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Classes & Workshops

Unless otherwise noted in the class description, our group classes and workshops are taught at our Dog Training School in Arlington. Each class has a maximum number of students to ensure all students have a good experience. Our Dog Trainers manage the classroom space to set each student up for success. Some classes may have a prerequisite or minimum level of training required.

We also offer socials on weekends for Puppies (free) and Tweens. You can also reserve our space for a meet-up.

Schedule

Class Descriptions

City Walks

Length: 4 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $165
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 5

This class is held in Clarendon or Shirlington. This class is for the dog that responds really well to basic obedience cues at home or in the classroom but could use more practice around everyday distractions. We will practice exercises to reinforce your dog's response to important cues like Watch Me, Touch, Settle, Leave It, and Loose Leash Walking in the face of distractions we happen to encounter like people, dogs, children, strollers, bicyclists, traffic, joggers, etc. This class is also a great way to continue socializing your dog to new surroundings and help them to feel comfortable with a variety of visual stimuli and sounds.

Click Here to find out if this is the right class for you? Or try our 2 session precursor workshop instead, Walk & Train.

Confidence Building

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $255
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

This class is designed for the shy and fearful dog or the dog that is generally lacking in confidence. This may stem from a dog having none or very little socialization, having particular sensitivities in which they need extra support, or a traumatic experience that is impacting everyday life. We will address how stress impacts your dog’s life and how to properly read stress signals from your dog. We will build a foundation of basic coping skills and practice on exercises to boost confidence. Emphasis will be on creating a safe place for each individual dog to learn, relax, and encourage curiosity that will foster joy of learning.

Click Here to see if this class is right for you?

Dog Reactive I

Length: 8 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $375
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 5

This class is designed to help if you have a problem walking your dog on leash in the neighborhood while encountering other dogs. We’ll work on confidence building exercises to establish positive associations with other dogs on leash. We will review the appropriate equipment suited for this particular behavioral issue, necessary obedience cues the dog should know well, and how to combine training and management in your daily routine. This class requires that the student shows a real commitment and actively works with their dog outside of class. Please note that we will screen each potential dog carefully to ensure this class is the right fit. Some dogs may need a behavioral consultation either prior to, or instead, of a reactive dog class. We will not accept students in this class where the dog has killed or severely injured another dog. The first class is NO dogs.

Click Here to see if this class is right for you?

Dog Reactive II

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $310
Prerequisite: Reactive Dog I
Total students: 6

This class is designed for the student who has completed the 8 week reactive dog class and wants more practice opportunities in a safe space with committed fellow students and with the guidance of dog training instructors. We will not cover new things in this class but rather continue the work that was initiated in the Reactive Dog Class. We realize it can be challenging to always find people to work with and to set up a safe and structured space for practice. While we realize that the dogs in this class may be at different stages of reactivity, and we will adjust the practice for this, we can only accept dogs in the maintenance class who have shown they are ready to be in the presence of other dogs outside of the cubby space. For dogs not quite there yet we recommend re-taking the regular Reactive Dog Class.

Impulse Control

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $255
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

This class is tailored specifically for dogs that need more structure and guidance on an everyday basis because they are maybe a bit out of control. It is a class for highly energetic dogs and dogs that can go from low to high arousal in a matter of seconds. It may be expressed by the dog charging the front door when hearing a visitor coming, a dog that plays a bit too rough when you engage him in an activity, a dog that pulls a lot on leash, jumps up on people and/or acts a bit out of control in more distracting environments, making it generally difficult to take the dog places. We will work on keeping the dog's attention and focus. We will work on a variety of impulse control exercises like stay, wait, and leave it. We will show you how you can teach a dog to turn off from a highly aroused state to a calm state on cue. We will incorporate socialization exercises to help the dog generalize calm behavior around a variety of distractions. We will also address appropriate ways to give these dogs enough physical and mental outlets for their energy in a contained and structured fashion. This class is ideal for any high energy dog and Bully breeds in particular. Please note this class is not suitable for dogs with high reactivity towards people or other dogs. If this describes your dog, contact the training school and we will discuss other more suitable class options.

