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Maximize Class Value


The Basic Obedience Class is designed to give you everything you need to have a pleasurable and cooperative relationship with your dog through demonstrations, personal coaching, and written guides on training and behavior. Your participation is required to be successful. It is your relationship, after all.

How it's Done

A nutritionist can give dietary advice, a therapist can provide couples counseling, but it only works for the client who applies it. It's the same with Dog Training. Even if we take your dog for a few weeks and give them back fully trained, there are new skills for you to learn to be able to access your dog's new skills.

It's like having a smartphone that can surf the web, send emails, change the channels on your tv, open and close the garage door, and more. Those functions only work for you if you push the right buttons, and your dog is the same. Relationships are not a one-way street. People often say at some point during class, "oh! you're actually training me, not just my dog!" BINGO!

There are no Magic Pills or Easy Buttons. Dawn likes to say that if she had those, she would hand them out at the start of class and then fly in periodically from her private island to check on you ;). But, like Diet Pills that let you eat whatever you want and burn fat while you sleep, they don't exist despite claims on the Internet that they do! Just put this collar on and push the button at the right time, and PRESTO! Don't worry about the side effects :/. Real results require real effort. The good news is that training your dog is FUN, and it's a wonderful way to deepen your relationship.

Handler Skills

The better your skills are as a handler, the more quickly your dog will learn their new skills.


Tone of Voice

Leash Handling

Verbal Cues

Hand Signals

Good Timing

Appropriate Feedback

Treat Delivery

Praise and Petting

Focus on handler skills in class, dog skills at home

It's more important that you learn the handler skills in class than it is for your dog to learn the new behaviors in class. ​

Class is for teaching you. Practice at home is for training your dog. Know how to train the skill correctly so that you're practicing the right thing at home, and don't stress if your dog doesn't get it in class right away. 

Golf swings only improve if the right things are being practiced. Practicing the wrong thing only makes you better at a bad golf swing. 

Read the Practice Guides Carefully

There are things in the Practice Guides that may not have been covered in class. We try to use as much class time as possible for practice and coaching. A little less talk and a lot more action! The written guides may fill in some blanks that weren't covered in detail during class.

Take advantage of us

Really, we don't mind!​

Email us if you have questions or are struggling with something. ​

Send video of your practice sessions for feedback.

Catch us after class to ask questions.

Use Video

It's what professionals do to improve their dog handling skills.

Remember that we are working with a totally different species. Ironically, dogs are naturally great at training people. They don't do it by treating us like dogs. They do it by observing our behavior and using it to their advantage. We need more practice (mainly because our survival doesn't depend on getting our dog's cooperation). Use the list of handler skills above as a guide for things to look for in your video.

Watching video of your training sessions can help you see where your skills could use improvement, and everyone's skills can use improvement, including ours! Nobody has to see it but you.

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