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Topic Based Classes

Below are the lists of topics for Family Dog 1Family Dog 2, Family Dog 3 and Special Workshops. Visit our Class Calendar for class schedule. Flexible Self Scheduling and topic based classes mean you can start within a week and take the classes in any order. How to Enroll.

Family Dog 1 Topics


Pay Attention
with Distractions
Sit, Down & Release

Pay Attention with Distractions teaches you the exercises to practice to teach your dog to pay attention to you. This is a great class to take early in your classes, but don't worry, we include attention exercises in every class because they are foundation exercises. They are also on our Basic Behaviors Video. How to Enroll.

Sit, Down & Release. Teaches the basics of sit, down and release. Learn the criteria for sit and down and how to train them with reinforcement and without physical coercion. Learn Sit or Down the first time I ask with no delay and stay sitting/down until you are released. This is awesome for impulse control. Impulse control is delayed gratification, resisting an impulse for immediate satisfaction of a desire or temptation. How to Enroll.

Come When Called

Come When Called is about teaching your dog to come when called the first time you ask with no delay. This is an essential skill for pet dogs to learn and practice, practice, practice! How to Enroll.

Loose Leash Walking

Loose Leash Walking teaches you how to train our dog to walk calmly on a leash without pulling. We talk about equipment and teach three tools that you can practice on walks with your dog. An essential skill for living with a companion dog. How to Enroll.

Take It or Leave It

Take It or Leave It is about training your dog to leave things alone and look at you instead. This exercise could, if well trained and practiced, help save your dog's life and save you from a large vet bill. Great for impulse control. Impulse control is delayed gratification, resisting an impulse for immediate satisfaction of a desire or temptation. How to Enroll.

Polite Greetings

Polite Greetings teaches you how to train your dog about greeting people politely out in public. Instead of lunging, jumping, licking and sniffing crotches, you want your well-behaved dog to sit politely for petting or while you converse with a friend. How to Enroll.

Say Yes!

The Say Yes! topic focuses on the handler's knowledge and timing in using a marker word ("Yes!") to let your dog know exactly when they have got it right. We also cover:

  • timing of reward presentation

  • rate of reinforcement

  • reward delivery and your criteria for delivering a reward. 


The marker word helps bridge the time between the action and the reward. We will use some basic behaviors like hand targeting, sit and down as models for the lesson but the focus is on the training skills of the dog's owner/handler.


If your timing is right, the dog has a much easier time understanding what you want them to do. It helps them make sense of your training!

 How to Enroll.


Family Dog 2 Topics


Stay, Wait & Settle

Stay, Wait & Settle is about training sitting or lying down for a period of time. This is a great way to teach impulse control to your dog and makes a more reliable family dog. A reliable stay gives you freedom! Great for impulse control. Impulse control is delayed gratification, resisting an impulse for immediate satisfaction of a desire or temptation. How to Enroll.

Emergency Recalls

Emergency Recalls. Someday you may need to call your dog in an emergency. If your dog runs out in the road, or toward danger, you'll need to know how to teach them to come without delay. That is what this class is all about. How to Enroll.

Recalls off Good Stuff
Recall Games

Recalls off Good Stuff. Squirrels are the good stuff. Other dogs and people can be good stuff too. Distractions abound in your dog's world and you'll learn how to practice recalls off distractions with your dog. Can you call your dog off a hot dog? You'll know how to do it after taking this class. How to Enroll.

Calm Departures &

Recall Games is one of our most popular classes. People often like to repeat this class to help their dogs to learn to come when called. Recall Games teaches you how to train your dog to come with some fun games. You'll need to be able to walk fast or run to play these games. How to Enroll.

Be The Cookie!

Calm Departures & Arrivals teaches good door skills for companion dogs. If your dog goes crazy when someone arrives, jumps on people or if they bark when you leave the house without them, this class is for you. Great for impulse control. Impulse control is delayed gratification, resisting an impulse for immediate satisfaction of a desire or temptation. How to Enroll.

