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 PLUS (Sunday)

Prepare your dog for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test!  The “PLUS” is that our trainer will give you special tips and exercises designed just for your dog as an individual in real world situations.  Dogs can be any age but must already have basic obedience behaviors.  Class Size Limit: 5.  6 WEEK CLASS

Cost: 
$200 / 6 weeks

Dates: Starts Sunday 7/14/2019, every Sunday except around holidays
Time: 1:45pm to 3:00pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Unavailable


Basic Manners Level I (Monday)

This class is designed to teach you how to develop a working relationship with your dog.  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: 5.  DOGS 5 MONTHS AND UP.  6 WEEK CLASS

Cost: 
$175 / 6 weeks

Dates: Starts Monday 6/24/2019, every Monday except around holidays
Time: 7:30pm to 8:20pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Unavailable


Basic Manners Level II (Saturday)

This class will build on the skills learned in Level I.  Stay, Heel, and Go To Place will be covered.  All participants must first complete Level 1 or be evaluated by the trainer prior to enrolling.  Class Size Limit: 5.  DOGS 6 MONTHS AND UP.  6 WEEK CLASS.

Cost: $175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 8/24/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 11:00am – 11:50am
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Link


Puppy Manners (Saturday)

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

Cost: $175 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 8/24/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 10:00am to 10:50am
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Link


Puppy Social (Saturday)

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 coveredPUPPIES 8 WEEKS TO 15 WEEKS.

Cost: $125 / 4 weeks (discounted to $100 for CHN adopters) (rolling admission, start anytime)
Dates: Every Saturday except around holidays (Ongoing class)
Time: 9:15am to 10:00am
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Link


Control Unleashed in the Great Outdoors (Saturday)

This class is open to dogs and handlers who have completed Basic Manners 1 and 2. The class will take place outside and will be based on Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog. All dogs must have a mat for relaxation exercises. A crate is highly recommended but not required.

Cost: $175/ 6 weeks 
Dates:  Starts Monday 6/24/2019, every Monday except 7/15
Time: 6:30pm – 7:20pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Unavailable


TAG!  Tricks, Agility and Games! (Sunday)

Alternate days will include agility obstacles and sequences, and tricks and group games with your classmates using basic obedience skills. Prerequisites: Dogs must know sit and down. Fun class! Class Size Limit: 5.
 DOGS 5 MONTHS AND UP.  6 WEEK CLASS

Cost: $200 / 6 weeks
Dates: Starts Sunday 7/14/2019, every Sunday except around holidays
Time: 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Location: 13454 Clarksville Pike, Highland, MD 20777
Registration: Unavailable


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 and how to empower your dog to direct his/her own progress in a controlled, safe environment. This is a 7-week class and is limited to 3 dogs. Participants must have a front-clip harness and a muzzle for their dog.  The first class will be without dogs.

Cost: $250 / 7 weeks
Dates: Starts Saturday 8/17/2019, every Saturday except around holidays
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
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.