We first talk about the exercise, why to teach it, then walk through it step by step with our dogs.
Often, we’ll then ask to demonstrate with a student dog. Our own dogs have had a lot of practice and let us show you the exercise slowly, but after you know what the exercise is, we want to show it (a little faster!) with a wiggly puppy or an energetic teenager.
After we’ve answered any questions, we’ll have all of the students grab some treats and try it. We always have treats available and you’re welcome to bring your own.
One of the trainers will call out the steps while the rest of the trainers walk around and keep an eye out for questions, watch for anyone struggling, or making little adjustments. We’re here to help!
We teach a few exercises each week, with plenty of opportunity for asking questions at the beginning and end of class, before we come out and practice, and as you’re working with your dog. We want to make sure you can practice at home, because your dog needs to listen to you at home, too!
We’re here to help. We want to know how it’s going with you and your dog. I hope I’ve made it pretty obvious that there is plenty of chance to ask trainers questions! Also, we have some class time devoted specifically to problems: digging, barking, chewing, raiding the trash, counter surfing, etc. This is a few weeks into class on purpose: they usually require some skills we’ve taught and some communication between you and your dog.
Then the next week we’ll ask everyone how it went, answer any questions, then warm up and see how your dog is progressing, before we move on to teach additional skills. As classes progress, there will be less talking and more working around distractions, practicing “leave it” with food on the ground, walking without pulling on the leash, waiting at gates–no door dashing! and having fun with your dog.
What happens over the course of 7 weeks? It’s the same every time. The first week is very wiggly, most dogs are pulling, not paying attention, maybe even digging! By week 7, the dogs are mostly relaxing and hanging out, maybe even dozing off while we talk, and paying far better attention when we come out and work. It depends on the person and dog, but, we are here to help you and your dog progress.