All courses require a $250 non-refundable deposit. Deposits are non-refundable and not transferable to a later course. No exceptions.
All courses begin at 10 A.M. and end by 5 P.M. and are held indoors.
This week long course covers all the basics of how we live with our dogs during the training process, with an emphasis on creating manners, and avoiding long term behavior problems, without damaging your dog’s motivation or enthusiasm for work or training.
Some of the topics covered include: crate games, housebreaking, chewing and redirection, controlling biting/mouthing, use of “x-pens,” place work, leash walking for puppies, exercise regimes, environmental enrichment, crate barking, house and yard preparation, early play habits, frequency and duration of formal training sessions, feeding, socialization, equipment, etc.
This course was created to answer the questions most frequently asked by our students. This class is a must for any trainer (sport or pet dog) or serious hobbyist.
One week. $950
This course is a great stepping off point for anyone interested in our school, and is a prerequisite for many of our other courses. It details all the fundamentals of our approach to obedience and the dog/handler relationship, and helps the trainer build the “toolbox” he/she will use throughout the training process. This course thoroughly covers classical and operant conditioning, our reward based teaching systems, the use of verbal markers for communication, as well as building behavior through luring, spatial pressure, “leash pressure,” and shaping. We discuss the thoughtful introduction of aversives, and the creation of motivation in your dog through productive play. There will be both a lecture/theory portion, covering the science of the training, and a practical portion, that puts the theory into play. There are no prerequisites for this class. Students must bring a dog for the practical phase or with advanced notice we can arrange for the student to borrow a dog.
This highly detailed course is unlike any other currently offered in this country. It is broken into two sections. Each section is one week long, and they can be taken back to back or independently.
The first section covers the theory behind protection work from a training perspective. We will discuss the various venues for protection work (police service, personal protection, Schutzhund/IPO, French/Mondio ring, KNPV, and Belgian ring) and how they differ in theory and practice, as well as their historical significance and their influence on the techniques we use today. We will define terms commonly used in protection work, and learn to apply them in practical situations, as well as examining the strengths and short-comings of “drive theory” as it relates to protection work. We will discuss techniques for creating a strong protection dog and learn to read basic canine body language as it relates to this goal. We will learn how to establish a behavioral baseline for a given dog based on genetic gripping style, body language, and other external signs, and we will cover the role of the handler in protection work. This course is a must for anyone doing decoy/helper work, and is highly recommended for anyone interested in protection sports, aggression in dogs, or canine behavior.
The second section is a purely practical education for the helper/deco. In other words, this is the class where you learn to work dogs as a decoy/helper. This course introduces the equipment used in protection work, common safety measures, and the general “do’s and don’ts” of the work. We will cover the mechanics of working a protection dog with both the sleeve and the bite suit, proper targeting, techniques for working both upper and lower body dogs, and the differences between the various protection venues as it relates to helper/decoy work. We will also cover, in detail, the physical techniques for improving a dog’s protection work. Dogs will be available for students to work, but each student is encouraged to bring a dog that can do some protection work but it is not necessary.
The course is designed to take the fundamentals learned in our protection system and apply them to constructing the exercises of competitive protections sports, namely Mondioring, French ringsport, and IPO (Schutzhund).
It is appropriate for both training decoys and handlers who want to learn the progression for teaching the formal sport exercises to a dog that has gone through solid developmental work.
We will cover the object guard, defense of handler, search and escort, various courage tests/attacks, introducing accessories, and stressors for rings sports, and the blind search, hold and bark, call out, back transport, and side transport for IPO.
Students are required to have taken Protection 1 (Protection Theory) or be thoroughly familiar with our training approach through seminars or obedience classes.
One week. $950 per section.
This course is the classic competitive sport seminar that Michael has been giving for nearly ten years. While there will be some lecture, this course focuses on hands on problem solving and the development of training plans for competitive protection sport and obedience trainers. The clinics cover both obedience and protection each day (or two sessions of obedience for those not doing protection sports). These clinics are for trainers actively competing, or planning to compete in the dog sports. Handlers must have attended at least one of our seminars or taken our Obedience Intensive.
This is the course for those trainers that really want to focus on the details. We will cover more advanced obedience behaviors (formal retrieve, competitive/focused heeling, jumps, scent discrimination, etc.) and learn the skills necessary to achieve greater precision in all our obedience work. This class is for competitive trainers looking to add some new tools to their toolbox, pet dog trainers looking to advance their skills, or those trainers ready to break out of the beginner ranks. The class will entail some lecture and discussion regarding modern, reward based methods, building and maintaining motivation, and the thoughtful use of compulsion, but the bulk of the class will be demonstration and hands on, practical, work. This course covers our methods for teaching most of the “advanced” obedience behaviors. Students must bring a dog for the practical portions.
One week. Cost $950
This a a purely practical course for those that have taken our Advanced Obedience class. Advanced Obedience is very compressed course (like most of our classes) that covers our approach to teaching exercises, but leaves insufficient time for heavy practice. The Advanced OB 2 is designed to implement those techniques, get more practice time, and create and troubleshoot a training plan for each student. This course can be taken as many times as the student chooses, and allows each student to work, in depth on their trouble areas or interests.
One week. Cost $950
The ecollar has become a popular and pervasive tool in modern dog training. Unfortunately there is very little in the way of behaviorally sound information available for those considering its use. Many trainers mistakenly view the ecollar as the “bigger stick” of dog training. This course will dispel that myth and help trainers develop a sound understanding of learning theory and how it affects the use of electronic collars, as well as teach trainers to incorporate the use of this tool into primarily reward based training systems with minimal stress for the dogs. We have a very careful and conservative approach to the use of the electronic collar that will help trainers avoid many of the common pitfalls of its use.
Two days. Cost $375
This course is an in depth primer on rearing a puppy for success in any discipline. It covers early “critical” socialization, “learning to learn,” shaping behavior, controlling environment to keep problems from emerging, proper play techniques (to maximize motivation), house breaking, and teaching manners without destroying a dogs motivation to work, and general management. This course is designed for a variety of trainers, from active pet dog trainers to competitive obedience, agility, or protection sport trainers. Learn to lay a solid foundation… it will pay off in the long run. Students are encouraged to bring a puppy for the practical portion, but can take the course without a dog in preparation for rearing a puppy.
One week. Cost $950.
All reward based training is built on the creation of productive levels of motivation, and our training is only as good as our dogs desire for the reward. We cover proper play techniques in several of our classes, but have found that people really want to focus on improving this aspect of their training… and it isn’t all that easy.
In this course we will cover “making the reward an event,” using restraint to build drive/motivation, proper play techniques (tugging and retrieving games), individual play styles, the use of “food as a toy,” and channeling a dogs energy during development. How do we develop useful obsessions while avoiding unproductive ones? When is “bite work” useful to build motivation for play, and for what type of dog? How do we maintain passion for play without getting bit? What dogs benefit from social isolation and why? How do we promote balance between motivation and manners? This course is a must for those interested in reward based training.
One week. Cost $950.