K9 Nose Work I

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $245
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 5

We often, inadvertently, discourage our dogs from using their noses during walks, play in the yard and at home. This class is designed to give dogs an outlet to use their most specialized sense – smell. Your dog will learn to rely on his nose and develop the drive to hunt for food. You will learn about your dog’s amazing scent capabilities and develop observation skills to read your dog’s body language. Because we work with dogs one at a time in this class, we welcome dogs who have taken Confidence Building or the Reactive Dog class. Nose Work is a great way to build confidence in your dog and strengthen the human-dog relationship. Please note that classes are structured so that dogs work one at a time in the search area. To accomplish this and to allow you to observe the other dogs in class, it is helpful but not required to crate your dog during class.


Nose Work is a great activity to do with your dog. All dogs love to use their noses and these classes will optimize your dog's natural scenting abilities. The dog will much appreciate it when you acknowledge and value this incredible skill your dog has. It is an exercise that is great to do with all dogs as it provides a great mental workout. It helps build a dog's confidence as well as the ability to focus. It is a class that welcomes any type of dog; shy, reactive, low-energy, high-energy. Since the exercises are conducted one dog at a time on the floor we have a lot of flexibility to set each dog up for success.

Your dog does not need to have had any prior training to take these classes. As a matter of fact you will hear the instructor say "leave the obedience at the door." This is all about the dog's ability to work and learn at his/her own pace without any pressure from the handler. It is also an activity that is super easy to set up at home so you have a great activity you can engage your dog with any time you feel like it within your own home environment.

Our K9 Nose Work classes are lead by a Certified Nose Work Instructor. This makes a big difference in how your dog is set up to succeed, one Nose Work level at a time. Click here to read more about the certification. We are one of only a few facilities in the area who has a Certified Nose Work Instructor.

Click here to learn more about K9 Nose Work.

K9 Nose Work II

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $245
Prerequisite: K9 Nose Work I
Total students: 5

This class builds on Introduction to K9 Nose Work I, strengthening your dog’s drive to hunt for food. You will improve your observation skills and team work with your dog, and expand the hunt for food into exterior and vehicle searches. For this class it would be helpful if your dog can be crated or confined in a separate area away from you while observing the other dogs work, but it is not a requirement. Please note that classes are structured so that dogs work one at a time in the search area. To accomplish this and to allow you to observe the other dogs in class, it is helpful but not required to crate your dog during class.

K9 Nose Work III

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $245
Prerequisite: K9 Nose Work II
Total students: 5

This class builds on the K9 Nose Work II, harnessing your dog’s drive to hunt for food or a toy and developing your dog’s scent discrimination skills. The dogs are taught to identify birch as the first target odor. We will go back to the basics using box work, container searches and interior searches to begin imprinting the target odor. Additionally, we will continue to build dog/handler teamwork. Please note that classes are structured so that dogs work one at a time in the search area. To accomplish this and to allow you to observe the other dogs in class, it is helpful but not required to crate your dog during class.

K9 Nose Work IV

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $245
Prerequisite: K9 Nose Work III
Total students: 5

This class builds on the K9 Nose Work III, strengthening your dog’s drive to hunt for food, and introduction to odor. You will expand the hunt for odor into exterior and vehicle searches and continue to improve your observation skills and team work with your dog. Please note that classes are structured so that dogs work one at a time in the search area. To accomplish this and to allow you to observe the other dogs in class, it is helpful but not required to crate your dog during class.

Life Skills

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $255
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

COMING SOON.

People Reactive

Length: 6 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $255
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

This class is designed to help you create positive experiences with strangers. If you have a dog who is not comfortable meeting and greeting people on the street, is reactive to people passing by at a distance, does not do well when friends and family enters your house and/or have any other specific issues related to proximity to people this class is for you. The class will work on three main themes; (1) Teaching obedience cues to build a solid communication system between you and your dog and help you reinforce appropriate behavior around strangers, (2) Counter-conditioning and desensitization exercises to help the dog develop good feelings around strangers and (3) Problem-solving activities will be spaced out throughout the class to engage the dog cognitively and to encourage the dog to engage in activities that are fun while people are around. We will also discuss management strategies and have some time to address the specific challenges are facing in their lives with their dogs. This class requires that the students show a real commitment and are willing to work with their dogs outside of class. We request that all dogs who registered for this class is prepared to come with a minimum of two adults per dog. It can be the same person each class or vary from week to week. This way we will have a larger number of "new" people for each dog to work with during the six week class.

