FE465: Training Levels -- Level 3

Instructor: Sue Ailsby

Course Details

If Level 1 was kindergarten, Level 2 is all of elementary school, and in Level 3 we're getting into high school - making the standard behaviors not only reliable but useful in competitions and in daily life.

You'll both be introduced to many new behaviours, with all training resting firmly on the skills from Level 2.

The "4 Ds" - distance, duration, difficulty, and distraction - will now make up a large part of your training. You can make any behaviour stronger by working on any or all of those 4 parts, and thinking about them as separate parts of every behaviour will help you remember the need to split everything you teach her into the smallest possible lessons.

Every behaviour the dog learns teaches her the actual behaviour, but there are also incidental lessons built into each Step. You AND the dog will learn to trust each other, to have faith in the performance of your partner, and to see that you can accomplish anything if you approach it in small enough steps and don't lose your cool.

In Level 3 you'll also start to see the enormous potential each behaviour has to support what the dog knows about other behaviours.

Sit and down may be different, but they each teach the dog to assume a position. Sit, Down, Zen, Focus, Lazy Leash, Go To Mat, Crate, Relax, and Handling are all behaviours that require duration - the dog must not only perform, but CONTINUE to perform for a period of time.


Song diligently working on her eye contact duration. It's a heavy head, though, so she always appreciated a pillow to rest it on.



Madrid having some difficulty with his prehensile lips on the dumbbell.



Stitch and Fish practising Go To Mat at an agility trial. We eventually embroidered their names on their chairs so humans wouldn't sit in them.

Come, Sit, Down, Lazy Leash, Go to Mat, Distance and Jump require distance - she'll have to respond when she's a specified distance away from you, or go a specified distance to perform.

Communication encompasses several behaviours, starting with keeping the leash untangled. All the behaviours will get tougher and more useful as you work through the Steps.



Next session starts: August 1, 2017
Registration starts: July 22, 2017
Registration ends: August 15, 2017

Registration will begin at 10:30 AM PDT.

Enrollment limits: 15 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level, you can sign up any time during the registration period.


COME – getting solid recalls through distractions

COMMUNICATION – learning to keep leashes untangled

CRATE – learning to enter and stay in crate with the door open

DISTANCE – going around and jumping

DOWN – beginning out of sight stays

FOCUS – increasing duration of eye contact

GO TO MAT – more distance, more duration

HANDLING – allowing handling of entire body and grooming and care tools

LOOSE LEASH WALKING – maintaining the loose leash over distance and personal nightmare distractions

RETRIEVE – learning to hold and pick up articles correctly

SIT – adding distance and duration to stays

ZEN – staying off treats dropped or tossed and applying Zen to door safety

Prerequisites and Equipment


For a gold or silver spot in Training Levels 3, you need to have taken Training Levels at any level (gold, silver, or bronze). There is no other prerequisite; however, students must recognize that the class will assume knowledge of skills and training methods taught in Training Levels 2.


A hungry, willing dog, clicker, delicious treats.
A 6-foot leash.
A buckle collar or martingale, limited-slip, or similar type of collar.
Doors to outside.
Various people, dogs, and other distractions varying in difficulty from easy to almost impossible for your own dog.
Mixing spoons or other retrievable objects in plastic, wood, and metal.
A mat big enough for the dog to lie on.
A crate.
A pole or cone and a PVC or wooden bar at least 4 feet long with some way to hold it off the ground up to your dog's elbow height.
Your own dog's handling and care articles - clippers, thermometer, toenail clippers or Dremel, toothbrush.
Miscellaneous outdoor poles - signposts, power poles, etc.

Course Testimonials

Brand new course October 2016.  

See instructor bio for sample testimonials on other courses they have taught.