Training Options

Basic Obedience

This training covers all the basic obedience commands. (Sit, Stay, Down, Come and Heel) Some points to remember when considering in-home training are:

  • Training is in the privacy of your own home without distraction from other dogs who may be disruptive and make it difficult for your dog to focus.
  • Training sessions are scheduled at your convenience. If you run into a conflict simply call to reschedule. You won't be missing out on a session like you would with a group class.
  • Training sessions are geared to what you and your dog need to work on without the needs of other students to consider.
  • Training sessions can include help with behavioral issues you may be having with your dog, something instructors of group classes generally don't have the time for.
  • You have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want without worry of disrupting the class.
  • You have the instructor's undivided attention for the entire session.


Behavioral Issues


  • Do you avoid taking your dog places with you?
  • Are you embarassed by his behavior?
  • Do you lack control of your dog in public?
  • Have you avoided training classes because just getting there with your dog in the car is too stressful?
  • Is your dog well behaved in public but a holy terror in his own environment?
  • Does your dog behave so badly when friends come over you have stopped inviting them?
  • Do you avoid taking your dog for walks because he hates other dogs?
  • Do you lack a social life because your dog suffers from severe separation anxiety and can't be left alone?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone. These are all very common issues that owners have with their dogs.

With training: these issues can be fixed, often in just a few sessions.
Without training: they can develop into serious problems that could leave you housebound, miserable or sued!

Canine Good Citizen

The CGC Program was developed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1989. It was designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. It’s focus is on responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from AKC. The course is set up with 10 stations where your dog will be presented with a specific situation. Although each test station is different your dog will simply be required to display good manners at each and every station. The 10 tests/situations are as follows:

Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation.
Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.
Appearance and grooming
This test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so.

Out for a walk
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog is not required to be in heel position but must walk politely without pulling.

Walk through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.

Sit and down on command and staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training and will respond to the handler’s commands. The dog must do a sit and down on command. The dog will then be put on a 20ft line and the handler will command the dog to stay, walk to the end of the line and turn and walk back to the dog. The dog must remain in position until released by the handler.

Coming when called
The dog is required to come when the handler calls from 10ft away.

Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely ar ound other dogs. Your dog will be required to pass another handler and their dog at a distance of approximately 20ft.

Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident and in control at all times when faced with common distractions. (Examples of distractions include a loud noise, dropping a crutch or cane, having a jogger run in front of the dog)

Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that the dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. The evaluator will stay with the dog and the handler will go out of site for three minutes.

All breeds and mixes are eligible to take the CGC test. Handlers are encouraged to use praise and encouragement throughout the test, although food and treats are not permitted during testing.


Training clinics scheduled September through April. This training is open to working breeds only. Call to see if your breed qualifies.


The sport of canine weight-pulling is not new but seems to be rapidly growing in popularity. It is exciting, challenging and fun for the whole family. Children are welcome at the competitions and encouraged to compete right along with the adults. I can remember one competition where Storm and I were beaten by a 10yr old child and his pitbull. This child had already been competing for 4 years! At the end of the competition this little guy came over to me, shook my hand, and said, "Nice job." I was amazed and impressed. Although most clubs welcome any breeds, the sport is geared to powerful working/draft breeds. These include Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, American Bulldogs, American Pitbull Terriers, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Swiss Mountain Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Mastiffs, and various mixes. Clubs generally welcome newcomers and competitors are usually very willing to give advice and encouragement. You should be aware, however, that aggressive dogs or the inhumane treatment of dogs will not be tolerated. Dogs must be one year old to compete, but basic training can start when they are puppies. (Do not attempt to start training your dog, especially a puppy, without proper instruction from a qualified trainer or competitor.) A proper weight-pulling harness is needed for training and required for competition. This is for the safety of the dog. Even more important than training your dog to pull is training yourself to read your dog. You, as a handler, are responsible for the safety and well being of your dog at all times. There are times when a dog who is new to the sport (or just loves it) is very eager and will want to over do it. It is your responsibility to learn to recognize this in your dog and pull them from the competition, taking their placement as it stands. I have seen many competitors (myself included) pull their dog(s) from a competition even after they have successfully pulled a round. This is because they know their dog has given them their all for the day.I have been competing for fifteen years and have yet to have one of my dogs injured. It is not always about winning in this sport. It is about fun, family, friends and spending quality time with your dog. Dogs are encouraged but never forced to pull. In fact, if a dog does not make the pull, humans will push the cart to help the dog so he always believes he is successful. Competition rules are strictly enforced to protect the safety of the dogs and the integrity of the competition. Registration fees are nominal and some clubs even have prizes and trophies. If you are interested in learning more about this exciting sport, please Contact Us.

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