What We Offer
PROOF OF VACCINATIONS REQUIRED AT FIRST MEETING
Puppy Elementary (First class is an orientation – humans only, no dogs)
This 90-minute class is targeted for dogs 4 months and older with little or no prior training. The class combines 3 phases of learning. The first is simple command learning — sit, stay, come, down, etc. Using games and (optional) clickers this portion of class also includes focus and impulse control activities. The second phase involves advancing your dog’s socialization skills with dogs, strangers and new environments. The third phase incorporates discussion and solutions regarding universal puppy/dog behaviors such as nipping, jumping and barking.
The class may also address behavior issues you may be experiencing at home. More serious behavior problems, such as increased aggression with people or dogs, fearfulness or escaping, will not be discussed at length in class as they may call for more extensive work, and will likely require a home visit from a trainer. In addition to the training exercises and activities, we will guide you through a comprehensive puppy massage. Click Here For Current Schedule
Dogma High is open to dogs of any age that have primary knowledge of the basic commands: sit, stay, come, down. The class will review these commands and then take them to the next level employing distractions and increased duration to strengthen your dog’s response. This class also teaches focus and impulse control with exercises such as “leave it,” and utilizes effective clicker training techniques (the clicker is recommended, but optional). Class activities and exercises may incorporate socializing, loose leash walking techniques and calming ovals. This class presents a fun-filled, action-packed challenge for both you and your dog. An optional field trip to the dog park may be included. Click Here For Current Schedule
Good Dogma U./CGC
This is our most advanced class, designed to reinforce and add challenge to the basic commands your dog has mastered. We’ll take the loose leash heel to the next step, working off leash and incorporating turns, halts, speed variations and distractions. The class will also practice distance commands, hand signals, and begin the phasing out of lures and treats. This class includes the 10 “tests” required for your dog to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizenship. An opportunity to take the test at the last class meeting can be arranged with prior notice to the instructor. Click Here For Current Schedule
Does your dog lunge, growl, or bark at other dogs when out for a walk? This 45 minute workshop will address on-leash “reactive” behavior and how to manage it. While unpleasant, this behavior more often indicates excitement or fear more than aggression. Often it can be “the other end of the leash” that feeds the behavior and inadvertently reinforces it. This class will teach you how to anticipate a reactive burst and provide alternative responses in order to redirect, and eventually eliminate the behavior. A focus command and calming exercise are also incorporated into the behavior modification process. This outdoor workshop is small and will be limited to five dogs per session. The cost of the workshop is $25. Click Here For Current Schedule
Pet Therapy Team Training and Assessment
To obtain certification as a pet therapy team, you and your dog will need to master specific skills. This 4 week class, for dogs over 1 year of age, will cover commands and behaviors required to achieve certification from a Pet Therapy evaluator. Basic obedience commands will be reviewed, reinforced, and tested, including loose leash walking and focus. There are no “formal” prerequisites for this class. However, your dog should have solid basic obedience skills; this class does not teach basic commands (e.g. sit, stay, come, etc.). Your dog should also be well socialized and comfortable around people of all ages, sizes and colors. Come, stay, and heel commands will have several added distractions, including movement, toys, food, sounds, and hospital equipment. Impulse control behavior will involve “Leave it” and the Toy/Food “Gauntlet.” We will also utilize clicker training to work on shaping behaviors such as “Touch.” This class will target desensitizing your dog so that it is comfortable being handled both by you and by strangers. Exercises will include a complete body exam including petting, hugging, tugging, and changes in vocal inflection.
Passing the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) test is not required but strongly recommended. You can find the list of tests at www.AKC.org by typing in Canine Good Citizenship test. Good Dogma can provide CGC testing at any time. You do not need to take a class to take the test. Click Here For Current Schedule
Private instruction is extremely beneficial if your dog has behavior issues, or you are not able to make it to a class. With private instruction we are able to focus on whatever you feel needs work, you set the agenda. Whether it be jumping on counters (or people), barking, pulling on the leash, digging, or just basic obedience work. The first session of instruction is divided into two parts, theory and practice.
Theory includes taking a history/background of you and your family’s routines with the dog, and learning how human behavior will affect the behavior of the dog. The second part involves putting into practice your new knowledge: engaging your dog more efficiently to elicit the appropriate responses.
In order to maintain consistency and promote success, private instruction requires an initial and follow up lesson* within a 3 week period or aditional cost will apply. The cost for private instruction starts at $170, and payment in full is due at the conclusion of the first meeting. Each instruction session runs approximately 90 minutes.
* One meeting may be available for certain behavior issues. Base price is $90. Please consult with Good Dogma for this option.
Seminars & Workshops
Brief, one-day sessions on important topics for all dog owners and prospective owners. Seminars (humans only) and workshops (bring your furry one) vary in price, and are held at various locations. Please check the website calendar for any upcoming events.
It cannot be stressed enough that understanding how your dog thinks and learning to communicate using canine language is critical to getting the response or behavior you desire. It is Good Dogma’s mission to educate people on how to use both their body and voice in unison to reinforce correct responses/behavior and extinguish inappropriate responses/behavior.
Good Dogma can help you eliminate or change unwanted canine behaviors. Instead of telling the dog what you don’t want it to do, teach alternative behaviors that will earn the dog praise. Good Dogma uses a tool bag of methods including, positive reinforcement, sound aversion, toys, and treats to change problem behaviors. We do not believe in using punishment as a tool to change behavior.
Basic Clicker Training
A clicker is a small hand held tool used to reinforce good behavior. It is usually followed by a treat. This routine is called Classic conditioning, where the stimulus (clicker) is followed by reward (food) — think Pavlov and his dogs. At some point in time the clicker and treats are eliminated, but the dog has now been conditioned to respond to the stimulus (a command). Clicker training is an effective tool, but takes some getting used to.
Good Dogma relies on the use of a variety of positive reinforcement training techniques to promote the continuation of desired behaviors. When your dog associates good rewards with a behavior, they are more likely to repeat those behaviors.
AKC CGC Evaluations
Good Dogma is certified by the AKC to evaluate dogs for Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certification. In addition to the immediate benefits of having a well-mannered dog, CGC certification is a first step to having your dog become a therapy or service dog. This means your dog can visit hospitals and convalescent or retirement homes. There are 10 exercises the dog must pass to gain certification. For more information on the CGC visit the AKC website at AKC.org. Good Dogma is available for CGC consultation, review, and testing throughout the year.
Therapy Dog Evaluation
Senior discount: (human) clients over 55 are eligible for a $10 discount on classes or private instruction.
Good Dogma offers gift certificates for any of the services we provide.