Be the Cookie! Training is more than teaching a bunch of behaviors, it is a whole communication system where your relationship is reinforcing and fun for both of you.

This class focuses on:

  • Knowing ALL of the things that reinforce your dog's behavior

  • Building more reinforcers for a stronger performance

  • How you can be personally more reinforcing to your dog

  • How play, toys, praise and touch can make you the "cookie"

  • How to use the reinforcers you CAN control to train a better companion dog

  • How to work up to reinforcers (distractions) you CAN'T control by progressively increasing distractions

  • How to embrace distractions as a training tool

  • How to set your dog up for success 

  • Marking and reinforcing the things that your dog does right.

  • Knowing when to reward and when to withhold rewards

  • How to Enroll.


Family Dog 3 Topics

Resisting Temptations

Resisting Temptations. Learn how to call your dog away from tempting distractions like food, toys and other dogs. How to Enroll.

Rocket Fast Formal Recalls

Rocket Fast Formal Recalls. Now that you have completed your Family Dog 1 Recall classes you can take it to the next level with formal recalls. Canine Good Citizen Test Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

Really Reliable Stays

Really Reliable Stays. Add challenges with distance, distractions, duration and out of sight to increase the reliability of your dog's stay. Stays are trained progressively and need to be practiced frequently to be reliable.
Canine Good Citizen Test Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

Heeling with Targets & Attention

Heeling with Targets & Attention. Heel means walking beside you politely. Targeting is a method we use to teach heel. Dogs usually love to target with reward-based training. This is a great way to train your companion to walk beside you instead of pulling your shoulder out!

Canine Good Citizen Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

CGC & Urban CGC Practice

CGC & Urban CGC Practice. Loose Leash Walking, Reaction to Another Dog, Recall Skills, Supervised Separation. Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

Close Encounters

Close Encounters. Want a polite dog when encountering dogs and people out in the world? Learn and practice the foundations with new and interesting challenges. Canine Good Citizen Test Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

Go To Your Spot

Go To Your Spot teaches you how to train your dog to go to a mat and lie down. This comes in handy when you want to eat dinner, have guests in the house, are greeting people at the front door, etc. Distance work is challenging and fun! How to Enroll.

Recalls with Distractions 2

Recalls with Distractions 2. Can you ever practice enough recalls? Up your game with new and challenging distractions.

Canine Good Citizen Preparation Class. How to Enroll.

Tug, Fetch & Release
Advanced Leave It

Tug, Fetch & Release is about teaching safe tug games with rules. It also teaches you how to get your dog to bring something to you (instead of playing keep away and running all over after them) and how to release items happily to you when you ask. How to Enroll.

Advanced Leave It. You and your dog will practice leaving alone moving objects, food on the ground, squeaking toys and more advanced challenges. How to Enroll.

Canine Good Citizen Skills

CGC Skills. Practice polite greetings, reaction to another dog, sit politely for petting, grooming and supervised separation in preparation for the Canine Good Citizen Test. How to Enroll.

AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests

AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests.  Three to four times annually we hold the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test or the Urban Canine Good Citizen Test. Any dog of any age is welcome to sign up for the CGC Tests. Find out more on our CGC page!

How to Enroll.

Special Workshop Topics

Whistle Recalls

Whistle Recalls. From time to time we offer this special class. Using a whistle can help your long distance recalls at the beach and if trained and practiced correctly can be an amazing tool for having your dog return to you reliably. How to Enroll.

Canine Body Language

Canine Body Language. Special class: Teaches you how to hear what your dog is saying with your eyes. We highly recommend this class and strongly suggest you attend. Everyone should be able to read some of the small micro-signals that your dog can make to tell you when they are uncomfortable or do not feel safe. You can prevent a lot of problems and save yourself a lot of money if you know how to read your dog.  This class is a video presentation. Sorry people only, no dogs should attend this class. How to Enroll.

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