Social Manners I

Length: 4 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $165
Prerequisite: ages 6 months and older
Total students: 6

This class will offer a safe place for you to teach your dog good boundaries and how to develop self-discipline in a social setting, combined with improving your off-lead control over your dog in the face of distractions. We work on relationship building skills and how to solicit engagement and keep it going strong despite competing interests in the environment. Class starts with working on a solid recall, getting a retrieve and other important life skills within a social setting. You will learn vital skills necessary to keep your dog within your control even in more challenging situations, building up your skill-set one step at a time. We will show you how you can get your dog to understand playing with other dogs is a privilege he will earn after learning the basic conditions of your relationship together first. Please note that we require full and active participation by the handlers and all exercises will start on-leash with the intent to continue on to off leash in Social Manners II for those who are interested.

Click Here to find out if this is the right class for you?

Social Manners II

Length: 4 classes, 1 hour each
Cost: $165
Prerequisite: ages 6 months and older, Social Manners I
Total students: 6

This class will offer a safe place for you to continue to build on your dog’s social skills with the addition of providing off-leash play. We will continue working on relationship building skills and reliable responses in the presence of distractions. Each class will provide a rotation between handler/dog exercises and off-leash play time. Please note that enrollment in Social Manners II is at the discretion of the instructors and will only apply to dogs suitable and ready for off leash play.

Workshop Descriptions

Crate Training

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

Do you want to make sure you start this right with your puppy and/or do you find this to be a great struggle with your newly adopted older rescue dog? The crate is a great tool if used responsibly and will help keep your dog safe and handle a situation better in other contexts outside of the home (vet's office, groomers, boarding or daycare environment). Dogs, however, do not come crate trained. it is necessary to follow a process to make sure the dog is comfortable with it every step of the way and do not develop negative associations to the crate. We will cover everything from the very basics on how to start it right as well as trouble shoot and work with those of you who have a dog that has developed an aversion to his or her crate. For this workshop you are welcome to bring your own crate and/or we can provide you with one in class. Note: If your dog has separation anxiety crating may not be a suitable option and this workshop is not intended to deal with that behavioral issue.

K9 Nose Work - Intro to Anise

Length: 2 sessions, 50 minutes
Cost: $85
Prerequisite: completion of K9 Nose Work® IV or equivalent and be proficient searching for birch
Total students: 4

Have you completed all 4 levels of K9 Nose Work and wondering what to do next? If you think trialing might be for you, that next step is for your dog to learn to search for and identify additional target odors, to prepare for the ORTs (Odor Recognition Tests). In this 2-session workshop, we will go back to basics to teach our dogs to recognize and identify the target odor of anise. We will continue to build dog /handler teamwork, and will also practice ORT style searches and strategies.

Effective July 1, 2020, the dog/handler team will be required to have earned the ORT Title, prior to trialing at the NW1 level. To earn the title, the team will need to successfully pass an Odor Recognition Test in each of the 3 target odors: birch, anise, and clove. Additionally, all 3 odors may be used at the NW1 and NW2 trial levels.

Our K9 Nose Work classes and workshops are led by a Certified Nose Work Instructor. This makes a big difference in how your dog is set up to succeed, one Nose Work level at a time. We are one of only a few facilities in the area who has a Certified Nose Work Instructor.

