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Essential Obedience: Fundamentals group class


This is not your average group obedience class!  

This course is for owners who are committed to putting in the time and effort required to achieve a truly well-trained dog.  It’s not always easy, the work can be demanding at times, but the rewards for this investment are tremendous.  

You and your dog will learn to work together as a team. You will develop a relationship based on understanding, effective communication, cooperation, and mutual respect.  Your dog will become more than just a pet; he’ll be your reliable companion.

Through a well-proven, carefully sequenced, set of 6 lessons, you and your dog will learn the on-leash skill set of the AKC Companion Dog.  By the end of the course, your dog should be able to:

• Walk at heel on a loose leash, for when you’re out and about

Sit (and sit-stay), for when you need him to stay put while you attend to something else

Down (and down-stay), for when you want to take him to a cafe or restaurant with outdoor seating, the kids’ sporting events, or a picnic with family and friends, and want to BOTH be able to relax

Stand (and stay), for vet exams, cleaning muddy paws, grooming, nose-to-tail once-overs, and toenail clipping or grinding

Come when you call…really!

• We’ll also cover good manners for home and out in public, and problem-solve for mild to moderate undesirable behaviors.

—Dogs must be at least 5 months old.

—Handlers must be able to control their dog in the presence of people and other dogs.  If you need help getting to this point, contact us for more information.

—This class meets outdoors; dress for your comfort! You’ll be practicing daily with your dog to complete the course material.  Handlers and dogs should be reasonably in shape and not have any major health or mobility issues.

You don’t limit your class size to 5 or 6 dogs like other classes I've seen. Will I still get the attention and support I need?

After each lesson, you will gain access to a students-only section of our course portal.  There you will find support materials for each lesson: homework assignments, supporting articles and links, and video replay of the lesson.  

We’ll have a private, students-only community for follow-up, questions and discussion. Where else can you get your dog trainer practically on speed-dial?

We’ll hold weekly live Q&A sessions to review student-submitted video and help you if you get stuck. 

Can I enroll my reactive/aggressive/fearful dog in this class?

While we can accommodate most dogs with problem behaviors (and they are often the ones who make the biggest turn-arounds!), we ask that you contact us before registering to discuss whether some preparatory work might be necessary, in order to ensure a safe and productive class experience.  Dogs with a history of aggression may be required to wear a muzzle, or may be better served with one-on-one training.

I will miss a class (several classes)—can I make them up?

Our training is progressive and sequential, and skipping lessons or practice time is just not fair to your dog. 

With our online class portal, you’ll never have to miss a lesson! Lessons will be available for review when (and how often!) you like.  

Missing a few days of practice is usually not a problem; however, if you miss a week or more (or more than one class), we may encourage you to come back for the next round.

Homework? How much homework?

On average, you’ll be spending about an hour a day training your dog.  Some weeks a bit less, other weeks a bit more.  This work can be broken up into several training sessions per day.  While it is demanding, most people find it is doable when they make it a priority.

What training equipment do I need?

You will need a 15 ft. longe line (long leash). For most dogs, 5/8” wide cotton webbing is appropriate.  However, for especially large and/or powerful dogs, we recommend a 15 ft. Grip-It longe line (available at RayAllen.com).   You will also need a properly fitted chain training collar (we sell and recommend only the Herm Sprenger brand, for its reliable quality), and a 6 ft. leather leash.  For small to medium sized dogs, a 1/2” wide leash is suitable; for larger dogs, choose a 5/8” or 3/4” wide leash.  You’ll get a detailed equipment list (and links to buy) when you register.