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Group Classes

Puppy Socialization and Manners I and II; and Basic Cues and Manners; Intermediate Cues and Manners. Currently group classes are limited to four dogs and must be pre-approved as class ready candidates.

UPCOMING CLASSES TO WATCH FOR: Advanced Cues and manners; Super Dog Finishing Class; Competitive Rally-O; Competition Obedience.

Group classes are held twice per week currently and can be found in the class schedule. Sign up must be completed one week prior to class.

What does a class ready candidate mean?

A pre-approved class ready candidate means a registration must be filled out prior to class and any issues discussed prior to first class with class instructor. The definition of class ready candidate is a dog who is NOT dog dog reactive dog, or a leash reactive dog nor a dog human reactive dog. These dogs need private class structure first and this is required by Canine Transformations Learning Center. Without proper pre-training these types of dogs make a class situation stressful for their owners and other members of the class. Safety is number one concern for all involved in group classes. Canine Transformations wants everyone, dogs and their people to have a positive learning experience. An owner who is spending most of class time trying to quiet their dog is not in a learning mode. Their dog needs to learn calm compliance and how to learn better prior to being exposed to situations that over-stimulate this dog. These dogs do benefit greatly from group classes eventually, but only after dog and owner have learned skills that will help them benefit from a group learning experience.

Puppy Socialization and Manners I (9 to 12 weeks old)

Canine Transformations believes puppy socialization should be controlled and positive and structures Puppy Socialization and Manners I and II according to Dr. Ian Dunbar’s "Before Bringing Your Puppy Home" and "After Bringing Your Puppy Home." From 8 to 12 weeks old you are your puppy’s guide or parent. Puppies will gain confidence with people under controlled human interaction exercises and raising your puppy right to avoid problems later on will be a big focus of this class. We will cover housebreaking, bite inhibition, resource guarding, crate and xpen training (learning positive alone time), eye contact, name recognition, follow the leader, play training, allowing dogs to be dogs, meeting new and friendly people and starting to play with other puppies under controlled situations and games, sit, down, safe obstacle introduction, variable surfaces, accepting handling (grooming) and guidance techniques. All are taught using positive reinforcement only for maximum results and raising a happy, thinking dog. Each pup is socialized at their own pace.

A puppy’s socialization process starts as soon as you get your pup and continues for at least eight to eighteen months depending on a number of factors such as genetics, breed, personality, environment. Exposing your dog to a variety of situations throughout this time period is the ideal and is the one Canine Transformations Learning Center structures its classes around. There is concern about starting training classes before the puppy’s immunizations have been completed, but that attitude is changing. The benefits of early training and socialization in a controlled atmosphere far outweigh the risk of disease. Think of it this way, there is more risk of euthanasia due to behavioral problems than there is risk from diseases. Nine weeks is a great time to start your puppy in a group class as they have already had their first puppy shots and still retain some immunity from their mom. The socialization focus from 8 to 12 weeks is more people-oriented with mild exposure to other puppies and teacher adult dogs, whereas 12 to 20 week Puppy Manners II focuses on continued people socialization, new environments and dog socialization in controlled and positive situations.

Puppy Socialization and Manners II (12 to 20 weeks – or 3 months to 5 months)

Five months is when older dogs consider the puppy’s time to grow up. Older dogs no longer tolerate puppyish behavior from a 5 month old, whereas they were more tolerant of the puppy-like behavior earlier. This class is structured to allow puppies to develop good dog dog social skills, as well as their owners to learn dog body language and the rules of dog parks so positive social interactions and trust are developed throughout the dog’s lifetime. This class will cover continued people socialization, addition of increased teacher dog interactions and interactions with each other in a controlled environment, learning about fear periods and how to handle these, variable surfaces, object play, addition of varying environments, new challenges with obstacles, accepting handling continued (role playing), foundation behaviors to ready your pup for any type of job you might have him/her do (i.e. show, Rally-O, agility, Obedience, Therapy Dog, herding and more).

The issue with pups at this age is not what YOU already know, but what YOUR PUP doesn’t know. It is up to you to train up an adult dog that is a joy to be around. Puppy Socialization and Manners II helps you do just that.

Basic Cues and Manners (6 months to Adult)

Learning Basics: Come when called up to 40 feet away, Recall games, Crate training (home alone and loving it); Down; Down Stay; start of DISTANCE training; Sit reliability and manners; Sit Stay; target training; go to mat; handling and continued socialization; leash manners; Stand; Stand Stay; Self Control exercises; trick starter; eye contact.

Intermediate Cues and Manners.(pre-requisite "Basic Cues and Manners")

Intermediate Learning: Come through milling people and milling dogs; continued crate training and home alone strategies; Distance Learning; Down; Distance Down; Down Stay with distractions; Finishes;Go to mat; Handling by strangers (especially for CGC – Canine Good Citizen certification); Heel; Leash Manners; Taking It On The Road; Sit; Sit Stay; Tricks; Stand; Stand Stay; Eye Contact; continue stranger socialization; targeting Optional Learning (depends on your goals for your dog) contact introduction; front; retrieve; scenting; stand; jump, broad; jump, high;

Advanced Learning: This class is for those who wish to enjoy learning throughout their dog’s life and continue to build their bond and develop their relationship. This class is the high school of dogdom. Learning includes: a full Novice Obedience Recall; crate training continuance; Hand signals for Down, Stand and Sit; Out of Sight Down Stay; Precision Finishes and Fronts; Go to Mat; Handler precision; Agility Pause Table; Heel with Turns; Leash Manners; Intermediate work ON THE ROAD; Sit Stay out of sight; Stand Stay; continued Tricks; Watch 30 seconds; Stay off treat on floor while heeling and five treats during a recall, gaiting; Distance work: down from 10 feet away;

Option learning: continued contact work for agility; Distance work: training/jumps; Conformation Gait with patterns; Broad Jump; High Jump; Retrieve; Scenting; Target a Wall with Paw.

Super Dog Finishing School: When a dog finishes this stage of group training or private classes he/she is just one month away from entering any type of competition. This dog is prepared to handle a variety of problems and is a joy to their owner. Finishing touches include: Drop on Recall; Experienced Crate; Distance: two directed jumps; Hand Signals Stand, Down, Sit, Come; Down Stay full out of sight five minutes; Finishes; Fronts; Go to Mat; Precision Handling; Full Formal Heel Exercise; Broad Jump; High Jump; Advanced Learning ON THE ROAD; Retrieve; Scenting; Sit Stay out of sight; Stand; Stand Stay; Target; Tableau of Tricks; Watch.

Competitive Rally-O: clicker training used. Rally-O competition is supported by the APDT and the AKC. It is a sport using a combination of obedience, agility and speed. Handlers can talk to their dogs throughout and with the APDT trials can distinguish whether they wish to enter the ring with food or without food.

Competition Obedience: clicker training used to develop foundation behaviors first and then perfecting presentation.

I don’t know where I’d be without you, Diane – who knows. Clicker training has changed my life and my approach to both domestic animals and humans.

- N.L.
Sedro Woolley, Washington


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