Course Description

The objective of this class is to provide you the basic skills needed in order to begin to develop a good working relationship with his or her dog. It is the prerequisite for most other classes at Great Companions. This course is taught using non-force positive-reinforcement methods. Find out why Foundations is the best place for you and your dog to start.

Week 1: We'll be going over a lot of information, so please don't bring your dog this first week. Orientation includes an introduction to positive reinforcement and the clicker; teaching the owner proper timing, how to lure the dog into sit, down and stand postures, and learning how to teach your dog "leave it" and The Recall Game ("come").

Week 2: More work on the sit, down and stand postures, "leave it" and "take it" (giving the dog permission), teaching the dog to focus on the owner ("focus"), start loose-leash walking activities.

Week 3: More loose-leash walking activities, adding commands to the sit, down and stand postures while using fewer treats, varied work on the recall, "leave it" and "take it" commands, demanding more focus from the dog.

Week 4: Start work on "stay" (from sit and down positions), review of sit, down, stand, leave it, take it, focus and loose-leash walking skills.

Week 5: Starting to put all of the skills together: more work on stay while walking completely around the dog, loose-leash walking with distractions, asking for a sit, down or stand while walking, fine-tuning the recall, off and focus skills.

Week 6: Review of all skills and overview of where to go from here, skill tests (games) and graduation!

After graduation you're ready to start having fun with your dog. You can move on to C-WAGS Rally, which turns obedience skills into a team sport; and Agility, the ultimate teamwork sport! Or if you're just looking to pair up in public, Canine Good Citizen (CGC) may be the next step for you.

Bring a 6-foot leash (preferably leather), a buckle collar, semi-soft treats like Natural Balance or dried out hot dogs (the size of the tip of your pinky finger), a mat, a toy for the dog, and poopie-bag.

Great Companions reserves the right to ask that you switch the unused portion of your fee to private lessons if it is felt that your dog is overwhelmed in class.


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