Specialty Classes

Our specialty classes are designed for dog owners that are looking for something different to do with their dogs, or have a particular training need they seek to address.  These classes assume your dog is already demonstrating basic obedience.

City Walks (4 weeks $165) Is this the right class for your dog? click here to find out
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.
Prerequisite: Level 2

Total students: 5

Confidence Building I (6 weeks $255)
Is this the right class for your dog? click here to find out
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. The first class will take 1. 5 hours.
Prerequisite: none
Total students: 6

Confidence Building II (6 weeks $225)
This class offers the opportunity to continue and expand on the work that was started in the Confidence Building I class. It may also be suitable for dogs that have taken private training lessons with the purpose of improving the dog's confidence level. The focus is on using the agility equipment to build and further the confidence level of each dog. Elements of the regular confidence building class will be incorporated as well. Goal is for all the dogs to expand their comfort zone even further while having fun at the same time.
Prerequisite: Confidence Building I
Total students: 6

Dog Reactive I (8 weeks $375) please contact the training department before enrolling
Is this the right class for your dog? click here to find out
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 and will take 1.5 hours.
Prerequisite: none
Total students: 5 

Dog Reactive II (6 weeks $310) please contact the training department before enrolling
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.
Prerequisite: Reactive Dog Class
Total students: 6 

Impulse Control I (6 weeks $255)
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. 
Total students: 6

Impulse Control II (4 weeks $225)
This class is tailored for dogs who have a good obedience foundation and are at an intermediate level, including Impulse Control 1 students who are ready to take their dog to the next level. Your dog knows all the basic cues including attention and touch, and can perform them in the presence of mild distractions. The focus of this class is for the dog to learn to respond reliably to cues in the face of intermediate to more challenging distractions. The dogs will engage in games and performance activities in close proximity to other dogs, both on and off-leash.  This will give you and your dog the confidence you both need to enjoy taking your dog to public places with a lot of distractions, bringing the dog on busy hiking trails or engaging in a dog sport like Agility, Treibball or Rally. The more control you have over your dog in  different settings the more you will be able to bring your dog with you to a variety of places without having to worry, allowing you to spend quality time with your dog and enrich the bond the two of you have together.
Prerequisite:  attended our Levels classes or attended basic manners class elsewhere, or has taken Impulse Control I
Total students: 6

People Reactive Class (6 weeks $255) please contact the training department before enrolling
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.
Prerequisite: None
Total students: 6

Social Manners I (4 weeks $165) (ages 6 months and older)
Is this the right class for your dog? click here to find out
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.
Prerequisite: None
Total students: 6

NEW! Social Manners II (4 weeks $165) (ages 6 months and older)
This class will offer a safe place for you to continue 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 who will be accepted into Social Manners II is at the discretion of the instructors and will only apply to dogs suitable and ready for off leash play.
Prerequisite: Social Manners I
Total students: 6

Therapy Dog Class (6 weeks $225)
This class is for the present or future therapy dog. We will talk about the challenges and demands that are put on these dogs. We will focus on obedience cues that are particularly helpful in a therapy setting and we will put a lot of emphasis on classical conditioning to ensure these dogs will be comfortable and relaxed in a variety of different situations. We will also help the owner assess the strength and weaknesses of their dogs and be able to effectively read canine body language to ensure success in the therapy work setting. The class participants will receive activity sheets and are strongly encouraged to practice outside of the classroom in a variety of distracting environments. The dog should be at least 6 months old in order to participate in this class. For younger dogs aspiring to be future therapy dogs we recommend the Puppy Levels Program as a great way to prepare your dog. Please note this class will help prepare you for visitation and therapy dog work but does not provide you with a certification. We recommend taking the Canine Good Citizen test. You may also want to consider participating in the training and/or evaluation process of the therapy dog group you would intend to join.
Prerequisite: none
Total students: 6

NEW! Wag It Games (4 weeks $165)
Wag It Games is an exciting new activity that is rapidly growing in popularity across the country. It takes elements from several existing sports, such as rally, agility, treibball and nosework, adds new features, and modifies the mix to make the activities fun. We will include obstacles such as hoops, tunnels, arches, jumps, and cones; loose leash walking elements such as the Front Cross, the Spin, the Back Away, and the Sit and Switch; pushing skills enabling the dog to push a ball with its nose through a course of arches; and “sniff it” challenges using concealed food as the search item. If you have taken basic manners classes and are seeking new challenges in a low pressure, positive environment, look no further! Curious? Check out our video on Wag It Games at Fur-Get Me Not
Prerequisite: This class is for dogs who have graduated to Level 2 in our Levels program, or have taken another basic obedience class.
Total students: 5