K9 Nose Work - Intro to Clove

Length: 2 sessions, 50 minutes
Cost: $85
Prerequisite: completion of K9 Nose Work® IV or equivalent and be proficient searching for birch
Total students: 4

Have you completed all 4 levels of K9 Nose Work and wondering what to do next? If you think trialing might be for you, that next step is for your dog to learn to search for and identify additional target odors, to prepare for the ORTs (Odor Recognition Tests). In this 2-session workshop, we will go back to basics to teach our dogs to recognize and identify the target odor of clove. We will continue to build dog /handler teamwork, and will also practice ORT style searches and strategies.

Effective July 1, 2020, the dog/handler team will be required to have earned the ORT Title, prior to trialing at the NW1 level. To earn the title, the team will need to successfully pass an Odor Recognition

K9 Nose Work Practice

Length: 1 session, 50 minutes
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: Must have completed or be currently enrolled in K9 Intro to Nose Work (K9 Nose Work 1) or equivalent. To work on odor, must have completed or be currently enrolled in K9 Intro to Odor (K9 Nose Work 3) or equivalent.
Total students: 4

Love your K9 Nose Work class, but want a little more practice? Running out of ideas where to place hides? Getting ready for an ORT and want some extra practice? If you and your pup just can’t get enough nose work practice, then this workshop is for you! We will set up searches for you and your pup and an Associate Nose Work Instructor will coach each team through the searches to ensure success.

K9 Nose Work Sampler

Length: 2 sessions, 50 minutes each
Cost: $85
Prerequisite: N/A – Dog should be at least 6 months of age
Total students: 5

Would your dog rather explore with his nose than take a walk? Are you looking for an activity and/or a sport that you and your dog can enjoy together? Have you heard about nose work but weren’t sure if it is for you?

In this two session workshop, you will be introduced to your dog’s amazing scent capabilities and begin to develop observation skills to read your dog’s body language. Your dog will have fun showing you his natural scenting abilities and get a great mental workout at the same time! Nose work helps build your dog’s confidence and focus, and best of all it is suited for any type of dog: shy, reactive, low-energy, and high-energy. Each dog works on the floor one at a time so we have lots of flexibility to set each dog up for success.

Your dog does not need any prior training to take any of our Nose Work classes or workshops. You will even hear the instructor say, “leave the obedience at the door!” In this workshop, your dog works and learns at his own pace, without any pressure from the handler. It is also an activity that is super easy to set up at home so you have a great activity you can engage your dog with any time you feel like it in your own home. Our K9 Nose Work classes are led by a Certified or Associate Nose Work Instructors. We are one of very few facilities in the area that offer K9 Nose Work® classes led by Certified Nose Work Instructors.

Leash Manners

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

This is an intense session where we proof the behavior with duration and distractions. We start at a level that is appropriate for the class average, but we will make sure each individual student is personally challenged and leaves with the knowledge and tools they can use to confidently work on better leash manners.

Meet & Greet

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

The emphasis of this workshop is how to effectively meet and greet other dogs and/or people at close proximity on the street while maintaining calm and responsive behaviors from the dog and the handler. Real life situations are always unpredictable and messy so preparedness is key. Therefore, the environment on the street requires a two-fold process. We will cover both effective training exercises to practice, as well as necessary management techniques on how to gradually build a desired response from our dogs while passing by other people and dogs.

Nail Trims

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 8

This workshop is designed to teach you how to make everyday handling of the feet and nails a more enjoyable experience for your dog. We will assess your dog's comfort level with handling in general and focus on classical counter conditioning exercises to make nail trimming a more pleasant experience for both you and your dog. Please note: Actual nail clipping will not take place unless your dog is demonstrating relaxed behavior and is comfortable with the process.

Polite Greetings

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 8

It is a joy to have a happy dog, but if that means your dog is jumping on people all the time that can become a real nuisance. We teach you to combine management and training in everyday life and how to make the dog offer a sit whenever approached by a stranger or in the presence of other distractions.

Recalls

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

In this session we cover all the important principles you need to follow to in order to develop a reliable recall. We practice with a wide range of distractions and show you how to use body language and voice to your ultimate advantage. We teach you to be the one in your dog’s life and how to set up practice sessions in a way that your dog would always consider it in his best interest to come when called.

