Future Classes

The following classes are offered on a rotating basis.

Comings and Goings – NEW!

This course will focus on weekly lessons on coming when called and relaxed loose leash walking. By teaching your dog that there is something really good for him when he hears COME and by increasing distractions systematically, you can condition him to reliably run to you even with very exciting distractions. Loose leash walking will become fun and easy for your dog so that he chooses to walk with you rather than needing special equipment to keep him close by. All dogs over six months are welcome.

Fearful Fido

Fearful Fido is designed to reduce fearful reaction in shy dogs. Timid dogs learn to react differently to people, places and objects that would normally cause them to dart away or freeze in place. Initially, we teach the dogs skills for exploring and owners learn to use the skills to help the dogs explore things that are not fear-inducing. The size, proximity, mobility and sound of objects will be modified over the sessions and the dogs will continue to explore. Owners will learn to read their dogs and systematically expose them to these objects while offering reinforcement for displays of confidence.

Good Dogs Out on the Town

Get out in the community and put your dog’s skills to use! The entire class will be there to give you confidence and I will coach you along. Prerequisite is Puppy Kindergarten or Family Dog (or comparable basic obedience class.)

Week 1 and 2 will be held at a park where we will train and discuss the following behaviors:

  • Good manners when getting out of the car
  • Every outing is a training session so we will discuss your dog’s warm up ritual
  • Useful default behavior when talking to store employees
  • Working with people who want to say Hi
  • Working with crowds
  • Dealing with “scary” objects and events

Weeks 3 - 6 will meet in dog friendly establishments around town.  Depending on the abilities of the class participants, we will hold a pizza party on a patio in Old Town during the last night of class.

Therapy Dog and Canine Good Citizen Preparation

This is the class for you if you have dreams of brightening someone's day with a visit from your well behaved dog! Prior to beginning a career in Animal Assisted Therapy or Animal Assisted Activities your dog should be trained well enough to earn the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen title. The AKC CGC program is the gold standard for good dog behavior. This course will teach and polish the skills necessary for your dog to pass the optional CGC evaluation which will be offered after the last class session by an independent evaluator.

This course will also prepare your dog for walking on different surfaces, moving into tight spaces, dealing with canes and crutches and exhibiting behaviors that people find friendly and therapeutic.

Dogs and pups over six months of age who have completed Family Dog or an equivalent basic obedience class are welcome. 

Family Dog

This course teaches basic obedience with a focus on good behavior in the home and getting ready to get out in the community. Your dog or older puppy will learn Sit, Down, Stay, Come and loose leash walking using all positive techniques which makes training fun for you and for your dog. You will teach your dog to greet people and other dogs calmly, and “Leave It” when you tell him. All of the lessons you teach will be reinforced with games that you and your dog will enjoy! Older pups and dogs over six months of age are welcome.

FREE Dog-friendly Guided Hikes!

Join me in the beautiful Larimer County Open Spaces for free guided hikes with your best friend. Check out Upcoming Classes for future hikes

Puppy Kindergarten

In addition to lots of socializing with people and other puppies, this course teaches Sit, Down, Stay, Trade, loose leash walking and Come. Your puppy will learn to Come when called out of play, ignore scooters and people that run, and learn to greet people calmly. Puppy Kindergarten follows the AKC STAR puppy curriculum and is open to puppies that are fully inoculated and younger than 5 months of age at the start of class.

Fun Rally

Interested in learning about Rally Obedience in a relaxed environment? Have you ever wanted to improve your dog’s heeling and attention to you? Looking for some evening exercise – both physical and mental – for you and your dog?  Fun Rally is for you.  You will learn to interpret the 2013 AKC Rally signs and then run a course while rewarding your dog for having fun!  Prerequisite is Puppy Kindergarten or Family Dog (or comparable basic obedience class.)

Reactive Rover: Positive Solutions for Eliminating Leash Reactivity

Does your sweet dog turn into a wild or aggressive animal when on a leash? Animals have three normal mechanisms for dealing with threats: flight, fight or freeze.  When an animal feels he is unable to run away (flight) and it might not be safe for him to freeze, the only option he has left is to fight.  This is the start of leash reactivity. If your dog practices barking and lunging at other dogs, animals, cars, trucks, or bikes that he feels are threats and those threats move away from him he learns that his barking and lunging keep him safe. His reaction to threats will intensify unless he learns to deal differently with the threats.

Reactive Rover class will use techniques from several different dog trainers and specialists that have addressed this problem.  Classical Conditioning will be used to improve each dog’s reaction to its triggers outside of the classroom. Handlers will be instructed on practicing classical conditioning and keeping their dog’s sub threshold for a reaction. Grisha Stewart’s Behavior Adjustment Technique will show the dogs that they can choose a different way to behave when presented with a trigger, i.e., move away rather than fight. With each dog reacting less it will be possible to use Leslie McDevitt’s focus games to occupy and desensitize the dogs to each other in the classroom. Selected exercises from Control Unleashed will be used to increase each dog’s focus on their handler and reduce reactions to other dogs as the dogs start working around the room.

Week 1 is a people-only class to introduce training techniques that will be utilized during the early weeks of the class. Canine learning through classical conditioning and operant conditioning using positive reinforcement will be discussed. Positive punishment, negative reinforcement, negative punishment and extinction and their role in exacerbating reactivity will be discussed.

During Weeks 2 – 5, all 4 dogs will attend class and gain confidence and focus through reinforcement of acceptable behavior and alternatives to reacting on leash.

Note: Friendly, excitable, and unfocused dogs are welcome in Reactive Rover. Please contact Sheri for a private lesson if your dog has ever bitten a person or dog. With proper behavior modification training many fearfully aggressive dogs can eventually attend group classes. Reactive Rover is not designed to address aggression issues.