Training

We believe in always using force-free, fear-free scientifically-backed methods in our dog and puppy training classes.

For most people, it doesn’t require scientific journals to tell us what we seem to know instinctively: it is more humane to reward than to punish. Most people would rather avoid doing anything that will make their dog experience pain or fear if they can prevent it. Using positive reinforcement techniques rewards desirable behavior, lessens a dog’s frustration, and when used consistently, increases wanted behavior.

This results in happy dogs and happy people!

So what are science-based methods? Positive reinforcement is rewarding the dog with something very pleasant, like food, toys and petting, to encourage the dog to repeat the behavior. This works for every animal and every person as well. When training/teaching using force-free methods, no corrections, choke, prong, or electronic collars are ever used. Instead, we teach the behaviors we want in all of our dog and puppy training classes and provide rewards when they are exhibited.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behavior concluded that confrontational training methods such as hitting, intimidation using punitive force, and techniques of restraint like the “alpha roll” actually do very little to correct dogs’ behavior and in fact increase the likelihood that they will become fearful and defensive, sometimes resulting in biting.

For these reasons we employ only positive, force-free, fear-free training methods. We strive to teach these methods in all of our dog and puppy training classes.


Classes

The following classes are on offer.  

CGC Prep (Wednesday)

This class is designed to prepare your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test!  At the end of the class your dog will have a chance to test for CGC certification.  Things covered will include accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, appearance and grooming, out for a walk (walking on a loose lead), walking through a crowd, sit and down on command and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to distraction, and supervised separation.  Class Size Limit: 5.  6 WEEK CLASS.

Cost: 
$200 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Wednesday 9/4/2019, every Wednesday except around holidays
Time: 7:30pm to 8:40pm
Trainer: Kirsten Stade
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Basic Manners Level I (Wednesday)

This class will focus on building a fun, joyful relationship with our dogs through teaching them what we want them to do, and reinforcing those good behaviors through rewards.  Your dog becomes an ally and a closer friend.  You get in the habit of praising, playing with, and rewarding your dog, and in so doing you create a stronger bond built on trust and affection.  Behaviors such as sit, down, coming when called, and loose leash walking will be covered.  The first class is orientation and will NOT include dogs.  Class Size Limit: 6.  DOGS 5 MONTHS AND UP.  6 WEEK CLASS.

Cost: 
$175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Wednesday 10/23/2019, every Wednesday except around holidays
Time: 7:30pm to 8:20pm
Trainer: Kirsten Stade
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Basic Manners (Saturday)

This class is designed to teach you how to develop a working relationship with your dog. Behaviors such as sit, down, coming when called, leash manners, polite greetings, and stay will be covered Class Size Limit: 5. DOGS 5 MONTHS AND UP. 6 WEEK CLASS

Cost: 
$175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 11/16/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 11:00am to 11:50am
Trainer: Angie Madden
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Mindful Manners Level I (Wednesday)

The goal of this class is to make dog training something that you and your dog look forward to, and that leads to a better relationship, a calmer mind, and improved health and well-being for you both.  In this class, we’ll be exploring how we can train basic skills using new-age mindfulness techniques that help our dogs and ourselves relax.  Behaviors such as sit, down, coming when called, and loose leash walking will be covered.  The first class is orientation and will NOT include dogs.  Class Size Limit: 6.  DOGS 5 MONTHS AND UP.  6 WEEK CLASS.

Cost: 
$175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Wednesday 10/23/2019, every Wednesday except around holidays
Time: 6:30pm to 7:20pm
Trainer: Kirsten Stade
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Puppy Essentials (Monday)

Over the 7 week course, you will learn how to teach your new puppy the most necessary basic behaviors such as sitting, laying down, staying or coming to you when asked.  This class is also designed to prepare your dog to the outside world by imitating real life scenarios as well as some emergency handling. By the end of the class, your puppy will have developed the social skills necessary to be confident in his immediate surroundings while paying attention and responding to your requests.

Curriculum includes but not limited to the following topics:

  • Body Position Changes: Sit, Down, Stand
  • Stay
  • Drop it
  • Leave it
  • Proper Leash Walking
  • Handling and Settling Down
  • Proper Play: Tug of War, Fetch

Qualifying ages: 12 – 18 weeks old
Maximum number of dogs: 6

Cost: $185/7 weeks
Dates: Every Monday except around holidays
Time: 6:30 pm – 7:20 pm

Instructor: Beatrix Beri
Start date
: Monday, January 6, 2020

Registration: Link


Puppy Manners (Monday)

This 6-week course for puppies 4 – 6 months old will cover basic behaviors such as sit, down, coming when called, leash manners, and stay.  Playtime will be incorporated. Class Size Limit: 5.  Minimum Class Size: 3  DOGS 4 MONTHS TO 6 MONTHS.  6 WEEK CLASS.

Cost: $175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Monday, December 9, 2019, every Monday except around holidays

Time: 7:30pm to 8:20pm
Trainer: Beatrix Beri

Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Puppy Social

Would you like to improve your puppy’s learning capability, memory, and cognitive flexibility while also decreasing excitability and reactivity?  The Puppy Social is the class for you!  This 4-week class is designed to give families with a brand new puppy the tools and support they need while providing puppies with a solid foundation. Puppies will gain confidence through exploration and play.  Families will learn basic training skills and how to facilitate positive social interactions. Topics such as body handling, potty training, play biting, and dealing with problem behaviors will also be covered. PUPPIES 8 WEEKS TO 15 WEEKS. By the end of the class, your puppy will have developed the social skills necessary to be confident in his immediate surroundings while paying attention and responding to your requests.

Cost: $125 / 4 weeks (discounted to $100 for CHN adopters) (rolling admission, start anytime)
Dates: Every Monday except around holidays (Ongoing class)
Time: 6:30pm to 7:20pm
Trainer: Beatrix Beri
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: See Puppy Essentials


Reactive to Relaxed (Saturday)

Does your dog lunge, bark or growl at other dogs, fast moving objects or wildlife when on-leash or behind a barrier? This class is designed to help your canine companion develop coping skills to deal with over-stimulating environments. Learn management techniques in a controlled and safe environment. This is a 7-week class, and attendance at the first 3 classes is mandatory. Participants must have a front-clip harness and a muzzle for their dog. Class will take place in the outdoor yard, and the first class will be without dogs. Class size limit: 4.

Cost: $250 / 7 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 10/12/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Reactive to Really Relaxed (Saturday)

This class is for graduates of Reactive to Relaxed. Continue your journey toward having a dog that is able to relax in the presence of triggers, and learn to empower your dog to direct his/her own progress. Participants must have a front-clip harness and a muzzle for their dog. Class will take place in the outdoor yard. Class size limit: 4. This is a 6 week class.

Cost: $225 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 10/12/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link


Control Unleashed (Saturday)

This class is open to dogs and handlers who have completed a basic manners class and would like to take their training to the next level.  Based on Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog, this class will help the distracted dog learn to focus and the over-stimulated dog learn to relax. All dogs must have a mat for relaxation exercises. A crate is recommended but not required.

Cost: $175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 10/19/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 10:00am to 10:50am
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777

Registration: Link

 

Dog and puppy training

What Type of Training Do You Need?

Every dog is different – let us help you help Fido!

Consulting

Do you have a few questions you want answered? Are you not sure if you should take classes? Do you just want some advice for that weird thing your dog is doing? An over the phone consulting session might be for you.  For more information click the link below.

Personal Sessions

Do you want some one-on-one training time? Does your dog not do well in a class environment? Would you like a more specialized course? Personal sessions offer focus just on you and your dog!  For more information click the link below.