LEVEL 1 – The Foundation

In Level 1, you and your dog will be learning basic commands and skills which are the building blocks for future behaviors.  These skills all revolve around teaching your dog to pay attention to you and not everything else around him/her. During Level 1 classes you will have practice building a strong relationship between you and your dog that will allow you to continue onto the other levels. As with all levels it is important to practice these skills outside of class time.  Practice reinforces the positive behaviors you are looking for with your pup.  It also helps to build a dog’s confidence which potentially decreases some unwanted behaviors.

  • Focus is a top priority, the key behavior from which other behaviors build. We continue to challenge your pup with more difficult attention exercises through all levels of training. We will gradually add distractions as you keep pup focused on you.
  • Calm Dog_– You will practice keeping your pup focused, calm and settled during class and when needed in other situations.
  • Attention – You will learn to have your dog sit and focus on you as you gradually take a few steps back away from them.
  • Hand signals – Start teaching your dog hand signals and commands without any using verbal commands
  • Sit, sit, sit – You will practice having your dog sit for everything; food, treats, in and out the door, as you’re walking on a leash, playing, etc.
  • Sitting by the seam of your pants – Have your dog sit by the seam of your pants whenever you start or stop as you’re leash walking your dog. This includes when you stand up from a sitting position to begin working with your pup.
  • Mechanics of Loose Leash Walking– Begin by working with the Box Drill. Have your dog sit at the seam of your pants as you start and stop your leash walking
  • Fetch – Start playing fetch with your pup and learn how to have them retrieve a ball or toy.
  • In your crate and in your place command –You will begin teaching your pup to go to their place on command.
  • The 3 D’s – Sit with duration, distance and distractions – challenging your dog to sit as you get further away from them for up to 10 seconds.
  • Down – You will be developing the down command as you put some distance between you and your dog.
  • Stay – We start working on the stay command while we learn how to return and release them from a sitting position.
  • Wait – start working on the wait command and understanding the difference between wait and stay
  • Come/Recall– Basics of having your pet come to you. You will practice having your pup come to you both on and off leash.

As with all levels it is important to practice these skills outside of class time.  Practice reinforces the positive behaviors you are looking for with your pup.  It also helps to build a dog’s confidence which potentially decreases some unwanted behaviors.