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ObedienceThe School of Obedience is designed to prepare dog/handler teams for AKC and CKC obedience competitions through the Utility level.

Courses in the School of Obedience are divided into four categories: core, skill building, games, and finishing. To have a well-trained obedience dog, we recommend taking courses from all four categories. 

This school also includes obedience classes specific to the sport of IPO. 

Core Courses

Core Courses

Core courses cover the basic skills needed for a handler to engage her dog in training with energy, focus, and fun! These courses will help you understand how motivational training works from the first stages to when the toys and treats are gone. These courses will help you to understand what is the best for your dog given her unique temperament, interests, and strengths. If you complete the entire set of core courses, you should be able to train a dog to engage with you - even in the face of tempting distractions and alternative interests. 

Skills and Games

Skill Building Courses

Skill building courses will help you teach the individual behaviors that make up the finished exercises.  You'll notice that these skills are not aligned with the traditional Novice, Open, and Utility levels.  This is intentional; we believe it makes more sense to think in terms of foundation skills, and introducing those skills early on.  That's why you will find scent discrimination and beginning retrieving offered in the very first level.  These courses are not necessarily sequential, so you may select a particular course even without taking the prior courses. 

Obedience Games

Obedience Games are designed to to work on obedience skills in a fast paced and exciting way – for both dog and handler! Borrowing heavily from the sport of agility, obedience games are a blend of obedience exercises and agility movement. You do not need any special equipment nor an agility background to have a blast in this program. A high percentage of Denise’s personal training time is spent on obedience games, both with her own dogs and with her student’s dogs. In her experience, dogs learn a good deal faster when trained this way as opposed to traditional obedience techniques, and handlers improve their timing, responsiveness, and attitude – all to the benefit of the team. 

Proofing and Polishing

Finishing Courses

Finishing Courses are designed to get you into competition. Here, we cover any elements that have not been addressed earlier, with a heavy focus on preparing you and your dog for the stressors of competition. Nothing is left to chance; your dog will be exposed to a wide variety of possibilities to make you the strongest team possible.

Think obedience is boring? Check out a compilation of our students at work!