please visit the AKC website at www.akc.org, and search for “Canine Good Citizen.”

Agility Classes

Registration in our Agility classes require students to have completed classes from our Entry, Intermediate, and Advanced Level classes. We specialize in offering the Agility experience to students that are new to the sport. Please note the additional requirements listed after each class. 

Pre-Agility Class

12 weeks  $199

If you are interested in learning about the sport of dog agility, this is the place to begin! We will introduce you and your dog to the basic rules and handling skills needed to guide your dog around the agility course. A variety of agility obstacles will be introduced in a fun and safe manner. All jumps are kept at a low height and the contact obstacles are introduced in a planned sequence and at lowered heights. As the class progresses, short off-leash obstacle sequences are used to build confidence and apply basic handling moves. Most scenarios can be practiced at home with very little extra equipment needed. Class size is limited to 8 participants. This class is only offered periodically due to its length of duration, and limited class size. These enrollment opportunities are offered to current students from our waiting list first. Students advance into our other Agility classes from here.

REQUIREMENTS – It is recommended that your dog has attended Complete Puppy classes and/or Graduate Puppy / Basic Manners classes with us in order to enroll in Pre-Agility Class. Students are also encouraged to participate in our Versatility class program while waiting for Pre-Agility to become available. If you have trained at other facilities, you can be evaluated for skill level with a private lesson in order to determine the best fit for Agility classes. Dogs must be well-socialized and non-reactive to people or other dogs to participate.

Continuation into Agility Classes

Please note: Our Agility classes are aimed at helping train the FAMILY DOG in this recreational activity. We specialize in offering the Agility experience to students that are new to the sport.  While students could move into Competitive aspects of Agility, our focus is for the FAMILY DOG to have fun, get more exercise, and learn improved communication.

There is no affiliation with any of the competitive venues (AKC, NADAC, etc.) The main goal for offering Agility classes is to give handlers and dogs an opportunity to practice a fun event that requires teamwork, communication between dog and handler and foundational obedience skills.

Our Agility program offers continuous advancement for our students. Advancement classes will focus on strengthening the basic handling skills from Pre-Agility class, adding new handling skills and increasing your dog’s stamina and proficiency on obstacles like weave poles, contact obstacles and multiple jump arrangements. Agility team strengths and weaknesses are analyzed, with opportunities and challenges given to improve your partnership with your dog. Our advanced training classes offer testing up to the AKC ACT tests, and beyond for students that are interested. We provide new training set ups and challenges each week. The facility offers state of the art equipment, small class sizes, and safety standards that are above and beyond industry practices. Agility classes are offered on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday evenings. Students are given guidance and recommendations for advancement in classes as their Agility training journey progresses.
 

REQUIREMENTS – Your dog must first attend Entry, Intermediate, and Advanced level classes with us in order to progress in our Agility program, or be evaluated and approved by an instructor for placement advice.  

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