Level 1 is the introduction to training for dogs with little or no previous training who are over than 5 months old. In Level 1
we not only focus on building beneficial behaviours but on undoing bad
habits which may have already formed while providing a structure for
future learning which is both fun and effective for both you and your
dog. In addition to teaching the behaviours for success that you and
your dog need to be happy together, Level 1 classes also focus on the
Juvenile behaviour stage (the 'teenage' period) as well as starting
training for adult dogs. We even cover potty training for those dogs who
need it! Class cost $100.00 per dog, unlimited humans!
What is being taught?
Level 1 classes are designed for older dogs as a way to introduce them to a training structure which provides the foundation for a happy life as well as providing opportunities for appropriate socialization. Consistency is the key to successful learning and our Level 1 curriculum uses the same techniques and basic patterns that they will need for learning everything from Rally to Agility to Flyball to SAR! The key to this flexibility is to teach all the basic techniques of generating new behaviors in their simplest forms. In addition to learning how to develop new behaviors in your dog we'll also cover how to appropriately socialize your dog to other dogs.
How is the training done? What methods are used?
Our training is scientifically based force-free positive reinforcement (R+) training. That means that we use active reinforcement to show your dog what we want them to do and we prevent reinforcement for behaviors we don't want. In class you will be shown what to do and coached through how to do it yourself. Seigfreid's major role in class is to demonstrate all the necessary steps by showing not only what to do now but also how to develop your training further. This way even if your dog is only ready to learn the lure you can be learning how to teach the verbal and hand cues as well! We cover lure, catch, and shape methods using different behaviors which are most appropriate to each method. This way when your dog is presented with a need for a new behavior you have all the tools necessary to meet that need.
What do you need to bring?
For class you need to bring; a flat collar/harness/halter/head collar/or no pull harness and a 6 foot fixed leash. Something your dog really likes such as a ball, toy, or treats. And a small bed/mat/or towel for them to lay on. If you haven't picked out a harness or no pull but suspect you may need one, there are some demo products at each class that you can try out. We do not need or use any metal collars such as choke chains or prong collars (soft martingale collars for appropriate dogs such as greyhounds are fine). If all you have for your dog is a metal collar please get one of the above suggested collars or harnesses as there are several training activities where these kinds of collars will interfere.
What about vaccinations?
For Level 1 classes you will need your current shot records for rabies, distemper, and parvo (bordatella vaccination is highly recommended as well). In the event that your dog currently has a communicable disease such as parvo or bordatella you will not be able to attend (feel free to contact Rob directly for customized training options separate from other dogs). If you do not provide your vaccination paperwork at or before the first class you will not be allowed to participate until it is provided. Make-up classes for the first class can be arranged if you contact Rob before the second class starts.
Who can come?
You and your 5+ month old dog. Also it is important to remember that consistency is a HUGE part of successful training. To that end you are welcome to bring anyone (human at least) who is regularly going to interact with your dog. This way you can ensure your dog is getting the same beneficial and effective message from everyone! Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.
Aggressive behaviors are those behaviors whose intent is to cause harm. Barking, jumping, growling, and even snapping are not necessarily aggressive in intent. As with all of us a limited suite of physically possible behaviors must do the job of dealing with a much greater range of situations. The result of this mismatch is that individual behaviors can be used for many purposes in different situations by different dogs. That being said, if you are concerned that your dog may be potentially dangerous in a group setting with other dogs, please contact Rob directly to discuss training options. If your dog is reactive and you do not feel comfortable in a group setting consider a reactive dog class or private training to help learn to manage your pups more troubling behaviors. As one of our goals with Level 1 classes is proper socialization aggressive dogs are not allowed in Level 1 classes. This doesn't mean that any particular breeds are excluded, breeds are not deeds. There are however some dogs who may, due to circumstances earlier in their lives, have developed behaviors incompatible with the socialization of the other dogs in class. Many older dogs who attend Level 1 type classes do so not just to learn new behaviors but also to address socialization deficits due to early life experiences like being in a shelter or being abandoned. These dogs do tend to have some issues socializing properly. These dogs are welcome in class of course. Where the problem lies is when a dogs lack of proper socialization has turned into dangerous behaviors which impede or are detrimental to the socialization of the other dogs in class. If you are concerned with your dogs behavior feel free to contact Rob to discuss your concerns.