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 emails and in-person review.
Complete Puppy Class
10-week class: $165
Complete Puppy is offered as a hybrid class, which combines remote learning (via emails) with IN-PERSON classes. Students receive several emails 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/DESCRIPTOR) of classes.
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.
- 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/DESCRIPTOR and/or TIME of the puppy 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.
Click here to see the SCHEDULES page.
Pay as you go: $20
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 🙂
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-week class: $175
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 emails and in-person review.
Graduate Puppy Class
4-week class: $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.
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.
4-week class: $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.
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