Walk & Train

Length: 2 sessions, 1 hour each
Cost: $85
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

This is a two session workshop with a focus on applying good manners in the real world on a group walk. Every session begins with some prep work in the facility and then we take it on the road. In addition to working on foundation behaviors on the walk we will also incorporate good manners around other dogs and people. This workshop is a great precursor to the City Walks class if you want to test if you are ready. Please note that we will be outdoors for better part of the session and will only cancel in case of inclement weather.

Wine & Dine

Length: 1 hour
Cost: $45
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

Wouldn't it be great if you could bring your four-legged companion to the restaurant or coffee shop? Don't think your dog can do it? Think again! We will talk about management aspects of bringing your dog to public spaces and then we will practice polite behavior. The later part of the workshop will include eating and drinking at the table while at the same time working with your dogs. You bring food (regular meal, sandwich or other snack per your preference) we will accommodate with drinks. Please note: This class is for dogs who already have a concept of the cue settle and/or a few minutes of duration with stay.

Veterinary Handling & Examination

Length: 2 sessions, 1 hour each
Cost: $85
Prerequisite: N/A
Total students: 6

Do you find it challenging taking your dog to the vet's office? Is your dog nervous about being handled and examined? Do you find checking ears, mouth, paws to be challening for your dog? Then this class is for you! We will show you how to teach your dog foundation behaviors the dog should be able to respond to for handling and treating your dog at home, the groomer’s or the vet’s. We will discuss how to be your dog’s advocate and be able to spot signs of discomfort. Restraining, vaccinating, examining with otoscopes and stethoscopes, pilling, blood drawing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and using eye drops will be covered. The class is open to puppies for prevention as well as adult dogs with mild to more serious stress over handling procedures. Please note that this class is a starting point and additional training may be indicated.

Socials & Events

Meet-Ups

Length: 2 hours
Cost: $10 per dog
Prerequisite: Registration organized through group
Total dogs: 20

Are you a member of a specific breed group? Would you like your group to host an event?

Contact us by EMAIL to schedule an event for your group. We can block off a 2 hour window to have the facility for dog playtime and socialization. A member of a training team or daycare team will be on hand to assist.

The hosting group would register it's attendees in order to get a head count and allow us to collect payment. Attendees can pay via our online store, or the group can provide bulk payment on behalf of the attendees.

Puppy Socials

Length: 45 minutes
Cost: FREE
Prerequisite: puppies 10 weeks - 6 months of age
Total students: 15

Saturdays
9:30AM-10:15AM
10:15AM-11:00AM

Please bring your own treats. It is helpful to have treats on hand to practice behaviors and redirect puppies when needed.

We offer these free of charge as a service to the local community and all its puppies for whom a safe and nurturing place to learn proper dog-to-dog interaction skills are so important. Early and proper socialization is critical for a puppy to grow up and become a first-rate member of the urban dog community. We will teach you how to read body language and to ensure all puppies in the group enjoy the interaction. During play we will discuss play styles, breed differences and possible red flags to watch out for.

These are open to the public. No registration required. Check out our puppy socials video!

Tween Socials

Register NowLength: pack of 5 sessions, 50 minutes each
Cost: $60
Prerequisite: ages 6 months - 1 year
Total students: 8

Saturdays
11:00AM-11:50AM
Pack of 5 sessions to be used within 3 months of purchase
Registration is Required, attend when it fits your schedule

Please bring your own treats. It is helpful to have treats on hand to practice behaviors and redirect the dogs when needed.

If your dog is growing out of the puppy social, but you would like to continue to provide a structured setting for your young dog to develop their social skills, then this is a perfect option. This is the time period where your dog is progressing from puppyhood to adulthood. It is a time when the physical energy level is at its peak but the mental maturity is still very much lacking! We offer a safe place for young dogs to explore boundaries and come into their own. In the meantime, we will teach you what to look for in order to ensure a successful play experience for your dog as well as provide you with the skill set you need to make sure you continue to support your dog to develop healthy social skills into adult hood.

Friendly dogs only. The instructors reserve the right to not accept a dog into class if there are any concerns about appropriate interactions.